Do you own more than one type of bra? Many women don’t and it can actually hold you back style-wise. Let’s chat about the Six Must-Have Bra Styles that every woman needs to have in her wardrobe. As we go through this list I hope it will inspire you to round out your collection so you are ready to look your best every day.
This list is a wonderful reference tool if you are looking to build your bra wardrobe or perhaps refresh your lingerie (bras do wear out after all).
Here at HerRoom, I offer gorgeous bras in every style on this list (plus many others you might enjoy!). Let’s walk through the bras I recommended most.
The Seamless Bra
First on my list of Must Have Bra Styles is The Seamless Bra. This is an essential bra style that every woman should have in her fashion arsenal to wear every day.
What is a Seamless Bra?
Most commonly this is either a t-shirt or contour cup bra where the cups have been molded into a permanent shape and fit. This bra can give a smooth and almost transparent look under clothing. They are particularly suitable under revealing and tight-fitting tops.
Another benefit of a seamless bra is that it can be a little stretchy in the cups. Making this, a great solution for women who are slightly uneven because both cups will fit.
If you are looking for modesty and full-coverage, look for a t-shirt style bra.
Full-figured tip: It is important to note that this bra does not provide the most uplift in larger cup sizes. Larger cups really get the best uplift with seams in the cups (see our selection of Seamed bras below). If you do choose to wear a seamed bra but want that seamless look, a solution would be to wear a camisole over your seamed bra – this eliminates the look of seams under clothing. And, manufacturers have done a great job in recent years to get seams to lie really flat so that they do not show under blouses, and even t-shirts as long as they are not too thin.
Benefits of a Seamless Bra:
Coverage: Varies. If it is a t-shirt style with a thin layer of foam, the coverage will be excellent. Without the foam, the coverage will be minimal.
Fullness: Provides a smooth look without adding fullness to your cup size.
Support: Maximum support, excellent for all breast sizes.
Wear It With: T-shirts, fitted tops, anytime you want a smooth, seamless look.
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The Strapless Bra
Next on my list of Must Have Bra Styles is The Strapless Bra. The ultimate in bare-shouldered beauty for day or night.
What is a Strapless Bra?
An underwire bra with wide sides, no straps or removable straps, and a hook back. Many times silicone is glued to the upper and lower edges of the bra to keep it secure on the body. Mostly worn with strapless tops, evening gowns or with tops where a normal bra would show.
Important Note About Sizing: A strapless bra is actually the ultimate test to see if you are in the right bra size. Since they can’t cheat by holding you up with straps. If you feel you need to change your size for a strapless bra, chances are your strapless bra size is actually your truer bra size. The old wives tale that you need to change your bra size for a strapless is simply that because manufacturers design strapless bras to fit women in their true bra size.
Full-figured tip: Full figure women should consider a strapless corset or longline bra.
Quick note about clear straps: I recommend you avoid clear straps to aid in support. These straps try to be invisible but often they catch the light in an odd shiny way and can detract from your outfit. Because of that, I’m not a fan. Get the right bra size instead. I also wear my strapless a lot in the summer when I have a top with cut-away armholes or lots of straps. It’s much easier than constantly checking to see if your straps have stayed in place. And again, a well fitting strapless is comfortable and you forget you are wearing it.
Benefits of a Strapless Bra:
Coverage: Full coverage is typical but there are varieties with less.
Fullness: Some styles will offer additional padding while many work to support without adding fullness.
Support: Medium level support.
Wear It With: Strapless bras used to be reserved for fancy evening gowns but today women wear them day or night whenever they want to show off their shoulders or avoid bra straps being seen.
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The Seamed Bra
Third on my list of Must Have Bra Styles is The Seamed Bra. The beauty of the seamed bra is in the structure and shape that it provides. The seam details are what provide unparalleled uplift to your bust making this particularly ideal for larger cup sizes.
What is a Seamed Bra?
Any bra that has seams running through the cup. A seamed bra tends to give more support than a seamless bra because seams determine the cup’s exact shape and size. There are many combinations of seams and the best support is the one with a vertical center seam. You can learn more about this bra structure here.
