Saturday, April 8, 2017

Review: Natori Glance Soft Cup Bra

There is definitely a place for a good soft-cup bra. Most of us will need a wire-free option at some point. Be it joint pain or skin sensitivity issues, PMS or pregnancy, or long hours spent sitting on planes and trains, there will be times when the pressure of an underwire causes discomfort that is just not tolerable.

I have found a couple of decent soft cup options over the last few years: JMS Satin Wirefree (the only soft cup that rivals the shape an underwire bra gives, but has a not-quite-comfy underband) and Bali Comfort Revolution Smart Size (great soft stretchy fabric with lift, but less shaping & separation). But they are not perfect. 

So I keep searching for a style I could comfortably wear - for a full day at work - when underwire is just not comfy for me. Something that strikes the balance between shape & comfort. Because the more structured the style, the more support, but almost invariably - less comfort. 


Oh, dear. Another ugly beige beast. 

Surprisingly so, coming from Natori, which usually delivers casual elegance even in their plain basics. But this....wellll...Yeah, it's just plain unattractive - dare I say, hideous - even in the smaller sizes. 
I'm guessing they named it 'Glance' because that is exactly what I would advise you to do: look quickly - then look away. But stay with me, because...


Here is where Glance shows some qualities that are unique. You can glimpse them at the edges and the gore.

FabricNylon and spandex - 38% of it. That means it stretches and hugs like a second skin. And it is incredibly lightweight. For comparison, the average UK bra like Freya or Curvy Kate will have only 10-15% spandex - often with zero of that found in the cup. Brands like Natori, Chantelle, and Anita all use high spandex fabric - in both cup and band - which accounts for a great deal of their comfort and fit. UK brands rely instead upon non-stretch cups, or 'laminated' fabric, and more hefty seam structure. 

Cups. They are described as having 'retro seaming', i.e. there is a significant frump factor. They have decent capacity and are soft. 

Straps. Soft, comfy, not at all wide. And convertible. An odd feature for a soft-cup, but there you have it. Should you want to wear it cross-back, you can.
Mesh panels There are panels of fine, soft mesh: a narrow one at the gore, and quite large ones at the sides, forming part of the side cup and band.

These are amazing. Very soft and comfy, and they make the bra feel light on the body. Usually wire-free styles feel hefty as they cover more real estate, not less, and are trying to make up for the lack of wires with extra structure. The Glance is very different. It feels like far less bra, and those panels provide a serious amount of ventilation and cooling. The bra as a whole feels very lightweight on the body. I actually forgot I was wearing in at one point in the afternoon - which is a rare thing for me.


As unpromising as it looks from the front, the profile shape is actually not bad. It allows for my natural full-on-top shape to do its thing, basically undisturbed. Surprisingly, the seam placement aligns at nip-level - something that's also unusual for me. But, clearly, those 'retro seams' do not deliver in terms of shaping. The shape Glance gives is never going to rival an underwire, or even a soft-cup like the JMS Satin, which has more diagonal seams, and so more lift and roundness.But it is an acceptable, natural shape.

When Do I Wear It?

Any time swelling or sensitive skin issues make an underwire uncomfy, and a great shape is not a priority. Definitely for travel. To work, with a more structured blouse or chunky sweater. I doubt I'd choose this bra for thinner knits, and it would be decidedly frumpalicious under clingy modal or rayon. But under a button-down shirt, or a more substantial sweater, this thing is a comfy workhorse. 

Size: 40G
I actually went up a band size & dropped down a cup size in this style. Why? Because very often I find that I can go down a cup size in wire-free styles. Perhaps due to my full-on-top boobs not having to fight with an underwire meant for full-on-bottom shapes, and the cup shaping itself to my body instead of vice-versa, I need less actual cup. And the band seems to run slightly snugger than the wired styles, so going up a size worked well for me here.

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