If you’re looking for a bra in Japan that doesn’t have enough metal to act as a cellphone antenna, enough ribbons and lace to swathe a bordello and enough padding to stop a bullet, until now, your best bet has been the underwear rack in the exercise wear section.
This summer, there are a few alternatives, and women seem to be responding positively. Uniqlo has made one of its famously interactive, graphics-heavy Web sites to spread the word about its tank tops, tunics and camisoles with built-in bras. They even have a line of casual dresses with the subtle, built-in support. Last week, Wacoal announced online-only sales of a minimizer bra and, within days, had to tell would-be customers that they were almost sold out and not expecting new stock until July.