By: Katie Lemon
Because women have so many options when buying bras these days, the shopping process can feel almost overwhelming. In the case of whether to wear an underwire bra vs no underwire bra, most of us tend to fall somewhere in the middle, unsure of which is best suited for our bodies and lifestyles.
Are wire free bras good for everyday wear? Should you opt for the hefty support and structure of an underwire bra, or go for a breathable underwear option like a triangle bralette or racerback bralette?
The truth is, they both have their pros and cons. The right choice for you will depend on a few important factors. Read on to learn more about each bra style so you can figure out where you fall on the underwire bra vs no underwire debacle.
UNDERWIRE BRA VS NO UNDERWIRE: ARE UNDERWIRE BRAS GOOD?
For some women, underwire bras feel like the best option for optimum support. Underwire bras contain a semicircle of wire on the bottom half of the bra’s cups that are meant to lift and separate breasts. These days, bra-wearers have pretty polarizing opinions on whether or not underwire bras are better than wire free bras.
Pro: Underwire Bras Can Offer More Lift.
For women in search of a pushed-up, separated look, underwire bras are the perfect answer. The additional support from wire provides an extra oomph in keeping your ta-tas high and perky.
Pro: Underwire Bras Can Provide More Support.
Those wire semicircles in your underwire bra mean serious business, helping your breasts to stay put no matter what your day holds. Whether you’re running around on errands all day or have large breasts that require any extra help they can get, sometimes you’re just looking for heftier support from your bra that only underwire can provide.
Pro: Underwire Bras Can Relieve Stress on Your Back and Shoulders.
It’s not magic, it’s science! Underwire in bras can help to balance the stress on your body by supporting your breasts more than wire free options, especially for those that wear a larger cup size. If you regularly suffer from back or shoulder pain, try an underwire bra to see if it helps to relieve some of that stress.
Con: Underwire Bras Can Be Uncomfortable.
If you’ve worn an underwire bra before, you definitely know what I’m talking about: pinching, chafing, sore ribs. There’s a reason why women joke about the elated feeling of taking off a bra at the end of a long day—underwire is often super uncomfortable! While wires provide support, having metal strapped to your chest all day can be pretty exhausting.
Con: Underwire Bras Can Cause Skin Irritation.
Buyer beware: especially with lower quality underwire bras, it’s not uncommon for a wire to poke through the sides after frequent wear. These wires can cause cuts and scrapes. For some women, even unexposed wires can cause dermatitis or skin irritation if they’re wearing underwire bras too often.
Con: Underwire Bras Don’t Fit All Boobs the Same.
Breasts come in all shapes and sizes, which is something to celebrate—however, underwire isn’t a good match for all boobs. A whopping 90 percent of women have breasts that aren’t the same size as one another. Underwire often doesn’t fit right when there’s a disparity in breast size. Or if your breasts are wide-set, the wired cups may sit entirely wrong on your body.
UNDERWIRE BRA VS NO UNDERWIRE: ARE WIRE FREE BRAS GOOD?
It makes sense that wire free bras have exploded in popularity in recent years: most women find them to be more casual and comfortable than their wired counterparts. Wire free bras are exactly what they sound to be—bras completely free of wire. These days, women list comfort and support as the most important features they look for when bra shopping. For many, wire free bras are the ideal option for just that reason.
Pro: Wire Free Bras Offer Superior Comfort.
There’s no doubt about it—you just can’t beat the ease and comfort of a wire free bra. Without pesky underwire, your breasts can feel all the more comfortable during long work days or while lounging on the couch. You won’t have to worry about metal cutting or scraping you, and your ribs won’t be sore from wire pressing into them all day. Yay!
Pro: Wire Free Bras Fit Naturally.
Got boobs of different sizes? No worries! When it comes to wearing an underwire bra vs no underwire bra, wire free options are often much more malleable. They’ll naturally fit to the shape of your breast, no matter if they’re the same size. Plus, you’ll get a more natural look overall: without the underwire, your breasts will sit as they do against your body, which many women prefer these days.
Pro: Wire Free Bras Can Still Support You.
Many people wrongly assume that just because there’s no underwire there’s no support—but that couldn’t be more wrong! There are so many wire free bras available today, many of which offer excellent support regardless of how big your breasts are. One example? The racerback bralette, which is wire free and double layered to keep breasts of all sizes safe and supported.
Con: Wire Free Bras Don’t Offer as Much Lift.
You’re unlikely to find a wire free bra that will provide the boost and separation that underwire varieties do. If you’re looking to lift your ta-tas to the high heavens, it might be an underwire bra you’re after. That being said, you can absolutely find wire free bras that push up your boobs and provide some lift, and you won’t have to sacrifice comfort in the meantime!
Con: Wire Free Bras Fit Naturally.
You read that right, this one can be both a pro and con. While many women today love bralettes and wire free bras for the way they highlight a more natural shape, you might be after a little undergarment enhancement. And that’s totally your call! Wire free bras subtly enhance your natural breast shape. If you want to alter the appearance of your breasts in a more major way, wire free may not be the best option.
UNDERWIRE BRA VS NO UNDERWIRE: WHEN AND WHY TO WEAR EACH
In truth, there are reasons to wear both underwire and wire free bras. It’ll all come down to your personal preferences and the sort of day that lies ahead of you. Here’s the breakdown on when and why to wear an underwire bra vs no underwire bra.
Wear an underwire bra if you want to lift and separate your breasts, or if you’re more concerned with maximum support rather than comfort. As for the best occasions for underwire bras:
- Professional settings: the added support looks and feels good under formal work attire and can even give that extra boost of confidence that comes with added breast support.
- When you want a lifted look: whether it’s date night or a night out with friends, sometimes you just want to feel more pushed up and lifted. Best to go with an underwire bra for that one!
Wire Free Bras
Wear a wire free bra if you want to maximize comfort and/or gently enhance the natural shape of your breasts. Wire free bras can still offer excellent support without sacrificing comfort as long as they fit properly and you choose the right style!
- For a flirty look: while underwire bras may boost your breasts a bit more, wire free bras can be sexy in their own way. Like the triangle bralette, which is wire free and looks great layered under sheer outfits or strappy tank tops.
- For lounging: why deal with underwire when you’re just chilling? Wire free bras are so comfortable, you might just forget you’re wearing one. Perfect for naps, long car rides, or lazy weekend days.
- For active days: on the flip side, wire free bras can be great for busy days where you don’t want to worry about sore ribs or chafing. One perfect option is the racerback bralette, which performs like a sports bra. You’ll feel supported no matter your breast size but you’ll still feel good all day!
CONCLUSION: UNDERWIRE BRA VS NO UNDERWIRE
Your bra is your choice, and for most of us, there are days and occasions suited to both underwire and wire free bras. No matter which style you choose to wear, there’s one element you should always consider: the sustainability of the bra you’re wearing. That’s why I love wearing a hemp bra. Not only are bras made from hemp breathable, durable, and super comfortable, they’re also made from one of the most sustainable fabrics on earth.
When it comes to an underwire bra vs no underwire, which style do you prefer? Should WAMA start making bras with underwire? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!