Bras Without Wires is an innovative Australian lingerie company featuring stylish, playful wire-free bras like the Annie Sparkles Checkmate (shown here on me). Founder Stephanie Devine, a breast cancer survivor, wanted to create a more fashionable alternative to the usual boring wire-free options. Bras without underwires tend to be available only in limited colors and prints, and they often have very little aesthetic appeal.
Those of us who don't need or want an underwire deserve an attractive, fun selection of bras, just like women who can wear underwires comfortably, but there just isn't anywhere near as much variety in wireless styles. So obviously I love what Stephanie is doing, and I support her mission.
Stephanie's Annie Sparkles line features metallic accents in silver or gold. On the Checkmate bra, the sparkly parts are the silver straps, trim, and center bow. A subtle silver thread runs through the main check pattern, although it may be hard to see in these photos. It's delightfully fun and different from anything else I've tried lately, which is definitely a good thing.
I tried on a 32A in this bra, based on Stephanie's recommendation from my measurements. The fit is excellent. Although I sometimes need a 32B, I fill out these A cups fine without feeling confined by them. The 32 band is nice and snug on me, just as I want it to be, especially in a wire-free bra; otherwise, without the underwire to keep everything in place, bras without wires can ride up during the day as you move. Another feature of the Checkmate that helps it stay anchored is the three rows of hooks in back. Many bras like this only have two rows of hooks, so I appreciate the extra security that one more hook offers.
The contour cups are lined with a lightweight, flexible foam layer. The tag says this is a padded bra, but it does not add size and the cups don't have graduated bump pads for push-up. All of this is fine as far as I'm concerned, but don't expect enhancement; this is a bra that lets your body be what it is, while providing just a little shaping and nipple coverage. Perhaps the description is misleading for those of us in the US who tend to assume the term "padded" means "a gigantic, unwearable mattress" (thanks, Victoria's Secret).