Eat your heart out Jane Russell … you can buy a comfortable bra (sort of).

Following my previous post, I’ve been in search of a comfortable bra – purely for post op  purposes, despite my existing ones quite frankly having been broken in enough to do the job. However I need to play by the rules so a soft, wireless and possibly seam free bra was the order of the day.

Now if you Google comfort bra you get an assortment of colours and designs but the most common follow a similar pattern in that they have no wires or hooks, all the better to avoid bra lines and bulges apparently. Of course in my case it’s to provide support while not constricting or harming the healing process. So did I find some, yes I did, where they comfortable, yes they were but, and this is a big BUT have you tried getting them on and off without said hooks when you will have limited arm mobility.

I tried to imagine what it would be like to get them on and off with a sore breast and underarm courtesy of having said goodbye to at least one main lymph note and Boris (the parasitic useless lump if you missed my previous post). If any gents are still with me at this stage, you might want to pass on the next bit, as your fantasies, illusions will be permanently shattered.  The gymnastics required in the confines of a small cubicle were not pretty. Of course the essential problem is, these bras are designed to go on over your head and be pulled down over ones protuberances. However, as every woman will know, putting anything on over your head naturally stalls at a rather critical point, namely across the top of ones mammaries and under the arm. Have you spotted the problem here yet? – yes, at exactly the points you are trying to assiduously avoid due to surgery. Once on though, with much struggling and swearing I will admit it was comfortable.

Next problem, getting the damn thing off. It certainly wasn’t happening the way it went on, so a bit of logical thinking was called for. The main reason the ‘comfort’ bra is comfortable is because it’s elastic and very stretchy, so rather than going back over the top, I figured, it could go down and over the bottom. For any Rubenesque ladies don’t worry it works, I tried it. Then the lightbulb moment, if it could be removed that way, it could go on that way – step in and pull up – stallage problem solved!

My fun day out in the bra departments of an admittedly restricted selection of  retail outlets got me thinking about bras and so for educational purposes I decided to look at the history of bras. Now that is a whole other blog post, but it was interesting and reminded me  of Jane Russell, hence the reference.


When Howard Hughes (yes, that Howard Hughes) employed his engineering skills to create a bespoke bra for Jane Russell in the film ‘The Outlaw’, his thoughts were less on wearability and more on emphasising Jane’s not inconsiderable assets. It was the first practical “lift and separate” push-up bra. Jane however, unbeknown to Hughes,  sneakily adapted her own bra for the film on the basis that his cantilevered contraption was far too uncomfortable. It did though give rise to the unfortunately named bullet bra, which became the ‘must wear’ accoutrement of the 50’s sweater girl.



Definitely not designed by women for women, me thinks. Not hard to see why we had a feminist backlash in the 60’s. Of course depending on your age you wouldn’t have needed a bra then because you’d have burnt it.

My musings on the nature of bra’s coincided with the outcry about a section in the Usborne book – ‘Growing up for Boys’. The offending piece under the heading – What are breasts for? proceeds to state: –

Usborne book for boys

Oh dear, sometimes feels like we haven’t really moved on much have we. No doubt the Usborne Book for Men (if it existed) would, based on this statement, extol the dubious virtues of the bullet bra!

I will be saying goodbye to Boris tomorrow so if I don’t respond to any comments this post may generate, don’t take it personally – I’ll catch up when I can.


  1. Wishing you loads of luck for tomorrow .. I will virtually hold your hand. Honestly the thinking beforehand is much worse than the reality. Just remember to take it easy after, good riddance to Boris. I’m relieved you had the light-bulb moment with the bra installation! Love and gentle hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. All the very best for tomorrow Jill.
    I was going to drop you a note asking how you are and when is your op, so thanks for the update.
    As someone with hand and shoulder difficulties, I find those slightly padded all in one comfort bras with no fastenings the easiest to step in and out of and pull up.

    Sleep well tonight and Boris will be out of your life tomorrow the swine!
    Hope you have some good books to take in.
    Much love

    Caryl x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. God bless and Angels are surrounding you. I am sending you love and good vibes concerning Boris; You sound wonderful, Jill. Three of my friends and my cousin’s wife have experienced this. I loved the Jane Russell images, too. Keep that happy attitude.


  4. Hope everything goes well Jill xx
    I never in my wildest dreams would have thought about stepping into one of those over the head bras, I have no common sense 😀 I believe there is a front fastening wire free bra but the name escapes me, I believe it is a maternity bra. Might be worth looking at maternity bras if the one you have isn’t practical after the surgery.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I had tears in my eyes picturing your struggle in the changing room. I had a similar issue with my broken arm – the night I had my fall my husband had to cut the strap so I could take the darn contraption off but then we couldnt figure out how to get one on in the morning without moving the bad arm which was extremely painful. I had to go combat for a few days then the lightbulb moment – strapless bras or the variety where you have the option of strap or not. Two duly arrived – but then I still couldnt reach around the back to do them up so had to press gang other half into service for a while. Now I’m back to normal attire just as you will be in a few weeks.

    Wishing you all the best for a speedy recovery….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Best of luck to you, my friend!!! You can also have your bras easily altered to close in front if the tugging proves to be too much. (Sometimes I think the putting on/taking off qualifies as the work-out when I do that with my sports bras 😉 ) And bub-bye Boris. We won’t miss you when you’re gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As ever, late to the party, and by now Boris should be gone, so I can only say I hope it all went well.
    In relation to the content of the post, in spite of being a bloke, I was brought up in a house full of women – mother and three sisters (my dad escaped when I was 10) all of whom had plenty of friends to swell the numbers. So there’s very little I haven’t heard from or about women, though your particular take on putting on and removing the bra was a new one on me…

    Liked by 1 person

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