I have memorized the model number of 4693 - a bra built for human females. The wide straps are awesome... they are tapered in such a way that they don't look like industrial strength suspenders, but they stay in place and don't flip over or cut grooves into your shoulders.
These bras do not have underwires - which means they don't get mangled in the washing machine or poke through. I have been buying this model number for almost 10 years now. Each bra has lasted me for almost 5 years with weekly washings in the washing machine and clothes dryer.
During their productive life span, they do not falter in support or comfort. I've never had a problem with hooks or eyes coming off the fasteners, or loose threads coming off after a wash.
Like any elastic garment, however, it will not last forever when you wash and dry all the time. Some people hand wash their bras and line dry them - I'm sure they would last much longer if I did this - but I just don't make the time to go through that effort.
The straps have a tiny amount of tapered padding that also helps in the comfort arena. When they call this an 18-hour bra, they are not kidding. I have had a number of situations at work where I have had to stay late - sometimes stay at work for a 24-hour shift now and then. When I've had to do this in the past w/ other bras, I thought I was going to drop dead from the fatigue and neck aches - but even after 20+ hours with this Playtex 4693 18hr bra, I am barely aware that it's even there - because it does it's job without needing constant fiddling and re-adjusting.
I don't even try on other bras anymore - this is THE best bra there is for comfort and support.
on October 14, 2012
I've been wearing Playtex for years and years (over four decades). Its the best made bra out there (yes, I've cheated a few times and tried different brands from time to time, but I always come back to Playtex). Most of the complaints I see on this board are women who just don't know how to fit a bra or wash it properly.
I suggest you complainers go to a professional and get yourself fitted properly; and while you're there make sure they show you how to put a bra on properly. That's why you get that cone shape, you're not putting your breast in the cup correctly. Your bra is on wrong! Or its an improper fit. Go to Playtex and watch their video on how to fit yourself properly so you can buy a bra that fits instead of blaming Playtex.
If you're even a B or C cup(and really probably an A or AA cup), you don't just don a bra and wear it out and think its going to look great. You have to take a minute or less to put it on properly. Mine have no cone shape when I bend forward and place my breasts into the bra properly. The straps are comfortable, no stretch around the band after I've worn them for four or five years. They give me great support without that awful underwire that I have a personal distaste for since I had to wear them in the early 70s and boy were they uncomfortable back then!).
I wear my bras under tees, under sweaters. They look great and they keep me supported for years, which is especially important for a 42DDD. They've never ridden up in the back, even as they age (one of the few brands that won't ride up on me, eventually). I purchase the size I need. If you want a bra that pushes your breasts up so you can let the world enjoy them, get that style of bra (Playtex has them), don't just buy a smaller bra, thinking it will do the job. It won't. It will just look like you're wearing a bra that's too small.
If you're 37" wide below or above your breast, that doesn't mean you wear a 37" band. You have to add your cup size to it, which varies from a few inches to over six inches, depending on your cup size. Please, please, please, watch the video and spend just a couple of minutes finding the proper fit. You'll feel much better in bra that fits.
Scratchiness? Did you wash the bra by hand with mild soap before you wore it? And make sure you rinsed it very thoroughly? Did you line dry it? I've seen reviewers post on clothes they have worn, but haven't even cleaned yet. How can you tell anything by that?
You know if you don't follow directions and make an honest effort to buy the correct product, it not very fair to rate a bra one or two stars because of your own errors.
As to the woman with the gooey mess. You must have worn it for years, or dried it in a very hot dryer or something because I've yet to see that happen with any of my Playtex bras, and there are a few I've had for years. They still work, years later and never caused a gooey mess.
So follow the simple directions and enjoy your new, wonderful Playtex bra for a long time! You just need a tape measure and a tiny bit of research.
I hate to admit that I love this bra. The short of it is, I think it is as supportive as the best underwire, and is comfortable and shapes really nicely.
I'm in my mid 30s, with a large chest, especially post baby. 38 DDD. I am an underwire advocate - "It's the only thing that lends support" - I've argued this with my mom, who refuses to go underwire.
Well, Hurricane Sandy hit, and even though I wasn't originally in an evacuation zone, I had to get out of my building fast. I grabbed stuff for the baby and ran, but took nothing for me. So days later, as I lived on a couch with a relative, we made the trip to a big retailer, and I tried to buy some basics. I didn't want to spend the $50+ I usually spend on bras, so I picked this up for 1/3 of the price, along with a pack of granny panties and all sorts of "discount" options - just to get by until I can eventually get back to my apartment.
