So what are the most important differences between cheap bras and more expensive bras?
It’s something we all wonder, but where do you go to get the answers? There are so many bras on the market, so many styles and so many prices but what really is the difference between them? Is it worth spending a bit more on a really good expensive bra or will a cheap bra suffice? Here we try and give you an idea of the differences.
The under £10 bra
The under £10 bra is a staple in most women’s lingerie or underwear drawer (well if you’re a DD or under), whether it’s for a bra emergency or you buy under £10 bras regularly (because they fall apart just by looking at them, so you have to) a huge number are sold annually and most women in the UK have a number in their lingerie drawer.
If a bra costs £10 or less it’s most definitely not been made well or in a sustainable way. The quality of fabric used in the wing area of the bra will be a low-grade power netting, cups may not be lined, and it will have only a single wire casing and uncoated wires, low grade hooks and eyes and sliders, which allow the straps to slip and require regular adjustment and there will also be a smaller size range due to limited design time given to the product. These are all common issues with low price bras.
Bras are actually highly technical garments, so making them really cheaply means they actually can’t do what they’re meant to do for very long. It’s complicated to make a bra and therefore expensive. For fuller busted gals, cheaper and flimsy unsupported bras just wont do, that’s if you can even find the cheaper ones in your size. Sports bras shouldn’t be bought in this category either as they will be totally ineffective, unless you’re buying an expensive sports bra reduced in the sale of course.
Medium Price Bras £25 – £40
This a much more realistic price for a well-designed and well-made bra. In this price range, you’ll notice a considerable increase in quality, comfort and fit. For example wires will have a double wire casing, they will use plastic coated wires for these bras, stronger power netting in the wing, double lined cups, at the centre gore the wires will not cross as the wires are stronger, the sliders on the strap will grab the strap and stop slipping, the strap may have a “plush” comfortable, soft lining and you generally find much larger size ranges in back and cups are available, as the designers have greater knowledge and experience in making quality bras in all sizes. In sports bras the quality of the fabric and design are paramount as they will have little hidden extras, for example, the hooks and eyes will be cushioned to stop them digging in when laying down, a J clip may be used to convert the bra to a racer back, they will have moisture wicking fabric for comfort and moulded cups instead of cut and sew, as the moulded cup will stop chaffing of the breast and nipple. These are all features of better made bras. So if want a £30-£50 bra for the price of a £12 bra, then hit the sales! These bras have been made with the same attention to detail but sometimes sell for a fraction of the price due to new season stock. Bargain!
Every bra-wearer has had at least one rant about the cost of bras, especially for those who can’t even find their size in the cheaper options. Buying one bra can be a bit of an investment, let alone getting the other three you need for that top, shirt or dress,outfit etc. The best lingerie brands don’t do this to steal your money, it’s merely because in the higher priced products, you’ll find higher quality components, which cost more.
For example, every bra size will have its own individual wire, so no cross grading, this gives the bra a much better fit, as you can get the wire closer to the root of the bust, the centre gore is much narrower allowing the bra to sit flat to the chest wall. The customer will often feel the difference in how the bra fits instantly. Additional details will also be better fabrication, linings, support, a greater number of components and exquisite design, which are all part of the package in the £60 plus bra.
It’s rarely about quantity rather than quality when buying lingerie. Sometimes it’s only the highest price point that gives the best fit, If so, you are better off having fewer bras but better quality as we wear them on average 12-15 hours per day. These aren’t for special occasions so wear a good bra every day and enjoy the feel and the comfort!
Intimate Apparel Business consultancy specialises in the lingerie industry and offers business consultancy and sales agency for brands, designers and retailers and also recruitment services, training, and bra fitting courses. For further information call 01702 291524.