I told you that my only goal this month is to be wearing a bra by 9:00 AM every day, but my latest purchase has changed all that. My new Bra:30 tank top is the first thing I want to put on in the morning.
I’m as surprised as you are! Despite repeated broken promises from clothing companies (remember the Aah Bra?), after I placed my order online, I got my hopes up, fully expecting them to be be dashed. The clever packaging raised them even more.
Inside was a very ordinary-looking ribbed tank top that I could barely squeeze over my head. Once I got it past my chest and down to my waist, however, I was pretty impressed at the effect of the 10% Spandex content.
I could actually scoop and swoop my boobs to the desired height on my torso, and the elastic held them there! Would they stay there over time? Not really, but as you can see from the images below, they never descended all the way to my waist, and they never went completely East-West.
Initially, I was extremely conscious of the compression and wasn’t sure it felt any more comfortable than an underwire. After the first half hour, however, I became less aware of it, and on subsequent days that I’ve worn it, I’ve only noticed the compression to appreciate
- the way it helps center my boobs, and
- the lack of bounce as I walk around the house, including up and down stairs.
Unlike other bra-free lounge options, when I’m wearing this tank top, I don’t feel sloppy. I like that I look as good as I feel when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I would definitely answer the door and take out the trash in it, and I might even walk to the corner store for milk in it. If I felt too self-conscious to walk to the store, it’d be easy to throw a layer over it instead of having to undress and put on a bra.
You may wonder if this is simply a basic ribbed tank top re-packaged for the gullible. I certainly did! I haven’t searched for other 10% Spandex tees to compare, but here are three technical features that make me glad I purchased this top:
- The front is slightly longer than the back. I discovered this when I lay it flat to dry after the first time that I washed it. I wondered if I’d accidentally stretched it out, but a quick call to the Bra:30 office confirmed that the designer had intentionally made the front longer to accommodate breasts.
- The back has full coverage almost up to the neck. I’m probably reading too much into this, but I believe this adds to the support. It also keeps my skin from sticking to the back of my office chair. (It still has the racerback style armholes in back.)
- It isn’t necessary to size up. Although it can be a struggle to get the size medium on at first, that’s actually a good thing once it’s on because the compression can do its work of holding me in. I also tried the top in size large, and the more relaxed fit definitely meant more relaxed boob placement. That being said, if you wear an H+ cup, you may want to try one size up from your waist size in dresses because the scooped-out armholes mean less boob containment.
Of course this top isn’t perfect, and here are the drawbacks you may notice if you buy one:
- There will be under- and between-boob sweat. It doesn’t really bother me right now, but it would be a factor in the summer. (I post a photo of the sweat effect below.)
- The colors aren’t as saturated in person as they are on-line. I ordered the hot pink and ocean blue. The latter seemed more washed out than a sophisticated pale, and the hot pink is a nice pink, but it isn’t what I would consider “hot”.
- Even though the colors seem slightly faded, they still run in cold water–at least for the first wash (see picture below). Despite the color run, the pink still looked nice after drying.
- There is some riding up and clinging at the waist. However, I don’t notice it as much after a few wears, and I like that this top shows off my waist (no tent effect).
- If this were a bra, it wouldn’t necessarily be a “perfect” fit because the sides don’t contain all breast tissue, and I imagine this is more significant in the larger cup sizes.
- Yes, there’s monoboob. This doesn’t bother me, but you can see that it exists.
By the time I could order this tank top after first seeing it at Curve in February 2013, my enthusiasm had waned and I almost didn’t bother, but I’m so glad I did. My Bra:30 tank top is quickly becoming an essential part of my big bust wardrobe, and I can tell that the cost per wear is going to be excellent.