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What can I use instead of a bra?/Bra alternatives for seniors

If you are looking for something to wear in place of a bra you should look for camisoles or bralette, you can use bra back extenders or go braless. Later in the article, you will find more bra alternatives. In case you need to wear a bra and feel uncomfortable wearing it you have a few options to make it more comfortable.

Why do I feel uncomfortable wearing a bra?

Manufacturers produce bras in standard sizes, but unfortunately, all breasts are unique so you’ll be lucky if you find one that fits exactly.

Many women buy a specific bra size because they’ve always bought that one. They often don’t realize that their body changes as they get older. The muscles supporting the breast become weaker and less able to support themselves naturally. This results in different breast shapes and sizes as time goes on.

Therefore, you’ll continue with aches and pains from your breasts until you find a bra size that fits comfortably.

RELATED: Best bras for older women

What can I wear in place of a bra?

The simple answer is to find an alternative. So what’s available for the senior woman to wear in place of a bra? And maybe, more importantly, do they need to wear a bra at all?


A bodysuit is similar to a leotard or a one-piece swimsuit. It covers mostly everything except your arms and legs. Sounds like it might be difficult to cope if you need to visit the toilet, doesn’t it? You’d be wrong. Most of them come with small fasteners at the crotch so it’s easy to release if you need to.

You can make a bodysuit from just about any type of fabric you can think of. From a pretty lace to cotton to even latex if you feel inclined.

We won’t go into too much detail regarding the styles except that around the bust area, you can enjoy a low cut or high neck. More importantly,  the upper part of a bodysuit can be tight and elasticated to hold your breasts in position without hard and uncomfortable wired cages.

Oh, and you can get them for nightwear as well as daywear, so you get the benefit all day long.


Camisole is almost a vest with a built-in support bra. Stretchy lycra usually forms the bra section while a looser cotton fabric makes up the remainder.  These are ideal for the women who don’t want to wear a bra but still need its support as well as the warmth of a vest.

Sports Bras

These fit snugly around the upper torso, keeping your breasts in place without uncomfortable wires. If you’re not the ‘sporty type’ don’t be put off. Sports bras keep your breasts in place and stop them from bouncing around, no matter what you’re doing.  They’re also easy to pull on and off. No fiddly hooks or fasteners. Just pull them over your head like a tee shirt.


What’s one of these? Bralette is simply a bra without wires or molded cups. Think of it as a cross between a sports bra and a regular bra. But, made from soft and smooth fabrics such as lace, cotton, cotton blend, or microfiber. Most of all they’re designed to be lightweight.

Unlike a sports bra that’s only worn to stop breasts from jumping around, a bralette is more for style and comfort. Because these don’t give the same support as a bra, women with smaller breasts who don’t need the support usually wear them. Originally worn by young girls and teens, women of all ages now wear them.

What else can you do?

Let’s assume you’ve looked at all the alternative garments, but still prefer to wear a bra. What can you do?

How can I make my bra more comfortable?

Surprisingly, many women don’t wear a properly fitting bra. This may sound obvious but the correct size is probably the best way to be comfortable. The straps should be wide enough so they don’t dig into your shoulders.

And, ensure the cups and wires don’t cut into your breast tissue. You’ll also find that almost every brand has its own sizing criteria, so the same size bras from two companies won’t be interchangeable. Not only that, but your bra size has probably changed without you realizing it.

Go to a high-end department store or lingerie boutique and ask a professional to measure you for size. It will make all the difference.

Bra Back Extenders

Now, whoever invented these deserves a medal. How many times have you found a bra with a perfect cup size, but is too tight across your back?

A back extender is a small piece of fabric designed to connect between the hook and eyes of a standard bra strap to make the strap slightly longer. This is ideal if you find that you need a between size strap or if your strap is too tight.

Although this is a good ‘fix-it’ for the short term, it’s much better if you focus on finding a bra that actually fits rather than using an ‘add-on’. Properly, using the engineering expertise that goes into a good bra will always be better than ‘making do’.

Wearing Nothing

Many seniors choose to discard their bras completely, especially when they’re around the house or exercising. However, this may not always be possible if you have a large-sized bust or if you ‘feel naked’ without one. 

Many women enjoy using a flattering bra as it makes them feel more feminine. And in fact, a well-proportioned bust can still initially attract a potential partner at any age. So, if you want to wear some support, then do so, but if you have a build where you can go without, don’t be embarrassed.

What should I wear instead of a bra at night?

Let’s face it, if you sleep in an underwired daytime bra, you won’t be comfortable. Not only does wearing one in bed make it difficult to breathe properly, but also doesn’t give your skin a chance to dry out sweat.

In fact, not wearing a bra in bed can reduce the chances of developing a fungal or bacterial skin infection. There are many good medical reasons why you shouldn’t wear a bra in bed, but you should look these up for yourself and talk to your doctor before deciding.

If you need the support that only wearing a bra can provide, don’t despair. There are such things as sleep bras. These are lightweight, comfortable, and completely wireless. You can then get a good night’s sleep without getting tangled up in a standard bra.

They also have an added advantage that you can use them for lounging around the house if you need the support but don’t want to dress up. They’re also made from more breathable fabric or have mesh panels to allow free air circulation to keep your skin dry.

What’s next?

I hope you found this article helpful. If you are looking for clothes for seniors you should check the best housecoats for senior ladies. You may want to check some comfortable bathing suits as well. In case you often facing problems with dressing up than you should consider dressing aids for seniors.

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