Ahhh, good ol' Satin Underwire Bras. These should be a staple in any woman's lingerie drawer, but especially among the big busted sisterhood.
Why satin over cotton? Well, satin does a way better job at shaping and supporting then cotton does. Yes, cotton is lightweight and breathable, more so than satin. However, cotton will stretch and sag within hours, especially when trying to hold up something as heavy and substantial as our melons. So your best bet is to go with a satin underwire bra.
But which one to choose?!!
In the pre-internet day we would drive ourselves down to the closest department store and there were literally 2 styles to choose from, none of which fit my 34F chest, so I usually had to settle for a 38DD, ugh.
Now with blessed internet shopping we have hundreds and hundreds of bras to choose from, IN OUR SIZE, in all different styles and colors. It can be paralyzing to shop for bras due to sheer quantity alone!
Then there's the price vs quality to consider. These bras can vary in price from $15 to $300! Does price reflect the quality of the bra?
Do you get what you pay for in terms of comfort, support, and longevity?
I can't speak for every bra and every woman out there, but I can tell you what I found when I compared a $25, $50, and $100 bra.
It was really hard not to let the price influence my opinion about this bra. The whole time I was analyzing it I found myself using the price tag as a caveat. For example, "It's not as supportive as I'd like, but it's $25!" or "The fit isn't awesome, but it's $25!"
So I guess the moral of the story is I'm willing to let some things slide a little bit if the price is really cheap.
Is this an awesome bra? Answer: Meh, It's okay.
Is this an awesome $25 bra? Answer: Absolutely it is!
I felt like it wasn't as supportive as the other two, and I didn't feel like the quality was as high - like it wouldn't wear/wash well long term. But hey! It's a $25 bra!!
I really liked the shape this bra gave me. It has a great side support/shaping design going on. So that was a definite perk. Also, it was relatively comfortable.
Bottomline: If you're on a tight budget or you like to save money no matter what then try this bra, because hey, it's only $25! ;)
Just remember what I mentioned earlier about ordering the right size. If you have really soft breast tissue (like me) you might need to go up one cup size. Satin doesn't stretch much.
I picked this satin underwire bra as the 'control' group in my little cost/quality experiment. Middle of the road on price at $50. Truth be told, in order to get a decent bra you're going to be looking at $40-50, so I figured this bra would bridge the gap between my low and high priced bra.
Bra #2 fit me the best out of all the bras. The cups provided the best coverage, the best support and the bra itself felt like it was high quality. It also gave me a pretty good shape.
However, this bra had the most uncomfortable straps out of the three, atleast for the first couple days I wore it. After a couple days I either got used to it, or the bra straps relaxed a little bit. But initially it was pretty uncomfortable on my shoulders. I've worn it for a week now and the comfort is much better.
So if you're looking for a winner out of the 3 satin underwire bras, I would probably pick this one, the middle of the road $50 bra. However, to be completely fair, the other 2 bras would have scored higher if the fit would have been better. (I needed to go up in the cup size for Bra #1 and Bra #3.) But bra #2 fit awesome right out of the gate, the support was excellent, the shape it gave me was great, and the quality seemed high. So really, this bra was awesome. I kept it, I'm wearing it, and I recommend it.
Note: I know this bra looks white in the photos, but I actually ordered the ivory. And it is clearly ivory in real life. Just wanted to throw that little bit of info out there.
Bra #3 was the splurge purchase at $105. Spending this kind of money for a bra results in a grimace at best and could cause full on panic attacks for those of us who can buy a weeks worth of groceries for that price.
This wasn't my first experience throwing down $100 for a bra. Three years ago I purchased my prima donna bra. WHICH I LOVE, wrote a review about and still wear almost daily since then. Note: It's honestly the best bra I've ever bought, but that's a separate bra and I tried hard not to let my previous experience with that bra influence my opinion of Bra #3.
Needless to say I had high hopes for Bra #3. And it almost delivered. The quality was superb. The comfort was fabulous. Seriously, it was so much more comfortable than #1, and #2. The one thing that kept me from picking #3 as the winner was the fit. This bra just didn't cover enough of my breasts to prevent 'bubbling'.
I am almost 100% confident that if I had ordered a larger cup size it would have fit perfect, but in order to keep my experiment as simple as possible I only allowed myself to judge the 3 bras as they were delivered the 1st time.
Do I recommend Bra #3? YES! But like I mentioned before, getting the fit right with a satin underwire bra can be tricky. There is very little 'give' in the material so the size will need to be spot on. If you can swing it, order the same bra in 2 sizes and keep the one that fits the best and send the other one back.
I thought the photos above did a pretty good job of showing how the 3 different bras looked underneath my shirt. The 'double bubble' are noticeable with Bra #1 and Bra #3. Like I mentioned before, this is caused by wearing the wrong sized bra.
Bra #2 knocked the fit out of the ballpark when you see it side by side like this.
I thought all 3 bras performed well for their respective price points, but Bra #2 edge out the competitors in my opinion. However, it all comes down to ordering the right sized bra for the price that works best for you.
Decide what your priorities are. For me, at this point in my life, quality, comfort, and fit justify spending more. However, there was a time in my life when I literally could only afford a $25 bra, so I get it. We're all just doing the best we can. I hope this article provided some helpful information and direction regarding bra shopping.
If you're interested in checking out the bras from this article here are the links to where I bought them.