Like many people around the world, I’ve been working from home and going out only sparingly ever since Covid-19 hit full force in March.
With limited opportunities to socialize and sticking primarily to only necessary outings, my daily outfit choices have changed substantially. As we move into fall in the northeast US, I’ve actually been making a point to get fully dressed most days if only because it seems silly to waste all the clothes I own. During spring and much of summer, though, I basically wore the same pajamas all day every day.
However, I still had to take my dog for walks and run errands, which means I needed a bra to feel comfortable, especially on hot summer days. But I still wanted to be comfy and lounge-y in my PJ’s! Even now, unless I’m going somewhere further afield than my own neighborhood, the one thing I’m still mostly avoiding is underwire.
So what am I wearing instead? Full-bust lounge bras! (Or “quarantine bras,” if you will.) Here are the three wire-free options that I’ve been wearing around the home and sometimes even in public for the past six months…
Evelyn & Bobbie “Defy” Bra
Read Darlene’s full review HERE. I normally wear 28GG/30G UK and I take a small in the Defy bra.
I have to agree with all of Darlene’s glowing assessment! This bra is super comfy: The fabric is smooth and cool to the touch, the long(ish) band stays down and never rolls up, and the seamless construction created through different fabric weaves provides shockingly good support and shape despite having no adjustable features.
The Defy bra is no longer available on the Evelyn & Bobbie website (though the Defy tank is), so I’m not sure if it’s been discontinued or is just out of stock. But you can still find it in the full range of sizes with other retailers such as Amazon, Nordstrom, and Levana Bratique.
My only gripe with the Defy bra is that it is a little hard to get on, especially when you’re fresh out of the shower and your skin isn’t fully dry, or you’re sweaty. It has to be pulled on over your head and shoulders, and it often rolls up as I’m trying to pull it down into position. Sometimes I can’t get it unrolled without assistance from my husband.
But once it’s on, it’s perfect for a hot, sticky day. I’m not one of those people who like to sit around naked in my own home, so I like to wear my Defy on days when it’s too hot for a real shirt. Since it has a higher neckline and more of a cropped tank top look, it feels a little more like clothing than lingerie.
I usually wear my Defy about 3 times before it stretches out and needs to be washed to spring back to its original form. That’s another bonus here—it’s machine-washable with no need for a lingerie bag or any other special treatment. Just throw it in with your regular laundry and hang it up to dry!
Freya “Freestyle” Crop Top
Read my full review HERE. In this option, I wear a size medium.
I own two of these tops. I used to own all three colors, but the “Atomic Navy” colorway pictured above ran small, so I sold it on. That’s common with black and dark navy blue clothing, actually. As I understand it, there’s something about black fabric dye that has a very minor shrinking effect and make fabric less stretchy than other dye colors.
Freya hasn’t released a new color in several seasons, so I wonder if perhaps the Freestyle top has also been discontinued, but you can still find it with many retailers, including Amazon.
The Freestyle has a great sporty look. It also keeps you cool thanks to the use of sport fabrics. It provides a slightly flatter profile than the Defy bra, but it’s a lot easier to put on thanks to the fact that it has hooks and eyes on the band. You still have to pull it over your head due to the racerback shape, but the band doesn’t roll. Just be prepared to reach behind you to close it up.
Since it has a quick-drying effect, I like to wear the Freestyle most right after a shower or on particularly sweaty days. Sometimes I wear it for easygoing exercise in my apartment when I don’t feel like putting on a proper sports bra, such as following a beginner yoga lesson on YouTube.
Sugar Candy Bralette
Finally, we come to my favorite of the bunch! Read my full review HERE. In this one, I wear size small.
The Sugar Candy bralette is the one I wear almost every day. I wear it out of the house. I wear it with low-cut tops and dresses where the bra gore sticks out. I’ve recommended it a dozen times in various fashion-oriented Facebook groups. I cannot get enough of this bra!
I have two of this bralette, one “Basic” in black and one “Crush” in heathered charcoal grey. (There’s also a new “Lux” version with lace trim along the top of the neckline.) The Basic is all the same fabric while Crush has contrast-color trim and velvet straps. Both of them offer support and lift that’s almost as good as underwire.
I find that the Basic has more bounce and stretches out faster than the Crush. I’ll generally wear the Basic around 5 times or fewer before washing it while the Crush I’ll wear as many as 7 times. Upon fresh laundering (once again in the machine and hang-dried), they both spring back to their original, non-stretched-out shape.
It’s so easy to throw on my Sugar Candy bra first thing in the morning under whatever old band tee shirt I’m using to take the dog out. But even when I get fully dressed, most days I leave the Sugar Candy on instead of picking an underwire bra.
The only problem is that Sugar Candy can get a bit warm on those extra-hot days since it has multiple layers of fabric around the base and outer edge of the cup. But with fall approaching, that’s less of an issue nowadays.
With its higher, slightly rounded V-neckline, Sugar Candy basically looks like a camisole if it peeks out of your top a bit. Sometimes, I’ll even pick an outfit that intentionally coordinates with the Crush’s red trim.
Sugar Candy bras are widely available from various retailers, including Amazon, and come in a nursing version too.
I may still wear underwire if I’m sporting a cute outfit in public or have to work on-site, but it’s been a real pleasure to mostly give my ribcage a break these past months. Even with bra bands that aren’t that tight, underwire tends to dig into a rib on my right side (but only the right side! Why??), to the point that I had a permanent red mark there. I often wear silicone comfort pads to alleviate the issue.
But with all these full-bust wire-free options, the red mark has disappeared, and when I do put on a wired bra, it feels better on that rib than it did six months ago. I’m so glad full-bust brands have embraced the bralette trend!