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What Are The Best Bras For Mature Women?

Springrose makes adaptive intimates for unstoppable women. Learn more >
19 Sep 2022
Best Bras For Mature Women: four mature women smiling softly at camera

It’s no secret that our fashion tastes change over time. Few people over 50 want to wear the same undergarments as we did when we were in our 20s. Not only does our physical shape change, but our tastes and priorities have as well.

The mature age bracket may be overlooked by lingerie and undergarment brands, leaving boring, tired bra styles and colors that lack personality. However, you should not have to settle with boring bras and underwear simply because you've grown a little older (and definitely wiser).

Just like the rest of the body, the breasts go through a lot of changes over time. They vary as a result of weight loss or gain, pregnancy, nursing, menopause, and simply living life for the past few decades. If your breast shape, size, and heaviness is changing over time, it can be all the more intimidating to go bra shopping, particularly if you might have any upper mobility limitations that make trying on bras a hassle.

Why do breasts change shape over time?

We change bra sizes a few times during our adult lives, and usually during or after menopause. During menopause, around 20% of women report breasts get larger; it is not unusual to go up two or three cup sizes. The curves redistribute a little over time for most people, and the back, upper body, and posture may also shift.

Your body begins to generate less estrogen and progesterone in your 40s and 50s, the typical period for menopause, resulting in physical and mental changes. The breasts change as well throughout menopause.

Breast tissue is replaced by fat as a result of hormonal changes, making the bust appear flatter and the skin less elastic due to decreased collagen synthesis. Many women report that their breasts have grown more sensitive and delicate as a result of pregnancy or menopause.

How can I determine changes in my breast shape?

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all bra. So, in order to choose the correct fit, we must consider our own breast shape and size, as well as the most common clothing shapes/necklines the bra is going under.

Breasts come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and what works for your best friend or sister may not be the right option for you. There are nine breast shapes that are most common:

Breast shape types

Breast shape dictionary by Thirdlove 

It will also be crucial to check and double-check your breast size. This can most easily be done by asking for a fit measurement at your local department store’s lingerie section, but if you have a measuring tape, it is also simple to do yourself from home. In general, measuring every 6-12 months is the most thorough way ensure you shop for the right size bras despite weight or hormonal changes.

Remember that the resulting number may still not be reliable; the fit and size may vary depending on the brand, fabric, and style. Go with your gut to find a well-fitting bra.

If you’re looking to maximize support…

Because the bust gets less firm as you age, the needs for bra support vary. When you wear a bra with extra supportive lift, you avoid skin irritation from skin-to-skin contact. (Sometimes known as “underboob.”)  An underwire bra gives you extra lift and support, although can sometimes be a tradeoff with comfort.

The band is responsible for 80% of the support your bra gives you. Finding a well-fitting bra must include a band that is snug against you without puckering on the sides or back. A bra with a broad band in the back will be extra supportive, and will also conveniently help smooth out the back for a nice silhouette.

If you’re looking to maximize comfort…

There are various non-wired bras that give decent support and lift, which can be useful if you have a pacemaker or prefer the comfort of wireless bras. Although you may not get quite as much lift, wireless bras can still give a nice amount of lift and support with a nice cup shape.

The fabric of the bra should not be underestimated. Prioritize bras which are soft and buttery against your skin, since this is the best way to feel positive and confident all day. This can sometimes be a tradeoff against the conventionally attractive bras featuring lace, ribbons, or mesh—but a beautiful bra that is too itchy to actually wear is ultimately a waste.

If you tend to have hot flashes or sweat…

With mature age, everyone becomes more sensitive to changes in heat and humidity. For those who may be enduring menopause, hot flashes are typical and can linger for a few hours. If you’d like to stay as cool as possible or hide sweat, choose a breathable bra made of cotton or a moisture-wicking material such as those found in sports bras.

Try to avoid padding, if at all possible, since the padding can act as a quilt and actually lock heat in. Look for brands specifically advertising padding made from linen, cotton, or spacer material, which are all more breathable.

If you have very sensitive skin…

The skin naturally becomes more delicate over time, which can make you more prone to sensitivity or chafing after a full day of wearing a bra. Rather than a traditional padded cup bra, choose a molded bra with no seams or lining. While most bras are made from soft fabrics, it is the lining which can cause chafing and sensitivity. You can also try to avoid bras with flourishes like lace or ribbon, even on the edges of the bra, to minimize irritation to the skin.

If you have stiffness, body aches, or limited mobility…

Whether you want an easier dressing routine in the morning, or are one of the millions of Americans with mobility limitations that make getting dressed difficult, dressing couldn’t be easier with front clasp bras. For any bra-wearer who wants to minimize their amount of movement, fine-motor function, and body rotation—or simply those tired of the struggle-dance pulling a bra overhead everyday—there are many hidden advantages to a front closure bra.

Best bras for mature women: mature woman looking at camera in a black front close bra

A front-closure bra might help if you're stiff, have any body aches, or have trouble making twisting movements. With a front-closure bra, you just insert your arms inside the bra as if it were a jacket and fasten it at the front.

In fact, Springrose is developing a high-quality adaptive bra that includes a comfortable front clasp. This attractive and inclusive bra makes bra-wearers of all ages and mobility levels feel supported, attractive, empowered, and comfortable.

If you tend to get red marks on your shoulders…

If you get painful red marks on your shoulders after wearing a bra all day, look for a bra with wide straps (around 1-inch wide). Wide straps help to distribute the weight of breasts across a larger surface area. Often, wide straps also allow for extra padding, which gives the shoulders a bit of a cushion. They are also less prone to fall off the shoulders.

Wide straps are particularly helpful for a full bust, since people with heavier breasts are more likely to get red indents with thin straps even when the bra fits perfectly. Remember, even a perfect-fitting bra with wide straps may still leave light red marks, but these are much more likely to go away after a few minutes and should not be painful.

Final thoughts

There are advantages and drawbacks to any bra style, but at Springrose we prioritize those who have limited upper mobility who are just as deserving of adaptive, attractive, supportive and comfortable bras.

Our model was designed after talking to physical and occupational therapists, as well as dozens of women in a large range of sizes. From these conversations, our model incorporates the best of different features to make your next bra as comfortable as possible, designed with a supportive wireless band, wide straps, a non-metallic front-closure, and ultra-soft material.

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