ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Best Bras for Mature Women

Updated on January 26, 2017
Blond Logic profile image

Middle-aged women are forgotten about by retailers. I offer help with clothing choices, skincare, and healthy eating for the mature woman.

Bras for mature women
Bras for mature women | Source

Where to Find The Best Bras For Older Women

Ladies, I know we all have our favorite bra, you know the one you're probably wearing right now. The elastic may have stretched and it doesn't seem to fit as well as it once did, but it is still the first one you grab when you open your top drawer.

I know, I have done this as well but now it is time for a change.

Let's look at a few bras on the market which are targeted to the mature woman. That doesn't mean they aren't attractive but our requirements aren't the same as that of a 20 something woman.

As we age our breasts change as you're aware. It isn't only through breastfeeding though. Weight gain and loss also have a big impact on the breasts. If you have been on a diet, you know one of the first places where you see a reduction is in the breasts.

Don't think that they are all going to look like something you used to see on your grandmother's clothes line because times have changed. Styles, fabrics and adornments have all improved and now, finally we are being offered bras which aren't only comfortable but pretty as well.

I'll show you some of my favorites and tell you how to get the perfect fitting bra, no matter what size you are at the moment.

Playtex Women's 18 Hour Ultimate Lift and Support Wire Free Bra, Blue Velvet,40D
Playtex Women's 18 Hour Ultimate Lift and Support Wire Free Bra, Blue Velvet,40D

Everyone has certain things they are looking for in a bra. In fact one bra does not suit all occasions. However, this one, is one of my favorite everyday bras. I am a nightmare to go bra shopping with but I know what I like and what I don't. For starters, I love the smooth cups on this. This make it suitable for wearing under t-shirts and close fitting clothes. I have always worn an underwire and this is as close as I can get without one. The center piece sits perfectly on the sternum and stays put. The first time I bought it, I was unsure about the straps, I normally prefer feminine thinner straps. Let me tell you, I don't think I have ever had a strap slip down on this one as they sit that little bit closer to the neck. The band width is something I always check. Ones which are too wide rub in my armpit area and if they're too thin, flab (loose skin) spills out. On this one, Playtex have the width perfect for me.


Bra Shopping

Shopping for bras is not a one size fits all. It isn't even a one style suits all. To select the perfect fitting bra we need to look at our own body shape and size, and the occasion which we want the bra for. Is this going to be for a party to be worn under an evening gown? Perhaps you want a bra for everyday wear.

Boobs come in all shapes and sizes and what works for your best friend, might not be best for you. We will look at the importance of the straps, the band, the closing and cups after we talk about the different shapes of breasts.

Different Shaped Boobs

If you have ever changed clothes in front of other women, you'll know boobs come in all shapes and sizes. According to recent research by the company Third Love, there are 7 different shapes of breasts. Below is a table which lists the different shapes, and which styles of bras are most suited to that shape.

Suitable Bra Styles
These are equally full at the top and the bottom.
Most styles suit this shape but a balconette shows them off best.
Wider at the top narrowing towards the bottom.
A plunging bra design is best for those with slender shaped breasts. If you want more volume, opt for a plunging push up style. This will create a cleavage.
East West
Sloping with wide space on the chest, pointing more to the sides.
A smooth t-shirt bra or push up bra will minimize the spacing between the breasts.
One breast larger than the other.
Buy a bra with removable pads or use a gel filled insert.
Bell Shape
Narrower at the top with the weight at the bottom.This is often the case in full sized women.
Opt for bra with full coverage to take the weight off your back and shoulders.
Side Set
Similar to the East West sloping but pointing more to the front.
A modified version of a balconette bra is ideal. One which has fabric a little higher will disguise the wider chest.
Tear Drop
Similar to the bell shape but not as heavy.
Best shape for a plunging bra as the breasts are lifted to fill out the narrow portion at the top.

It used to be after a certain age you were expected to have a 'mom bra'. Those unattractive thick sided styles that looked more like they had been designed for military use and less like something you'd find in the lingerie department.

