Candace has a broad range of interests that keep her head filled with strange facts, such as experimental cooking, games, and mad science.
If you ask women what their most uncomfortable item of clothing is, the majority would say their bra. Bras can hurt the back, ribs, and neck, chafe the skin, and can even cause the cartilage of the ribcage to become inflamed. Still, most women feel better with some support and prefer the shaping a bra gives.
But there are ways to get the support without the discomfort. Here are some bra fix-ups and hijacks, with tips for how to get the look of a bra without wearing anything underneath your top. Below, you'll find
- things you can wear instead of traditional bras
- tips for making bras pain-free, and
- ways to go braless more comfortably (including how to wrap your breasts, instead).
Being comfortable and feeling good about your appearance can happen at the same time: there are lots of options and alternatives. Stop living in bra-induced discomfort. Find a more comfortable way to support yourself!
What to Wear Instead of a Bra
Bras With No Underwire
For some people, the problem with bras is the underwire. As you move, it can poke and dig into your sides. . . a bra without underwire can be a lot more comfortable but still offer good support. Typically, the thin, skimpy ones aren't as supportive or comfortable as the fuller ones made with lots of material. Look for no-underwire bras with comfortable material around the bottom, as elastic can dig into your torso as much as underwire can. Bras with wider bands around the bottom are usually more comfortable.
Sports bras offer plenty of support, without underwires. They're typically made of stretchy material that will "give" as you move rather than digging into your sides. Some even have those thinner spaghetti straps (like regular bras).
The drawback of sports bras is that they aren't the most attractive of undergarments, especially underneath fitted or dressy clothes. With most, the flattening uniboob phenomenon usually happens, and most aren't very sleek under clothes, but there are sports bras that offer comfortable support with a bit more shape.
For the most comfort, look for ones with separate cups or stitching down the middle to separate the breasts more (and give them air!) and those with wider bands around the bottom, since thin bands tend to dig and chafe.
Camisoles and Tank Tops
Camis and tank tops may be the best choice if having anything tight around your ribs irritates you. Camisoles come with or without built-in shelf bras. The tighter the tank top or cami is, the more support and less sagging there will be. Nylon or spandex material offer the most support.
The drawbacks of wearing a cami are that it can get hot and steamy in summer, since it adds an extra layer of fabric over your torso. If you are wearing bottoms with a waist that fits low on your hips, the cami can come untucked and be annoying. And unless it is really stretchy and tight, that cami still won't have the shaping-and-lifting effect of a bra.
But it is a better choice than a bra for a lot of women. Especially if you are smaller-chested, it may be the way to go.
Tube bras give support and coverage without any wires or straps that dig or poke.
They are basically like short tube tops—just a tube of material made to fit around your chest area. Since there are no straps, they can be a good choice for some dressy tops.
The downside to tube bras is that they are more prone to shifting because there isn't much to hold them up.
If you have sensitive ribs, the bands are likely to aggravate. Look for wide bands, which are usually more comfortable than narrow bands that dig into your sides.
Corsets and Torsolettes
There are tons of comfortable corset options that provide support and give the lifted look of a bra without the discomfort. Torsolettes and bustier bras are similar to corsets but look less fancy and more like regular, day-to-day undergarments.
Corsets (and other similar garments) may be the best option for going under dressier clothes, since they offer more support and shaping than the other bra alternatives. And, since the support is spread over the whole torso, they can be more comfortable than bras that depend on digging underwires or pinching elastic. (Read 10 Ways to Wear a Dress Without a Bra for more ideas.)
Some corsets can even be worn as tops without anything over them, alone or under a jacket or sweater.
The best thing to do is to try on all the options. Some corsets and bustiers are built for looks and not comfort and can be painful, especially if they are built really tight or with boning. But some are very flexible and move with you, with adjustable ribbons to loosen and tighten as needed.
Nipple covers (aka breast petals or pasties) can keep your nipples from showing through form-fitted or transparent clothing. It's a way to go braless without being completely exposed.
You may have to shop around to find a kind that fits you well, matches your skin color (if necessary), and that looks right under clothing. There are a wide variety of types; some are round, and others are shaped. There are even reusable ones available for people who wear them frequently.
Most people find nipple covers to be really comfortable. They don't provide any support or lifting, but they will offer a layer in between your skin and your clothing to prevent chafing and make it less obvious that you aren't wearing a bra.
