As soon as I pitched this story, I regretted it. I’ve spent the majority of my life in an underwire bra, constantly looking for one that would make me feel supported and comfortable. In my mind, that meant wires. They’re metal, they have structure, and frankly, I didn’t consider I, a size 34F, could go without them—certainly not for a week. I was worried no wires essentially meant no bra, a concept I completely support but was never fully felt comfortable executing.
In hindsight, I may have overreacted.
Before I tell you about the wireless bras I loved—notice I didn’t say “liked?”—it’s important to note that finding them wasn’t as easy as I hoped it to be. I started with scouring lingerie sites I’d normally shop and brands whose designs I love only to find wireless bras for smaller cup sizes or styles more similar to a sports bra. The most recent reporting on average bra sizes say it’s 34DD. I may be a bit above average, but the majority of my options were below. Thankfully with the help of a few brands who offer more inclusive size ranges, I found what I was looking for.
Below, these are the six best bras that not only impressed me, a tough critic who’s barely spent a day out of underwire since age 12, but gave me some perspective on why I was scared to go without them in the first place.
I eased into things for this experiment, and on the first day, I reached for the Blush Harlow 1/4 Wire Bralette in a size large. Truthfully I liked it for the lace, but when I picked it up, I noticed a familiar feeling of wire right along the sides of the bust—a small piece, not even the size of my pinky finger. Okay, so this isn’t entirely without wires, I thought, but there was nothing to support underneath the breast except for the lace and seams, so I decided this counts in my book.
More importantly, it fit well. I had to adjust the straps to get it to fit my short torso, but as a whole, the bra remained in place all day long. After a few hours, I started to notice that without an underwire there wasn't as much cup separation happening. It wasn't an issue that day—I was wearing a T-shirt, so it didn’t phase me—but it might have made a difference under other garments.
Overall rating: 4/5 stars
One of my biggest bra gripes is when the straps only tighten half way—that’s the case with this bra. But I gave it a try anyway in a size medium and found that it holds up well throughout the day. The wide straps were comfortable, nothing dug into my shoulders the way my wired bras sometimes do, and I felt lifted. Plus that sliver of mesh looks super pretty on—take my word for that—and, yes, that counts for something.
Overall rating: 3.8/5 stars
Remember when I said I only wore bras with underwire? That was a small fib because this bra has been in my rotation for a few months, and it deserves a spot on this list. In fact, I might have never pitched this story if I hadn’t known that bras like Fortnight’s Luna Long Line existed. I wear a 34F in this and credit the super-wide band with why it supports so well. Plus, I love the triangle top. In most cases, a top like this leads to some spilling out, but there’s minor adjusting required when I wear this one.
The catch: I’ve only really worn this bra on the weekends so far, mostly at home when I just don’t want to go braless altogether, but it’s so good I’m ready to put it in the weekday rotation.
Overall rating: 4.2/5 stars
Shelf bras and I don’t usually get along. The ones that were sewn into tank tops never fit properly and would usually cut into my bust, creating a dreaded four-breast situation (if you know what I’m talking about, then you know). However, when I got this one in the mail in a size 2, it was pretty and simple, and I loved the wide straps. Perhaps this shelf bra is different?
I found the fit to be nice but the support to be a bit bouncier than the other wireless bras this week. Also since it’s a shelf bra, there was little separation. I’ll absolutely wear this again—it was incredibly comfortable—but probably not under anything too fitted.
Overall rating: 3.5/5 stars
Simply put: I love this bra. In fact, after trying this style in a 34F, I feel strongly that Panache makes some of the best bras for women who are busty. (Model Precious Lee swears by its balconette, and I can attest that its wireless sports bra is amazing, too.)
This bra is pretty, comfortable, and surprisingly supportive considering there's not much to it—no thick straps, no wide band. Instead, the bra’s soft but sturdy structure does all the work. It even provided a bit of cup separation, which, though not a priority for all, I really liked. I didn’t miss the security of a wire at all when I wore this bra. Instead, it had me questioning if I really need one at all.
Overall rating: 4.8/5 stars
Unlike the rest of the bras I tried this week, this Cosabella one was the only non-clasp, slip-on style. For this reason, the fit of a size medium reminded me more of a sports bra. I liked the way the stretch lace looked and felt, but I can’t say it provided all the support I usually look for in an everyday bra.
Like the shelf bra, I’ll absolutely keep this style in my rotation—I just feel I may need something with a bit more structure should I decide to wear anything very tailored or slim-fit.
Overall rating: 3.4/5 stars
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