Come on, once we hit 40 or even 50 doesn't mean we stop being feminine or want to look pretty. Finally, thank goodness, manufacturers have realized there is huge market of women crying out for comfort and feminine styling. The manufacturers also know that we demand and pay for quality which is going to last.

Wacoal Women's Plus Size Awareness Underwire Bra, Wild Aster, 40G
Wacoal Women's Plus Size Awareness Underwire Bra, Wild Aster, 40G

This encompassed pretty much everything I love in a bra. Not only does it make me feel pretty, it makes me feel special. It definitely isn't the cheapest bra one can buy but when you reach a certain age, sometimes you've got to say, I deserve this. I love an underwire bra as long as it is comfortable and this one is. For me, wearing a quality made bra isn't so much for how it makes me look to other people, there are a lot of bras which can give a smooth outwardly profile. It is how wearing this bra makes me feel on my skin and in my heart. I believe in the company's ideals in its support to cancer awareness. It is just one of the ways I feel I am making a difference to benefit woman's causes.


Finding the Perfect Fitting Bra

For the perfect fit we need to check, the band, the cups and the straps.

Let's start with the band.

When you put your bra on take a good look at how it fits. If you stand with your side to a full length mirror, the strap should be level. What you don't want is it to be riding up on your back. If it is, you need a smaller band size. The band size is the number 32, 34, 36, and is the measurement around your rib cage. The bra band is responsible for supporting 80% of the weight of the breasts. There should be no puckering along the sides.The center should lie flat between your breasts no tilting forward or pressing in. If it is leaning forward, then you need a bigger cup size, (explained in the next paragraph). The bottom should not impede your breathing or be low down your rib cage, it should be right under the breasts. To have a comfortable band it shouldn't be too tight, and you should be able to pass two fingers underneath it. Any red marks when trying the bra on, will lead to irritation and soreness after wearing it for an entire day.


Cup Size: Once you know the correct band size, let's look at the cup size: Are you a B,C,D,E... There are also double digits such as DD or in the US, DDD. These are incremental movements to obtain the best fit. An in-between size like you would get in shoes. Once you have fastened the bra, lean forward allowing the breast tissue to fill the cup. Make sure it is all in there. Check on the side at the seam, making sure all the breast is in the cup and not pinched under the seam. Now look at yourself in the mirror. Does you cup runneth over? By this I mean are your boobs spilling out giving you the 'double boob' look? If so you need a larger cup size. If the fabric on the cup is puckering with gaps and not smooth, you need a smaller cup size. If you prefer an underwire, that should sit comfortably. If it is digging in under your arm go up a cup size. Most women have one side which is larger than the other. Because of this, buy for the larger size. If it is a significant difference, then you could use a silicone/gel insert which you place inside your bra to equal them out. If you haven't tried them before, they are quite comfortable and solve the problem of lopsided boobs.

Straps: For the perfect fit the straps should be wide enough to support your girls without the weight of them causing indentations on your shoulders. The straps are supporting 20% of the weight and need to be up to the job. You should also be able to pass two fingers beneath the straps to achieve the correct fit. Adjust the straps accordingly but don't allow the band to rise in the back. If the straps are digging in or leaving a red mark, then you should go down a band size. For example, if you are wearing a size 38 go down to a 36. Remember the band is the main support, not the straps.Don't forget that the straps can be adjusted to hoist your girls into position but not in an unnatural way. We don't want pulling or straining we want them to be supported and coddled.

The next time you are in a lingerie department, ask if they have a bra fitter. These ladies know their stuff and will tell you what your correct size is. I used to buy the same size I bought when I was in my 20s and finally when I hit 40, I went in to be measured. The difference in the comfort level was unreal. I had always been purchasing a 34 B since I was in high school. Two kids and 20 years later I was still buying the same style and size. Only when I went and and was fitted for a bra did I realize I need it bigger in the cup and smaller around the back. Somehow over the years I changed and was now a 32E.

