How to Avoid the Infamous Boob Dial: JoeyBra to the Rescue!

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It’s summertime in New York City.  The air is thick, and so are the layers of sweat dripping down our backs as we roast in underground subway ovens.

This city is famous for its friction.  Walking down the street, it’s hard to not snag my handbag clasp on a passerby’s coffee cup, or to avoid a stranger’s sticky hair brushing me on the train, and all this pressing and proximity has trained us well to hold our postures and purses extra securely against the onslaught.

But all this friction can also be fun!  Who knows what a chance encounter may bring?  New York, especially in the summer, dances and seethes and feels like a sometimes happy dream.

For me, the physical discomforts of summer can have outsized effects on my mood.  The sweaty labor of carrying a heavy load and the clinginess of a sticky purse strap can make me curse life and give up on whatever my adventure was to be.  A handbag is sort of the best and worst thing about being a girl: cute accessory, allows us to live the turtle/camel lives we like, handy for phones and five lipsticks, BUT just another thing to weigh us down and keep us watchful on a night out.

I’ve gone out without a purse a few times (usually with my special fanny pack as a substitute) — and it’s SO FREEING.  So THIS is what it’s like to be a man, I thought.

First order of business: isolate the essentials.  ID, cash, credit card, phone, key, maaaaaybe lip gloss.  Second order of business: figure out where to stash them on my person.  If my fanny pack is too big a fashion downer for the night, I’ve been known to secret all of these items in my bra.  The effect is not gorgeous, but if it’s a sturdy enough bra, it can smooth the jagged edges and, in a dark enough room, give the impression that a regular human woman’s torso is contained in it.  The downside, of course, comes when removing the bra and discovering all different sized rectangle and key impressions on my skin…and, wait, did I accidentally boob dial my ex????

LUCKILY, JoeyBra has come to our rescue, ladies.  This newly launched bra is designed with pockets at the wings (sides), just right for an evening’s essentials.  It’s just such a great concept I can’t believe it hasn’t existed for years.

JoeyBra in Snow Leopard $29.99

JoeyBra in Snow Leopard $29.99

The JoeyBra website describes, ” he first sexy & comfortable pocket bra. JoeyBra gives you the freedom to go anywhere, do anything, and carry anything without lugging a purse. Discreetly holds a cellphone, ID, and key on the side of your bra with easy access.  Never again will you have to reach down the front of your dress looking for the key that slipped out of place. Our product places all pockets within easy, yet appropriate reach.”

I received two samples for review, one in Black and one in Snow Leopard.  They were fairly basic in construction with underwire, padding, and mesh wings.  I’m a standard size and found the fit to be fine and comfortable, and the appearance under a tee was smooth and well proportioned.  My cash, cards, and keys fit easily in the side pockets, and my iphone fit securely (but visibly–sadly, a bra can’t actually perform miracles on big phones).  For the great price of e $29.99, I was not expecting design complexity or an unusually elevated choice of fabric–nor are these things what I would need in a bra that would probably get a cocktail spilled on it anyway.

JoeyBra is clearly marketed toward younger women who want to go out and have unencumbered fun (the product was “inspired by [University of Washington's] vibrant Greek system”), and I think it’s a perfect solution for these women: very affordable, with the molded silhouette popular in nighttime dressing, and available in innocuous black as well as a playful leopard print.

As a lingerie designer, and lingerie (and nighttime) enthusiast, I am looking forward to JoeyBra expanding their offerings.  It seems a smart move on their part to launch with a simple product, and I would love to see a broader fashion (and accompanying price) range, as well as varied silhouette options, expanded sizes (currently 32A-38D), and undies.

Joey Sport Bra $39.99, not yet available on www.joeybra.com at post time

Joey Sport Bra $39.99, not yet available on www.joeybra.com at post time

After my experience with JoeyBra, I started looking around for other pocketed underwear solutions and came up with a few to share.

While JoeyBra is a perfect product for young women out on the town, I also wanted to find something that would address the storage issue in a more utilitarian and foolproof way.  I found the aptly but unsexily named Clever Travel Companion Underwear.

Clever Travel Companion Underwear $21.90

Clever Travel Companion Underwear $21.90

The focus is more on security when traveling than on hands-free nightclub dancing, so the underwear is large enough to carry a passport and has two hip pockets with zippers.

The Lonely Planet writes about the Clever Travel companion’s underwear:

“There’s no safer place to keep a credit card, cash and important documents than down under, but it’s so much easier with these nifty pants and their zip-secure pockets. And it’s a saviour from the waist-widening evils of travel belts and fanny packs, meaning the essentials are kept secure while the wearer stays svelte.”

A third product is Irely’s pocketed undies.  These pockets are not marketed as a means to securely transport goods, but are charmingly tied to the idea of secrecy:  “As the only underwear that provides a hidden pocket with sweet messages tucked inside, we have also designed the pieces with clean lines, simple elegance and excellence in the details.  Because classic never goes out of style and every woman has a secret side.”

I would not try to tuck an iPad in the lace waistband of my Irely hipster and go clubbing, but I have always loved this brand and the sweetness of having a pocket to tuck secret little things into.

