The market for wire-free bras is expanding at an impressive pace as women work from home and are drawn to items that bring comfort. There’s even a new category that has been born called “home leisure,” which speaks to our desire for comfort in all areas of our lives, including what we wear.
Wire-free bras are enjoying growth in the home leisure trend. Lyst, a global fashion search engine database, reported that global searches for lingerie are up by 15%. At the end of March, intimate apparel retailer Figleaves reported that sales of non-wired bras and bralettes are up 40% for the week compared to the same week the year before.
Technology has put the pressure on underwire bras, as innovation has helped women of all sizes find wire-free styles that are comfortable, offer support and are pretty. Companies like Dora L. International have been a major behind-the-scenes resource, helping brands create wireless bras that offer the same great support, comfort and shaping features as underwire bras.
Each morning, as we decide what to wear for the rest of the day, comfort is often what we crave. Women are focusing on wellness and self-care in all parts of their lives, including the way we think about the bras we wear. This has created greater demand for wireless bra styles.
While there are many fashion bloggers writing about this new trend, few mention the three core wireless bra styles. Padded wireless bras are designed with a soft molded fabric over the pad that cradles and lifts in a comfortable way. Known for being lightweight, unlined wireless bras do not have any padding in the cups, and the fabric does all of the work. Seamless wireless bras are available in several ways: no pad, sewn-on or inserted light contour pads that work with your natural shape. In general, this style does not have hook and eye to offer support, so it is most suitable for women who wear a C cup and smaller.
In terms of standards, a wireless bra shouldn’t be too tight in any one place. It should feel comfortable and offer support so that you would want to wear it for more than eight hours a day. They also need to give women a nice shape, particularly when wearing a T-shirt or other close-fitting garments. Here’s a helpful hint: to make sure you like the shape, stand in front of the mirror with a t-shirt on. Look at yourself from all sides. You should have a nice, natural lift and shape. If your shape is too saggy, you’re wearing the wrong size. Go down a size in the cup.
A bralette is a wire-free bra that does not support as well as a well-engineered wireless bra. Check the cups of the bra, and make sure that it has a little bit of room or give. Wire-free bras should come with a hook and eye closure to allow the back to be adjusted for better support. This is especially important for women who wear a size D cup or higher. For curvy customers who prefer unlined bras, innovative bonding and hot-melt technologies can be applied to fabrics for better support.
The future of wireless comfort and what it means for wellness and sustainability is constantly focused on innovation. Technology is not just for Silicon Valley; it’s for the lingerie department too!
Moving forward, the evolution of wireless comfort will focus on fabrics that offer sustainability and/or wellness benefits, as well as recycled materials that are soft and light. Fabrics that are moisture wicking, breathable and quick-drying add benefits that focus on self-care, which is exactly what this market cares about. We may also see adjustable back straps for multi-wear, criss-cross options; cup shapes that can be engineered for more support and natural lift; open-front styling that allows air to flow and that can be worn with lower-cut necklines and flexible foam in the cup that follows the body’s contour, which is softer and less bulky. Breathable foam and spacer materials are materials that allow air flow and improved comfort.
Other improvements might include a bottom cradle with soft, flexible stretch foam to reduce digging under the bust and that moves with the body and straps that are a wider width for greater comfort and support for curvy women wearing a C or D cup or bigger. Elastic bands have evolved with new features for comfort, including brush micro-denier elastic for stretch and recovery. Back closures might also be streamlined and cushioned.
Whether you are trying out wire-free bras or are sticking with your favorite underwire bra, know that shape and support will give you maximum confidence no matter your size. When you are comfortable and not pulling and pulling, you will feel great. That’s what women deserve.
DLI is a full-service intimate apparel company known for solution-driven innovation and successfully shipping millions of bras each quarter. For more than 28 years, DLI has developed private label merchandise for leading intimate apparel brands in band sizes from 32-54 and cup sizes A-K.