Can a Busty Girl Wear the Ahh Bra by Rhonda Shear?

Admit it. You’ve been tempted by their advertisements, too, haven’t you? It’s a little bit like those toy commercials we watched in between cartoons when we were little. There was no way they could do all the things they promised, but what if they really could?

  • No more poking, prodding, itching or scratching!
  • Say goodbye to pinching, binding, chafing and discomfort
  • Fits perfectly even if you gain or lose weight
  • Prevents bra bulge and underarm cleavage
  • Machine washable

One sad side effect of understanding proper fit and how bras work is that all the magic goes out of promises like these. Women who wear D cups and up can only “say goodbye to pinching, binding, chafing and discomfort” by saying hello to a great-fitting underwire bra or a specially engineered soft cup (like Jeunique, or perhaps its Canadian replacement, the Tab Bra). The Ahh Bra is not a specially engineered soft cup.

And yet, when I’ve walked past boxes of the Ahh Bra in my local Rite Aid I’ve been tempted to purchase one for one reason: they looked like a dream come true for that window of time when my underwire is no longer comfortable but I don’t want to go bra-less until bedtime. In other words, they looked like the perfect Stay at Home Bra (SAHB).

They didn’t look perfect enough for me to part with $20, however, so when a PR rep for Rhonda Shear offered me and other Bosom Bloggers samples to review, I was happy to accept as long as they understood I would evaluate it against the standard of a traditional bra. I told the PR rep that I wore a 34H and let them choose the size for me. They sent me an L.

As you might expect, it is almost impossible to evaluate the Ahh Bra against the standard of a traditional bra for full-busted women because it only does one thing that a traditional bra is supposed to do, and that only barely: keep things from jiggling around. There is no lift, no separation. It’s basically like going braless, except the firm fabric keeps the breasts from–for lack of a better word–totally flopping about.

Here are the pros and cons of this bra as a SAHB.

Pros:

  • The 96% nylon/4% spandex fabric is wonderful. It’s smooth and substantial without being heavy.
  • It comes in lots of pretty colors. I love the mauve they sent me.
  •  I like that it takes some effort to pull over my head because that means the band is tight enough to stay put.
  • There is no back bulge. I demonstrate this in a photo after the jump.
  • It encapsulates my breasts as it’s supposed to–there’s no boob bifurcation! (Also demonstrated in a photo after the jump.)
  • I can walk normally down a flight of stairs without having to hold my chest.

Cons:

  • After a while, the band in front gathers in a bunch under my breasts and stays there. It isn’t horrible, but after a few hours, I tended to feel annoyed by it.
  • If I catch a glimpse of myself wearing it under a tee shirt, I feel horrible about myself. The shape is everything we wear a bra to prevent–total saggy monoboob. It’s better worn by itself.
  • I would only wear it outside (under something) to pick up the mail or take out the garbage.  I did wear it under a baggy shirt when I answered the door to let the electricity meter reader in yesterday, and I didn’t feel self-conscious at all.

In the end, I wouldn’t say this is a dream-come-true SAHB, which is ironic given that this is my first time to consider any new bra only for SAHB purposes. Up to now, I’ve either gone braless or worn stretched out bras when I’ve wanted a break from my properly fitting underwires.  I have plenty of standards by which to judge a traditional bra, but I’m still figuring out how to judge a SAHB. All I know is that I would like a little more than what the Ahh Bra offers, and I would be willing to pay more than $20 if I could find it.

Interestingly, I would be willing to pay $20 for the “Hearthrob” Shelf Tank that was also included in my package from Rhonda Shear. I LOVE this tank! The fabric is the same as the Ahh Bra, but the shelf totally contains my boobs without any bunching beneath them. When I wear this tank around the house, I actually feel good about myself.  I think it’s because the fabric shows my shape.  I also think that the length makes me feel more supported, but this may be wishful thinking because I found I needed to walk sedately down a flight of stairs to avoid any bounce. In the Ahh Bra I could walk normally. Finally, there is NO WAY I would answer the door to the meter reader in this top. You can see why in the photo after the jump.

The padding is easily removed from the little pocket that holds it.

I couldn’t see this little pad serving any useful purpose other than headlight coverage. I never tried the bra with it.

 

Here it is when I first put it on, while the front band was still in place.

 

No bulge or riding in back.

 

Despite the Southeast-Southwest look, I really enjoy wearing this tank around the house. I have a black shelf tank from Wacoal that I also like to wear without a bra at home. Perhaps it’s the 4-way stretch that allows for full coverage by the shelf?

 

Comments

  1. Wow, that’s actually way more positive than what I was expecting! I’m surprised it gives any support at all. (How is it encapsulating but still gives a monoboob?)

    I wouldn’t pay money for a SAHB, though that might change as my career progresses and I have more money to spare and less perky boobs. That said, I do have a few tight, stretchy tank tops that are primarily employed as cleavage-covering camisoles but can also hold me in enough for lounging around the house. If I slept in one on a Friday night, I tend to keep it on for Saturday morning coffee and breakfast. But if I’m actually getting dressed at all, I turn to a real bra: these boobs need real support, not half-hearted attempts from a band of spandex.

    • Love it: “these boobs need real support, not half-hearted attempts from a band of spandex”! I WISH we could roll out of bed in our tanks and go out to breakfast in them, don’t you?

      • I went for a few years of Saturdays doing just that! (Well, walking the dog without a bra, not going to breakfast.) And then I would blame my breasts for the back pain that ensued, and wanted a reduction.

        Now that I’m more realistic about what my breasts need, I’m happier with them.

        (Whoops, wrong reply button. I’ll try to delete the other.)

  2. I went for a few years of Saturdays doing just that! (Well, walking the dog without a bra, not going to breakfast.) And then I would blame my breasts for the back pain that ensued, and wanted a reduction.

    Now that I’m more realistic about what my breasts need, I’m happier with them.

  3. This reminds me… before I met up with you and I was wandering around Manhattan, I stopped at a Drugstore to poke around and saw the Ahh Bra. I wanted to mention to you but I totally forgot in my excitement to see you!

  4. Thank you for being a guinea pig for this, Darlene. I have noticed that many of the ads stress that these bras can be worn by DD cup women and above. I hate to think of women wearing them and not getting the support they need. Having said that I would love to find a real SAHB and a top/nightie to sleep in, too. Bravissimo have done well but I don’t like their spaghetti straps and racer backs much – and I am a UK 30 HH-J cup so it is tricky to find alternatives , even over here.

  5. hmmmmmm, I think I’ll stick to my Bravissimo racer back pj tops for lounging, easy comfort with better support I reckon. For those not familiar with Bravissimo pj tops, they have an integral “bra”.

  6. I never go without a bra, it’s just not comfortable for me. Therefore, I have quite the collection of SAHBs. To sleep in I wear something that resembles the Ahh Bra. Not a lot of lift or anything.

    If it’s the weekend and I know I’m going to be at home for a while but out of pj’s, I usually wear some sort of soft-cup sports bra.

    I have been tempted to try some of Bravissimo’s options.

  7. I’ll add a photo next tuesday on my CC report column. (of a Bravissimo racer back pj top on a 34GG that is)