How to Avoid Bra Pain
Get Properly Sized
If you have never been sized for a bra by a professional, it's time. If your bras hurt, it's likely that your true size is actually different than what you think it is. Getting the right size is the first step to avoiding discomfort. See How to Find Your Real Bra Size for pro tips on measuring properly.
Use a Bra Back ExtenderSometimes the problem is simply that the bra fits too tight around your torso. If this is your problem, a bra extender might be the solution. If your bra is the right cup size but the band is too small around your ribcage, simply clip a back extender onto the hooks to make the bra less tight and add a few inches to the band. Extenders come in multiple hook styles and in most standard bra colors. To learn more ways to customize your bra, read How to Make Your Bra Comfortable With Simple Modifications.)
Make Your Own Custom Bra
It never occurs to most women to make their own bra, but making a custom bra could be the solution for those who can't find one that fits comfortably. There are many bra sewing patterns available online or in fabric stores. If you know how to sew, making a bra is a relatively easy project... and if you don't know how to sew, ask a friend or an alterations shop to make one for you.
Wrap You Chest Instead of Wearing a Bra
In many cultures, before bras were invented, women would wrap cloth around their chest for support, among other reasons. In Japan, chest wrapping was customarily worn under kimonos, and wrapping has gained a resurgence in recent years because of its use by female anime characters, many of whom are samurai or other types of fighters.
How to Wrap Your Chest
Do not use ace bandages or other overly constrictive material that might cut off circulation and cause blood clots, broken ribs, breathing problems, and other dangers.
Normal, non-constrictive cloth will work. In Japan, chest wrapping is done with a special, extra-thin supportive cloth called a "sarashi." Most sarashi available today are about a foot wide by 10-15 feet long.
Basically you wind the cloth around you like a mummy. Be careful not to get it too tight: You don't want it to impede your breath or blood flow. Like any other type of chest support, you shouldn't wear it all the time to give your body a chance to relax.
Chest wrapping isn't always the best choice. It can look strange under any tightly-fitted clothes because it can be a bit bulky. It also gives a flatter look to the chest. But there are times when it might be the right choice, for example if you can't wear sports bras.
Is It Necessary to Wear a Bra?
You may you may feel more vulnerable without anything to cover you up, and you'll feel the breeze and chill more, but being without a bra can also feel freeing. You may feel more exposed to the world, but you will eventually get more used to it the more you go without a bra.
Best Shirts and Blouses for Going Without a Bra
If bras annoy you, it will be worth the time it takes to find tops that look good without a bra. Although you might want to avoid white and other light-colored and see-through materials if you aren't wearing anything underneath, and solid colored and form-fitting shirts will make the lack of a bra more noticeable. But under a loose, baggy shirt or a floral or other busy print top, it won't be as obvious.
Reasons Not to Wear a Bra
- Studies have not found any benefit to wearing bras other than for appearance and comfort while moving.
- Going without a bra does not lead to saggier breasts later in life: gravity alone is responsible for that.
- The natural look of the breasts isn't anything to be ashamed of. Our society is just used to only seeing breasts that are shaped and lifted by bras. It is like shaving the legs: There is nothing wrong with hairy legs on women, it is just a beauty trend to prefer them smooth.
So feel free to go braless, but be aware that this may not be deemed "attractive" according to mainstream standards.
dana on June 12, 2020:
whin my bra straps hurt me i use a pad on the sholders
Roberta L Melton on May 10, 2020:
I am going to have to try the UniQlo Cami tank. Years ago I had major surgery which impacted my ribs. Over the years I have struggled to find bras that do not irritate my scars or ribs. Full body shape wear has been the most comfortable, but tends to be very warm.
Patricia Bailey on April 16, 2020:
I have never work an underwire bra in my life and I am 78 but still need one. I think I have a high rib cage or something. Even a small meal makes my bra too tight. I do need some some coverage and lift. Even the stretchy bras get too tight and makes me sweat under my boobs. Help!
bonnie mc lafferty on June 15, 2019:
totally allergic to latex/spandex ; causes blisters cannot find a suitable substitute and am not small chested
DijanaMarie on May 19, 2019:
I prefer to wear soft tank tops under my clothes.
