Busting Cut and Sew Myths
The first thing many women say to us when they come in is that they are looking for a supportive bra, then they wave at the moulded cup bras, like they are somehow more supportive than their lacier sisters. Our response is almost always, have you tried cut and sew bras? We find them to be as supportive if not more so. Some women are hesitant to try cut and sew bras for a few reasons.
1) visible seams; 2) the dreaded nipple; 3) perceived lack of support; and finally 4) not wanting ‘sexy’ undergarments for everyday wear. Let’s address those concerns using my experience, having worn cut and sew bras daily for the last three years.
Visible seams: When the bra is new the seams are stiff. This is due in part to the construction process. Sizing is used to stiffen the lace and mesh to prevent stretching and slippage during sewing. With some washing and wearing, the seams relax and under the majority of garments the seams will not be visible! I have exactly two shirts that my bra shows through and even then it isn’t the seam so much as the decorative embroidery detail that runs along the top of the breast.
Visible nipples: I have found that the seam placement on most cut and sew bras is such that my nipples are usually hidden behind a seam. Not every woman has this experience. In most cases the nipple is pressed flat by the fabric of the bra and can’t be seen. When you try one on for the first time, look to see where your nipple lies. If you think it may show through your clothes, try another cut and sew style - each one has unique seams!
Lack of support: Cut and sew bras like Matilda provide excellent support with the added bonus of making a woman look narrower and her breasts look smaller. In traditional t-shirt or moulded bras, breasts conform to the moulded cup and women are given a uniform round shape. With a cut and sew bra, the shape is influenced by the seams. However, the way in which a woman fills out the cup is often dependent on her own breast shape.
‘Sexy’ undergarments: There is a belief that lacy or soft bras are more sexy. This is simply not true. While lace is often considered the ultimate in ‘sexy lingerie’, it can also provide a beautiful fit and silhouette. There is no rule that our undergarments can’t be sexy on a daily basis. Feeling and looking sexy is subjective! There is something empowering about dressing for ourselves. Katherine Kemp-Griffin wrote an entire book exploding the idea that our undergarments must be utilitarian.
Next time you go looking for a new bra, don’t be afraid to ask to try a cut and sew. It may be the best step out of your comfort zone you ever make.
Image source: Panache Lingerie website