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Intimates Reader Survey Results

reader-survey-results-1

A few weeks ago, I asked you to take a survey about your intimates – what bra size you wear, where you purchase lingerie most often, how much you’re willing to pay for a bra/undie, etc. I would have been happy with 10 responses; I received more than 350! You guys – errr ladies! – are the best! Before I get to my thoughts, I’ll share a few of the results:

  • 83% most commonly purchase lingerie at department stores while 27% purchase from independent brands/retailers. Online 18% buy online.
  • More than 50% buy between 2-4 panties per bra purchase
  • Almost 80% wear underwire bras
  • Only 10% purchase bras and panties as a set
  • 54% are only willing to spend $50 or less on a bra while 34% would pay max $74
  • 65% are only willing to spend $10 or less on a pair of panties while 29% are would pay max $19
  • 59% are more likely to buy lingerie if it is made from organic or sustainable fabric, even if it is more expensive

I’ve been thinking about the results since I first read them because what I thought to be true totally isn’t! You threw me for a loop with this one! Most wear underwired bras; I sew soft bras. Most purchase lingerie at department stores; I am online only. Most buy more panties than bras; I’ve given little thought to my underwear design, which I wrote about here.

So, as you can tell, there’s a lot more for me to think about! While I do so, would you answer one question for me?  Only if you’re willing, of course. My question is for larger chested ladies. What would it take to convince you to buy a soft bra? A testimonial? You can email me if you don’t want to share in the comments.

78 Comments

  1. Reply

    Becky Thompson

    I only ever wear non wired if it’s my super supportive sports bra. I would be happy to try a soft cup bra as long as I could guarantee the support I need on a daily basis as a 30F mother of two!

  2. Reply

    Siobhan

    It’s not so much that some larger ladies have a preference for underwired bras, but that they are the only ones they can wear. There is no soft bra in the world that is going to keep my boobs from touching my stomach (seriously), prevent under-boob sweat, and stop them swinging like pendulums when I walk. And I’m not even that big! There is a world of difference between small, self-supported breasts which will stay where they want, and larger breasts which are essentially sacks of fat and have wills of their own.

    • Reply

      maddiemadalynne

      Being smaller chested, it’s hard for me to imagine having breasts that “sag” and so it’s hard for me to come up with a solution. But I appreciate your and all the other commenter’s honesty. Really! I’m trying to combine sports bra support with a clean, modern aesthetic to create a bra that would work for ALMOST all size chests, and I think the key is to finding top quality fabric with excellent recovery. Just like a “normal” garment, if the fabric isn’t right, the project will be a fail. Same goes for lingerie.

      • Reply

        Elle Woods

        I appreciate that you would like to make an all encompassing aesthetic. However, women have different bodies and so their needs are different. That’s awesome because we get to see and appreciate many kinds of beauty. We should celebrate this diversity instead of suppressing it. I love that you make minimalist bras for small chested ladies. They are beautiful! But so are the complex and intricate underwire bras sold by Fredricks of Hollywood.

        It is possible to make a clean looking modern bra for large chested ladies, but it requires precise and complex boning and underwire underneath the modern looking exterior. Large chested ladies need rigidity not recovery because bouncy boobs hurt.

        • Reply

          Curvy Girls are Chic

          Elle you are very right! I have a bra making group an I have learned this very quickly!

      • Reply

        Ros

        I really don’t think the key to a good supportive bra for larger breasts is fabric with excellent recovery. What you need is extremely firm fabric with minimal stretch in the first place.

  3. Reply

    kelley

    Like others have said, I’m doubtful that a soft cup bra could control my ladies (36DDD here, 100% underwire). I would be tempted, though, if I saw a testimonial (with photos!) from a large chested lady wearing a supportive soft cup bra. And I mean > D cup large.

    I love nice lingerie, and don’t mind shelling out good money for it (most often in the $75/ea range). But I have yet to find a soft cup that gives me the shape and support of an underwire bra.

  4. Reply

    Hilde

    I agree completely with the comments above and have just you sent an email with some other points about my underwear preferences :-).

  5. Reply

    Missie

    I think the engineering in underwired bras is just not possible with a soft cup bra as there is just not the sturdy support for it. I’m 34D (s0 not huge but enough) and don’t think I would go for a soft cup, for the lack of support but also for the shaping they would give. If I were to give it consideration, I would have to try before I buy and would never buy on a testimonial.

    • Reply

      maddiemadalynne

      In order for a soft bra to work for a larger chest, I don’t think it’s that the engineering is not possible, but has to be different. There are no underwires, so you have to use other components/elements (i.e. fabric with excellent recovery) to get the same amount of support. Even then, the type of support will be different.