There are tanks that don’t ride up too called NO YANK TANK at Duluth Trading Company in Duluth Minnesota . Cool
Sammy on April 29, 2019:
Im thinking of making my own bras out of those 1.68 walmart tanks, with a few well placed cuts, possibly a few stiches, it seems easy to make a tank bra with lower wrap tie for support.
Kohagura on March 24, 2019:
I've been wearing a Cami-tank top with a built-in padding from UniQlo for years, and since then could never wear any of my regular bras again, even the regular bras that I once thought were more comfortable than average bras, are not longer comfortable.
I am now so used to the loose fit and smooth back feel of the cami, it feels almost like wearing nothing, I can even sleep with it and not even think about it because it's not squeezing around my ribs at all, but still offers lift and padding to the boobs.
Also because it looks just like a tank top, it can be worn by itself in summer and therefore even better for summer than a regular bra + shirt.
anonymous on March 12, 2019:
I'm so sorry to hear that, hope you are feeling better.
I'm not in any sort of situation similar to yours, but perhaps you could try attaching cooling pads to the burned area underneath the bra? I'm sorry if it's a dumb suggestion. otherwise, if you can't come up with anything, just rock who you are! it doesn't matter what your chest looks like for a few days/weeks while you are healing. just embrace the fact that you survived both cancer and this accident, and if no one else, I support you the whole way :)
Alina Murphy on March 07, 2019:
I have quite a predicament and i'm wondering if theres anyone out there in the same spot! i was in an accident and 15 percent of my body was badly burned (right around my torso where a bra goes) In addition to this i am a cancer survivor and have only one breast. I need a bra in order to wear the pad that makes them appear equal. But the burn makes the bra HURT like hell. If anyone has any suggestions, please help!
AlyssaEW on January 16, 2019:
I have been having bra issues for as long as i can remember having breasts. As a kid i hit puperty very early. I have a very thin and small body but bigger breasts. The biggest cup size i have is a DD and it absolutely kills me.
PaulaPlaytex on August 22, 2018:
My Male 46B/46C Breasts hurt when I don't wear my Bras.
Benny01 on July 18, 2018:
You are right, bra is one thing i wish not to wear on a daily basis. i always feel uncomfortable wearing it. But i will have to try nipple cover because it seems to be easier to wear and maybe more comfortable.
sherrie on June 02, 2018:
It all plays on the stupidity of the public, they think. Never never put polyester or underwire on. check it out. They tell you not to wear silk. Silk will have you in seventh heaven 24 hours a day. You must breath. You might have to do a wrap or make something, but it's way better than nothing.. Linen is almost as good. We have to start thinking for ourselves. This is ridiculous. Noone should be that uncomfortable.
Serena on January 01, 2018:
I recently stopped wearing bras. Like many they irritate squeeze my rib cage. I get cheap 2 dollar tank tops with spaghetti straps a size smaller. The nice thing is that during hot weather I can wear just the tank top
Brafree on November 08, 2017:
I have not worn a bra in 38 years. Not to work , church, socal events ....never. my only down side is that I have very large areolas and on the dark side. Sometime , depending on my top, THEY show thru a little. And thats ok with me, cause I have been ask out a few times because of that...lol.
janet on October 16, 2017:
haven't worn a bra in 3 years. put one on for two 10 hour days. in pain for two days now as my chest feels like someone beat me with a stick around my ribs. Wont be doing this again anymore. pasties, or something.. anything is better then a bra
melly on May 24, 2017:
Plus size and hot flashes. I want a cami with some boob coverage and will let my body breathe.
KKoontz on March 07, 2017:
I always have had trouble wearing a bra since a teenage. I wore cotton bras, wire bras, wire free bras, lace bras, then Doctor told me to do into sport bras which I've been wearing since 1992. Now I can't even wear sport bras as they hurt me, breasts hurts, I'm very petite don't have much fat around my ribs and the pain I am suffering wear any bras as it feels like rubber bands around my ribs or someone squeezing me. Not to mention how extremely fire red under my breasts. I don't wear any now because of this only when I go out then it is nightmare for me to get into sport bras even stepping in as my left hand don't bend well as my right hand. I just purchase camisole tanktop w/build she'll bras. I was doing fine with them, but now have the extremely fired red rash under my breasts and pain again around my ribs. I was a34B, but lose so much weight around my rib (don't have the body fat). Thinking this is the main cause of any types of bras I wear. I have wore 30B, 32A, 32B, 32C, 34B, and 36 all hurt so bad that I just rip them off. I'm open for suggestion on what I can do I'm doing exercises now that will firm and lift your breast and also make them smaller. This is where 30 & 32 comes into play now. Only problem with the camisole tank top when it gets warmer out you are going to be hot in them.
