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Bra Fitting Problems Fashion Fashion Advice Kathryn's Blog Lingerie

Bra Solutions for Physical Disabilities

“Forget the “sexiness or style” of my bra; I just need one I can actually put on MYSELF!” Is this something you have said to yourself on more than one occasion, or know someone who struggles with finding the right bra for the type of physical lifestyle they have personally adjusted to? If it is, then you, like me, could maybe use a little guidanc­­­­­­e. By watching my mother be a personal caregiver of someone we love, I understand the difficulties and challenges of finding the clothing that works for people with physical disabilities; especially when it comes to bras.

Front opening arthritic bra from Silvert’s

Depending on the type or severity of the physical disability or challenges, some of these methods or bra types may work better than others, but I do feel as if there is something here that will work for any such case. A lot of the online items relating to bras and closures are based around arthritis, MS and dexterity issues. There are various companies that can assist any individual with these specific issues, choose a bra type and size that will work for them, and foster independence by allowing them to do the bra up on their own without having a caregiver or partner helping. Many of these bras are front closure bras.

Front-opening 5663 Naturana bra, available at Now That’s Lingerie

There are many different methods of the front closure bra, with various front closure options ranging from snaps, to hook & eye closures, to the Corebra Magnetic closure.  The Naturana 5663 Front-Opening Bra offers full support and comfort for ladies with busts from a B to a DD cup, with a hook-and-eye closure for ease.  There are special bras designed for women with arthritis and dexterity issues from Silvert’s, who also have an extensive online catalog of adaptable clothing for women and men (and shoes). A pull-over bra like the Sleek Simplicity or Light Luxury bras by Bra Doctor would be especially for women with dexterity issues and have troubles moving their fingers or hands, but who have full or able movement in their arms and shoulders, since it is a slip on and has no closures.

Now the one that I had a challenge in finding a specified bra for, were for the women (like Bethany Hamilton) who have the use of only one arm. If the individual cannot find help with any of the other bra types listed above, they can try a dressing aid called the Bra Angel. The Bra Angel gets hooked around your neck and hangs down in the front, centered on your chest, and holds one end of your bra securely while the other end is brought round the body and attached to the secured end.  It appears that you can use it to assist with even your regular back closure bras.

And one final item I came across which can be used for any level of difficulties is an adhesive bra like these adhesive support cups from Forever New Fashion Essentials. Now this is only one brand of this type of bra, but basically it is a stick-on bra that is held in place by an adhesive backing, without straps, a back, or wiring!  These particular bra cups come in A, B, C and D cups, and you can purchase replacement adhesive tape (sold separately) after you use up the tape that comes with the cups (enough for several uses).  Assuming you follow the care and wear instructions carefully, there should be no reason this bra wouldn’t be suitable for many occasions, like when wearing a strapless or backless dress.

I personally can relate, watching even the youthful members of my family struggle with getting dressed every day and being able to do it on their own; I can only imagine how they must feel at times. My stepfather struggles with getting dressed alone at all; whether it be putting on a shirt, zipping up a jacket, sliding into his pants, or pulling on his socks, he is hindered by a neurological disease that currently leaves him with the use of only his right arm, which is extremely difficult on the whole family.  So a supportive note to the Caregivers: be strong; just you being there helps!

Next week, we’ll share a few more general websites with you, as well as stores and alteration solutions for men, women and children with a range of physical disabilities.

Have your own story or do you have other helpful solutions? Please comment below  or tell us on Twitter (@nowthatslingeri) and on our Facebook page!


Photo Credits and Sources:



Lauren Silva

Magnetic Core Bra

Bethany Hamilton

The Bra Angel

Forever New Fashion Essentials Adhesive Bra Cups

Photo of Hands




  • admin

    Thank you for including us in your Lingerie News!

  • Lori

    I would love bra manufacturers to consider making bras with magnetic closures to help disabled and elder close their bras themselves. It would be a simple change that would make a huge difference!

  • Winifred Bohall

    I checked the stick-on bra at Forever Essentials, and it is no longer available. Remaining braless at 44DD isn’t a very good option.

  • Sia

    Hmm…it’s a great start but someone does need to tell manufactures that DD disabled women exist.

  • L Taylor

    My mother has a large bust, g or h cup. She struggles even with a front fastening bra due to shoulder and hand arthritis and has little feeling in her fingers. None of the solutions I have looked at are a help for her large size – she does need support even at 90, and it must be comfortable and supportive.

