Tango Bra?

Since this has come up on 4 separate occasions with fellow followers, I'm going to take the plunge (*snerk*) and address the issue in a post. Gentleman, you may find this about as interesting as watching feminine hygiene product commercials, so feel free to skip down to the blue question.

Tango bras - what you wanted to know but were afraid to ask.

I called my doctor about a month ago for advice on what could be causing pain around my ribcage. At one point I had costochondritis (a type of inflammation in the ribs or cartilage around the ribs) But this felt different. So my doctor and I played 20 questions about the when's, what's, and how's. Then she asked me about dancing. What was the posture like? Oh no, I thought, it's my posture - after I'd working so hard on that. Then she asked the question I would never have thought of:

"Are you wearing and underwire bra when you dance?"
"Um, yeah."
"Then don't."
"Pardon? I mean, I think that's all I have - they're all underwire bras."
"Even simpler, don't wear a bra."
"Okay, I'm not that... I mean, I've always... That's not really a comfortable option for me."
"Then I suggest you find a comfortable bra with no underwire - that fits very well."

Great, it's not enough that I need shoes for tango, tights for tango, swishy skirts for tango (okay, I don't actually *need* the swishy skirts. I just want them really, really bad), now I need a tango bra? Oy vey.

And then I thought of something else. If the bra is making me uncomfortable (especially during milonguero and apilado embrace) - can my partner feel it too? Is my bra making my leaders uncomfortable? I mean, I'd understand if my bra was say, like this:

Madonna Cone Bra:

But it wasn't that bad. Just the usual sort of pre-formed, lightly lined or whatever they call that, cup. Nothing too crazy. But the wire - that had to go.

So leaders - here's your question: Can you feel your partner's bra against your chest? Are they ever uncomfortable?

Anyway, after sifting through drawers and closet shelves, I found that I do actually already own two wireless bras that fit very well. And I was pleasantly surprised at what a big difference they made. They are so much more comfortable. This is the model I wear now:

Wireless bra from Macy's:


erth64net said...

Yes, firm breasts, or "shapely" bras are uncomfortable.

Unknown said...

Mari, Ok...well..um...ya...

Ok... I have spent the last 20 min. sitting here staring at my cp screen thinking How do I answer this? Do I answer this? Should I give you the short answer? Or the long answer? Or is the long answer"too much information"?

So this is what I have come up with. Short answer first and if that is all you need or want to know STOP THERE. Then the long answer. Having said that the long answer isn't disgusting or anything like that. It just might be more information than you want/need.

Let me just say that I usually dance in just a T-shirt when it is really hot, or a dress-shirt, tie and vest when it's cooler. So.

Short answer: Yes I have felt a partner's bra against my chest. No it has never been uncomfortable.

There that was it, if that is all you wanted to know stop now.

Long answer: Dancing in a T-shirt brings you a bit more up close and personal then wearing a suit or even a vest. So yes I have felt a partner's bra against my chest and I have felt that there are different kinds of bras. It usually comes down to varying levels of, shall we say, squishiness. It has on occasion caused a momentary thought of "interesting". Then you get into the dance and it is a non-issue,... for the most part,... there have been times(and this is the maybe "too much info" part, so last chance) that during the course of the dance and the movement involved that I have felt a partner's left breast tuck itself under my right arm. A little disconcerting the first couple of times it happened, but it didn't seem to bother my partner, just the way bodies fit together in close-embrace, so I thought "interesting" and let it go at that. I have never felt that a partner was uncomfortable with the contact between us and so I have never been made to feel uncomfortable or thought that it was an issue.

As I was reading your post it occurred to me "sports bra". My wife is a runner and so I am familiar with them and how they can contain a woman firmly against the rib-cage with a minimum of movement. Then I saw the example you show at the end of your post and thought "oh you have them...um.. I mean it..um..I mean the problem covered.

So there you have it. I hope it didn't offend anyone. I only used the word breast once (oops I mean twice) and hope I answered your question satisfactory.

Mari said...

erth64net and Mike - thank you very much for being brave and answering my post. Believe me when I tell you there more than a few tangueras reading these answers with great interest.

I am going to have to add comments on behalf of the now dozen or so tangueros who have chosen to email me rather than post their opinions publicly. I can't blame you guys - I know this was a tough one.

So far the consensus is that the stiffer, pre-formed type bras do occasionally cause discomfort - especially for the men, as Mike mentioned, who wear t-shirts and lighter (as in thinner) clothes.

Several tangueras have also emailed me to let me know that sports bras and wireless bras are the way to go - and that they too have experienced a lot of discomfort from underwires - especially with the more "tighter-gripping" tangueros.

I'll keep everyone posted as I get more replies. :)

ModernTanguera said...

Whether dancing or not, I HATE wearing underwire bras. I have some amazingly comfortable, non-underwire Warner's bras. Love them. (I also go sans bra if the outfit works that way...)

nancy said...


Here is one man's opinion on the issue. And several women give their comments too.


Tango Therapist said...

We all should stay abreast of the times, so to speak, with new inventions in clothing: Sports bras are the way to go, but the real issue for me is more often the wrong dresses for me. One friend has a dress with a knot between her breasts -- a killer! Women in Germany often do not wear a "Brustenhalter" (bra) and that, I think, is the best option. The right dress will make this comfortable for her with the right support. But this is asking a lot from American women and especially in an open embrace town (Austin). In Germany and much of Europe, body concept is much different than in America. My dancing in Germany and France was always salón.

Mari said...

Moderntanguera - I was just looking at those Warners numbers. Now I think I'll have to give them a try.

Nancy - Wow. I almost feel sorry for Sorin - I don't think he meant to start such a fuss. But then again, telling women how you think they should dress is pretty dicy business lol

Tango Theologian - I've seen the knot dress! I almost bought one because it was wrappy and comfy looking. Until I felt the knot. Youch! Back on the rack it went. I buy every garment these days with, "how would it feel to dance in?" in mind. Sports bras are really excellent, I've noticed.

Anonymous said...

I've done a post on hygiene and added clothes there. A man is not going to feel your underwire, only you.
I try to be considerate with my clothes. Nothing too slippy, no silk. Nothing backless, not nice when sweaty (or glowing). No sequins that he can touch, it doesn't feel nice. I don't wear bracelets on my left arm in case they dig into his shoulders, I wear them on my right instead. I wear chunky rings on my left hand to show them off as they can hurt when squished on my right. No chunky necklaces as I love close embrace and I don't think it would feel nice against the man's chest.
I figure that if I am going to be very close to a man, we both should be comfortable.
I have forgotten how 'English' Americans can be when it comes to getting up close and personal. I have certainly been away too long!
Firm breasts are uncomfortable? I can understand fake ones, but with so many nubile young women out there with real firm ones (those were the days!) You are in for a difficult time I think!

Mari said...

After over 30 emails/messages/comments etc., I think I finally have a consensus. As londontango said, leaders can't feel the underwire - but they can occasionally feel the pre-formed, stiff cup bras (or coconut shell bras - as one dancer called them) and those don't tend to be very comfortable. I think that's what erth64net meant by "firm" - my husband calls them styrofoam cup bras.

I did also get 4 messages from other followers saying that their underwire bras were causing them pain on their ribcage as well - which went away when they switched to wireless varities.

Thank you very, very much to everyone who suggested the topic and participated in this somewhat awkward, yet very revealing, discussion.

happyseaurchin said...

glad you guys came up with the answer :)

concise and attentive to detail
nice :)