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Beyond the babydoll nightie: The hunt for pajamas with built in bras
I am on the hunt for new pajamas. Last night I slept in an old black t-shirt I bought from American Apparel back in 2013 (RIP). My general go-tos for pajamas are retired gym clothes and the sort of boxy tees that you get at a promotional event. Kama Sutra has been years since I’ve owned anything remotely close to specialized sleepwear.
While there are plenty of cute pajama ensembles for all sizes, I went on the hunt specifically for pajamas with built in bras. I wanted to see if I could find pajamas with shelf bras for D+ cups. This proved to be a far harder task than I envisioned, and my search came up largely empty.
What I did manage to find were a whole lot of babydoll nighties and similarly-cut pajamas tops and, and not a whole lot else. When it came to the baby dolls, there were basically two types. There were some styles with full, supportive bras sewn in to the top of the garment. There were others that relied on the horizontal seam that sits just under the bust to provide a bit of a ‘shelf’ support for the chest.
Some of the babydoll nighties were on the casual side, which would suit sleeping on a Tuesday night in bed by yourself. Most of the babydolls I found though were ones that you wear on an ‘event’ evening, but wouldn’t wear on a regular basis. Rechargeable VibratorsWhile lots of support is nice when you want to look your best in the bedroom, it’s not necessary for me when I’m in bed by myself.
What I was looking for and did not find were more casual-looking pajama tops with built in support of some sort. I wonder if that’s because it’s something people are just not looking for, or if there is a demand for it and it just doesn’t exist?
I did manage to find some cami-style pajama shirts with built in bras, but for the most part they only seem to fit well from A-C cups, and things got a bit dicey and unreliable when it came to supporting a D cup.
I’ve picked out a few of my fave pajamas with built in bras and listed them below. If you’re like me and aren’t looking to have a closetful of babydoll-cut pajamas, scroll past to see some alternatives for breast support at night.
pajamas with built in bras
Bravissimo’s PJ Racerback Cami Topwas one of two cami-style tops that really stood out to me. It’s got a babydoll cut, but it’s casual and comfy enough that you could wear it as an everyday pajama top. It’s offered in two colours and goes all the way up to an H cup.
The other casual cami that I came across and really liked wasLane Bryant’s Colorblock Sleep Cami.
Moving away slightly from the babydoll-shaped nightgown isFreya’s Lounge Women’s Sweet Dreams Chemise. It’s got built in support that Freya likes to call ‘secret support’. It goes up to a large size, and goes up to a G-cup.
One of the casual looking babydoll-style chemises that I really liked isLane Bryant’s Strappy Cotton Chemise with Striped Elastic. It’s 60% cotton which means it’s breathable, and goes up to a 26/28 in size, making it a great plus-size option.
For a slightly more dressed up babydoll nightie,Curvy Kate’s Can Canis another cute choice. It’s got a built-in molded bra that accommodates up to a J cup. It has a casual sexy vibe to it, if you are looking for something with more structure.
My pick in terms of support when it comes to a babydoll pajama with a built in bra is definitelyPanache’s Sculptresse Women’s Paradise Babydollwhich is great for both plus size and full-figured women, as it goes up to a 46F.
If you want something other than nightgowns with built in bras to wear to bed, and still have some support, I have good news for you. When I first started this site, I was opposed to the idea of any sort of support at night. Now, I actually like the idea. I wouldn’t wear a sleep bra all the time, especially when I’m alone in my own house.
For me, these bras would serve their purpose in a situations where you don’t want to be braless, but you don’t want to feel ‘strapped in’ either. I spent the last year living in a shared household, and one of my housemates was a guy. As close as we were, I didn’t feel comfortable walking around with no bra when he was home. As soon as I got up on a lazy Sunday morning, I’d have to wear a bra. It would be nice to have something supportive but still casual enough so that you don’t feel like putting it on is a chore. Enter the sleep bra.
You can get a couple reliable sleep bras and then wear them under whatever pajamas you please! I could wear them under my antique American Apparel shirt, or under the pair of Snoopy pajamas I’ve been scoping out.
A sleep bra is generally an underwire-free bra that generates all of its support through the horizontal band. Delimira makes a great cotton option if you prefer to wear natural fabrics to bed. TheWomen’s Lace Plus Size Wire-Free Non-Foam Comfort Cotton Bragoes up to a 48E.
Others are made of a stretchy fabric. They have looser material in the cups for your breasts, and provide support through a less stretchy elastic band, with the same material being used where the gore would usually be. I found this style to be a bit constricting for my tastes, but I get the appeal.Hanes Women’s Cozy Seamless Wire-Free Bragoes up to a 3X.
There are also some nice sleep bra options that are basically a front-closing wireless bra, with some darting in the cups to create a bit of shape in the breast.Leading Lady Women’s Plus Size Sleep Leisure Cotton Bra, pictured below, is great option that goes up to a band size 52.
If you want a wide range of criss-cross style sleep bras, consider sleep nursing bras. Honestly, you’ll be hard pressed to tell that these types of bras were actually meant for someone who is nursing. You’ll find a lot of pretty options if you search these. These styles are great because they can be found in breathable materials, such as cotton.
Kindred Bravely French Terry Racerback Nursing Sleep Bra for Maternity/Breastfeedingcomes in a ton of fun colours, and goes up to an XXL.
The other option is to go for some sort of crop top bra. On the cheap end, consider going for something like a crop-top style sports bra. You can find them with varying levels of support and in different materials. Two of my favorites are pictured below.
Bali Women’s Microfiber Crop Top Bra, andFruit of the Loom’s Women’s Built up Sports Brathat comes in a 3 pack.