  • admin


    Absolutely you are right that she still needs support, in order to avoid her bust causing her any pain. We do have some no closure bras available on our website, which is a great option for your mother but can be a little bit hard to find.

    Because she has a large bust, I would recommend this one:

    But, you can review all of them and see what you think may be best for her:

    Thank you for your comment and we hope that these no closure bras help. They just slip on as would a top, and a lot of them offer more support than you might think by looking at them.

  • Ann

    My mother’s issue with shoulder arthritis is not so much about dexterity. The problem is deterioration in one shoulder means that one bra strap is always sliding down that arm. She has asked me to get her a sports bra. Perhaps there is something that would be a better solution?

  • admin

    Hello Ann,

    Thank you for reaching out to us. Are you aware of whether or not your mother often adjusts her bra straps before she puts on her bra? It could be that she may find some relief if she tightens the one that tends to fall down a little bit more.

    Sports bras could be a very comfortable solution for her otherwise, and modern sports bras are built with plenty of support so she needn’t worry about losing any of the support of a regular bra. They tend to have stronger straps as well that don’t loosen like a regular bra does. Here is our selection of sports bras:

  • Heather

    I have a problem with narrow frame and shoulders also G size cup and painful shoulders.I can find a bra to fit me but my shoulers suffer

  • Nicole Wukela

    This is great for women with small chests, but if you’re bigger than a DD, there is NOTHING out there for you. We get to go braless, which is embarrassing.

  • Lesley Taylor

    I agree, also how is someone without use of their shoulders and unable to lift arms to get a pullover bra on -if it was big enough there would be no support.

  • admin

    Hello Heather,
    I hope all is well.
    Your shoulders are basically taking the toll of the weight of the breast tissue because the band is not doing it`s job of supporting the weight. It could be that your bra needs be more supportive or that the size is not convenient which is why you have this discomfort. What size are you wearing and what hook do you close your bra in the back?
    Please let me know.
    Have a great day.

  • Sara

    I bought a Bra Angel. What they don’t tell you is that you need to be able to firmly put your chin on your chest to hold the device.
    Good in theory but terrible in execution.
    Back to the drawing board.
    I just hope that I find a solution before I lose all movement in my right hand.

  • admin

    Hello Sara,
    Thank you for contacting us.
    I am sorry to hear about the issue with the Bra Angel.
    I think, perhaps a bra than can put on over the head might be a good option. What size do you currently wear?
    Have a great day.

  • Pat

    Help. I need ideas. My elderly aunt needs a bra. She has a terrible curvature of the spine and with age, bad posture etc she has developed a dowagers hump. The hump is 4 inches from the body but it developed lower than typically seen because of the scoliosis. It encompasses the scapular and bra line on one side. She currently wears a camisole. Is the anything out there? Options? She does not like compression or tight things. Chicago area

  • Michelle

    Hello. I have rheumatoid arthritis and anklosing spondylitis. I have rods in both wrists and my neck is fused from occipital to t2 and inclues rods and plates. I can’t raise my arms and have limited mobility in my fingers. When I became unable to hook my bra and spin it, I went to overhead bralettes. I now find myself unable to get those where they belong even with the use of a long shoehorn. (Don’t ask) lol. I am a 42F or DDD depending on the brand so what in the world do I do? It’s exceptionally embarrassing to be seen in public sans bra.

  • admin

    Hello Pat,
    Thank you for your email.
    I hope all is well.
    I am sorry to hear that she does have that. Since she does not like compression garments or tight things, I can suggest a front opening bra such as this one that may do the trick. Camisoles are good as well however if the breast tissue is heavy she will not have enough support. Good support is very important.
    I hope this helps, if not, don’t hesitate to contact me.

  • Jayne Dafforn

    I do my bra up in the front and slide it round to the back then put my arms through the straps and pull them onto my shoulders. Here is where the problem is the straps get very twisted. Any ideas how I can stop this happening?

  • admin

    Hello Jayne,

    This is a very common way to put on a bra, but it can in fact damage your bra over time. We actually wrote a blog post on this ( If it’s physically possible for you to, you want to put your bra on with the cups in the front and do it up at the back.

    If this is something you cannot do, you can look for front closure bras (

    We hope this helps!

    – The NTL Team

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