In Defense of Cut and Sew
By John Festa
On May 31st of this year, the New York Times wrote a piece on a new bra sizing system developed by Jockey. I applaud Jockey in their effort and innovation in the area of bra fit. But what struck me most was the 427 comments left by readers in a matter of hours. Bra fitting remains an enigma and a source of anxiety for many women.
For a variety of reasons, it seems many women’s self-images are dependent upon and expressed through their bra issues. Now I am not a psychologist but I do have my PhDoubleD in bras and bra fitting. But we’ll save that analysis for another post.
One thread running through the Times article many comments was the molded cup bra and its shortcomings. They are referring to the shaped-foam lining to many seamless bras. A smooth, seamless look, like the ubiquitous T-shirt bra, has driven the molded cup to be hugely popular.
To be accurate, molded refers to the process of placing fabric over a heated bell-shaped mold to create a cup shape without seams. It doesn’t really have to do with the foam lining. But since the populist nomenclature for foam-lined cups is molded, I’m down with that.
Foam-lined cups are terrific and can be very useful with many different applications. But, being rigid, can create an artificial shape to a bust line. You are wearing two cones on your chest, which, if they do not fit the specs of your body perfectly, can throw off proportion in numerous ways, and at times create the shape of a coconut shell bra.
An oft-overlooked option is a bra that is cut and sewn. Cut and sew is a manufacturing term for fabric cut according to a pattern and sewn together. These bras can be quickly dismissed because they have seams in the cup which wearers fear will show through clothes. But it is these very seams which can enhance your shape, even more than a foam cup.
Seams create structure and lift. And when seams are sewn, the thread used is not pulled taut, but rather left with some ease. Ease is, in fact, a real manufacturing term used for draping and sewing. Love that term. Ease. It is this ease, both in the fabric and the sewing that allows the cup to support your breast and mold to it at the same time. Quite a feat. The best you. Voila.
Consider cut & sewn bras for your wardrobe. They are sexy and fantastically functional. It is not a secret you’re wearing a bra. it need not be invisible. Taste level is more important that a seam or two.