Irely Meggie Hipster $30

Irely Meggie Hipster back

Share some of your carrying-things tips and thoughts!  If anyone else has tried the JoeyBra, Clever Travel Companion Underwear, or Irely undies, please let us know what you thought!

Laura a.k.a. Lola Haze

I’ve loved lingerie since before that was reasonable. I taught myself drawing, designing, and sewing, and after graduating from Harvard with an English degree, immediately went to work disregarding it and following my passion for fashion. After a few years designing for a big company, I went off on my own and started Lola Haze TM, (named after the title character in “Lolita,” my favorite book). Lola Haze is playwear for the bold woman who loves fun and dresses for herself! I feel happy and lucky that I get to love my job so much, and am thrilled to share my lingerie enthusiasm with The Lingerie Addict!

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9 Comments

  1. As a runner, I’m always looking for lightweight ways to carry essentials. It’s great to have easy access to cash, ID, and keys. But I’m a bit more cautious when it comes to carrying my cell phone near my body and skin. Even the makers of the iPhone caution against this in their user manual. Even though there’s no proof that cell phones cause cancer, they do emit heat and electromagnetic radiation. For more info, you check out this pdf Fact Sheet from the National Cancer Institute: http://stupidcancer.org/docs/cellphones.pdf

    • 06/07/13 at 14:01

      Thanks for your comment — I know a lot of people share your cautious attitude about carrying phones too close to their bodies. I know what you mean about the running conundrum! I generally carry cards in this bulky, awkward armband. I didn’t try the JoeyBra sport bra, but hope it’s a good solution and supportive.

  2. Annmarie
    06/07/13 at 11:55

    This was a pretty good description of the NYC summer, and I feel extremely fortunate to have experienced it only twice so far. The question of “where to safely store your valuables?” goes beyond the changing seasons. I believe women’s clothes should have more pockets, real ones and deeper, where you could actually store keys and such.
    Those under arms bra pockets sound like an uncomfortable choice, but I guess they could work if you only take the bare minimum.

    As a bigender person, one who toggles between male and female identity, I can certainly relate to your “THIS is what it’s like to be a man” comment. Men’s clothes are often geared towards practicality, while women’s are so much more diverse and fun and often a form of art.

    • 06/07/13 at 14:10

      Hi Annmarie, I’m so glad to hear your perspective — thank you. I was being a bit flippant in my sentence “THIS is what it’s like to be a man” but at the same time that feeling I had does hint at the various encumbrances we women feel in the service of fashion and style. We regularly submit our comfort and convenience to fashion in a way most men aren’t expected to and do not choose to. In this “pocket” conversation, I agree that it’s so inconvenient that we have so few pockets in clothing, but, as a fashion designer myself, I am sensitive to women’s preference for slim cuts that sometimes preclude useful pockets. Thanks again for sharing your perspective as someone experienced in wearing both menswear and womenswear.

  3. Kristina
    06/07/13 at 13:50

    I’ve heard about the Joey bra and have been meaning to try it! Since I’m small on top it’s challenging to keep the necessities securely in there like some of my more well endowed friends can do without looking so lumpy. Sounds like this would work well aside from the conspicuous (and potentially cancer causing) iphone….

    • 06/07/13 at 14:11

      Hi Kristina,
      Yes, this is a great solution for smaller busted ladies. There’s no real solution for the phone issue, since phones are so big, but this is perfect lump free solution for ID and a key or two. Enjoy!

  4. AE
    09/07/13 at 5:12

    I wear jeans and stick my wallet in them. I loathe purses. Style will pretty much always play second fiddle to comfort and utility for me. Those rare times that I wear a dress or a skirt I usually end up with the non-ideal solution of having a pants-wearing companion carry stuff for me (night out), or carrying a backpack (daytime). The Joey bra isn’t in my size, but maybe somebody will make some type of halter with a similar concept that larger-breasted women can wear (but how do you remove stuff discretely?). I don’t like to stick things directly in my bra even though I could, largely because they get sweaty and have sharp edges. I wind up doing that when I’m wearing a sports bra and it is always unpleasant.

  5. Spotty Dotty
    10/07/13 at 13:25

    The worry the phone being close to the body could cause is completely against all scientific data. There is NO conclusive or proof that the electromagnetic wave emitted from cellphones can cause cancer. If any one could find a peer-reviewed journal article (not some random internet post) that says to the contrary, please post it. Just making a statement does not make it true.

    With a PhD in Electrical Engineering, it is difficult for me to read that blatantly wrong, fearmongering comments keep showing up. The warning for the iPhone being carried too close to the body is for the HEAT that the phone can potentially generate (they put that warning on their Macbooks, too: Notebook computers are no longer “laptops”). And they only put it there for the same reason that McDonald’s puts “content is hot” on their coffee cups.

    I love the JoeyBra. I run with it, it’s a very well-made product, and the attention to detail is incredible. You can do all the “operation” with one hand. The choice of their zippers has the right level of resistance, and it’s also waterproof, so your phone could not get wet from your sweat either. And it’s very comfortable; after 30 seconds, you would hardly realize that the phone is there.

  6. Fran J
    10/07/13 at 23:20

    I’ve noticed lately that I’ve been “tucking” my cell phone in my upper spandex bike riding clothing. Joeybra would be a great alternative ;)

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