All I can say is it's 3 days later since I got this bra, and I love the shape and love the support, and I think this is my bra going forward, which is absurd for someone like me whose entire bra collection is in the $50-$100 range.
on January 19, 2016
Definitely gives me the support I need , & very comfortable ! Plus my posture improves when wearing it . I'm 69 yrs old & have put on some extra weight :-( so therefore need all the help I can get ! 36 DD & thick -waisted , my clothes fit better & my confidence gets a boost also . Purchased two & will undoubtedly purchase more .
on July 19, 2006
This is the best bra I have ever bought. Being a bigger size, its very hard to find the perfect bra because none of them ever seem to fit right or give much support. This bra fits perfectly and provides the support a full-figured woman needs. I really recommend you try one of these, its well worth the money and its the only bra I will use from now on.
on June 4, 2009
The bra has great support everywhere which I loved but I don't think I will be able to wear it because the cups look like two cones and it just looks weird. It reminds me of Madonna's corset with the two long cones in each breast. I think they design it this way to make women's breast look perky but they just look weird and unnatural, I prefer circular cones not triangular ones.
on January 7, 2014
I have been wearing this particular bra (#4693) for ten years. In the past I have purchased this bra from JCPenney and decided to replace my current supply of bras with bras from Amazon. I compared the bras purchased from Amazon to my old bras and the Amazon.com bras fell short and were returned. The Amazon bras were the same size as my older bras, but the Amazon bras were actually smaller when I tried them on and the material used to manufacture the Amazon bras was "scratchy" against my skin. The side panels of the Amazon bras were also shorter in comparison to my old bras. Yesterday while on vacation I found a Walmart with a much larger bra selection than the Walmart in my hometown and I purchased the bras (#4693) again. The Walmart bras are the fit and quality of my old bras. The Walmart prices were also very close to the prices offered by Amazon (prices vary by color.)
on July 15, 2013
I bought four of these. Thus begins my tale of woe.
The fit and support is spot-on what the positive reviews say. Comfy, too.
But wow, oh wow, they smell like rubber, and I don't mean a little bit. They smell like a tire shop. Seriously, go to the tire shop and take a whiff--that's your scratch-and-sniff for these bras.
I washed them the first time out of the package, because land o'Goshen, they stank. After a trip through the delicate cycle with a generous amount of mild detergent, I allowed them to air dry, and was pleased to find the smell, while still present, had alleviated somewhat.
Then I wore one of them while I was doing some gardening and breaking a decent sweat, and the smell came back. Worse yet, IT GOT ON ME! Like, on my skin, making my hoo-ya's smell like a pair of white sidewalls. If your husband digs the smell of a demolition derby, you're in for an awesome evening after wearing one of these bras to the gym.
I've put them all through the wash a second time, and this time I didn't hold back. Heck with the delicate cycle! I tossed them into lingerie bags and put them in with the rest of the wash, a good one-hour cycle with a healthy shot of detergent and some nicely scented fabric softener.
Bad news, girls. I just took them out to hang them dry, and once again, the smell's dissipated, but not gone.
It's summer. I'm going to break a sweat while I'm wearing these bras, and I dread the odor leaching onto my ta-ta's. I don't know if it goes away with enough trips through the washer, or if I'm doomed to have my lady bags smell like a pencil eraser during mid-terms for the foreseeable future.
I'm sure they're well-made, but I'm going to have to wash them after each and every wear, and that can't be good for the life of the bras. I'm not seeing a way around it, though.
Would I recommend these bras to you? Yes, if you work at Midas, Pep Boys, Jiffy Lube or some other place where you might have some olfactory camouflage. Don't wear this bra on a date unless the guy you're going out with is really, really into that new car smell.
Unfortunately, these bras are supposed to be durable and long-lasting. With my luck they'll last forever.
A COUPLE MONTHS LATER:
Okay, so I've been washing these after every wearing, which means they've been washed once a week since I wrote my review.
The smell's dissipated enough that it's almost undetectable--either that or my nose has given up. Dunno. It took several weeks and several washings. The bras still wear well and have weathered all of those washings with remarkable resilience. I toss them into a lingerie bag and put them through the regular wash cycle, then air dry. They've retained their shape and still fit nicely.
Sorry Playtex, but I'm not changing the number of stars. If you have to wash them weekly for a couple of months to get rid of a bad odor, then it's a problem with the product.
on July 3, 2006
This is probably one of the best bras I've owned. I like the wider straps. They don't dig into my shoulders. The material is smooth enough to wear under most clothes if you don't wear anything that's too tight. My only complaint, and I have this problem with most bras, is that I don't think they can get by calling it an "18-hour" bra. Every bra I wear, and I've experimented with different sizes, seems to eventually ride up in the back and sag in the front. It's like I either have to wear more than one or change half way through the day. For the price though, it is good.
on December 29, 2014
It may be OK after washing. It's the brand, style and size I always buy. Perhaps I've gain a couple of pounds without realizing it.