Despite the fact that you spend most of your day with them covered up, undergarments are crucial to the overall composure of your look. A bra can make or break an outfit. While it goes without saying that the first order of bra business is to get yourself properly sized at a lingerie store (supposedly 85% of us can’t do it ourselves), it’s also essential to understand which style of bra meets the requirements of which outfit. It may seem self-explanatory, but it’s remarkable how often we seem to forget. For example, no one wants to see a thick-strapped tee shirt bra under a sheer sundress.
But that’s not to say that selecting a bra style is complicated. Quite the opposite, actually. With only these 5 bras, you (and your, ahem, girls) will have everything you need to go from the office to the gym to a night out.
The Sports Bra
Every healthy, active woman needs a sports bra with great support. This is especially important for ladies who are more well-endowed (if you’ve ever tried running without one, you understand why.) Look for a lightweight, breathable material with lycra for maximum comfort and coverage. You’ll also want to make sure that all seams are flat to avoid chaffing.
LuluLemon’s Energy Sports Bra in Grapeseed is a good example of what you need, $48. Available at LuluLemon.
The Push Up Bra
Push up bras come in all shapes and sizes. They’re perfect for adding a bit of volume where volume is regularly lacking. The push up bra is also, obviously, a popular date night bra (¦not to mention the bra that makes a new boyfriend think that maybe all of your lingerie looks this good!) It’s ideal to wear underneath garments with plunging necklines, just make sure that you’re in the right environment to be showing cleavage (the push up is not always the greatest option for the office for precisely this reason.) When selecting a push up bra, you’ll have a number of options for padding, straps and clasps.
For the most natural look, try one with gel rather than material padding like LaSenza’a Beyond Cleavage Front Closure Gel Push Up in Black, $36.50. Available at LaSenza.
The Tee Shirt Bra
This bra is every woman’s go-to bra for the office and most everyday activities. It should be soft, well supported and, most importantly, smooth everywhere. The idea is to provide the best coverage while showing no lumps, straps or seams. With the tee shirt bra, often cotton is the way to go.
Victoria’s Secret’s Wear Everywhere T-Shirt Bra in Deep Turquoise is just what you’re looking for, $19.50. Available at Victoria’s Secret.
The Pretty Bra
This is the bra that you put on and instantly feel sexy and understated. It fits. It’s comfortable. But it also has some feminine details, such as lace or satin. It’s the bra you’d want to have on for a romantic dinner with your partner, or something you’d wear under a lightweight summer dress. It’s best to look for thinner, more delicate straps when shopping for a pretty bra. Try to avoid overly bedazzled bras or excessive embroidering. Instead, go for a bra with subtle details that fit your style.
Calvin Klein’s Perfectly Fit Market Bouquet Push-Up Bra in Salmon Peach is fun and feminine, $44. Available at Calvin Klein.
The Strapless Bra
Ideal for formal dresses and summer tops, the strapless bra is something you simply can’t go without. While you might be able to get away with a bit of strap slippage occasionally, nothing spoils a great dress like visible bra straps. With the strapless, proper sizing is even more essential insofar as you’ll need something that fits just right if you don’t want to be adjusting yourself constantly. Choose a colour that will be versatile (such as nude or beige) so that you’re able to get the most use out of your strapless under different tops and dresses.
Try to find a multi-way strapless like Victoria’s Secret’s Bio-Fit 7 Way Bra in Nude so that straps can also be attached in a variety of ways, $55-58. Available at Victoria’s Secret.