Jenni e-mailed me with this great question:
I’m working on dressing both for comfort and figure flattery in the home context, as I (and my hubby) work at home some days. I also have “new-to-me” breasts – they’ve grown a couple of cup sizes in the last few years and now I’m 40+, so support is key. I do buy good quality bras – but I don’t really want to wear all that hardware when I’m in all day or hanging out with hubby and kid at night. Still, being nicely contained is more comfortable (and makes me feel a little better when I catch my profile in a mirror). What do you and others do for support and flattery when not out and about in the world? I’m too big up top to get much mileage out of a yoga top, and I would love some ideas or to know what others are doing.
I guess the bonus question here is: what are we all wearing when we are at home? If it’s a day when we aren’t going to be “seen” much, what style and dressing choices are we making, and what motivates those choices?
So, as you can see, two questions to be addressed here: First, are there comfy, lounge-appropriate bra options out there? Second, how are we dressing for nights in and/or lounge and/or working from home? Let’s start with the bras.
Comfy bras for lounge and sleep
I’ve already had some fascinating and impassioned discussions with you lovely readers about bras for lounge and sleep, and discovered that, although there is a bit of crossover, most women fall into one of three camps:
- Wearing a bra doesn’t really impact my comfort. Neither does going braless.
- I hate wearing a bra WITH THE FIRE OF A THOUSAND SUNS, and rip mine off as soon as I possibly can.
- I feel better in some sort of bra at all times, including lounging and even sleeping.
Being small of boob and having heard from friends and readers that larger busts often feel better in a bra than bra-free, I was surprised to find that the women in group two possessed busts of all shapes and sizes. I’m in group three myself, and have a small but cherished collection of sleep and lounge bras. At age 37, I’ve already had two mammograms because – as a woman in her late thirties who has never been pregnant – I have fibrous breasts. In addition to being somewhat lumpy, they can get unspeakably sore due to hormonal changes. So I just bra up. Always. Except for showers and sex.
Because of this, I happily pointed Jenni to my favorite lounge bra: The Bali Comfort Revolution. I wear the wire-free version and it is so very, very happy-making. It has super thin foam cups for nipple modesty, provides a bit of support without feeling constricting, and – at least on me – does NOT create the dreaded uniboob look. I wash mine in the machine and hang to dry, and they’ve lasted for three years with a bit of color fade and hardly another sign of wear. Will this style work for everyone? Nope. Only goes through a 42DD and is not a style that will work for all body shapes and sizes or all bust shapes and sizes. But it’s my go-to. And there are similar options – wirefree, soft cup, designed for light support instead of all-day wear – that come in sizes through 54G. (This one gets great marks.) Traditional sports bras work just fine for many women and they definitely come in a variety of support levels from light to no-bounce-ever. Athleta and Title Nine rank theirs by support level as well as size. But I feel like my Bali and similar styles are more of a middle ground between underwire day bras and workout-specific sports bras. So I totally love them for lounge and sleep.
Loungewear preferences and options
Although I’ve been doing a mix of working from home and out of the house for two and a half years now, I don’t do loungewear when I’m working at home. I feel more alert and focused when I shower, primp, and dress as if I’m going out … even if no one sees me all day besides Simon Kitty. This also means that if something arises at the last moment, I can hop in my car and go. So although I still do work from home some, I don’t dress terribly casually when I’m doing it.
BUT. After work is done, after the gym, after I’ve been to a LOTT meeting and am in for the rest of the evening, I do have lounge clothes that I change into. And they’re different from my PJs. Why? Cats. Well, cat right now. Despite our carefully tested system of Filth Sheets, my entire house is just coated in cat hair. The stuff is everywhere, I tell ya. Much of it sticks to the sofa cover in our basement, which is where the TV is and much of the actual lounging takes place. And since nothing makes me more irritated than a big mouthful of cat hair when I’m trying to fall asleep, I don’t pull on my PJs until I’m done with my nightly ablutions and ready to actually sleep.
For many years, my loungewear consisted of two college-style long-sleeved tees and a pair of Husband Mike’s old pajama pants that I accidentally shrunk in the wash. Hoodies annoy me because they just bunch up around my ears and shoulders, so the tees were utilitarian and comfy. But over time, Angie’s upgraded loungewear posts got to me. As did the fact that my ankles and feet were always cold, forcing me to tuck my PJ pants into my socks. NOT A SEXY LOOK. Kinda clown-meets-Dickens, but in green and blue plaid cotton. So I now have some cowl-necked tunics from Target, fleece-lined leggings, a lightweight sweatshirt or two, and these funky jodphur pants from local designer Foat. And, most importantly, slipper boots. (Mine are sold out, but those are similar.) Cold ankles no more! And I feel less schlubby when I lounge, an activity that also takes place many weeknights and some binge-watching-House-of-Cards weekend nights, too.
Enough about me. Let’s hear from YOU: When you’re at home, do you keep on your regular bra, switch to something softer, or go bra-free? Got any suggestions for comfy, lounge-worthy bras? If you work at home, what are you most likely to wear during the day? What’s your loungewear style? Comfy jeans and a tee? Sweats? Something specific to around-the-house? Do tell!
Top image via Macy’s.
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