Front Closure bras with no underwire are probably (from my layman’s point of view), one of the most stylistically-challenging types of bras to make well. They are a very important category of bras, however, because they help to support bra wearers who may have special needs including:
- Women with mobility issues caused by injury or arthritis
- Women who have undergone surgery
- Women who have sensitive breasts, such as nursing women
- Women who have sensitive skin, and cannot wear underwire
- Women whose weight may fluctuate
Front-closure bras, just by the nature of the way they are designed come with very little adjustability. Because the bras generally fastens with hooks and eyes located between the two cups, many of these bras only come with one row of fasteners.
This means that as the bra ages and loosens, you won’t be able to adjust the bra the way you would a bra that clasps from behind.
The biggest challenge when it comes to wirefree bras is creating adequate cup separation and support without an underwire. Bra companies manage to do this by employing any combination of more rigid materials, inner slings/cup lining, and 2-3 part cut and sew cups. The result is that from brand to brand, there really isn’t a whole lot of style variety. Generally, the bras that offer the most separation and support are going to look pointy, and the bras that offer rounder shapes will be on the other end of the spectrum.
For luxury comfort – Royce Comfi Bra
UK brand Royce Lingerie specializes in underwire-free (wireless) bras. In fact, they are the only major bra brand whose whole collection is 100% wirefree. They produce comfort bras, maternity bras, sports bras, and post-surgery bras, with comfort being their number one priority. Their front-opening Comfi bra features breathable cotton all over to maximize comfort in hotter months.
The Comfi bra has enough support and shaping that it can be worn as an everyday bra, however it also comes recommended as a sleep bra, or a bra for lounging. The bra also comes with pockets so that it can be worn with prosthetics if necessary.
The bra is secured in front using four ‘poppers’ or snaps as opposed to hooks, to make it easier to fasten, making it a good choice for those with mobility issues such as arthritis.
For affordable comfort in larger sizes – Leading Lady’s Cotton Front-Closure Leisure Bra
Back on our side of the pond, the brand Leading Lady also produces some great front closure bras with no underwire, including one they call the most comfortable bra in America. They offer a wider size range (34-52, A-H) than Royce’s Comfi, and also offer a larger range of colors.
Their most popular bra is the Front-Closure Leisure Bra, which is also produced in cotton for max comfort and breathability. Leading Lady also produces three other noteworthy front-opening wirefree bras with slight differences.
If you prefer synthetic material, they also produce this bra in a zig-zag weave version made of nylon. The zig-zag bra claims to be able to accommodate a shift in up to three bra sizes.
The bra is secured in the front with 3-11 rows of hooks, depending on the size you choose. The number of hooks makes it a little less appealing for those who may have trouble opening and fastening hooks.
Easy to open clasp – Anita Meggie Magnetic Front-Close Wire-Free Bra
The German brand Anita also produces a broad range of wirefree bras, including six front-opening bras, of which one is a sports bra and another a longline bra. In addition to the standard comfort and support styles, they have some beautifully-crafted post-mastectomy and post-surgical bras as well.
The Anita Meggie bra is a worthwhile option for women who have trouble fastening traditional clasps. Their bra employs 4 magnets and a single hook to fasten in the front, making it easy to get this bra off and on.
If you’re in the market for something with more support, their Comfort Women’s Support Bra with Front Closure is worth considering. Support bras won’t fix your posture, but they can definitely help relieve stress on your shoulders and back.
The price tag on some Anita bras can be a bit of a shock, but one selling point apart from their quality craftsmanship, is the fact that they offer styles with large bands and small cup sizes, like the nearly-impossible to find 50A.
If you do opt for an Anita bra, it’s worth it to measure yourself using their website’s guidelines and order based on that. They allow you to choose your sizing by country right on the product page, which is awesome.
For Support – Jacquard Front Hook Soft Cup
American manufacturer Elila produces beautiful plus size bras including a large range of options for the 40-50 band range, which means if you are plus size, there will be no shortage of pretty bras you can wear in this brand.
At present, they only produce one front-fastening wirefree bra, the Jacquard Front Hook Soft Cup. This three-part cut and sew bra features straps with wide shoulder padding.
This bra provides full-coverage and firmer support than previous bras listed, thanks to its inner slings and widely-cut back band. This bra can be worn everyday under clothing. The front features five hooks for closing, which is about an average number of hooks.
If you do plan to buy this bra, definitely watch Elila’s video explaining how they fit their bras. A big factor in why this bra is so firm is that the fabric has very little give. That, couple with only one row of hooks, means that getting your fit spot-on is imperative.
Inclusive size range – Glamorise Full Figure Front Close Support Bra
New York’s Glamorise puts out a range of front-closing bras, both wireless and wirefree. Five of their eight front-closing bras are wirefree, with different support levels ranging from posture bras to comfort bras. One of their more successful front-closing support bras is their Posture Back Support bra which I have reviewed previously. It features a wide range of sizes from 36-58, B-K).
If you want an everyday bra with less material and you aren’t in need of the extra support of a posture bra, their Full Figure Front Close Support Bra is a nice pick. Glamorise is one of the few companies to produce front-hook bras with more than one row of hooks, giving you a little wiggle room if your weight fluctuates.
Affordable Pick: Delimira Women’s Full Coverage Wirefree Lace Plus Size Front Closure Bra Racerback
Delimira makes a range of well-made value-for-money bras in all kinds of styles, some of which I have reviewed before. I was only able to rustle up one bra in their collection that is wirefree and front-closing. Unfortunately, their sizing in this bra only stops at a 42E.
Featuring 8 hooks, it is likely a little cumbrous to get this bra on and off. On the plus side though, apart from Glamorise, they’re the only other bra on this list that offers more than one row of hooks to adjust sizing.
Playtex makes a number of high-quality bras in the 18-hour line and others that have front-closures. Unfortunately for me, their bras end at a DDD, which puts me out of the running to be able to even try one on. While their website lists only five front-opening bras, you can still find a variety of reliable older styles on different online stores.
Playtex offers an affordable price point, and is one of the most widely-available bra brands in North America, which makes them easy to find. One bra that caught my eye is their Playtex Play Zip Zip Hurray bra, simply because it’s the only all-day wear front-closing bra that I’ve seen that features a zip closure, which is a great feature if you have trouble buttoning up clasps.
Note that this bra doesn’t come in cup sizing– I would not expect much cup separation with this one.
Other options you can try
Two categories of bras I did not cover here that often feature front-opening styles that are wirefree are crossover comfort bras and sports bras. Wirefree crossovers are a nice option for lounging/sleeping when you don’t want any sort of clasp whatsoever, as you can just pull them over your head and get on with your business.
The many front-closing underwire-free sports bras out there will provide more support, with more rigid materials. If you’re craving more support from your front-closing bra but don’t like the amount of material these bras generally have, a sports bra might be a happy alternative to wear under casual clothing.
If mobility issues like severe arthritis make it difficult for you to open clasps even in the front of your bra, one resource for you might be to have your bras custom made. Decent Exposures specializes in making custom underwear, which includes some no-clasp styles.