      • Reply

        Sheena

        Yes you’re right Maddie, the engineering is different. I work in lingerie and there is definitely lack of contemporary/fashion wireless bras for bigger chests. I think it would be a great market to tap into. The grading is different and size range usually starts at 14D upwards to size 24. I’ve been doing a bit of research on it. Marks & Spencer have a few styles that offer total support like this one http://www.marksandspencer.com/youthful-lift-total-support-flroal-lace-non-wired-full-cup-bra-b-g/p/p22378163

        • Reply

          Sheena

          oops sorry working in Australian sizing, 14D-24 would be equivalent to 36D- 46

  6. Reply

    embroiderpiccies

    Oh Maddie – each time i read this blog i love it more. I adore your ascetic – colours, lace, fabrics etc. and now such questions. I am still reading and not yet sewn my first bra (not feeling well is robbing me of sewing time -but I am reading and reading and asking questions on the facebook bra forum (such a wonderful group) – but really have been actually pondering this question. Particularly as I’d love a sequined Mallori. Yesterday i was looking at the pictures again and wondered about how I could make it work for me – possibly lining the top part with a soft powernet? The front band is powernet as far as i could see? and a band of elastic – sort of like those hidden inner support tops you can buy. But how to resolve too much – what on Bra Forum they call east westing (i love that term) – would it be possible to somehow incorporate power bar type construction to prevent too much squeezing out the sides? I do appreciate that the purpose /effect would be different than the much more structured underwire type bra. By the way my size is 36 F/G depending on style (UK size).. I am excited you are thinking about this.

  7. Reply

    Mirjam

    Oh, how I would love to find a 30F soft cup bra that actually works… And I would easily spend $150 if I was confident it did. Totally agree with all comments above; most of them makes my boobs look like a continuous, hanging shelf. And I’ve tried all the models I could find, because underwired bras are not very comfortable. How did they do it in the 50’es? I’ve been wondering if longline bras with powermesh would be something to try, but never found one.

  8. Reply

    Dee Durrant

    I’m usually a 34DD and would never have bought/worn a soft bra in the past but I would now. What changed my mind – having children. As soon as you find out you are pregnant you are told not to wear under wires for better milk production etc (how glamorous!). Anyway after one day of wearing my soft bra I was converted by the comfort but it did take me the whole pregnancy to get used to the shape created by a soft bra especially as I grew to a 36F/G! Now due to health reasons I’m no longer breast feeding I’ve gone back to under wires outside of the house but immediately change to a soft bra once I get home. Although the shame is that as my maternity soft bras no longer fit me so I tend to wear my maternity sleep bra which offers zero support. I have purchased the Watson and intend to try your free pattern (obviously the version edited for larger breasts) if I can only find the time with a 2 month old and a 3 year old! I’m hoping that these (especially the longline Watson) will give me 10 times more support than my dreadful maternity sleep bras do so they’ll probably feel like under wired to begin with an fill probably wear them out to the supermarket, playground etc where I don’t mind looking more casual.

    • Reply

      maddiemadalynne

      Having never been pregnant, I didn’t know that soft bras help with milk production.

      I think the key to achieving a good fit and enough support for both the Watson and Mallori is fabric selection. Be sure to choose a fabric that has excellent recovery. In my own bra making, recovery, not just stretch, is crucial to a good fit and a bra that lasts a long time.

      • Reply

        Clio

        I’m currently nursing. I never heard not to wear underwire during pregnancy or that it can harm milk supply, but that it can cause blocked ducts, which are painful, once you are nursing. If it wasn’t for this, I would never wear non-underwire. (I was formerly a D cup and am now three cup sizes larger).

        I think there is an additional element to the fabric – that the band is wide enough to give good support. I plan to try the Watson longline bra for this reason. Another enhancement is to add a “power bar” using a more firm powermesh – this helps with support and shape IMHO.

        • Reply

          maddiemadalynne

          I appreciate the honest opinion! I definitely agree that having a band adds support in addition to the fabric.

  9. Reply

    Carolyn

    I think this question applies to all women, not just those with larger busts! I’m an A cup and would never, ever consider wearing a soft cup bra out of the house because it’s simply inappropriate at my workplace. I need reliable support and modesty protection, and foam cups with underwires are the only thing I’ve found that provides both.

    • Reply

      maddiemadalynne

      If a soft bra provided you support and modesty (read: no visible nipples), would you wear it to your workplace?

