There are so many different kinds of bras – wired bras, non-wired bras, full cup, half cup, balcony, seamless, plunge, bralette etc – which one is right for you? Well, the answer is there is no one single bra that you should be wearing because most of us have a need for a range of types of bra for different purposes. This can be determined by the clothes we’re wearing, the mood we’re in, the activities we’re participating in and even the time of the month. Just as you may have a capsule wardrobe, it is necessary to have a capsule bra collection: a ‘toolkit’ of bras that means you always have the right bra for whatever you’re doing, whatever you’re wearing and however you feel.
Here is what we think belongs in every woman’s capsule bra collection:
1. Neutral Bra
A neutral coloured bra such as white or nude is great for wearing under light coloured clothing if you don’t want it to be seen. The Fantasie Serene bra is a great example; available in nude or white (shown here in nude) it is a very simple design with little embellishment so you won’t get patterns showing through or bows bulging. See our full range of white and nude bras. It’s worth having a few of these in your collection as they’re great every day bras.
2. Black Bra
Black is the most popular bra colour in the UK by quite a long way. Why? Possibly because most women like to wear dark clothing so naturally opt for black bras to go with. Black is seen as a slimming colour and also a sexy colour so no wonder it remains so popular. We’d suggest including a selection of black bras in your collection to save you having to wash them out every couple of days (see our bra washing guide here!). And because black or dark clothes are less inclined to show your bra, you can get away with a bit more ‘fancy’ on them without necessarily showing it through your clothes. We love this Daisie plunge bra from Curvy Kate but we have lots of black bras for you to choose from.
3. Seamless or T Shirt Bra
A seamless bra is great for under sheer fabrics, light fabrics, close fitting clothes and stretchy material. They offer a smooth line with no seams, no lace, no detailing to show through and take the attention from your clothes. They can still be pretty though as this Wacoal Awareness seamless bra shows. See all seamless and T shirt bras.
4. Multiway/Strapless Bra
A lot of clothing, especially summer clothes, has neck and sleeve lines that mean a standard bra would show. Strapless tops and dresses and racer back designs being the most common. Showing your bra strap isn’t necessarily a faux pas but if you would rather not and going bra-less is not an option then a strapless or multiway bra is what you need. A multiway bra is probably your most flexible option as it can be configured to accommodate a number of formations and if you’ve always been doubtful that strapless bras will give you the support you need then be reassured that modern strapless bras are much more technologically advanced than they used to be and the right one will keep you firmly in place! This Curvy Kate Luxe bra offers great support up to a HH cup and can be worn strapless, halterneck, racerback as well as standard strap. See all multiway bras on the site.
5. Pretty Bra
This is more for your soul and self-confidence than your outfit but a pretty bra or a strong splash of colour (with matching knickers of course!) can really give you a boost. Whether you intend for it to be seen through your clothes (a glimpse of an embroidered strap for example) or just to know that you have something lovely on under your clothes, every woman deserves something pretty and feminine. These days you don’t have to compromise support for loveliness as there is lots of choice of pretty bras in all sizes. We love this Elomi Lottie plunge bra for its printed petal pattern and lace detailing.
6. Cropped Top/Bralette
Some days we just need some comfort don’t we. Obviously it depends on the size of your bust and how much support you need but a bralette or cropped top can feel quite liberating while still giving some support so you’re not swinging too freely! This Lace Kiss bralette from B.Tempt’d is super pretty and available in a range of colours. See all bralettes
7. Full Cup Bra
While the bralette is great for those days when you just want comfort, there are times of the month when we need more support than usual. Menstruation has a big impact on our breasts and on around day 15 of our cycle they tend to be at their largest as this is the time when progesterone peaks. They can also be quite sore. This is the time when you need plenty of support and a good fit. A full cup bra will not only give that support but will prevent ‘overspill’ on the cups! It’s a good idea to check for sizing around this time of the month so that you know that it will fit well when you really need it. This Fantasie Grace bra has full cup support and nice wide straps to distribute the weight. It’s also still a really pretty bra. See all our full cup bras.
8. Plunge Bra
They say if you’ve got it, flaunt it and giving your boobs a lift usually gives ourselves a lift. A plunge bra will not only give you a better cleavage, it will lift your boobs higher creating greater definition between your breast and your torso which will give you a better silhouette and make you look slimmer. Most clothes are made to this hourglass body shape so they will also usually have a better fit. Plunge bras are also shorter between the cups, allowing you to make the most of those daring necklines! The Lepel Fiore padded plunge bra will give you the ultimate cleavage! See all plunge bras.
9. Sports Bra
OK, so perhaps this isn’t something that we all need but if you are taking part in any kind of physical exercise whether it be jogging, Zumba or even just power walking, you really do need to wear a sports bra. Did you know that your boobs bounce up to 14cm away from your chest during exercise? That’s a lot of shock to absorb! Sports bras have different technology to regular bras but they’re not the ugly old things they used to be; just check out this Electrify sports bra from Berlei. See all sports bras.
10. Bedroom Bra
And last but not least, there is the bedroom bra – the sexy bra that’s never really intended to be worn with clothes or possibly for very long – you know what we mean ;-). Scantilly by Curvy Kate has a great range, including this Vamp balcony bra. Take a peek at all our seductive bras (without blushing!).
So, that’s 10 different types of bra that we recommend you have. Of course that doesn’t mean you will need to have at least 10 bras: your everyday nude bra might also be seamless; your pretty bra may also be a plunge bra; and your multiway bra may also be black. That said, the average woman in the UK owns 9 bras so it’s not so far out. If you make sure that you have this kind of range in your underwear drawer you’ll never be stuck for the right bra to wear.
(But don’t forget the matching knickers!).