Sunday, April 1, 2018

Travel Moment of Truth: What's REALLY Comfy?

So I have to travel. Something I dread more each year, as planes grow more crowded - while the seats and leg room shrink. It's part of the trade-off of living in such a beautiful, but remote, place, where the only way out involves a 4 day ferry trip (just to get to Seattle) or a 2 hour plane ride (just to get to Seattle). Basically, it takes a full day to get anywhere south of that. 

And travel does something else: clarifies which bras are truly comfortable vs. which are comfy enough for a day at work, or part of a weekend. And I'm a little surprised at what actually landed in my (very small) suitcase this trip.

This is my Sheltie's face while he watches me pack. He is not fooled by my trying to act casual and space out the process. And he is not pleased. Even though he knows full well that Mr. ComfyCurvy is going to bribe him with way too many treats in my absence.


For the Actual Travel

 From arriving at the airport through the shuttle ride to my destination: 9 hours

I have two, no, three issues:
  • Swelling & Size Fluctuation
  • Underwire is Out: Because TSA & Sitting So Long
  • I'm going from 40F to 85F temps
Normally, I would opt for one of my ultra-comfy Bali bralettes like I talked about here.  But this time, I'm wearing the Leading Lady Cami Bralette:

Because I've put on 20 lbs, deep bands tend to roll more and I just want the least constriction possible, which means wearing the least amount of band possible. And that's definitely this bralette. 

Other big pluses: it will cause no issues at airport screening time, it is cotton and very breathable, and the high neckline gives me lots of options for wearing a lower cut blouse and light layers, as I go from one extreme climate to another. 

The only drawback is that, as cotton, it won't wash & dry quickly. So this is not a good option if you need to wash it in a hotel bathroom sink & have it dry by morning. Since I will have a washer - & 85F desert sun - that is a non-issue this trip. 

For the destination

The heat is the main consideration. I am fully acclimated to the northern climes. Specifically to this 'temperate' part of Alaska, where I have spent the last 12 years in a cool rainforest climate. The highs range from 30-40F in winter to 55-68F in summer. Before that, I lived in WA, and prior to that, the UK. So, yeah...I don't do well in the heat. Even though I grew up in Rocky Mountain high desert country, that was long ago and far away, and now I wilt and am miserable if I have to be in the direct sun. 

I am that person slathered in SPF 50 with sunglasses and hat practically stapled onto me. But I'm fine sitting in the shade with a book and a margarita. I'm not a total killjoy. I spend lots of time here, on rare sunny days. In that spot of shade.

My top choice for the heatRosme Mona

Over the last few months, I've realized that the Mona is now my most comfy bra. The overall lightness of the frame and the open stretchy-lace upper cup is a great match for the heat and the size fluctuations I'll experience from travel and temp changes. There is lots of airflow with this fabric, plus the low wires will avoid chafing, especially in sleeveless tops where there is less fabric to protect the skin. The non-mesh band will make for especially happy times. Some might opt for mesh for its supposed cooling properties, but I find those are far outweighed by its skin abrasion properties. A lightweight microfiber or nylon band is far more comfy to me.

2nd Choice:  Empreinte Grace (Low Neck style)

Although the lace is completely different - very sturdy, far more opaque, and completely non-stretchy - the Grace gives a rounded, lifted, non-wide, T-shirt friendly shape. With ventilation from the lace and a silky, non-mesh band. The wires are a little higher than Rosme's but the straps are amazingly comfy. This is what I'll opt for to avoid a boob tent under floaty modal tops.

For Houseguest Socializing in my Jim-Jams

Again, I am surprised not to opt for the awesome Bali Comfort Revolution Wirefree Bra (really a bralette with hooks), but I'm going with the ultra lightweight Comfort Revolution Bralette (seriously, they need more creative names to distinguis what are very different styles):


The fabric is very thin and light, and quite breathable, whereas the other style is much thicker and therefore more supportive - but that's not what I'm going for here. Because the fabric is super thin and stretchy, I wear this in a Large, rather than an XXL. In larger sizes, the straps get oddly long and there is zero support. By dropping two sizes, I'm basically getting a comfy 'boob sling' effect, rather than a bralette. Just some soft containment that is perfect for underneath jammies when you are hanging out with other people. In this case, one's elderly relatives. There are no hooks, so I just step into it like a bathing suit. This is the only bralette I would ever contemplate sleeping in, flipped inside out, of course.

