With the warmer weather here, it certainly makes sense to take stock of your bras and consider getting new bras to go with warm weather fashions; and that means the seamless molded-cup bras known affectionately as t-shirt bras.
First, take a good look at your t-shirt bras. Because of the molded cups, tee-shirt bras can actually be more delicate than lace and other “fancy” bras. This is because of how they are made.
In order to be seamless, a flat piece of Polyhydric foam (aka Polyether) or memory foam (chemically treated Polyether) is heat-molded over molds of breasts to form the shape of the cup. This results in bra cups more able to contour to your breasts, rendering these (properly fitting) bras nearly invisible under even the tightest-fitting clothing of the thinnest and clingiest fabrics, even as the thicker foam discretely hides areolas and erect nipples. Then the seamless cups themselves are lined and then covered in satin or another pretty and sensual fabric. Repeated wearing and the necessary laundering will, however, break down the rigidity of the foam as well as cause a separation between the foam cups and the fabric covering them.
Signs that your seamless molded-cup t-shirt bras are no longer in good shape are wrinkles, dimples, puckering and pilling — in the foam cups, the lining, or the fabric covering them. These things often happen before the cups themselves loose their shape, the band or straps have become stretched out, or the underwires have gone wonky.
So take a good look at the bras you have now — before those wrinkles and dimples are visible beneath your tee-shirt, before the issues in the lining irritate your breasts, before the molded cups have lost their shape and you’ve lost yours.
As with any other bra purchase, the number one rule is getting on that fits properly. Anything else is an utter “fail.”
Next, think of your spring and summer wardrobe. Let’s face it, you probably aren’t going to wear a camisole beneath your t-shirts, tank tops, and other casual knit summer fashion tops, so if you don’t want your bra to be seen, bra color matters. Avoid getting too many prints which will be obvious beneath thin knits and other fabrics as they will only add to your frustration when you want to get dressed quickly. Yes, white bras can be too white under white tops. I’ve even discovered, to my chagrin, that my black bra was too dark beneath my black tee. So don’t sweat dressing on hot days and make sure you have plenty of beige, tan, and other shades which blend with your skin tone. No matter what colors you wear, what the seasonal fashion trends are, you’ll want at least two bras in flesh tones.
Follow the brand’s washing and care instructions. (Hand-washing and line drying or drip-dry are generally your best bets.)
Wash your bra every third wearing or so, so that your skin oils and other dirt doesn’t wear down the fabric. (Wash more often if needed!)
Store your molded-cup contour t-shirt bras flat in your lingerie drawer or on a shelf, stacking or layering one bra over the next in order to help the cups maintain their shape. In other words, do NOT fold the bras in half and tuck or invert one cup so that it nests inside its mate. Here’s a photo of how to do it properly, via Follow The Wife.
Some of my favorite seamless t-shirt bras have been shown in this post. They are (in the order they appear): Natori Women’s Reflex Full Fit Underwire Bra, the Pure Memory Foam Convertible Underwire Bra by Chantelle, and the Wacoal Women’s Embrace Lace Contour Bra (shown in black, but there are many other lovely shades as well!). See Also: Le Mystere’s Women’s Dream Shameless Strapless Baroque Bra (more info here).