      • Reply

        Carolyn

        I’m doubtful that such a bra exists (and that also provides separation), but if you can convince me otherwise, I suppose I would be willing to try it!

        • Reply

          maddiemadalynne

          Well, that’s what I’ll try to convince you and all the other doubtful women. Can’t hurt to try – I like that attitude!

    • Reply

      Julie

      I will only wear soft bra’s. I can’t stand the underwire, but the problem is support . However I have found a few with a “support shelf” built in, but nipple still show through. I have found that you can purchase silicone nipple shields and they do work. The brand I use is DIMRS and can be found on amazon for about $30. I have even worn them in my swimsuit top. I only wear the t-shirt bra’s so that might be why…they are lightly padded for a smooth look, but for me it is only smooth if I wear the DIMRS. I would soooo purchase a bra for $50+, if it was lightly padded, provided support and nipples would not show. I don’t understand why some wouldn’t wear a soft bra out of the house. Can some one explain….maybe I am leaving my house looking inappropriate….

      • Reply

        maddiemadalynne

        Yay! Someone else who only wears soft bras! And I don’t think you’re inappropriate for wearing them outside the house. I do and I also think that visible nipples aren’t inappropriate either if done right.

        Would you mind emailing me with more details/photos of the support shelf? I’m very interested in knowing more!

        • Reply

          Julie

          I will try and get a decent picture and email it to you within the next few days.

  10. Reply

    Birgit

    First of all, american bra sizes confuse me, but the converter says I am a 34DDD (75G in EU sizes). The reason I am hesitant for buying soft bras is because I need my bras to offer proper support to get me through the day. I haven’t found a soft bra yet that does that for me, unfortunately. I have been thinking about purchasing the Watson bra pattern, as I’ve read positive reviews from larger chested ladies as well.

    • Reply

      maddiemadalynne

      I agree with those reviews – the Watson is a great example of a soft bra that provides support (assuming the right fabric is used).

  11. Reply

    Becky

    To echo what many others have said, my primary concern would be support. That, and the modesty factor, as I get cold easily and have exclusively been wearing foam cups out of the house for years to prevent an embarrassing situation. That being said, if it was marketed as a lounge bra, I’d consider it. I’m currently having to wear one at night for extra support, since my pregnancy and now nursing has left me at least an E cup, and underwires aren’t comfortable to wear at night. (Especially when the wire is already falling out of the expensive nursing bra that I only bought 5 months ago, and the baby is only one month old so I’m still going to need it for awhile. Grr.)

    • Reply

      maddie

      I hadn’t thought about labeling it as a lounge bra – I will consider that. It might help avoid confusion on when and how it is intended to be worn. It could be worn for lounge, but can also be worn for every day wear (going out).

  12. Reply

    susi schuegraf

    i love soft shell bras im flat but i want the lift and i haven’t found soft shells for a lift for sagging momma tits!

  13. Reply

    Kristen

    I am a 36DDD and I am home all day. If I am not going anywhere, then I am usually cleaning, doing yardwork, etc. I tend to wear soft shelf bras (some places market them as sleeping bras?), which aren’t great but they hold me up enough that I don’t feel like I have udders, and I don’t have to worry about bleach or dirt destroying something nice. When my husband comes home, I would prefer to be wearing something feminine. I think this is where a soft bra with some lace or a pretty fabric would be really nice – comfy for lounging but sexy to look at. Maybe it wouldn’t support as well as a lined underwire bra with 1″ wide straps, but it’s NOT an underwire with 1″ straps (which is what I wear when I go out). 🙂

    • Reply

      maddiemadalynne

      How sweet that you change your bra for your husband when he comes home. Thanks for your suggestion!

  14. Reply

    Jolien

    I only wore soft bras when breastfeeding and I hated them. No support at all, you get “monoboob” and they sag out too quickly, doesn’t matter what material you use. Might work for a few weeks, but it’s quite too expensive for such short time. I cheated soon enough and bought wired bras, even though it’s not recommended while feeding (for me it was no problem after a few weeks).

    Also, the wire has never bothered me, if I wear the right size bra that is… Meaning, you just don’t wear ones with cups which are too large so the wires poke in your armpits…

  15. Reply

    Linda

    Having gone from a 36 to 48 due to a medical condition, I had to stop wearing underwired bras because they just didn’t sit well. Now that I’m back to a 40, I wear underwired when I’m dressed and soft bras when I am staying around the house. (Unless I am sewing for fit purposes)

  16. Reply

    Veronique

    Yes definitely a testimonial would help with pics. As all the other ladies have said, soft cups don’t have the support. My 14 year old wAs in soft cups until recently but even she is now in underwire
    I know a lot of women who wear their sports bras every day because of the comfort factor. But I hate that uniboob effect so I don’t do it. Under wires are, unfortunately, a necessary evil

    • Reply

      maddiemadalynne

      Necessary evil – what a great term! I’ll have to use it one day!

