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Uncomfortable, ill-fitting bras are the worst, right? Especially when they rule out nailing a flawless look. From visible creases and no support, to awkward bunching up and way too much padding, finding the right bra isn’t straightforward. But for a piece of clothing we wear day-in, day-out, why do we put up with anything less than perfect?
The new season is the perfect time to overhaul your bra wardrobe and make sure you have the best bra for any eventuality, whatever your chest and cup size.
How do I find the perfect bra style and fit for me?
A good place to start is to look at your wardrobe and the kinds of tops and dresses you wear. Ditch any bras you don’t wear anymore (I’ve recently donated some to charity, just search how you can recycle bras near you), then make a list of the bra styles you’re missing.
Consider how much cleavage you like to show off with different outfits, the various necklines you opt for and the fabrics in your wardrobe. Are you a fan of fitted tops or slouchy tees, v-necks or roll-necks?
Which bras will work best with the tops I usually wear?
Using our handy guide below, you’ll then be able to match up your exact bra needs to the ultimate choice, ensuring a flattering fit for under your desired top.
The best bras to wear under t-shirts
The underwired t-shirt bra
Everyone needs a super soft t-shirt bra that will sit seamlessly under tops. Whether you prefer loose-fitting tees or more snug styles, underwire will help give you the right amount of definition. Avoid any lace or extra detailing for the smoothest silhouette. And my best tip for white tees is to wear a nude-coloured bra, as bright white bras are far more likely to show through.
Wear it with a crew neck t-shirt:
The non-wired t-shirt bra
Non-wired t-shirt bras are your go-to for support without sacrificing ultimate comfort. Seamless and soft, these bras will sit smoothly against your skin. If you’re not wearing them under baggy tees and sweats while working from home, these are a good choice for wearing under silky shirts, as they minimise too much cleavage (and that annoying gaping in between buttons!).
Wear it with a satin shirt:
The best bras to wear under a crop top
The comfy crop top bra
If you’re looking for a bra that’s flexible, breathable and has a sportier vibe, crop tops are your answer. These are an essential every day bra, from lazy days at home layered under hoodies to wearing on the go, for a non-wired but still supportive bra option.
Wear it with a cropped cotton sweatshirt:
The best sports bras to wear under gym tops
Shopping for sports bras can seem more specialist, but it doesn’t need to be scary. And yes, there are options that don’t cost more than your monthly gym membership. It’s all about finding styles that are as supportive and luxe-looking as the expensive gym wear out there. Neutral styles are great for pairing with all sorts of leggings, but don’t hold back from going bold either – a bright colour pop or print is sure to liven up your workout.
Wear it with this Lululemon tank top:
The best push-up bras to wear under fitted tops
Some blouses and dresses are asking for a bit more cleavage, and that’s where a padded bra is perfect. They’ll create definition, without drawing unwanted attention to the bra underneath. Whether you choose something subtle (like the jersey and seamless styles), or more striking (look to pretty lace details), these bras are there to enhance your outfit, as well as looking amazing underneath your clothes.
Wear it with this sweetheart neckline top from Omnes:
The best bras to wear with a v-neck top
If you’re wearing a shirt dress, something that’s low cut, or a v-neck top, invest in a plunge bra to give ultimate support and shape, whether you want to create an illusion of a larger cup size or you have a larger cup size and like to ensure your boobs stay in the right position.
If you’re wearing tight-fitting clothes, a smooth bra finish is your safest bet to ensure no visible seams, but if your top layer is more floaty then it’s an opportunity to wear a bra with extra detailing and lace.
Wear it with a wrap dress:
The best bralettes to wear under dresses
I love wearing bralettes with pretty summer tops and dresses when a little bit of lace peeks through and actually adds to the outfit. I’d always thought bralettes could only be worn by smaller cup sizes, but I was wrong – they are just as comfortable for larger boobs. But, keep in mind they won’t give you as much support as other bras, so they’re best to wear on more laidback days, or on holidays – rather than when you’re running around.
Wear it with this Free People summer dress:
The best strapless bras to wear with bandeau tops
You might not wear a strapless bra that often, but when you do you need one that fits you just right. A strapless bra that doesn’t fall down, but equally isn’t so tight you struggle to breathe whenever you wear it.
Try these styles, some with useful multiway options, for a non-slip and comfortable solution.
Wear it with this floral bardot midi dress from River Island:
The best longline bras to wear as a top
Looking for a confidence-boosting bra? Have you thought about a longline style? There are some gorgeous ones to buy that’ll make you feel amazing, in classic black as well as striking bright colours.
You might save yours for special evenings in, or if you’re a fan of wearing fitted blazers on a night out with a flash of bare skin underneath, a luxe longline bra will complement the look.
Wear it with this 4th + Reckless double breasted blazer:
The best silky bras to wear for a special occasion
Bras with a sleek, silky finish are a luxury item for any bra wardrobe. Granted these aren’t for days when you need structure and support, but for weekends and evenings out they feel extra special. Layered subtly underneath a fluffy cardigan or oversized knit (adding clothing with more texture on top), they’ll feel ultra-comfy and look divine too.
Wear it with a sweetheart neck cardigan:
The best lace bras for under a shirt or blouse
No bra wardrobe is complete without a stunning lace bra that makes you feel incredible. Of course, bras like this are best with absolutely nothing on top, but they shouldn’t be kept for simply special occasions either.
Wear underneath any colourful floaty blouse or dress, and you can go about your day with an extra lift of confidence all day long.