The Six Types Of Bra You Need In Your Life

bra, bralette, types of bra you need

by Lara Williams |
Published on

After wandering around the V&A Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear exhibition, it’s safe to say we now have underwear on the brain.

While we’ve moved away from corsets and petticoats (thank god) to simpler garments, the underwear section of your local department store can be a confusing maze of Spanx and lace. But love ‘em or hate ‘em, most of us wouldn’t (or couldn’t) do without one, so we’ve rounded up the only bras you need in your wardrobe. Start taking notes...

The Nude Bra

There are some days when a subtle flash of your best bra under a sheer shirt or lacy top is desirable, and there are days when really don’t want anyone to see what you’re wearing underneath. When you’re opting for the latter, nude bras are your best friends. Better than a white bra for blending in, even under a white t-shirt, the trick is to get one in your nude, not someone else’s. For dark skin tones, try Nubian bras – they have a great range redefining the idea of bare skin tones.

We Like: Nubain Skin, Classic Lace Push-up Bra in Berry, £39

Wacoal, Embrace Lace Jersey Contour Bra in Naturally Nude, £43

The T-Shirt Bra

When you’re wearing clingy tops and t-shirts, lacy bumps and awkward seaming can quickly turn into the upper-torso equivalent of VPL. This is where you reach for your t-shirt bra - thin, contoured foam cups give a nice shape underneath your clothes and keep your clothes looking smoot. They come in all shapes and colours, from contour to push-up, full cup to demi cup, so experiment with what works best for your shape.

We like: Calvin Klein, Perfectly Fit T-shirt Bra in Entice, £43

Stella McCartney, Annalise Flirting Printed Georgette Contour Bra, £65

The Strapless/Convertible Bra

Evening dresses, sun-dresses, on-trend Bardot-style tops – these all prevent you from breezily shoving on your day-to-day bra. And while some of you can forgo a bra altogether, or at least make do with some tit-tape, those of us who are well-endowed (or a little shy) need some support. Step forward the strapless or convertible bra. Simply think about the clothes that’ll require special bra treatment and pick the bra that works underneath.

We like: Fashion Forms, Go Bare Backless Strapless Bra in Black, £25

Stella McCartney, Kate Kissing Lace-trimmed Silk Strapless Bra, £85

The Makes-You-Fee-Sexy-AF Bra

Sometimes it’s not our clothes that make us feel amazing, but what lies beneath and there is nothing more confidence boosting than some incredible lingerie. Whether it’s a glamorous push-up, a sultry lace number or a pretty floral print, the only rule is that it should make you feel amazing. P.S. While you’re at it, you might as well make it a matching set.

We like: Agent Provocateur, Brianna Embroidered Tulle and Satin Bra, £110

Hanky Panky, Lace Soft Cup Bra, £75

The Sports Bra

Anyone with a sizeable bust who’s tried running up the stairs knows how impossible it is to exercise without first making sure your boobs are well and truly strapped down. But no matter your breast size, wearing a well-fitting sports bra for your workout is vital. Why? Prepare yourself for a biology lesson. Big or small, we all have ‘Coopers Ligaments’, which are basically the sections of connective tissue that keeps our boobs looking perky. They can get stretched and damaged during exercise, and once they’re gone – there’s no going backPrevent the sag with a well-fitting and, most importantly, comfortable sports bra. There are loads of types offering different levels of support depending on what you and your boobs need so shop around and find your best fit.

We Like: Nike, Pro Hypercool Classic Limitless Stretch Jersey Sports Bra, £40

Panache, Moulded Sports Bra in Black Animal, £40

The Non-Wired Bra

There are times in our lives where all we want is some comfort, and if you’ve ever experienced the joy of getting home from work and ripping off your bra, you’ll know that underwired bras aren’t necessarily the most comfortable thing to wear all day, every day. Non-wired bras aren’t as supportive, but they’re a brilliant option to change into in the evening or for slobbing around in on a lazy Sunday. Plus if you’re pregnant, nursing or recovering from surgery – a non-wired bra is a must.

We like: Love Stories, Nightrider embroidered bralette, £50

Calvin Klein, Modern Cotton Bralette in Poise, £30

Bonus Bra Tips:

Bras are an expensive piece of kit so, when it comes to washing them, it’s kind of important to look after them the best you can. The best way to wash them is by hand in some gentle detergent, but yes, that’s hardly convenient.

If you don’t have the time or patience to stand scrubbing bras in the kitchen sink and insist on sticking them in the washing machine, at least do them the favour of putting in an old pillowcase to stop the wires skewering anything close by and hold the fabric softener.

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