      Personally, I don’t mind the monoboob look because even when I wore underwired bras, it looked the same underneath my tops, especially if I was wearing a woven blouse.

  17. Reply

    Nicole Morgan

    I think I’d try a soft bra if I saw pictures of larger-chested women in it, and I liked the shape and support the soft bra gave them. For example, I’m willing to try the Watson as an experiment because it’s very pretty, and I hope it could be at least somewhat supportive.

    The things that stop me from trying a soft bra are that most seem to squish your boobs into place, so they’re just not that comfortable. There’s no separation, your boobs get sweaty in between and under from touching your skin, and you get a smashed effect instead of a nicely shaped effect. If you’re a busty woman, your boobs will literally hang down when they’re not supported–try to imagine this by picturing a sock hanging down from your boob, basically lying limp and flat against the top of your ribcage. The breast looks more like a tube and less like a nice round ball, if that makes sense. So to counteract this, most busty women used shaped underwire bras because it neatly molds the ‘tube’ into a nice round ‘ball’. Soft bras that use fabrics without great strength and recovery will not be supportive enough, so the boob stays lookin’ like a tube! Soft bras with stronger recovery will often mold into more of a pancake than into two nice separate balls, which is also not a good look.

    Hopefully that helps you understand a little why larger-chested women are hesistant to try soft bras! That said, I DO think there could be soft bras that work, and I think the secret is probably related to having separate cups like the Watson. Separate cups will keep the boobs separated and should prevent the dreaded pancake uni-boob, so the only thing you really have to worry about then is using fabric with good recovery so that the boobs are lifted and supported. I do think that even then, busty women won’t really be able to get the same shape they’re used to from underwires, just because gravity is going to keep the shape lower than it would be in an underwire, but it can still be a very pleasing shape, just different!

    • Reply

      Shelley

      This, exactly! I also think that for most larger chested women, a well-fitting underwire bra is actually considerably more comfortable than a soft bra would be.

    • Reply

      maddiemadalynne

      Thank you for the detailed comment. Really – I appreciate it! The pancake uni-boob would be like a compression sports bra. Yes, having separated cups will definitely help in addition to fabric!

      I’m also contemplating narrowing my offering to being small chested only. My intimates would be for D/C cups or smaller and I’d market it as such. I don’t want to do this – I want to provide a bra for all sizes – but I’d rather define my niche that say my bras can provide support for everyone when they don’t. Handmade by Elma does this and I respect her for staying true to her branding.

      • Reply

        Nicole Morgan

        If you really want to include all sizes, I’d say get some large-chested testers willing to try a soft bra and then evaluate the fit on them to see if you both really feel like it’s supportive or not. I don’t want you to be discouraged before you even try, so maybe just give it a shot. I definitely think marketing it as a lounge bra would be a good idea! That’s the reason I bought the Watson–I’m totally okay with something less supportive if it means I get to make something pretty and comfortable to wear in my own home.

        One other thing I forgot to mention in my post, is that I can’t wear the same clothes with soft bras as I can with my “normal” bras, and I suspect it’s the case for other larger-chested women too. Because the fullness is situated in such a different location, all the darts and shaping would be totally off if I switched to a soft bra. I’d literally have to make two differerent versions of each garment–one for soft bras and one for all my other bras. But wearing a soft bra as a lounge bra solves this problem.

  18. Reply

    symondezyn

    I am a large cup size & I will only wear a soft cup bra for casual/weekend wear; it’s really not supportive enough for office/professional wear, IMO, even if it is comfy 🙂

  19. Reply

    Jessica Emily D'Eugenio

    I actually did my first round of bra-making this past weekend, thanks to so much inspiration and motivation from your blog! I started with the Watson to get used to working with stretch laces & elastics, and made it in my size (36D) and found that the long-line stabilized with tricot was very supportive! Also used 3/4″ elastic, which seems to also be a good width for us large busted ladies! I feel like even though it was pretty supportive for a bralette, I would wear it only on a casual day–not for work or going out. Next stop–Marlborough Bra!! 😀

    • Reply

      maddiemadalynne

      Well, welcome to the world of bra making! Congratulations on your first bra and good luck on your Malborough. Thanks for the thoughtful comment!

