If you asked me five years ago to recommend a push-up bra I would have paused, blinked, and furrowed my brows. As a teen growing up in Los Angeles I lived for thick push-up bras — exploring femininity through false advertising was rooted in the culture — but once I entered my mid-twenties and wanted to tuck those puppies away, I handed all of the size-enhancing corsets I owned over to Goodwill. Delicate lacy bralettes and soft T-shirt bras would become more my speed. Comfort prevailed. And if I’m being perfectly honest, I was more confident in my clothing when I reprioritized my chest. I wasn’t ashamed of having breasts; rather, I just felt more like myself when I didn’t have to think about them as a possible distraction.
But after I had a baby and finished breastfeeding, something happened to my breasts. They left. Soft, excavated, and, if boobs had feelings, a bit sad, my pre-baby 34Cs were now teeny Bs. I’d been wholly committed to getting myself back in the right headspace following delivery — postpartum anxiety had been intense and all-encompassing for the first few months and required tons of effort on my part to manage — but when I looked at myself in the mirror, something was still missing. I thought about how fun it would be to change the relationship I’d had all these years with my breasts. Why had I been so restrictive with myself when it came to bras? Were push-up bras really that terrible? As a new mom with a new identity I was now grateful that I had breasts to begin with and I wanted to explore this shift. It was time to prove to myself that my identity and confidence could exist — and would exist — outside of my undergarments.
Alone in my room, I shared my dreams with the Google search bar. Best Push-Up Bra. On the screen I reviewed the usual cast of heavy-hitters for top-rated options — Nordstrom, Victoria’s Secret, and even Amazon — and was already feeling phantom pains of underwire digging into my ribcage when I peeked at Instagram-favorite lingerie brand Lively. Founded by a former Victoria’s Secret employee, the direct-to-consumer brand has always been known for crafting soft and supportive undergarments — not necessarily the adjectives I was on the hunt for: monster boobs.(Maybe not monster boobs, but enhanced boobs.)
They say you don’t know what you want until it’s gone, and dammit they are right. Maybe what I was now craving was just the choice: the choice to be easy and comfortable in a bralette, and the option to flaunt my curves as well. It was clear that I needed a new enhancing bra to explore the latter desire. And though “monster boobs” never made their way into the product description, the The Lively All-Day No-Wire Push-Up made its way into my shopping cart. I’d owned a few other Lively bras and loved the fit of each one, so felt I’d taken the right next step.
Retailers claim 80 percent of women are wearing the wrong bra size; I might go so far as to say they’re wearing the wrong style. Unlike the push-up bras I remember wearing when I was stuffing them with socks for more va-va-voom, the The All-Day No-Wire Push-Up bra has no underwire — an epic improvement. The cups have some form to them but lift me up and push me inward every so lightly. There’s no embarrassing cleavage pouring out; just a nice silhouette.
The cup itself is lined with an ultra-soft rayon that feels good against the skin — this is important to me as I don’t like when I can feel the stiffness of a bra under my clothing. While I looked to Lively as a means of reconnecting with my shape, I’m still not someone who’s comfortable pairing a push-up bra with, say, a sexy deep-V shirt. So when I wear the All-Day No-Wire it’s usually with something casual — a T-shirt tucked into a pair of AGOLDE high-waisted jeans. I feel sexy and full-chested, while still finding some balance with what I’m sharing with the world. And the best part of the bra itself is that when I come home after a long day I’m not desperate to fling it off. I wouldn’t sleep in it, but it’s never been an annoyance.
The All-Day No-Wire Push-Up bra is a fair price point at $38, because we all know that bra pricing can go way upward from there. After connecting with Lively to learn more about this bra in particular, it confirmed with me that the All-Day No-Wire is its bestselling push-up.
Discomfort aside, I’m not entirely sure why I was so against wearing traditional push-up bras to begin with. Maybe I don’t need to have a precise answer for that. What I know, however, is that I’m enjoying having the option of enhancing the breasts I do have when I want, and that I found a bra that helps me — no wires involved.
Originally Appeared on Glamour