Marilyn on October 27, 2016:
Another option not mentioned that I will be trying (because of a painful bout of shingles in the under breast area) is a silicone stick on type bra. Am also interested in wrapping, and had actually considered it, but couldn't find any large enough and soft material to use in my home.
Beth on August 24, 2016:
I am allergic to bras have dermatitis ,can't find a bra that's is comfy and doesn't break me out in a rash,anyone else got the same problem
LupaLuna on August 07, 2016:
I am a 44 G/H. I have a pinched nerve in my neck and my shoulder. Wearing a bra is excruciatingly painful period but going without one and when I'm out in public is not an option. As it is at home it is a tremendous burden to not be wearing a bra. I have burned myself twice on the stove. I have bruised myself and done actual physical damage to my breast because they are hanging down on my belly. They get bumped and banged all the time. I need a breast augmentation reducing their size desperately.
indy on July 28, 2016:
I have COPD and find bras really effect my breathing these days, but a Yoga bras do much better. Can put them on over my head, they are not as tight around my chest and they have plenty of support. I get mine a Penneys and it is way cheaper than the VS ones I use to wear !!!!!!
just me on May 31, 2016:
I have horrific skin breakdown under my breasts. I have to wash my bras when I get home because I'm bleeding from just under the arm pit all the way around front....both sides. I just ordered 3 camis with a shelf bra inside. I'm large breasted, and a very modest dresser. So I'm very hopeful that this will be "enough" support for me to get away with. Thanks for all the help!
Amou Bird on April 20, 2016:
I don't mind wearing a bra, but sometimes it really digs into my ribs and also hurt my stomach. Some of these ideas are really handy!
alabaster on April 18, 2016:
I'm small chested, so I go without a bra most of the time. When I feel like I really need something due to the top I'm wearing, I like wearing a wool sports bra (Icebreaker Siren, especially, but others from Icebreaker and Smartwool are good).
Cindy on April 06, 2016:
Women with thoracic back pain can't wear bras due to the pain. I wish nice lightweight vests would come back in style.
Alison on December 23, 2015:
Nipple covers - best invention ever, though they tend to sweat off in hot weather. I've been fitted for bras, but just can't stand them. Being small-breasted the bandeaus and tubes flatten what I've got. I look for shirts with pockets, patterned tops, tops with detail such as stitching, tucks, gathers...there's such a market for clothes that look fine without a bra - why isn't someone tapping it? I like the idea of the soft cups sewn into the clothing though it might look odd with loose tops when you bend eg!
If men felt they needed underwired underpants - but no, they're not such fashion victims as we are.
Kim on November 30, 2015:
I suppose I should say I'm lucky in that I've never really had a set to worry about, but with time, even they will sag. I need support to look my best, but I have very sensitive ribs, and will go out of my way to remove even a shelf-bra cami at the end of the day. I once even pulled out my spare set of socks at work to tuck under the band and soften the blow. Here's wishing someone could come up with some wireless support that is as soft on the rib cage as a sock.
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on May 12, 2015:
Great hub, Candace. I tend to have issues with my bras and wouldn't mind doing the strapless or tube versions. Voted up for useful!
aboywithgirls on May 02, 2015:
As my name eludes to, I am a man with rather large breasts, even by female standards. I wear a bra every day. Most of my bras are a 38G. I have been wearing a bra since I was a teenager. I don't feel comfortable going bra less because of my size. I know that there are a lot of women who hate to wear a bra. I am very particular about the fit of my bras. Maybe the women who are so uncomfortable need to wear a different size. Since I was professionally fitted, I love my bras.
faith on March 26, 2015:
what about the women that kind stand all that elastic
Asami on January 28, 2015:
Sports bras are fairly wearable, and I'll wear push-ups if it's only for a few hours and I have a low-cut top. When the weather is good enough, I wear (not too tight) corsets or just dresses that give some support (empire waist is the best thing ever).
Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on August 12, 2014:
Crossdressersyd - Sounds like you have an untapped market for a product.
crossdressersyd on August 04, 2014:
Why can't someone design women's bra's to fit men with out losing any of its style and still look like a sexy bra
Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on July 22, 2014:
Renu - It sounds like your bra isn't long enough around your shoulders. Look for one that has longer straps and make sure the strap adjusters are at the full length. There are also strap attachments that can make the strap longer. Hope that helps your problem.
Sandy - That looks like a great product. I'm glad it works for you.
Sandy on July 22, 2014:
I never felt comfortable wearing a bra. The shoulder pain, hard to breathe, breast spill over. Ugh! I tried BreastNest and haven't looked back. It's amazing. I even sleep in it.
renu on June 06, 2014:
I feel my bra is highly uncomfortable.. I regularly use to pull it down from front bottom....not sure about exact problem..it becamey habit know but I know it looks very bad in crowd..pls suggest something..
Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on April 04, 2014:
torrilynn - Underwire is definitely the worst. Glad other types of bras work for you. Thanks!
Elise70 - You might try looking for longer coverage like something that comes down the rib cage a bit more. Have you tried using powder to help with the sweating? A bit of baby powder may help absorb the sweat. Good luck!
Elise70 on March 04, 2014:
I join the club of bra haters. I often wear pullover bralettes, but they tend to reveal too much as they are seldom padded. Regular bras are uncomfortable, and move when I raise my arms or do almost anything. Maybe I don't have the right fit, but it seems like guidelines for a proper fit vary.
Lastly, though I am not well endowed, I sweat like crazy in that area, even with a thin cotton or modal bralette. I might try putting mine in the freezer this summer. At my wit's end with this search.
torrilynn on December 07, 2013:
Thanks for this article about bras. Ive always found bras to be very uncomfortable especially the ones with the underwire. I now try to get the bras that either lack an underwire or that clip in the front instead of the back. Nice article. Voted up.
Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on October 09, 2013:
idigwebsites - Sleeping in a bra isn't recommended because your body needs time to just relax and not be forced into unnatural positions constantly. I don't know about causing breast cancer.
Bunting - If you have to wear something, try to find a type of bra that rests farther down. A corset or torsolette might be something for you to try. A tightly-fitting cami may be a good option. Chest wrapping might also be a possibility. It is typically used by athletes. The wrapping applies pressure evenly so one spot isn't carrying the brunt of the support. Hope those ideas help!
Bunting on October 05, 2013:
About 5 years ago I had a horse accident and they had to remove parts of my ribs and go figure it is right were the bra rides so most the time it hurts no matter what I wear I have tried them all any other Ideas to keep the presure of that side? I have to wear a bra because of my line of work riding horses at a higher rate of speed most of the time you need to tie them suckers down!
idigwebsites from United States on October 04, 2013:
Only when I'm in my house I don't wear bras. I even reproached my sister when she had to sleep with her bra on. I was told that sleeping with a bra on would cause breast cancer, though I wonder if that's true, but it sure feels even painful to wear one while you sleep. Thanks for posting about this very important info. Up, useful and shared.
Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on September 15, 2013:
CV woman - It is terrible to have such problems with a piece clothing necessary for daily use. Some type of bodysuit, corset, or torsolette might work. You would just have to try some out to see if they work for you or if they are too tight. Basically you just want to look for a type of support with more length than a typical bra. You might be able to find other camis or tanks that could serve your purpose better. Hope you find something that fits you better.
CV woman on August 16, 2013:
I almost cried when I read Tiffany Marshall's comments. I started having these exact problems not long ago, and I can't wear any of my bras. I'm between a D and a DD cup so can't just go without anything, but all bras either dig & roll along the side or flip up on my ribcage as soon as I sit down. It's infuriating. I've been wearing tight-fitting Lycra tanks but need something better. Was looking at the Bali lace bodysuit. Are there other options? Hate the idea of having to wear something so constricting.
Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on August 11, 2013:
Thanks for the comments everyone!
vibesites - I saw that same study when it was in the news. Bras force the breasts into unnatural positions, so maybe that is the reason behind that.
Mirta - Way to go! If more girls took on your attitude, women could be free of the pain of bras forever. Most of the problems with bras are that they try to force everyone's breasts to look a certain way. Keep on changing the world.
wonderdawn - Glad to hear that nipple covers have worked so well for you. Most men don't understand the discomfort of bras. But I think many people are starting to realize how body type ideals in our culture are impossible to achieve and people are becoming more accepting of a more natural look.