  20. Reply

    owllaughing

    I totally agree with Carolyn who says that this question applies to all woment. I’m a C cup, so neither very small-chested nor particularly large-chested. Still I never wear soft bras for two reasons: modesty and shaping. I would actually prefer to wear a soft bra, because it’s much more comfortable, but all the soft bras I’ve ever tried just make me feel kind of naked. Except for my sports bra which is not suitable for everyday wear, because (a) it’s expensive, so I can’t have many, (b) monoboob and (c) it’s too thick to wear under normal clothes (at least mine is).
    Thank you for asking questions like this, it’s so nice to see that you are genuinly interested.

    • Reply

      maddiemadalynne

      It’s also nice to see that you and all the other commenters are genuinely willing to answer. It is so helpful!

  21. Reply

    house of pinheiro

    Being a DD, I only wear soft bras at home. I have found a very supportive one but it doesn’t look as nice as a wired bra.

    • Reply

      maddiemadalynne

      I would love for you to email me about the soft bra you have that is supportive! You can also reply to this comment.

  22. Reply

    Lindy

    My only hesitation about soft bras is that I’m not convinced they will not only support, but also shape my breasts. For me, the real test of a bra is the silhouette it creates under my clothes; a bra can be exquisitely beautiful and fit me perfectly, but if it doesn’t create the line I want, I won’t wear it.

    I’m 36DD with a relatively small rib cage, so anything that forces (or just allows) the girls to spread out towards my sides just makes me look wider than I am. (I am not a fan of molded-cup bras for this reason.) Power bars are my friends!

    Another issue for me is that I have/want very little space between my breasts, so I fear that a soft bra would give me the dreaded uni-boob situation. I need shaping and definition.

    • Reply

      Robin Denning

      This is a comment I could have written- I am the same size and my preferences are the same. Up until the last year, I was repeatedly buying Wacoal minimizer bras (with seamless unlined cups) because they gave me great lift, were comfortable and my clothes fit better when wearing these bras than my previous favorite brand. Then I let the fitting lady in the shop bring me some other suggestions – including PrimaDonna brand. They are expensive, but I bought one and it opened my eyes to the whole shape conversation. I would have written a blog post about it by now, but I am not inclined to put my boobs on display like that. Anyway, I no longer have a lot of side-boob (that is how minimizers work – they smash the boobs into the armpits), but now, my boobs are out front and just, well … pretty. The shape is very pretty. The power bar does it. I now own a stupidly expensive collection of bras that are a pleasure to wear and fortunately, a style that can easily be sewn. As soon as I have time, I will be sewing my own bras to save money.
      Now I doubt if this is very helpful to someone wanting to sell patterns or sell bras – I feel like it is more productive to use a good basic pattern and alter that for fit and design tweaks. For me the Bra-Makers Supply patterns fill that need and now that one can take a class from an expert on craftsy for $30, well … it’s just not that hard to get a beautiful bra with stuff that’s already available.

  23. Reply

    christine

    I haven’t read all the comments, so perhaps this has been said already, but it’s not just bust size that calls for an underwire- it’s also age. I am only a B cup, but I am 44 and while the girls aren’t at my waist (because they are medium sized and I didn’t have children) they are much more up where they should be with the help of an underwire. Even with the most supportive fabrics, the more you squish them up, the more you’re going to get a big uni-boob shelf situation. So even with my little bust, daytime always calls for underwire. Casual days, at home, or at the gym is otherwise.

  24. Reply

    Kimberly Hamm

    I am a woman with 34E breasts during normal times and up to an H while nursing. I have also made a few bras of my own, and frequently alter store-bought bras to suit me.

    Before nursing, I would never have thought that a soft bra could be supportive and ONLY wore armor-like underwire bras. Now finishing up my second round with nursing and having spent more than 2 years total in soft bras (one really shouldn’t wear underwires because of all sorts of breast health issues that can arise during this time), I found a few brands that actually were supportive–though of course non as much an underwire. I always look for the fabric-constructed “under wire” in my soft bras which ensures that the ladies don’t pop out the sides or sneak out below the bra band over the course of a day. The better ones can help prevent uni-boob, too. I also look for wider elastic on the bottom of the band which helps with the drooping. Lastly, I consider the style of the cup. A fuller coverage obviously offers the best support. A triangle shape usually gives the best lift, but lacks in controlling boob spread. Straps placed slightly off-center to the outside of the body in the front, that anchor closer to the center in back are my gold standard as these seem to be most comfortable and secure. I also look for breathable fabrics since boob sweat is an issue for us well-endowed gals.

    A great brand I found (for nursing) was the elle machpherson bras. The interior support is pretty good and the fabrics breathe (and recover from use) well.

