Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The Complete Bra Wardrobe: Bras You Need In Your Wardrobe

by Cristina

A few years ago now I did a post about being properly bra fitted. This was a really great experience and I highly recommend you at some point get fitted properly for your correct bra size. I went in thinking I was a 36 B with bra straps that were constantly slipping off my shoulders, to finding out I’m a 34DD. It’s important that you get fitted somewhere that has expert bra fitters like a small independent boutique store, or Nordstrom where they are trained on many brands. Alternatively, you can measure yourself using this guide. A proper bra fitter will also be able to tell you the ideal bra style you need for your breast shape. I would stay away from being fitted at a big box store that carries only their own brand and uses vanity or limited sizing. Ever since finding my correct bra size, and ideal style, I love wearing bras and really detest wearing my sports bras. I just don’t find my sports bras as comfortable as my bras.  As part 2 of my bra fitting post, I’ve come up with this guide of Bras You Need In Your Wardrobe. You won’t need these all at once, but over time you will probably want to accumulate different styles for different occasions. Here are my style picks:

The Bras You Need In Your Wardrobe

Bras You Need In Your Wardrobe

Chantelle Rive Gauche Tee Shirt Bra

Chantelle Tee Shirt Bra, Bras You Need In Your Wardrobe

The Tee Shirt Bra

Version 1 – The cute tee shirt bra with pretty details

My all-time favorite bra is this bra by Chantelle. This particular one at the top in multiple colors is an old season. Every year Chantelle does a new version of this bra with a demi cup and some lace detail. I got my last one at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale last year and I’m going to look out for more at this years Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I really love the lace detailing and the contrasting stitch on the straps. If I’m wearing a tee shirt or tank that will peep a tiny bit of bra, this is the one I grab for it’s details.

Wacoal Finesse Molded Underwire T-Shirt Bra

Version 2 – The utility tee shirt bra

This is another bra I love. I find this one the most comfortable and most supportive and the workhorse in my bra wardrobe. If I’m wearing a tee shirt that doesn’t show any part of the bra (no low scoop or deep v) then I will choose this one over the pretty detailed tee shirt bra. I find both styles of bras comfortable but this one is wider in the straps and a snugger fit. This is the bra you want if you are working a 12 hour day. I like the Wacoal brand a lot and if you are a larger bust size, you should check them out.

Chantelle Babylon Underwire Push-Up Bra

Push-Up Bra

This is bra you would pick when you are wearing a dressy blouse or dress with a low neckline and you want something a little sexy that gives you cleavage, yet is still comfortable. This is a comfortable enough bra, but not a 12 hour day at work bra. I found this bra on sale and had been eying it for a long long time. I really love the banded detailing across the bottom but when I first saw it, I didn’t think this was a style I needed. Turns out I definitely do. My breast shape doesn’t necessarily create a lot of cleavage despite being a DD, so when I wear something that calls for at least a bit of definition in that area, this is the bra I pick.

Natori Feathers Front-Close Racerback Bra Natori Feathers Front Close Bra

Racerback Bra

This is a bra that I don’t need to wear very often, and it’s not one of my favorites. I have friends that swear by this bra though and love it and collect them. It’s actually one of the yearly cult purchase for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Sometimes you need a racerback bra that you can wear with your Cool Racerbacks, or Racerback dresses that’s still bra shaped with molded cups and not a uniboob creating sports bra. For this reason, I like having this bra but I’ve really not worn my Cool Racerbacks casually in a long time.

Chantelle Intimates Opera Demi Bra

Underwire Bra With Lace Cups (Unmolded)

I had no idea that an unmolded bra could be supportive. Because I was always buying the wrong size bra, I just assumed I couldn’t properly fill a bra like this out. I ALWAYS looked for molded cups when bra shopping as I thought that was what I needed for shape.  Molded cups in a wrong sized bra that would sit on top of my breasts, with the bra straps falling off my shoulders and the bra lifting up at the bottom – what a great shape! It’s funny because my mom and aunts only ever wear unmolded lace bras like this one but I just thought it was because they had larger breasts than I did and they were lucky and got to wear pretty bras. Unmolded cups actually have really well-engineered seam details up the middle, and across the top that creates shape and support along with the gore in the center, and the band and underwire. You don’t need molded cups for shape and support at all! Once I found my correct size, I discovered that this bra is actually really perfect. I love wearing this bra when it’s very hot out in the summer. There is a big difference in how hot a padded or molded cup bra is with a lace unmolded bra. This is perfect for just about any outfit.

Wacoal Embrace Lace Wireless Bra

Wireless Lace Bra

I picked this bra up very recently at Winners (Like Marshall’s in the US).  A wireless lace bra is tricky if you have a larger cup size because they do not provide support in seam details, wire or banding. Typically it’s sized small, medium and large and doesn’t come in cup sizes but occasionally you can find ones like this one which has a bit of structure and cup sizes. This is very much a comfort bra. What I liked about this one is that it actually has some boning at the sides of the bust so that creates a bit of shape, but I still don’t love this bra for wearing out. This is strictly my at home bra when I want to wear something but remain comfortable. A door answering bra.

