Make sure your lingerie drawer has at least one of each of these types of multi-tasking bras—no matter what life throws at you, at least you’ll have plenty of support.
Just the thought of going hunting for a well-fitting bra may be enough to scare you away from the lingerie store—and a helpful fitting you probably need. But don’t give up on bra shopping altogether.
Instead, bra expert Kimmay Caldwell (she’s been fitting women for 13-plus years) suggests looking at bras as helpful tools—they do support the important part of your body sitting right above the heart, after all. And if you currently have bras in your wardrobe that clearly aren’t working, Caldwell says it’s okay to start fresh—or do a bra purge—so you can curate the undergarments that best support your unique wardrobe.
If you aren’t exactly sure what starting fresh looks like, Caldwell advises keeping three to five basic bras on hand that will work with 70 percent of your wardrobe. Investing in Caldwell’s recommended five bra staples can give your intimates drawer a good fine-tuning—and give you a starting place for building the rest of your super supportive bra collection.
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A T-Shirt or Minimizing Piece
Caldwell says this a great style to start with: A basic T-shirt or minimizer bra (smooth or molded) is anything that can be worn underneath any shade of clothing invisibly. “Usually this means selecting a color that matches your skin tone,” she says.
For a handy T-shirt bra you can wear under sweaters, tanks, and tees alike, try adding the Blush Micro Contour bra to your intimates drawer, as it features supportive underwire, a seamless molded pad, and three-way adjustable straps.
To buy: $38; blushlingerie.com.
A Strapless or Convertible Bra
“There really are some awesome double-duty strapless and convertible bras available,” Caldwell says. Convertible bras, in particular, have great versatility, she says, as you can wear them with a racerback tank or criss-cross the straps together so you can finally wear that halter top that’s been hiding in the back of your closet.
Strapless bras are also great, she adds, as they can do all those things your convertible bra can while remaining completely strap-free. And although Caldwell recommends selecting a strapless bra in a neutral color in order to match your skin tone, she advises not being afraid to experiment with color when it comes to convertible-style bras.
The Felina Marvelous Strapless Contour Bra is a strapless style that won’t let you down, as it features smoothing cups and a flexible under-bust band for the best fit possible.
To buy: $45; felina.com.
A Sports Bra
“Breast tissue is really delicate, so you want to make sure you are protecting your bust,” Caldwell says. Depending your exercise intensity, she recommends having different sports bras you can wear specifically for various sports and athletics. They can have underwire and a smooth cup, she says, as long as they are supporting your breasts properly.
For a good sports bra that can withstand all kinds of physical activity, try one like the Bally Strappy Back Sports Bra, with removable cups and a criss-cross back for extra support.
To buy: From $5; burlington.com.
Caldwell recommends bralettes for lighter activities such as traveling, sleeping, and even for wear around the house, as they’re basically bras, just without all the underwire.
The Tobi Tessa Black Bralette is an everyday black lace bralette that has adjustable straps, a back hook, and an eye closure—everything you need for low-maintenance support.
To buy: $16; tobi.com.
A Wow-Factor Bra
This style should feel like your power bra whenever you put it on, Caldwell says. For some people that means a black lace bra, and for others, it could be a smooth cup in a polka-dot print. No matter what style you choose, Caldwell says you’ll want a piece that is close to your body and makes you feel nothing short of amazing.
The gorgeous Le Mystere Safari Smoother Leopard-Print Lace Bra is a perfect example of a wow-factor bra, as it gives you unbeatable support (thanks to full coverage underwire support) paired with a sexy lace print.
To buy: $68; dillards.com.