April 18, 2024

The Ultimate Bra Matchup: Willowdale Bra vs Loftus Bralette vs unstructured bralette

Wondering how the Loftus Bralette lift and support compares to other bras? Cashmerette’s pattern development lead Jen compared it to other bras in her closet—keep reading to see how it stacked up! 😉

One of the (many) experiences the entire Cashmerette team shares is the struggle to find a bralette that actually supports big boobs. That’s why we developed the Loftus Bralette. Now you can have everything you want from a bra—comfort, style, AND support—in a beautiful, non-wired bra. 

Hi! Jen here! I don’t know about you, but I’ve always struggled to find that perfect compromise between fit and comfort. I have quite large boobs (34H in Cashmerette sizing) and always find that I have to decide what to prioritize, supportor comfort.

When we created the Willowdale Bra pattern I was so excitedI was finally able to make bras that were super supportive and that give me a great shape. Being able to fit the bra properly finally allowed me to stop being poked in the underarm by the underwire, or having them dig in under my boobs, so they are way more comfortable than anything I could buy in a store, but still – at the end of the day I’m looking forward to being able to take my bra off.

And so, I often find myself turning to non-underwire bras/bralette to wear when lounging around the house, but what I found with those was that I was never comfortable wearing them outside the houseI’ve always felt like I had to change into an underwired bra before I went out.

Can a non-underwire ever really support big boobs?

What I’ve always dreamed of was having a non-underwire bra that was super comfortable so I could wear it all day, but that would provide enough support that I could wear it outside the house as well…And luckily I work for a company that is in the business of creating just such a thing.

When we started work on a non-underwired bra, the hope was that we would be able to make something that provides lift, doesn’t allow the boobs to spread out to the sides, but is also comfortable. It took quite a few rounds of trial and error, but we got there in the endI’m so excited about the Loftus bralette.

What I wanted to do is to show you just what sort of fit the Loftus Bralette provides. In order to do this, I’ve done a comparison of the fit of the Willowdale bra, the Loftus Bralette and, just for kicks, one of the other non-underwired bralettes that I used to wear before I filled my drawers with Loftus bralettes.

Let’s start with the Willowdale

This is, for me, the pinnacle of bra fitting. This is the bra that I reach for when I’m going out for my Anniversary dinner and want to look my best. It fits great, feels supportive and is quite comfortable. But I generally don’t like to sit around in it all day.

From the front, my breasts are in line with my sides, not bulging outwards.

And from side you can see that the boobs are fully supported with no sagging.

Ready to wear, but maybe not ready to wear outside

Now, let’s look at what a non-structured, non-underwire bralette normally looks like on me. This is something that I would generally put on when I’m going to be spending the day lounging around the house. I may run out to the grocery store wearing it, but I’d be hoping that I didn’t run into anyone I knew.

As you can see, the boobs are spaced much further apart and are bulging out past my sides.

and the lift is well…what can I say, it’s not good!

And now, the Goldilocks of bralettes

Which leads us to the Loftus Bralette. I will admit that there is a little more spread side to side than you get with the Willowdale, but it’s so much less than the other bralette.

And I don’t get quite the same amount of lift with the Loftus as with the Willowdale.

But I have to say that, for me at least, this is the everyday bra of my dreams. While it doesn’t give me quite the same fantastic shape as the Willowdale does, the comfort factor more than makes up for it. I canand dohappily wear them all day. I’ve made four of these for myself so far, and have plans to make many, many more.

And the winner is…

So, in the ultimate bra matchup, let’s look at the three bras side by side: the Willowdale Bra, the Loftus Bralette, and a ready-to-wear bralette.

For me, the Willowdale wins the prize for support, but for comfort and everyday wear, the Loftus wins hands down!

Here at Cashmerette, we’re the big boob experts, and your boobs are in good hands.

14 thoughts on “The Ultimate Bra Matchup: Willowdale Bra vs Loftus Bralette vs unstructured bralette

  1. Karey says:

    Thanks for this. The RTW bralette is what shelf bras in tops look like on big boobs. I laugh when a pattern says a top ‘has a shelf bra’. Like that is going to work.
    The Loftus looks amazing. Can’t wait to make it.

  2. Corina Kostreba says:

    What a great article. Jen you are amazing. Thank you so very much for sharing this article with all of us. I am a 48G-H depending on the manufacturer. I made one bra years ago and forgot to extend the band, so I had a 36G which never fit me around. I’ve decided to try again, and it’s all due to you. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and it’s painful to wear bras like the Willowdale, so I wear those cheap cotton lounger bras found at Wallyworld. Any suggestions??

  3. Mary says:

    Thanks for this explainer. I haven’t bit the bullet on bra making yet. I must admit that I would like a pattern for a non-supportive bralette. Just something to wear around the house, preferably with options to add flutter sleeves to the straps and a camisole/dress below. I have been wanting a bralette style nightgown for the summer. Or a wear around the house to go with the knit shorts you’ve shown or my Belmont leggings. I know people want supportive, but I think that especially in the summer or for sleeping, there is room for pure comfort.

  4. Janette Anders says:

    What a great insight! Well written and well photographed. Answered all my questions about the Loftus and Willowdale when I was wondering what to choose. Both of course!
    Just so far ahead of commercially available ready to wear offerings. Thank You.

  5. Andie says:

    Excellent comparison. I like that she used the same top to demonstrate how each looks, and also chose similar colors for each of the bras so that we could focus on the difference in how the bras shape someone. This definitely sold me on the Loftus. I need to make some of these this weekend.

  6. Dawn M Arnott says:

    Wow, Thank you so much for sharing. I can’t wait to make mine. I am in the middle of sloper school, but will need to make my Loftus
    as well lol. Jen I think you look amazing.

  7. Lisa Tymoski says:

    Thanks for this post Jen! I didn’t really know how a bra is supposed to fit/look like until I read it. Great information.

  8. Loretta Lock says:

    Now, if only you had a supportive sports bra with front closure, every base would be covered!!!

  9. Micha G says:

    Wow, the ones you made give fantastic support and coverage. I am also H cup and I can’t believe how well the Loftus supported. Sigh, add it to my list…

  10. Photo mad says:

    Hi it looks great but could it be converted to a mastectomy bra with pockets.

    1. Ayelet says:

      If you wanted to make a pocket in the Loftus Bralette, you could leave one of the lining seams partially open.

      -Ayelet at Cashmerette

  11. Hazel Stoddart says:

    Thanks for this, great article. Just waiting for my kit to arrive 😬

  12. Diane Merritt says:

    Thanks Jen this is excellent. I have both Willowdale and Loftus patterns. I tested the Loftus today in a 36J. The cup fit was good but the straps are about 2 inches too long. I had a similar problem with the Willowdale (and nearly every shirt/dress or jacket pattern I’ve ever made). Should I shorten the front strap or split the adjustment between the strap and the top of the cup?

    1. Ayelet says:

      I would try shortening the straps on your existing version first to see if you’re happy with that solution, since that’s definitely easier than adjusting the cups. Try taking some out of the front strap and some out of the back strap. But if that doesn’t do the trick, then you can adjust the cups as well.

      -Ayelet at Cashmerette

Let me know what you think!