Wacoal Red Carpet Convertible Strapless Bra

The Strapless Bra

This is the bra you wear with dresses or blouses that have difficult necklines. This has become even more essential over the past few years with the cold shoulder and off the shoulder blouse trend.  If you have a strapless dress, a strappy dress, or a cold shoulder or off the shoulder blouse, you need to invest in a good strapless bra. Going braless is also an option if you feel comfortable with it but I don’t. For me it’s a combination of liking the support and lift, and having a dress fit a certain way. This strapless bra is really great because it actually comes with detachable straps that you can wear multiple ways, and it has a silicone grip along the cups so the cup stays in place. This brand also has strapless bras in a multitude of sizes. I found I had to size up in this one in cup size because for some reason, strapless bras cut my boob off in the armpit.

Buy My Favourite Bras Here
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All The Places I Shop For Bras (I constantly look at their sales sections!)
Journelle, Nancy Meyer, Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, Saks Fifth Avenue, Anthropologie,

Bra Storage

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Anne June 23, 2018 - 7:17 pm

Thanks for the post. I am guilty of wearing sports bras all the time because I love how comfy they are. I actually shop for tops that will work with my sports bras. ?
Perhaps I need to reconsider the whole bra situation.

Cristina June 23, 2018 - 7:20 pm

You are very welcome! Absolutely you need to get fitted and try on some different bras! After having kids, I always wore sports bras because it was easiest and fuss-free. It was so hard with size fluctuations, post-nursing breasts and wrong assumptions about my size.

Megan Zernicke June 24, 2018 - 3:38 am

Love this Christina! Post nursing 3 babies I definitely need a proper fitting. It’s strange to have DD breasts without the volume at the top, so they seem smaller than they really are.

Cristina June 24, 2018 - 9:16 am

Yes that’s exactly how mine are.

Runner 18 June 24, 2018 - 1:51 pm

Hi Christina! I love all your posts. I’ve been following you for a few years and I thoroughly love what you have to say! Which Wacoal utility bra is the one you have pictured? By the way, Im going to be in NYC next week and am staying at the Hilton Midtown! Keep up the great work!

Cristina June 24, 2018 - 3:22 pm

Thank you so much!!!
This is the bra – https://rstyle.me/n/c57bdsbhjk7

Anonymous June 24, 2018 - 3:52 pm

That’s great! Is Wacoal sizing the same as Victoria Secret?

Cristina June 24, 2018 - 4:16 pm

I don’t believe it is but I haven’t tried on VS in a long time. I believe I’ve read that VS has different sizing to fit a narrower size range. I would use the reddit link I posted above to double check your sizing. When I got fitted, the first bra I purchased was the Wacoal so it’s consistent with the reddit sizing instructions.

Anonymous June 25, 2018 - 5:10 am

Is the Chantelle Presage bra see through? Always a challenge to find a pretty unmoulded bra that doesn’t reveal too much.

Cristina June 25, 2018 - 7:08 am

It’s not completely opaque. They have other soft cup lace styles that are fully opaque. This one is fine unless you are wearing a really sheer white shirt over top.

Anonymous June 25, 2018 - 10:40 am

Thank you! Bra shopping to me is worse than jeans shopping. I’ve learned so much from your original bra fitting post and also this one!

buggie June 27, 2018 - 7:53 am

ugh. i have to say i did that reddit link sizing last time you posted about it and despite wearing a 34A for years, it informed me that i was a 28/30DD. HA! so just for kicks i ordered one of the ones you love from nordstrom (Can’t remember which one), and it was just ridiculous. the band was so tight and while i was impressed that i did fill out the cup and i suppose it was “supportive,” i HATED it. it was like if i made cups with my hands and lifted and squeezed as hard as i could from underneath both breasts. supportive, yes. pushed up, yes. comfortable, god no.

maybe i just can’t handle normal “lady things.” LOL. i wear coobie bras every day and have actually converted many many friends and family to them 🙂 once you go coobie you never go back (although they aren’t good for much larger bust sizes or band sizes since they are one size fits all).

still love these posts of yours though – i adore your blog!!!

Cristina June 27, 2018 - 9:36 am

That’s so funny about the bra fitting being accurate and so different from what you expected. Yes, I think if you don’t love the feeling of a conventional bra, you will never get used to it even if it’s correctly sized. Thanks for the recommendation on the coobie bra. I am not familiar with it but have heard the brand name before. I know it will be perfect for some readers that prefer a sports bra/no bra/bralette style.

Thank you so much for the blog love! It means the world to me!


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