Welcome to 2018! Let’s start the new year off thinking about refreshing your lingerie drawer and how it can help you achieve your resolutions. I am a firm believer in an expansive bra collection for different applications, therefore I have compiled my list for the top bra styles that every woman should own.
The key to success is fit. If it has been over a year since you have shopped for a bra, I recommend re-measuring yourself to make sure you’re wearing the correct size. To expand upon your perfect fit, take your breast attributes into consideration. At HerRoom, I created the Know Your Breasts (KYB) Quiz to help women learn what features they should look for in a bra that are specific to their unique breast attributes. The bra suggestions at the end of the KYB Quiz are very carefully chosen from extensive research based upon your answers.
Let’s meet the styles I know you’ll use, all year long:
Everyday Underwire Bra
Underwire bras optimize your bust line while remaining comfortable and well-fitting. The support comes directly from the underwire itself. You need an underwire bra to look your best. Your breasts will be in the right place and will remain properly supported all at once in your everyday underwire bra. To keep these bras in good shape, you’ll need three or more. You should not wear the same bra everyday. If you do so, your bra will lose its shape quicker. After you wear a bra all day, you need to set it aside for about 48 hours to allow it to return to it's original shape. Wearing the same bra day after day puts a lot of stress on the bra and doesn't allow it to spring back. Therefore owning three at one time, that you love equally, will allow you to wear one, as one is left unworn and the third can be washed throughout the week.
Shown Above: Wacoal Amazing Assets Contour Underwire Bra [available in band sizes 32-38 and cups up to a DDD(D3)] and the Goddess Keira Banded Underwire Bra [available in band sizes 34-46 and cups up to an N (D11)]
The need to own a t-shirt bra, otherwise known as a contour cup bra, comes from the seamless foam cups that give your breasts a flattering pre-defined rounded shape under form fitting clothing. Your t-shirt bra can be one of your three underwire bras, if you choose this to be a style you’re in need of on a daily basis. The different foam types within t-shirt bras found on the market today are memory foam, firm foam and spacer foam. Memory foam gives a custom fit to the breast, which is best for uneven breast tissue. Firm foam is most supportive and spacer foam is special because it breathes and keeps you cool.
Shown Above: Freya Idol Underwire T-Shirt Bra [available in band sizes 28-38 and cups up to an H(D8)] and the Maidenform Comfort Devotion Embellished Demi Bra [available in band sizes 28-38 and cup sizes up to a GG(D7)]
For every type of exercise activity there is an associated impact level, and for every impact level there is a bra you should own to minimize painful breast bounce. For more detailed information on impact level, read HerRoom’s newest blog on finding your best sports bra here. The categories of sports bra breast containment are encapsulation and compression. It is these two factors that create the right sports bra for you. Compression refers to the bras that hold your breast tissue tightly against your rib cage and encapsulation refers to those bras that hold each breast separately within its own cup. The best sports bras combine the two to create better support and shape. Many women larger than a D(D1) cup often ask which sports bra type is best for them, and the answer is: a bra with the encapsulation and compression combination. This is because the volume of larger and fuller breasts require much more support, and those bras offering the combination can provide the most comfort and minimize bounce during an intense workout.
Shown above: Panache Full-Busted Underwire Sports Bra [available in band sizes 28-40 and cups up to a J(D10)]. Brooks Moving Comfort Fiona Medium Impact Sports Bra [available in band sizes 30-44 and cups up to a DD(D2)]. Beyond Yoga Spacedye Strappy Hour Sports Bra [available in sizes S-XL].
Every woman should own a plunge bra to allow her to wear lower cut tops with confidence and comfort. Plunge bras provide support and lift, but are not optimal for women with deflated breasts and are best suited for women with fuller breasts. Push-up plunge bras are also great for creating cleavage for an extra boost of confidence. If you are accustomed to wearing lower neck lines, a plunge bra would be a great choice to add to your daily underwire rotation.
Shown above: Elomi Matilda Underwire Plunge Bra [available in band sizes 32-46 and cup up to a JJ(D11)]. Maidenform One Fabulous Fit Demi Underwire Bra [available in band sizes 32-38 and cups up to a DD(D2)].
You should own a comfortable bralette to lounge in around the house. It is important to note that these bras offer moderate comfortable support, therefore are not an option for an everyday underwire bra. Their construction can differ from a sports bra silhouette to more constructed cups with seamed cups and lace. Bralettes or leisure bras are ultimately the favorite among women, due to their high level of comfort. In the last couple of years bralettes have emerged in fashion as decorative wardrobe transformers. See the b.tempt’d by Wacoal AfterHours bralette below for a very youthful example.
