and other topics I educate people on daily
I’ve been asked a number of times “do you make seamless bras?”
Short answer: No.
Long answer: No, for several reasons.
Longer answer: I think you’re asking the wrong question.
1. Seamless bras have the same fit issues of other bras manufactured on a large scale.
The cups of seamless bras are created by placing the foam material on a form, and using heat to form it into that shape. You can watch a machine in action here (and given its size and cost, understand why I don’t have one in my studio!)
Seamless bras made on a mold like this make many of the same assumptions that other large scale manufacturers make – that one breast shape exists on many women, and that your breasts are symmetrical and the same diameter. If your breasts differ in size and shape from each other, or from the mold shape, you may have tightness along the upper cup line (bulging that shows,) a loose upper cup line (which also shows) or gaps between your breast and the cup (which can get dented in.)
Many, many bra manufacturers are moving to foam cups because they cover up, at least initially, a lot of the fitting flaws in their products. If their cups aren’t designed to your breast shape, they will hold the shape anyway. There is “forgiveness” in the design that you don’t get with a fabric cup.
2. Seamless foam cups mostly defeat the purpose of getting a custom made bra.
Can I make seamless cup bras? Yes. I can order seamless cups from a company with those fancy machines, in different shapes and sizes, make a band, cover them with fabric, and make you a bra. However, for me that is counterproductive.
People come to me to get a bra custom fit to their body. Working with pre-formed cups does not allow me to make the same adjustments to fit their needs. The cups also come in limited size ranges. In the time it takes for me to find a pre-formed cup that fits you (if I can) I can make you a foam-lined, custom fit bra for less money.
My goal is to make you a bra that fits you better than any one you can get at a store, not to replicate what already exists.
When you make a seamed cup, whether the cup is made of cut and sew foam or of fabric, you can stabilize the neckline and arm edges. As well, you can make a stable front strap that doesn’t stretch.
On a seamless manufactured bra, you don’t often have that same stabilization. The stretch that exists in the cup to provide comfort, shape, and lift gets unstable along its edges and in the straps (if they are a seamless cup/strap style.) That means you end up with several problems – the straps can stretch and put weight strain on your shoulders, and the edges can get stretched, which leads to gaps on the cup edges that are glaringly obvious under your clothes.
4. I can address your needs without a seamless cup, at a lower cost and a better fit.
I can make unlined and lined fabric cups, or foam lined cups, in any custom bra style that I make. The main motivators behind requests for seamless cups from my clients are that they don’t want their bras to show under their clothes, and they don’t want their nipples poking through their shirt. The last motivator is to add padding/size, but I don’t frequently get clients looking for this.
For me, the thought that a nipple may show slightly isn’t outweighed by how hot and sweaty I feel in a foam bra. Goodness knows, everyone in the world knows that most of us have nipples – we don’t have to pretend they don’t exist. However, it’s totally okay to want a lined bra to stop this too! That’s why I make lined bras, and foam-lined ones to meet your needs. With the seamed bras, I can place a seam so that it crosses over the nipple, essentially holding it in.
However, I want you to take a look around at the women you see during the course of the day. Can you see their bra under their clothes? If you can, it’s much more likely you’re noticing a seamless or foam bra that doesn’t fit properly, or an ill-fitting bra in general, not a seamed fabric bra. Why? Because seams allow a lingerie designer to use the fabric and the seams to provide better shape and support. A bra that actually fits you, no matter what it is made of, is virtually invisible under most clothes.
5. The myth of the seamless “invisibility cloak” bra
I did a little experiment this morning with three different styles of bra that I make. The first is an unlined, seamed fabric bra with smooth fabric on the bottom of the cup and lace on the upper cup, like this:
The second bra is a lined fabric bra but with different seam lines, like this:
And the third bra is the same style as above, but is fully lined with foam:
I put the three different bras on under a simple cotton long-sleeved t-shirt. I also tried a tight t-shirt, but the only one I have is black and it doesn’t show anything in the photos.
First, the unlined bra with the lace upper cup:
Then, the lined fabric cup:
And finally, the foam-lined cup:
None of the styles have glaringly obvious lines – I stood next to a window to get the maximum effect of light/shadow to show the lines. The one that shows through the most is actually the foam, and it is quite subtle. Unless someone is quite close to you and staring, they aren’t going to notice. And if someone is that close to you and making comments like that, well, you’re going to be within slapping distance already anyway.
6. Foam cups are hot. Really hot.
Most foam cup bras, whether they are ready to wear or the foam-lined ones I make, are hotter than fabric bras. It comes down to simple physics – the thicker the fabric, generally the more heat it retains. Even the most breathable foams aren’t going to match sheer fabrics or lace.
Okay, this one isn’t really a reason why I don’t make seamless cup bras, per say, but more for you to think about what makes a comfortable bra for you. If my clients mention bras being too hot and usually only wear foam-lined styles, I suggest they try adding a fabric bra to their lingerie drawer.
So that’s my answer! When someone asks if I make seamless cup bras, my response is always to ask, “what problem do you have that you think the seamless bra solves?” and see if I have an alternative that actually works better!