Just like shoes, the sky is the limit when it comes to your undergarments. You really should own more than a pair or two. There are bra styles out there that will work perfectly for your shape and your outfit. You don’t have to wear the same bra under every dress, shirt, trench coat or blouse. Shake it up.
Different bras serve different purposes, what with all the colors, cuts and fits meant to highlight different features. This makes a lingerie wardrobe an essential for any woman. Too many times we overlook the importance of great fitting underwear and focus on what goes on top.
After learning your breast size, breast shape and understanding sizing systems – you need to know where to start with your purchases. It’s important to have a bra for every day of the week, not just for hygiene purposes but because bras need at least a day of rest between wears. If worn too often the latex will lose its elasticity from continual stretch and body heat.
Stock your lingerie drawer with different cuts, fits, fabrics and color choices. The following bras will serve as a great foundation to the lingerie wardrobe you are planning to build. Think of each of your basics in threes as you make the purchases – as you wear one, another is in the wash and another is in the drawer ready for the next use! It should be your brantra (bra mantra): “shop in threes.” Another is “shop in coordinates.” Wearing matching underwear says you’re a grown woman.
Some Bra Styles
- Full Cup Bra
It completely covers the breasts and is the bra of choice for many full busted women who want great support and extra coverage.
- Balconettes and ‘Half cup’ Bra
A personal favorite, this bra is sexy and flattering for many breast shapes. The cups are low, exposing the top of the breasts which is very handy when you wear a low cut, scoop, sweetheart or square neckline and prefer your bra to remain discreet. It offers great support and a beautiful rounded shape without bringing up the breasts too high.
- Contour/ Moulded Bra
Also known as a T-shirt bra, its seamless design offers a smooth silhouette when wearing a T-shirt or other fine material. The cups are lightly padded to stop the shape of your nipples showing through – I call that being bullet-proof. If you’re regularly in the mood for t-shirts, sheer blouses and other thin fabrics, this is the bra for you should stock.
- Plunge Bra
Aptly termed, this bra is cut much lower at the centre. It is perfect for plunging necklines – providing great support while showing off more revealing cleavage.
- Multiway and Strapless Bra
An absolute must-have, this bra supports your breasts without showing any straps, thanks in part to the miracle of silicone stitching. A strapless bra often comes with detachable straps to quickly converting it to a halter, racer-back, one-shoulder, strapless or a zillion other styles when the need arises.
- Soft Cup Bra
With no underwire, this bra provides great support and is really comfortable. I usually wear it when traveling or doing chores around the house.
- Push up Bra
This bra is ideal for those who have smaller cup sizes (usually C cups or smaller) and want a little extra help to maximize their cleavage. Designed to lift the breasts, the push-up has additional padding at the bottom of the cup which slims your silhouette by raising your chest and lengthening your waist.
- Minimizer Bra
Small busts have the push up, full busts have the minimizer. This bra is a type of full cup bra which redistributes the breast tissue, making larger breasts appear smaller. Depending on your size a minimizer bra could reduce your bust measurement by an inch or two while providing great coverage and support. If the buttons on your blouse are stretching and about to pop, reach for the minimizer bra.
- Sports Bra
A supportive sports bra is an absolute essential no matter your workout intensity. Breasts are supported by the non-elastic Cooper’s ligaments, a series of connective tissues which maintain your breast’s lift and shape over time. Frequent breast bounce can break down these ligaments and cause your breasts to permanently sag if not supported. Wearing a sports bra will help prevent damage to the breast tissue. Companies usually categorize their sports-bra line by the level of impact and exercise intensity i.e. low, medium and high impact. If you participate in various sporty activities, you may need several different sports bras.
I’d advise purchasing a sports bra with fuller coverage design and moisture-wicking fabric to pull sweat from your body and prevent chafing or rashes.
Disclaimer: The links I have included are not meant to recommend a particular brand but show the mentioned bra style.