    Hope that helps!

  25. Reply

    greysfabric

    I love the idea of a soft bra (I’ve made a bunch of Watsons, after all) but for everyday wear, I’m still in the underwire camp. That doesn’t mean I can’t be convinced, just that there will probably need to be some special elastic tricks to get the girls perky!!

  26. Reply

    Sam

    My two cents! I’m a 30F and in public only wear under wires. I wear soft cup only at home (watson or sports bras). It’s a combination of support to lift the extra tissue off the chest wall, and then shape, that makes me reach only for under wires.

    I’ve had soft cup bras that will support the breast enough to get up and off, but that always smooshes things, so I look flat but thick from collar bone to under bust, arm pit to arm pit. Gross uniboob! Even my best sports bra will give me a bit more shape, but I still like my entire upper chest is boob rather than two individual. So in my experience, soft cups can give support, but not a shape that I love.

    I think you’re right that making good fabric choices makes a huge difference in the support aspect, but it’s hard to keep each breast shaped individually and aesthetically pleasing without the help of under wires. In large cups there is just too much tissue, that is usually very malleable, that the tissue that is lifted up doesn’t just squish sideways towards center, side and top. How do you keep boobs from merging together into mega cleavage without something separating them??A very tricky task!

    To convince me I guess yes, lots of testimonials, and photos. I would need “proof” that the model was naturally shaped more like me vs one who has a large but self supporting chest (implants?).

  27. Reply

    Miami

    I’m 32FF, mid 40s, no kids & have greatly benefitted from the great fitting & looking good larger cup sized underwired bras that have been readily available in the UK for the last 15ish years. (I rarely find suitable options in European or NY department stores tho I’ve not researched.) Underwires are uncomfortable if you don’t have the right fit & as with all RTW you try many brands to get what works for you. Then buy it in 4 colours. I like the idea of a soft bra – I have one for when I’m sick or a really slobby day, but even that took a LOT of trial & error & I still get sweaty underboob. Vile. Maybe there are fabrics that will do it – fingers crossed – but I would need seriously credible testimonials. Fingers crossed you can convince me.

  28. Reply

    Caroline Côté

    Maybe start by offering soft bras in bigger sizes as sleeping lingerie, maybe with a skirt, like a nightgown?

    I might sew the Watson for that purpose, to try the support it offers… It is impossible to find a lightly supportive sleep wear so that my breast can’t play peekaboo in as I sleep and turn. Maybe supportive is not the word I should use for the perfect nightgown, it is more like cover and hold in while still separating my breast, which a shelf in a camisole can’t do for me… But I also doubt a soft bra will ever have enough support to wear out of the house…

  29. Reply

    Pam Jones

    As a 38 E, the look of a bra with out an underwire is not very pleasing. My running bras did not have under wires but were designed to compress and prevent movement and were not flattering . I would have to see photos of successful soft bras to buy a pattern for one. Currently I am making my own bras but stay away from patterns w/o under wires.

  30. Reply

    Fredrika

    What would convince me is if it actually had a sturdy part under the boobs so that they don’t just slide out of there.I need support. My girls are heavy. Just having broad shoulder thingies isn’t enough.

  31. Reply

    Linnea Grunnesjö

    just a short reply from a a size 65D, whatever that is in US… 🙂
    I’d LOVE to have a soft bra – if there was one to be found not in size small, medium, large but in proper bra-sizes, it has have some kind of opening or else I would not be able to take it on/off, it should also be in a design for to separated breasts – not make them go into one big thing… get me? So far I’ve never found one in a store.

    Also – don’t be depressed about your answers, there is a market, it just might be small but probably more easy to reach. My experience is that people nowadays care a lot more about what they wear underneath, and that many people look for the special piece that can’t be found in a ordinary store. Personally, I love Sascha Kimmes: http://www.sachakimmes.com she is one example. (sorry for adverts, I don’t know her or so, just love her designs)

  32. Reply

    Su

    As a 36DD, I agree with all the comments above about support and shape. One more factor I haven’t seen mentioned is that you can have a partial band with an underwire bra, but I don’t think it’s possibly with a soft bra. All full-band bras on me (wired or not) flip up just under the cups, which is uncomfortable and means the bra is not well anchored or providing the intended support. Not everyone’s problem, but judging from the dominance of partial-band wired bras in the stores I shop, it’s a problem for a lot of women.

    I would have to see some evidence that all these issues were addressed before wanting to try a soft bra.