I'm curious to hear if anyone has favorite travel bras you swear by - or, travel horror stories of profound bra regret. Those would also be good.


  1. Interesting! I, too, find travel to be an acid test for a bra. I, too, think of a bra's comfort and drying time. I'm vain, so I crave good shaping and the slimming effect of a bra that puts breasts front and center. I recently downsized my collection of bras-that-live-in-my-suitcase. To wear under white buttondown shirts, I have a light gray Empreinte Irina Seamless Padded Very Plunge, which takes up a lot of space because of underwires and rigid cups. I have an old Passionata underwired bra that isn't lined. I have one beige Spanx Nudist bra, which is wireless and unlined. I have a lot of Ewa Michalak bras, but the gores of even her plunge styles are a bit too high and wide for maximum comfort. I recently discovered Bravissimo's Stella has a super low gore. It looks like a bralette, with its triangle cups and unlined lace. If I can get another 30FF, that will replace the old Passionata unlined bra in my suitcase. This topic was a great idea for a post! I wouldn't mind seeing detailed reviews after you've taken a long trip!

    1. Thanks for the input! I will check out Stella. I'm always looking for lower gores and plunges. I keep meaning to try Bravissimo, especially Satine. How do you find their sizing?
      All 3 Empreintes I own give a very nice shape, but they run to high gores and non-silky fabrics.
      I tried Spanx Bralellujah back when I was a 34FF. So comfy, but too small in the cup for me, even then.

    2. Bravissimo's sizing is inconsistent. I buy after there are reviews in my 30F size range. Reviewers in your size range and mine usually had to size up in the cup in Stella. I still wanted to try my usual size so I could add it to Bratabase.

      Bravissimo's half cups look classic cakes on a plate but are often wide wired. I was going to try a Satine, because of the plunge gore, but one review on either the Stella or Niya (lined, plunge, half cup bra) page said she didn't get as good shaping in Satine. Plus the gore looks shorter and narrower on both Stella and Niya.

      Empreinte bras would never have worked for me until they introduced the Very Plunge cut. They have a Low Necked cut that looks like a Freya plunge cut. In other words, the gore is kind of high for a plunge. If you get a chance, I urge you to try a Very Plunge from Empreinte. As you know, Empreintes run deep, so you might find a good fit. In my Irina Seamless Padded Very Plunge, I sister size to a 32D because the cups are shorter than in the 30E. I'm short, so the shorter cups make 32D less visible under tops. Plus the 30E's cups are so high, ordinary arm movements push them away from my body. You're much taller than I am, so these points may not matter to you.

      My next Bravissimo bra will be a Niya. This is an entirely vertically seamed, lined bra with a super low gore. Bravissimo customer service said the gore is 4 cm, which is 1.5" and about as short as a plunge gore can be, with the exception of the startling Stella. You've said you don't like a perfectly spherical look, so Niya may not interest you.

      Stella, on the other hand, being both more natural in its shaping and unlined, may be a great addition to your wardrobe. When you travel to a hotter climate, it could come in handy. You wrote recently you are not a fan of hot weather? I, too, suffer in hot weather. I envy you the climate of your part of Alaska.

      I've never tried Spanx Bralellujah. I'm going to try more Spanx wireless bras, now that I've lucked out with The Nudist.

      BTW, the captcha added to the comments section is a necessarily evil, but I did want to let you know I often fail it or it fails to connect to captcha about half the time. It takes a looong time to get a comment to the moderation stage. If you've noticed a drop in comments, that may be why.

      I avidly read every travel related bra review. You try a much wider variety of bras than most bra bloggers, so I check your site constantly. Good job on the reviews!

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