Flickr Photo Credit: How Can I Recycle This?
When trying to whittle down my clothing for an extended backpacking trip, I found one of the most difficult items to select was a bra.
Besides a basic tank top / sports bra combo, I only wanted to bring one other. As any woman knows, finding a single bra appropriate for multiple outfits, many of which you will pick up on the road, can be nearly impossible. Two of the most important issues: color and design flexibility.
While color selection is somewhat personal, I made my decision based on the following: both white and beige tones discolor far too easily for my taste. Black bras are certainly simpler to maintain, but cannot be used underneath lighter colored tops. My solution? The newer, darker flesh tone options sometimes called burned suntan. If your skin tone is olive tone, you’ll find this color a very close match. If you are either paler or darker, it will be still be middle of the road enough to work under nearly any color top while not staining too easily.
Regarding the flexibility of design and style, you need something sturdy and supportive enough to hold up to frequent wearing and washing, perhaps in challenging water conditions. You also need something that is easily adaptable to various clothing styles. Detachable, repositionable and changeable strap options are critical.
The only bra I found to met all of these criteria was the strapless Ipex bra from Victoria’s Secret. Here’s why I love it. Although marketed as a strapless, it actually comes with two sets of straps. One of them matches the actual color of the bra itself, while the other set is clear. The undergarment also has extra sturdy yet smooth cups, strong under wire, and rubberized interior striping to promote stability when worn strapless.
The loops for hooking the straps into are located inside the cups below the top edge, give a smoother look. The clear straps are great for shirts with thinner shoulder straps. The back of the straps can also be criss-crossed which is helpful with racer-back tanks. Why else do I love this bra? I’ve been wearing it as my primary bra since several months before I started this trip, and as nearly my only bra for the six months I’ve been on the road. As at least a D cup, it is still going strong for me in the support department with very little discoloration. If the full price is too much for you (40-50 USD), watch out for the Victoria’s Secret semi annual sale when they are all half price. You will not be disappointed in this bra.