  33. Reply

    alliebeanster

    After having 2 children, and experiencing the changes in by body after breastfeeding for 2+ years, I went from being able to alternate between soft bras and underwires to exclusively underwire. If a soft bra was able to give the same support, lift, and modesty of an underwire I would be totally on board.

    I also wear sports bras to bed, and would be happy to have a prettier alternative in a sleeping or lounge bra.

  34. Reply

    Loganstitches

    Maybe word of mouth from fellow busty bloggers, but even then it’d take several testimonials.

  35. Reply

    Samie

    Hi, just reading this – 36DD here. Have a great sports bra – BUT nearly $150 Au! Sister with breast cancer – cannot wear underwires during treatment not sure about after. Soft, supportive bra would be fantastic especially in hot summer weather 40 C +.

  36. Reply

    Kathrin

    34 C here. At least in Germany (here it is 75 D) I count as large chested even when I look above I think I not really am. For me the problem definitely are the right fabrics. I made a Watson bra and I totally love it but it just works for hanging around at home because it doesn’t provide the normal everyday support. I chose ‘non stretchable mesh’ to underline but it isn’t enough. I have a sports bra with no underwires which gives the support I need (even more than most of my underwires) but it wasn’t easy to find and I cant really tell what kind of material they use for THAT support.

  37. Reply

    Sarwat AJ

    its an absolute correct one

  38. Reply

    Miss Celie

    I could only imagine wearing one around the house. I’m a 34G (I don’t know where these came from. My mom lied herself into a B cup). Underwire is my life. I have two sports bras that are my bra size. One with wire and one without. The one without feels like a medical bra. The one with underwire makes me look good in my gym clothes.

  39. Reply

    opalspeacock

    I’m a 36F and I’ve tried lots of soft type bras but I always go back to the underwire. I have tried the soft bras with foam cups, with underwire channeling but no underwire, stable fabric, stretch fabric. long line, industrial elastic and combinations to include all of these features (I’m probably leaving out a few). I have yet to try a soft bra that does anything for me, sadly that does include the Watson. Only one has ever made it out of the dressing room and it hit the trash after the first full day. I do not want my chest overly compressed because it is very uncomfortable and gives me bulges in the back and underarm which in turn inhibits mobility of my arms (can’t put my arms at sides because my boobs are already there). The bottom line for me is that nothing contains, separates, and supports better than an underwire bra that fits, even in a sports bra. All of that plus what Miss Celie said, my boobs and clothing look better with an underwire. For me to go wireless I would want all the benefits of an actual wire (containment, separates, support) and none of the traditional “soft look” (compression overload in the boob region and strapping, self look, medical look, bullet look). And it has to be comfortable and pretty. Very tall order I know. Hopefully this has been of some help to you.;) Good Luck.

  40. Reply

    Meg Duran

    I am a 34 G/32 H (US) wearing underwire bras pretty exclusively, with daybras for sleep. I have not found a soft cup/wirefree bra that has worked for me like underwires do, the main reason being the construction. The underwire is meant to shape the breast into a “U”, support it and pull it forward and separate, with the aid of any mesh, stitching or panel within the cup or band. Having a three part cup in a soft cup bra and paneling or maybe even a sort of piping may help. Perhaps doing a bit of a “Cross Your Heart” styling may give a bit of clue as to why those type of bras worked so well even though they fit horribly. The idea worked for many women. 🙂

    I love that you are looking into this and hope you find some way to get this bra made successfully!

  41. Reply

    Kassi Kasinger

    I have made the Ohlulu Jasmine bra with success. I was able to adapt the pattern to my 28F chest. I have tried soft bras on in stores, but for my small frame and large chest it has just been wrong. I do not mind the uniboob and frequently wear sports bras out and about. I think the problem with soft bras in stores, for me, is that even if I adjusted the band, all of the other parts are on scale with the large size and dwarf me.

  42. Reply

    craftsanctuary

    I WISH I could find a non-underwired bra that provided the same kind of support that a wired bra does. For my body type (hourglass with a 30F bra) I find that all non-wired bras I’ve tried don’t give me the kind of projection I look for in a bra. Yes, they may prevent sagging or bouncing, but they don’t really do anything for the “lift and separate” part I look for in a bra. Every person’s body is different, even if they share the same body type, so I know I don’t speak for all larger-chested women. Some people don’t require as much support as others. But, I think that for the majority, non-underwired bras just leave a squished mess under our clothes! I don’t want the dreaded uniboob going on, or to squish them down, which is what I feel a lot of soft bras do. For lounging around, I’m totally game for soft bras. Out and about, they’re just not for me!

