A guide to finding comfortable bras for seniors
By Pat Jameson – Bra Fitter
As an experienced Bra Fitter I have seen my fair share of tears and challenging moments in the change room. I know how hard it can be to find comfortable bras for seniors women. This hardship is commonly experienced in elderly women who feel shame that they are no longer able to get in and out of bras with ease or have to compromise on style and support for comfort. It can be heartbreaking to see women tackle challenges with their bodies – at all ages, shapes and sizes for that matter.
I have put together this guide as a reference for those seeking comfortable bras for senior women; for themselves or someone they love.
What makes a bra comfortable for elderly women?
- Wire less design
- Soft, seam free or low irritation fabrics
- Easy-on and Easy-off bras
- Front Clasp or Front Closure bras
- Fit around the ribcage is important to prevent skin rashes
- Bra alternatives can also be a great option for elderly women
Opt for Wire less bras for elderly women
When I mention the option of wire less bras I often get confused faces from concerned onlookers…. I know what question is coming next… “But then there won’t be any support?”.
The truth is that the role of underwire is actually to shape our breasts, not to lift or support it. The good news there that if shape is not a critical issue for you, you really don’t have to feel like you are losing anything with out it in your bra.
Wire less bras are almost always regarded as being more comfortable, particularly with elderly women. Shape can still be achieved by opting for wire less bras that have a moulded or foam cup. This cup will give a more natural shape without the risk of underwire causing discomfort. That’s a win, win.
Choose seam free bras where possible
I am a big fan of bras for seniors that are either seam free or use low irritation fabrics and fixtures. One thing for sure is that lacy bras that are likely to rub and irritate should be disregarded when tracking down the most comfortable bras for seniors.
Something to be aware of is that seam free garments can stretch faster than bras that have structure from seams. This means your seniors friend may wear through the product faster. But don’t be tempted to compromise comfort for durability – my personal advice is that comfort is more important than spending an extra $30 on bras for a year. When you find something she is happy with – buy a few.
Consider front closure bras or front clasp bras
Getting in and out of a bra is a frustrating task in the morning for some elderly women. I hear women talk often about how shameful it feels to have to ask their husbands or daughters to help with a task that seems so menial. This is one of the reasons I am so passionate about front clasp bras. Front Clasp Bras are an easy way to remove that challenge for elderly ladies that are experiencing changes to their range of motion and dexterity.
👉🏽 I wrote a dedicated article on the best front opening bras for seniors
Check the ribcage fit to prevent rashes
A common issue amongst ageing women and their bras are rashes forming under the breasts around the ribs.
Women who refuse to wear a bra and whom are sitting or lying for long periods with skin on skin (by that I mean their breasts hanging or sitting against their tummies) and no protective layer between are prone to forming rashes and subsequent bacterial skin infections.
There really needs to be a layer of material between the breasts and the stomach to prevent this. This is why ensuring that the bra or bra alternative is actually sitting right up against the ribcage so that it catches the breast tissue from falling against the stomach is very important. We don’t want this to be overly firm, as it will be uncomfortable, but we do need it to be firm enough to prevent the breasts from drooping. This provides both support and assurance against skin issues.
A not so funny story… I once had an elderly women present to a bra fitting with her mother and we found a sandwich crust buried in this fold between her breasts and her stomach. It had been there for days. This poor customer and her daughter were mortified. 😢
Show respect and consideration during the decision making
While helping your friends or family shop bras for elderly remember that this can be a challenging experience. Just as we may have struggled in the fitting room as teenagers in our first bra fittings – we also see elderly women struggle with the changes they are experiencing with their bodies. It can be an emotional day out.
Leave the decision making to your loved one. Comfort is key and if they aren’t comfortable or confident in the options presented during their fitting then it’s likely that they will never be happy with them. I am sure many elderly women go home with a bag full of bras they know they are never going to put on.