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Freitag, 20. Juli 2012

T-Shirt-Bras for big cups: an introduction

I am - probably because of my fawn-breast-protector-phobia - a big fan of black, red or puple lace when it comes to bra design. Recently I realised, to my great astonishment, that my taste is therefore pretty much 'not mainstream'. ;-)

In german lingerie stores most women ask for plain bras that are practically invisible under clothing, preferably in white or beige. They should form a nice round breast, to the front - not the sides - and ideally be seamfree. In short: The favourites of most customers are - perhaps typical german - the most practical of choices: the so-called T-shirt-bras.

A T-shirt-bra should be completely smooth, so you can't see it through a thin top. Most of the time this means, the cups are moulded/molded (thermally preformed) and therefore seamfree.

Roughly said, there a three categories of moulded bras:

  • Cups made from simple fabric, without padding of any sort
    The cups of these bras are made from one piece of fabric instead of - as it's usually done - two, three or four pieces sewn together. Concerning fit moulded bras of this sort are comparable to the fit of a conventional bra.

    Examples: Anita Rosa Faia Twin, Fantasie  Esme, Elomi Smoothing Seamfree Bra
anita rosa faia twin
Anita Rosa Faia Twin
(Source: Anita)
  • Light foam cups
    The thickness of the foam can vary but generally bras of this making are still pretty soft, so the cups will adjust a little to the individual breast form of its wearer.

    Examples: Panache Porcelain T-Shirt-Bra, Fantasie Rebecca, Freya Deco Plunge, Elomi Hermione
Fantasie Rebecca Moulded Bra,
Saisonfarbe, ab August erhältlich
(Source: Fantasie)

  • Foam cups
    Here the cup is made from a firm and solid material - it's like a form to which the breast has to adapt not the other way around. These bras provide even softer breasts with very good support while firmer breasts are often difficult to fit into the rigid form. (So it depends on the individual breast - sometimes it fits perfectly, sometimes not at all - with very little in between. ;-))

    Examples: Fantasie Ava, Fantasie Rhiannon, Fantasie Smoothing T-Shirt Bra
Fantasie Ava Moulded Plunge Bra
(Source: Fantasie)

Due to the fact that it is pretty difficult to produce moulded bras for larger cup sizes, sometimes bras made from very smooth fabric (without lace or embroidery) are described as T-shirt-bras, for example the  Panache Tango Classic or lightly padded bras like the Curvy Kate Daily Boost.

Curvy Kate Daily Boost
(Source: Curvy Kate)

Reasons for prefering T-shirt bras to traditional bras might be:
- there are no lace or seams showing through a thin top
- a little padding hides otherwise visible nipples
- the soft material is more comfortable for sensitive nipples/skin

Besides the smooth surface of the cups, colour is an important issue: Beige and brown colours, that closely ressemble the own skin tone, make the bra nearly invisible under white tops. Another, not as widely known trick is, to wear red or pink which are - unlike white bras - almost not perceptible under a white shirt.

Supply and demand

"Continental" brands like Anita, Triumph, the lines of the VandeVelde-Group (Prima Donna, Marie Jo) and the so-called "French" in general (Chantelle/Passionata, Lise Charmel, Aubade, Simone Péréle etc.) are not only much more likely to be available in a 'proper' lingerie store but also to meet customers expectations. British as well as polish brands which dominate the international bra fitting community due to their larger size range and often cheaper price often do not match the average taste. They're too frisky, ruffled or tea-potty for the mainstream customer who looks for smooth cups and only subtle detailing like a lacy band or some ornaments on the straps, unicoloured bras and multiway options.

So most british (and many polish) brands are... let's say rather incompatible with the expectations of the average german customer. While Panache only offers the rather complicated Porcelain series when it comes to T shirt bras, Eveden seems to be more aware of the demand and has therefore created some best sellers like the Freya Deco Plunge (and family) or the new basics Fantasie Esme and Rebecca.
Unfortunately they end at GG (Freya Deco, Fantasie Rebecca) resp. H (Fantasie Esme/Smoothing T-Shirt Bra)* – so there are no moulded options for larger cup sizes. :( At least not for smaller bands. The Elomi Hermione is at least half-moulded and available up to a generous HH-cup, beginning at a 34 band size.

Luckily there seems to be people who see the market gap. Curvy Kate recently started producing a new style basing on the Princess bra, which may not be seamless but is at least padded and plain: the Daily Boost, available up to a K-cup. Although its been said that it runs very small in the cup, it's quite a large step nonetheless.
In the usual Showgirl size range (28-30J, 32HH, 34H, 36GG...) there will be two further addition, the Curvy Kate Smoothie (this summer, meaning autumn collection) and the Desire Multiway Plunge Bra next winter.

So let's hope that british big cup specialists who already do a wonderful job when it comes to providing support and nice looking bras will react to different demands of international** customers and add some designs that match the "continental taste".

Last but not least the usual question to you, dearest readers:

What do you think of T-shirt bras? 
Essential or overrated? 
If you wear them - what are your favourites?

*Fantasie bras usually run very big in the cup, the Esme is generous and Ava, Rebecca or Smoothing are in fact a whole cup larger than most Freya or Panache bras. Another exception is the deco range, Deco bras are also said be one cup larger than usual. But then, I can only verify this for the strapless version.

** As far as I know, US-customers have similar visions of the "perfect bra".

Hey, ich bin george und schlecht darin, mich kurz zu fassen. Ich tummle mich mit multiplen Persönlichkeiten im Netz, einige kennen mich vielleicht unter meinem Terry Pratchett-Pseudonym. Zu meinen Hobbies gehört Nörgeln, Kaffeetrinken und Prokrastinieren. Mehr Persönliches gibt es im Jahresrückblick 2013 und auf meiner Vorstellungsseite. [x]


23. Juli 2012 um 04:09

I have to admit, that my new "T-shirt" bra is the CH Toffik from Ewa Michalak. It's nude(-ish, not the best match for my skin tone) BUT I love the details and really could careless about the seams. I plan on trying the Daily Boost eventually but Curvy Kate bras don't give me the biggest uplift so while I find them pretty comfortable, I tend to wear them more as "running lots of errands" bras rather than something I'd wear to work every day.

I wish women understood better that unless you have to wear white t-shirts on a daily basis you probably don't need a ton of nude bras. It's nice to have one or two good ones but more than that is probably not needed. I actually have found moulded cup bras can be a really hard fit for my soft, bottom heavy breasts so I've pretty much given up on that idea at this point. ;)

25. Juli 2012 um 12:43


I would advise against the Daily Boost at the moment. I does not work at all for bigger boobs and I really hope they develop it further!

If you're looking for a very simple solution you could try the Rebecca Fantasie in 30GG, which runs very large in the cup and the band is pretty snug. Usually I wear a 32J these days and a 34GG was okay for me.

And yeah, the nude bra thing is a mystery to me, too. I really liked the blog post by Butterfly Collection Sorry to break this to you, but people know you're wearing a bra - it's so true!

12. September 2012 um 14:41

I have had a good experience with the lasenza t-shirt bras which are moulded and give a definite lifted shape which is almost a modern day sweater girl look.
Best of all they have d-g sizing.

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