I am the owner of A Sophisticated Pair, and I speak for the seams! Dramatic? Maybe, but today I wanted to defend one of the most overlooked but important parts of bra design. Ever since Oprah started showcasing tee shirt bras, and fashion gurus praised styles that “worked under everything,” lingerie has been all about the molded contour cup. Many women stock up on these invisible-under-tees bras (in basic beige, of course) to hopefully maximize their budget and streamline their morning routine:
And ya know what? There’s nothing wrong with that philosophy, but when you close yourself off to other alternatives, you never know what beautiful, comfortable, and well-fitting bras you could be missing.
It’s no secret that some of the most gorgeous and innovative lingerie sets have seams . . . and lace . . . and patterns . . . and embroidery . . . and, you get the picture. At the end of the day, there’s only so much that can be done with a molded cup bra although the people designing the many incarnations of Freya’s best-selling Deco really do try (and succeed):
However, there’s something to be said for the sophisticated and even grown-up feeling that can be captured with a beautiful seamed bra—of lingerie that harkens back to bygone beauty rituals, of silk robes, real stockings, and garters, of Liz Taylor standing in the doorway of Paul Newman’s room wearing that iconic, white chemise:
Beautiful lingerie lets you take time each day to enjoy being a woman, to go beyond dressing for utility and purpose, and to feel confident and sexy in your own skin. Even if you only buy one set for special occasions, you’ll still be able to experience the joy and the naughty fun of wearing something so feminine and so sultry:
My musings on the hidden power of lingerie still not selling you on seams? Then, let’s get practical. Seamed bras often fit better than their contour cup counterparts. A foam cup will have its own unique shape that your breast needs to fill completely; otherwise, you’ll experience fit problems such as gaping near the strap or difficulty separating the tissue near the center gore. Similarly, seamless, non-foam cups are composed of a single piece of fabric that needs to stretch and then contour to your breasts. For many women, finding the perfect seamless and/or foam cup bra can be time-consuming and expensive.
With a seamed, or cut-and-sew, bra, however, you have at least two pieces of fabric that can adjust as needed to your shape. Seams also act like support beams for your breasts so the tissue can be lifted higher and shaped better. If you don’t believe me, look at bra styles with size ranges up to a K cup. All of them feature a multi-section seamed cup because that is the only design that will truly fit and hold a large, heavy bust. Not to mention, many cut-and-sew styles are designed to blend well under knits through the use of smooth, stretch lace, soft but firm fabrics, and discreet seaming:
I think it can be tempting to look for that Swiss Army quality in your bra (“It must work under everything I own!”) instead of looking for what will work best for any given outfit. T-shirt bras definitely have a place in your wardrobe, but so do seamed bras. They can give you out of this world shape, boost your confidence, or perfectly support that killer new cocktail dress you bought. Don’t let all the details fool you into thinking you’ll never be able to wear a fun style either. My Curvy Kate Tease Me works under a staggering 50% of my wardrobe, and considering this is a style designed for maximum show, I think I can live with that percentage.