Selecting The Best Bra Closure

If you have always bought a rear closing bra, maybe it's time for a change. I am a fan of front clasps but they also make those which have a front zip or hooks and eyes. These are an excellent choice if you have reduced mobility in your arms or shoulders. Sometimes you almost have to be a contortionist to get in and out of bras. Not so with a front closing design.

Most compression style bras have no closure and it is necessary to pull on over your head. These are fine for small chested women but aren't suited, in my opinion, to full size women especially if comfort is required. If you have ever worn one and had a work out, getting a snug one off a sweaty body is ...let's just say Houdini would struggled.

For rear closure bras, it's recommend that you buy a bra that can fasten comfortably on the loosest closure setting, so as the elastic stretches over time you can get more life out of it by simply moving to the next row of eyelets. Whether you fasten yours in the front and then spin it around or hook it behind your back, this type of closure was the norm for a long time. Things to check for are how many hooks and eyes. Two is okay but three is better especially if you have a fuller figure. Also if you have a nickel allergy, be sure there is an extra piece of fabric between the closure and your skin. Most good quality brands have this as standard.

Picking a Bra For The Right Occasion

Although I've shown you a couple of bras which I personally like, you still have options depending on the upcoming occasion. If for example you have a backless dress and need backless bra there are several to choose from including those which are secured around the waist and at the neck.

If you are wearing an outfit and can't find a bra which will be suitable, don't worry, There are self adhesive bras which offer coverage and add a little bit of lift. These I would consider using only if you aren't doing too much dancing. These work well under tube tops. Along the same lines, you can buy body tape which will provide you with needed support. This is a better option, than your partner's duck tape (gaffer tape) as it is gentle to the skin.

There you have it ladies, now you know what to look for when buying your next bra. You can confidently buy online or in a department store knowing which bras best suit your shape, and occasion.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 8 months ago from Norfolk

      Very useful info. I know I can always get the cup size correct but it is almost impossible to find a bra which fits perfectly around my frame without cutting into my back. I hate the little add-on bits of fastening you can buy. I just wonder why the manufacturers don't start listening to their customers and make the fastener more adjustable than they are already.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Nothing I say here will be helpful or enlightened, so I'll just shut my mouth. Have a great Monday!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 8 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Sally,

      If you have a lingerie or department store who has a bra fitter, I would suggest you go there. Trust me there is a bra out there with your name on it which will suit you.

      It could be a different style than you normally buy but there will be one. Also, I didn't mention this in my post but there are sizes called 'sister sizes' which are similar to your current size but are a little bigger or smaller in the cup as the band size alters. It could be a slight adjustment in choice of bra, cup size or band size is all you need to find that perfect fit.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 8 months ago from Norfolk

      I did that last year and to be perfectly honest they had little in stock and were not very helpful, except to say that they would pass on my suggestions to the manufacturers.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 8 months ago from The Caribbean

      Never knew there so many different shapes. Learned something new about the straps also. Whenever it is possible I asked to be measured again when I'm making a purchase. Thanks for the tips.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 8 months ago from Brazil

      Sally, that is disappointing to hear. One of the places I used to go, there were two lines, one just to try on and the other were women waiting to be measured. The line to be measured was always the longest as the the lady who was the fitter would make sure you left with the perfect bra. I think she had been there 30 years or so.

      Maybe you can try a different place who are more supportive of your needs. No one deserves to be wearing an uncomfortable bra.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 8 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Dora,

      With the different shapes and sizes we can now see why it can be difficult to find the perfect bra. Imagine trying to design them!

      It helps to be measured, although ordering through Amazon allows for returns if it doesn't fit well.

      As always, thanks for reading.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 6 months ago from Central Florida

      Thank you for this information, Mary. My body has definitely changed over the last several years. I've yet to find a bra that is comfortable. To me, if I'm aware I'm wearing one, it isn't fitting properly.

      Now I know what to look for. I'll take your advice and seek the help of a bra fitter the next time I go bra shopping.

      Very well presented article!

    Click to Rate This Article