Strapless & Convertible Bras
These bras are essential to expanding your wardrobe and meeting the needs of different garments. You should own the right strapless bra for your bust line and lifestyle to accommodate events you may attend throughout the year. On the market today, there are several different types of strapless and convertible bras. Those being: traditional strapless bras, full torso strapless longline bras, waist length longline strapless bras and multiple styles of convertible bras that can change silhouette (all shown below). Consider the event you plan on wearing one of these bras to before purchasing to ensure you buy one that fits your needs. A few features I recommend looking for in any strapless bra as as follows:
Side boning for additional breast support.
Removable push up padding, to help create the cleavage you wish.
A thick band for support and side smoothing.
Consider the cup height for your attire, which you can view exclusively at HerRoom for each bra using the "See it Under" feature.
3 or more hooks are a promising feature for larger cup sizes.
Seamless cups for an invisible look under clothes.
Long underwire for additional breast support.
An additional feature is silicone gripper tape to help gently stop slippage, some bras that offer this are the Prima Donna Satin Strapless Bra and Lise Charmel Eprise Personal Beauty Convertible Strapless Bra.
Shown above: Wacoal The Red Carpet Full-Busted Strapless Bra [available in band sizes 30-42 and cups up to an H(D5). Goddess Adelaide Underwire Strapless Bra [available in band sizes 32-46 and cups up to an L(D5)]. Le Mystere Perfect 10 Way Convertible Bra [available in band sizes 32-38 and cups up to a G(D4)].
Center Pull Strap Bra
Center pull strap bras pull up and in at the strap, giving you more neckline options, like tank tops and v-necks, without putting strain on your trapezius muscle (near the base of your neck and shoulders), unlike traditional racer back bras. Center pull strap bras are a must have because they are the most supportive bras due to their design of the straps attaching directly above the apex, or point of each breast. Below you can see the difference in shape from a center pull strap bra and a t-shirt bra.
Shown Above: Anita Rosa Faia Twin Seamless Comfort Underwire Bra [available in band sizes 30-44 and cups up to an H(D5). Elila Microfiber Underwire Bra [available in band sizes 34-46 and cups up to a K(D8)].
Back and Side Smoothing Bras
Smoothing bras are one of the secrets to everyday confidence, as they help reduce side and back bulge for a more flattering silhouette in tight fitting clothing. These bras feature either tall sides or back panels lined with compression material to help secure you comfortably. The most important keyword to look for when shopping for these bras is: powermesh. Powermesh is a specific type of fabric often used in lingerie, known for its compression capabilities. You can even find powermesh in swimwear, sports bras, leggings and shapewear, so you can hit the beach, gym or the office with smoothing confidence. Other features to look for if you are attracted to this style are higher sides, wider straps, leotard back styling and basically more body coverage. Additionally, any thin features on a bra will increase overall bulging. A smoothing bra can even become one of your daily bras, as many underwire bras have this fantastic feature as well.
Shown above: SPANX Brallelujah! Full Coverage Contour Underwire Bra [available in band sizes 32-38 and cups up to a DD(D2)]. Wacoal Ultimate Side Smoothing Seamless T-Shirt Bra [available in band sizes 30-42 and cups up to a G(D4)]
Seamed Cup Bras
Women with larger bust sizes (over a D cup) should without a doubt own a seamed cup bra. This is because seamed cup bras, also known as multi-part cup bras, will give you your best shape and support. Women with C cup sizes and larger will benefit from a seamed cup bra with support panels or slings – especially if their breasts are pendulous, are large or fall to the sides. In these cases, panels can lift, center and support your breasts for your best silhouette; the seaming in the cups gives the bra strength while remaining bulk-free and expressing a light look on the breasts. These bras were the original bras on the market before molded contour cups came along and are considered the most attractive. Seamed cup bras are a great choice for women of all bust sizes.
Shown above: Fantasie Alex Underwire Bra with Side Support [available in band sizes 30-42 and cups up to a J(D10)]. Prima Donna Madison Full Cup Bra [available in band sizes 32-46 and cup sizes up to an I(D6)]. Glamorise Magic Lift Figure Wireless Support Bra [available in band sizes 36-56 and cups up to a J(D7)].
Feel Special Bras
I feel that it is important for every woman to own a couple of "feel special" bras. It helps shake you out of the boring day-to-day routine and can give a boost of confidence by making you feel especially pretty and attractive. It doesn’t hurt to complete a set with the matching panty and garter belt from time to time. You could even allocate one of your daily underwire bras as a special option for when you’re feeling vivacious or if you need an extra push to take on the day! A couple of options are above, which are the Freya Fancies Underwire Plunge Bra, available in bands 28-38 and cups up to a K(D12), and the Fit Fully Yours Joyce See Thru-Lace Bra, available in band sizes 30-44 and cups up to a J(D7). These two bras are not only functional with supportive underwire and multi-part cups, but also have a gorgeous design to them that is sure to give you that confidence boost you’re in need of some days.
There you have it ladies, my ultimate list of bra styles every woman needs to ensure their best year in lingerie. Leave the old you in 2017 and start new – beginning with new bras and then moving on to bigger and better things! Happy New Year everyone.