When I am out and about I like a bra with structure, form, and usually underwire. But when I work at home I like something less binding but still enough support if I need to duck out to the grocery store or post office. Over the last year I have been wearing Coobie’s plus size bras (red) and Rhonda’s Shear’s plus size bras (purple).
The Bra Style
On first glance these bras look similar in size and structure much like they could be sports bras. THEY ARE NOT SPORTS BRAS. Even if you put a couple layers on, they will never be sports bras for anyone bigger than an A cup. These are leisure bras. They lift very modestly and barely restrict movement. In other words, no jumping rope or running — no even a quick jaunt.
I purchased the Coobie bra in this review from the online Coobie store. I purchased the Rhonda Shear bra from eBay — I love the convenience of shopping on eBay. Since purchasing I have come to believe that the bra might actually be a counterfeit but I have no way of knowing. I have read that Rhonda does not print her product information on the backs of her bras but on the bands. The only sure way to get an original is from her store. The same goes for Coobie bras.
Both bras are super soft to touch. The red Coobie bra is 88% nylon and 12% spandex. This bra is machine washable but not dryer safe — although I do have a white one and my husband accidentally put it in the dryer with his white t-shirts. The bra survived and still works but it has pilling that it did not have before. It is also not as soft. The purple Shear bra is 96% nylon and 4% spandex (incidentally this is the same as the bras listed on the Rhonda Shear website for the Original Ahh bra). This bra is machine washable and tumble dry low but I hang it like the other one to dry. They dry within a few hours.
Both bras have a change in stitching to provide minimal shaping to bust area. As you can see the Coobie bra wins out for seam stitching on the bra edge. I think this also helps to keep the straps from slipping off the shoulders like the purple one does.
The bra bands look basically the same outside and inside. Because of the difference in spandex quantity the Coobie one retains its stretch longer. If you have a bit of an indent or roll at your bra band area then you can expect the bands to roll over or bend into it. I do not find this particularly uncomfortable as my regular bras tend to do this too, the difference being this is more comfortable because the fabric is so soft.
The straps on both bras have basically the same construction but as you can see the red Coobie bra has better stitching and using a slightly different fabric for the trim which I think makes all the difference.
The inserts are laughable and ridiculous. I always throw them out. I can see an A cup perhaps wanting to fill things out occasionally but for anyone else they are obvious triangle beacons. That being said, the extra layer of material that Coobie has stitched to the inside front of the bra provides extra support not found in the single panel purple bra. Also two layers are better than one when it comes to visibility issues i.e. white tops.
Hands down the Coobie bra wins out over the eBay Shear version. It has better stitching, the straps stay in place better, and it offers more support. Both of these bras provide excellent leisure comfort for activities of daily living around the home. I also feel perfectly comfortable wearing the Coobie bra out to do errands but neither bra would be functional for special occasion dressing i.e. going out on a date, wearing a formal dress, etc. Both bras offer all over back coverage with no extra bits sneaking out under the arms or at the sides. I love the soft fabric and comfort of these minimal support bras.