Barbara Kay - Thanks! When you do wear a bra, getting the correct fit is an absolute must for comfort. I will have to search for that link.
Tawna - A different style of bra is probably best for you. The ones that cover down the midsection would be good for you. You may also be able to find bras that have more material on the bottom. They might have them in specialty stores or online. Good luck finding bras that cover you better!
Wheelyclunky - Nipple covers are great when you want a bit a cover and protection when going braless. It is freedom without drawing attention to your chest.
Girl - One thing that might help is padded sports bras. They might be more comfortable than regular bras. You could also try some of the comfortable corsets or bustier bras that give support and lift but don't have the elastic bands that dig into the ribs. It can give the appearance of a fuller chest. Another idea is to wear a cami that has a built in bra shelf and put breast forms (also called breast pads or inserts) into it. Hopefully you can find a solution that will work for you.
Girl on August 11, 2013:
My problem is, I have to use padded bras all the time. It's so painful but I got used to it. And I'm scared to show the real me to the world, because I'm a nearly flat chested girl. Can you suggest me any alternative please...........
Wheelyclunky on August 11, 2013:
Thank you. I'm a 40 or 42H and mainly go without. I'll look for those nipple covers.
Tawna on August 02, 2013:
My problem with bras is that the bottom portion tends to ride up & sit on bottom portion of my breasts, just below the nipples. Whenever I feel that, I instinctively to pull them back down to my chest, even though doing so looks awkward. I need bras that are provide support at least an inch below the bottom of the breasts in order to feel okay. Another concern is that bras don't provide my breasts much shape-- I need them to push the breasts inwards from the outside in order to make my breast look fuller. Right now, I research corset or bustier bras. They might be exactly what I need.
Barbara Badder from USA on June 08, 2013:
I can't stand underwire bras. It seems like most of the bras have them now. Thanks for an interesting hub.
There is a hub somewhere on here about how to get the right fit for a bra. I think Angela_Michelle wrote it. It might be a handy link.
wonderdawn from Vanleer, Tennessee, USA, Earth on June 03, 2013:
I use silicone nipple covers all the time and HIGHLY recommend. However, I am small-breasted, without much need for support. I have some that are re-usable, you just wash them with soap and water and when they dry, they are sticky again. I am a hippie who values comfort over conformity, so these are a godsend in order to feel more modest (i.e. my nipples are not staring you down) when going braless in public. I love this subject, I am always complaining about having to wear a bra. I say to men in my life, "Just imagine having to strap a tight piece of fabric around you all the time." Especially when it is 90 degrees. Totally jealous of exposed male breasts in the summertime!
IslandBites from Puerto Rico on May 02, 2013:
Mirta on April 25, 2013:
I'm only 16 and already my ribs are deformed beneath my chest thanks to being DD+ since I was 13. Not even sports bras are comfortable. I've decided to go bra-less, entirely, and frankly I couldn't care less about the weird looks or the judgmental girls. They don't know the pain or are too preoccupied with looking good that they forget they'd look just fine if everyone would quit making perfectly round, perky breasts a fashion statement.
vibesites from United States on April 23, 2013:
I've read a recent study that bras even contribute to sagging breasts but I didn't bother to read about it further.
I wear bras that are lightweight and have no underwires. I started to wear bras with no underwires when I was uncomfortable with my bra so I removed the pesky wires. A sports bra might be also a good option, I haven't worn one yet but I'll try to see how it feels. Voted up and useful.
Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on March 27, 2013:
Tiffany Marshall - Bras that flip up on the bottom can definitely be annoying. A body suit would probably help that. If it is a comfortable option for you, it could be less annoying. A bra pouch for the washer and dryer might help cut down on the lint and debris it picks up.
Tiffany Marshall from Waukesha, Wisconsin on March 27, 2013:
The thing that bugs me most is that I have a tummy, or layer of fat/fat roll below my boobs. That said, the band that is around the bottom part of my bra flips up because of this raised area, since my tummy isn't flat. It happens with my sports bras too. It is so annoying and uncomfortable. Always pulling down on my bras & trying to "flatten" the band to keep it from folding over. Maybe I should wear a body suit. I hate buying new sports bras because they are often so much tighter than the ones I've been wearing for a few years, even though I got a bigger size this time around. I know I have to keep wearing them to get adjusted & wear to them, but it is so annoying. My sports bras also are big lint collectors after I wash & dry them. Nothing like some irritating piece of lint or hair in your bra to itch or poke you all day.
Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on March 10, 2013:
Vivian - I understand your pain with bras. They are so painful. Sorry you were forced to wear such torturous bras when you were younger. Oh, the things women have been forced to wear. You're right. Sagginess is not caused by lack of bras, but gravity over the decades. Glad you have found a bra solution that works for you with sports bras.
J Bamford-Love - Women's clothing manufacturers need to get the memo that not all women are shaped the same. It's good that you have figured out a type of bra that fits your needs. There comes a time for many women when comfort starts to outweigh society's ideals of fashion.
Jessica Bamford-Love on December 02, 2012:
I have the worst time with bras because I am full-busted with a small rib cage, plus my breast tissue extends from side of my rib cage and my breasts almost touch in the middle so the center of bras generally don't lie flat like they are supposed to. I used to wear Le Mystere because they met my needs the best, but they made finding tops that fit even harder to find. For the past six months I've been wearing Rhonda Shear Ahh bras....they do well enough looks-wise, they do separate my breasts in the middle better than most sports bras, and they are seamless. I have finally decided that a bra that holds up the boobs just isn't worth the hassle anymore.
vivian on November 03, 2012:
Underwire bras are absolute hell for me. The wires dig deeply into the front my ribcage, and also in my back, so for the entire day I'm practically struggling to breathe. And throughout the duration of my adolescence, my mother forced me to wear these really tight underwire bras ("for shaping" she said -- which is BS because we all know that wearing bras does not aid in preventing "sagginess"), with the result that my ribcage became a bit deformed -- my ribs are dented inwards underneath my breasts. Seriously, no human should suffer this. So, a few years ago I finally came to my senses and decided I'll only be wearing sports bras from now on (and so far it's been doable because I'm a jeans-and-T-shirt type person). Comfort is always the most important thing -- screw what society says about "beauty standards".
Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on October 20, 2012:
WritingPrompts - Bras can definitely be a pain. And each type does seem to come with its own set of perils. The image of boobs choking you while driving really cracked me up. Glad you have found a way to deal with the bra problem.
Alecia Murphy - The key really is in finding the right bra, which can take trial and error. Hopefully you can find ones that fit for you. Thanks!
Alecia Murphy from Wilmington, North Carolina on October 12, 2012:
I'm glad I saw this. Finding the right bra that fits and looks right is like finding the right pair of shoes. But now that I know there are other methods to consider, I won't feel so confined to a bra.
Karen from The Garden of Eugene (Oregon) on August 26, 2012:
I can manage the sports bras most of the time, but I'm large breasted and they tend to give me this "uniboob" that makes the seat belt slide up and choke me when I drive (which I do for a living). It took a couple years, but I finally got comfortable going without (at least a the truck stops). Regular bras seem to put the plastic adjusters in the worst places and usually rub holes in my back before the day is over.
Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on August 08, 2012:
@ moonlake - Thanks! Some women can get away with no bras, some don't look very attractive without them. It's all about finding what is comfortable.
@ Marcy Goodfleisch - Bad bras are the worst! Thanks so much!
@ Kumholtz - Sports bras are pretty much always more comfortable than regular bras. I have heard other people mention the Incredible bra for its comfort.
Kumholtz from Savannah on July 29, 2012:
Being an irregularly big chested girl, I wear sports bras with almost anything because of the comfort and it makes my chest area look flatter (which I like). But when it comes to dressing nice, I have to bring out the bras. For anyone who's looking for a more comfortable bra, VS's Incredible bra is definitely my top choice.
Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on July 28, 2012:
Only someone who has suffered through a really bad bra knows how useful this hub is! I'm making notes - you may have saved me a lot of pain and agony here! Voted up and up!
moonlake from America on July 19, 2012:
I saw a picture of family members that never wore bras and I'm telling you that picture looked awful. I have to have a bra and I want an underwire. Bali use to make the best one it had extra fabric where the wire was now they have stopped making it. The minute I walk in the door the bra is unhooked. Great hub voted up.