Let’s be real: When you think of support, you probably don’t think of wireless bras. And there’s no denying that underwire is a powerful feature — not only is it super supportive, but it can provide some incredible lift and even some subtle shaping. But does that mean wire-free bras aren’t supportive?

This is an especially common concern for full-busted women who are concerned with getting maximum support for their heavier/larger breasts. The short answer is yes — wireless bras can be supportive. But it’s a complex subject — whether a bra without underwire can provide support depends on several factors.

How supportive are wire-free bras?

It’s hard to match the level of support provided by underwire bras. That said, wire-free bras can still offer sufficient support for larger busts. It’s crucial, however, that you’re wearing the correct bra size. In order for any bra, especially wireless bras, to function properly, they need to fit properly. If you haven’t been fitted by a pro in the last six months or more, be sure to stop by an Inner Secrets Lingerie store  to get measured. Wearing the wrong cup size or band size can hinder the level of support you get from your bra, so this is an important first step before investing in any wire-free bras.

There are also certain bra features that will make a massive difference in this regard.

Which features give a wireless bra its support?

Looking for these elements in the design can help you to find the most supportive wireless bras:

Separate cups

Whether you’re looking for a wireless sports bra or wire-free padded bra, you’ll definitely want to choose styles with separated cups. Particularly if you have a fuller bust, separated cups can ensure that your breasts are getting individual support. Also, separation lends a more flattering look overall (helping you to avoid that dreaded “uniboob” look).

Seamed cups

Ever noticed those seams across your bra cups? Many non-molded bras feature multi-part cups (also known as cut-and-sew cups). And those seams aren’t just for show — they serve a very specific purpose. Seamed bras tend to offer better support. More specifically, you’ll want to look for vertical seams or horizontal seams. Vertical seams, which are often incorporated into balconette and demi-cup bras, provide the most support. Diagonal seams are also supportive and can have a centering and uplifting effect.

Structured band

Did you know that the band is supposed to provide the majority of the bra’s support? That’s why with a wire-free bra, it’s incredibly important to pay attention to the band. For one, the band should fit as snugly as possible without being uncomfortable or restrictive in any way. Also, the ideal band will be wider to lend some additional support.

Speaking of the band — longline bras, which feature extra fabric that extends beneath the band, are a wonderful option for large-busted women looking for wire-free bras. That added material can help make up for the lack of underwire in regards to support.

Adjustable straps/band

Without a doubt, one of the most important aspects you can look for in a wireless bra is adjustability. Since adjustable straps and hook-and-eye closures allow you to achieve a perfect fit, they ensure that you will get the maximum support possible from your wire-free bra. Remember: When you buy the bra, the band should feel snug on the loosest setting, so that you can tighten it as needed when it gradually stretches out with wear.

To recap: Wire-free bras can definitely be supportive. However, not all wire-free bras will offer adequate support. It’s crucial to verify that you know your proper size and that you look for wireless bras with certain features that can compensate for the lack of underwire. As long as you opt for styles that have adjustability, a sturdy underband, and separated (possibly seamed) cups, you should be able to get sufficient support.

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a professional corsetiere help.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!