A seamed bra is essential for women endowed with a D cup or larger.
While the seams will show, today this is less of a problem thanks to manufacturing that is creating more low-profile seams. Note that European women like seams showing – proof that they are wearing an expensive and high-quality bra. It’s a pride thing.
Benefits of a Seamed Bra:
Coverage: This will vary depending on the fabrics used.
Fullness: These typically do not have padding to add to the fullness of your cup size, instead focuses on giving lift and structure to your breast.
Support: Maximum support, excellent for all breast sizes, especially D-cup and larger.
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The Convertible Bra
Fourth on my list of Must Have Bra Styles is The Convertible Bra. Versatility is the hallmark of this bra, as it can transform to allow you to hide your bra straps while still getting the support you need. Because of this, convertible bras are the perfect choice to pack on a trip – one bra can work under many fashion styles.
What is a Convertible Bra?
A convertible bra has straps which can be worn in up to six different configurations: conventional, halter, one-shoulder, off-the-shoulder, crisscrossed, and strapless. Some convertible bras have straps that are attached to the cups. Note: convertible bras with straps connected directly to cups cannot be worn in all six configurations.
We make it easy for you to see the possibilities when shopping for convertible bras on HerRoom.com. We give you specific details about the various options and possible configurations possible for each convertible bra we sell.
Benefits of a Convertible Bra:
Coverage: Most offer full coverage.
Fullness: There are options with and without padding.
Support: This bra is very similar to a strapless bra, so support levels will vary.
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The Comfort Bra
Fifth on my list of Must Have Bra Styles is The Comfort Bra or a Bralette. A necessity for those times when you just want something simple to relax in.
These types of bras may not give a lot of uplift and high support, but when you want to unwind at the end of the day or lounge on the weekend, a comfort bra is what you want.
What is a Comfort Bra or Bralette?
A bralette is generally a less structured bra that comes in t-shirt sizing (S, M, L, XL, etc) rather than bra sizing.
Bralettes are the less structured bras you turn to for weekends and sleep/leisure wear. If you’re relaxing and just want to be comfortable, a bralette can be the perfect answer. They can be see-through, sexy stretch lace in vibrant colors, or unembellished.
Shelf bras are common, with linings that feature pockets to insert light removable padding. These bralettes provide modesty as well as shape, with covered elastic underbands to stabilize support. Racerbacks are popular, in both lacy and sporty looks.
Open cups and peek-a-boo slits add a racy look
Full-figured tip: In addition to wearing these when lounging during the day, many women with larger cup sizes find these to be wonderful bras for sleeping in as well.
Benefits of a Comfort Bra or Bralette:
Coverage: Varies. Typically coverage is minimal although some styles are available with light removable padding for modesty.
Support: These bras offer the lightest level of support.
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The Minimizer Bra
Last on my list of Must Have Bra Styles is The Minimizer Bra. Perfect if you are looking to make your bust appear smaller.
What is a Minimizer Bra?
A minimizer bra gives the appearance of reducing the projection of the wearer’s breasts. This allows you to more easily wear front-button shirts and blouses without gaping.
A minimizer bra works by designing a cup that distributes the breast flesh. It widens the base of your breast and thus reduces a breast’s height – think hill vs. mountain. It’s important to note that a minimizer only shifts the mass in areas other than directly in front. No bra can actually reduce breast size.
Also, a minimizer is the one bra style where it is not necessary that the center panel rest on your sternum – there can be some distance.
Important Note About Sizing: A minimizer bra may reduce your bust line by as much as one and a quarter inches but it is critical that you buy this bra in your normal bra size. Going down a size will not give you greater minimizing benefits.
Benefits of a Minimizer Bra:
Coverage: Full coverage is available.
Fullness: None, this bra is all about reduction.
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Quite a list, isn’t it? Did you pick up any new tips or even discover one or two that you want to add to your lingerie wardrobe?
While this list only covers 6 essential bras, I actually have a few more to recommend. Watch the video below to see my complete list of essential bras and why I consider them to be so important to help you look and feel your best in your bra.
Find a better fit,
LEARN MORE ABOUT BRA STYLES