Nutshell: a cotton bra flop - literally.
I've mentioned my Princess & the Pea skin before. It's a huge factor for me in bra comfort - and clothing comfort in general. Occasionally, I experience a flare-up of eczema which is an obnoxious form of dermatitis: patches of dry, flaky, irritated skin form. Did I mention they itch intensely? For me, I only get one spot at a time, and they rarely get larger than a quarter; they hang around a few weeks, then leave as mysteriously as they appeared.
Assuming I do nothing to irritate them, which can be rather difficult, depending on where they are. This time, it was on my side, right at the spot an underwire would end; I tried a lower wire....but then the elastic along the upper sides of the band rubbed the spot. It was almost the same spot where my old pal eczema visited me a year ago, where the (highly padded) crutches rubbed after my knee surgery.
So I knew what that meant: a wire-free bra, either super-soft microfiber or cotton. I knew I could rely on my Bali Women's Comfort Revolution Wirefree Bra (the name seems to change slightly as they keep adding new styles) but I also knew that if I didn't switch between styles every couple of days, I would just exacerbate the irritation somewhere else.
So I decided to try the Comfort Choice Perfect Coverage:
I've actually worn the original version of this bra, the Everyday Full Coverage Bra, and while comfy and actually supportive, that version takes up an incredible amount of chest real estate. I mean, the top of the cups is literally only an inch below my collar bone; it's more like a seamed crop top. So I thought that the lower cut version would be less supportive, but very similar.
ComfortThe cotton fabric is soft and substantial, which was my main goal. The seams lie fairly flat, so wouldn't prove an irritant for most. The straps are just regular old bra straps, not even restricted stretch, which is a silly choice for a wire-free construction where the straps are naturally going to take more weight.
Fit & Sizing
Although the size range is technically not that large (38B-48DDD, I think), in reality, I know that like many US brands, the band runs quite small, and the cups very large. So the size range is really more like 34D-44H. I tried this in a 42DDD, which should be the sister size of a US 38H, or a UK 38G.
In reality, it fit me like a US 38J, (UK 38HH). Good grief, the cups run huge.
It fit especially badly on my right - larger - side, where the cup was inexplicably looser and downright baggy. That is completely empty space all along where the seam is.
Even a smaller size would not have worked. The boob shape the cups are expecting would be very unusual indeed: very high-set and full-on-top (but only the lower 1/3 of the top, after which it would have to sharply curve inward and become totally flat), with nipples located right below the collarbone.
The band is actually fairly snug on me, but the cotton material is oddly thin - not the substantial thickness of the cups - and bags strangely along the sides. It provides almost zero support.
When Do I Wear It?Not at all, unfortunately. The construction was so awful, the fit was so poor, and the support so lacking, it actually would cause discomfort by allowing the boobs to shift all over the place. More than an hour or so of that, and abrasion and friction would have created the very eczema issue I was seeking to alleviate.
I ended up relying on my workhorse Bali's, the Anita Twin, and the occasional assist from my old Natori Luxe, for the two weeks it took for my skin to heal.
If I were to try again with this style, I would opt for the old breastplate style, with its built-up straps and structure, in a 42DD...maybe even a 42D; the band runs very snug, and the cup increases are huge.
Any eczema sufferers out there, with any success stories in bras or products that helped? I get no relief from cortisone cream, which is all that's usually offered, and have tried omegas and many naturopathic creams (aloe, comfrey, meluca honey, coconut oil) to no effect.