    If I were shopping, the things that would convince me are reviews from other larger-chested women, photos, and “real” bodies in the photos. As you know a D cup is different on every body. To me, a 28D is not a large chest, and wouldn’t sell me. A 34D, though? That would make me take a second look!

    I hope you find a way to cater to larger-chested women, as I am always on the hunt for a better bra!

  43. Reply

    Chris Griffin

    I’m a 36F/G, I normally wear PrimaDonna underwires with powerbars (they are NOT cheap, ~$100 per). They help convert the width of my breast tissue into the front (aka-side boob into boob) and because my breasts are a tear drop shape, they provide lift that keeps them off of my rib cage. I’m short at 5’2″, so my breasts will quickly invade my waist-area if they aren’t lifted. Finally, I have a 2″ space between my breasts, so unless I want a lot of sweat, I need that space to stay free.
    Sadly, most patterns that claim to go up to F/G and 36/38 don’t do so *together* so I have purchased 3 patterns that said they had my size only to receive them and find out 36 goes to D, but that 32 goes to F. My measurements are 37″ underbust and either 42″ hanging or 44″ lifted (most easily measured by leaning forward and making my back parallel to the ground). So if you’re going to sell patterns for larger sizes, its probably best to release a complete list of sizing and not only the bands and cup sizes. Also, having the spread width listed would be fantastic, but at least that’s more easily adapted 🙂
    I tried the Watson, and it was only after cutting down the center front to release a 2″ spread that it was remotely comfortable.
    I’m actually planning on trying a vintage-style bra made for woven fabrics, a 1″ wide strap and a 2″ spacer. Currently the pattern doesn’t have a complete band, but I may modify it after trying without.

  44. Reply

    Katja

    It’s not that I wouldn’t wear a soft bra, but it’s hard to find an option in a bigger size that even has enough support and doesn’t look too “sports bra”. Last week I found one, that was very supportiv but it made me look even bigger in the chest, as I’m on the petit side with a somewhat not so petit chest that’s not a look I’m aiming for. Most of the time the nice looking soft bras don’t cover enough so the ladies decide to fall out during the day and that’s not so fun. But I totally like the aesthetic of your designs and would be delighted to see your ideas for larger chests in the future.

  45. Reply

    Jennifer

    I’m a 38DD and the main thing stopping me from buying a soft bra is that it’s impossible to find styles my size that aren’t beige and hideous. I’d be willing to invest more than I would in a regular bra for a good quality, stylish, soft bra – I’d love to have one for wearing when I’m at home.

  46. Reply

    Beth – Sew DIY

    Hi Maddy! I’m a 36D and I generally only wear underwire because it provides the support and shape that I’m looking for. I haven’t tried making my own bra yet and that might really change my preference. The wireless bras that I’ve tried in the store create a uni-boob or don’t have a coverage and support. I think a lot of wireless bras only come in s-m-l sizing (but it’s been awhile since I’ve looked 🙂 and that just sizing doesn’t provide enough coverage for a D-cup. I love the look of a soft cup though and often wish they were available in my size.

    • Reply

      maddie

      Thanks Beth! Nobody likes a mono boob and I tinkering with my patterns to be both flattering and supportive for all sized girls. I appreciate your feedback!

  47. Reply

    L

    I rarely wear “soft” bras (34I or 36G), but would like to occasionally if it would support softer breast tissue. I would wear a soft bra if a) it was extremely supportive with good shaping or b) very comfy/sexy with reasonable shaping (preferably with something like a racer-back option that did not flatten the tissue to the chest.

  48. Reply

    ThreadTime

    I’m a 34 GG. If I were smaller breasted, I would probably wear a 36, but because of the weight, I need a band that grabs my ribcage. My straps have dug into my shoulders for so many years my shoulders appear to have valleys where they ride. I can’t get away with a soft cup because the underwire adds another layer of support. I don’t have a large frame and have dense, heavy breasts.

    If I could find a bra of choice it would be one with cups that fit and a 3″ rib band. My goal would be to have most of the support coming from the rib band and not the straps.

  49. Reply

    Deborah

    I would love having a bra without wires, but underwire and a little boning on the side seam to be the only thing that keep my 42 D girls up and forward.

  50. Reply

    Toni

    One of the first bra muslins I made, back when I really had no idea what I was doing, I sort out modelled after my 50’s bras. I put some (sort of quilted) stitched curved pads in the bottom sides of the cups. I was looking for perspiration absorption (I live in Florida). Think push up pads but thinner. I was surprised by how supportive they are. Maybe some of the 50’s bra engineering would be helpful for you? After all underwriters didn’t really exist then!

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