The 17 Best Bras for Every Cup Size and Wardrobe Need
Because everyone should have a solid support system.
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via amazon.com (2), via shefit.com, via thelittlebracompany.com
The importance of finding the right bra
Everyone knows the struggle of a poorly fitting bra: the T-shirt bra you can see through a T-shirt, the strapless bra that’s always slipping down, and the supposed everyday basic bra that makes your cups overfloweth in all the wrong ways. To put it simply, bad bras are the bane of our existence. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We spoke to the experts to find the best bras for every body type and occasion. Whether you’re looking for an incredible sports bra, a strapless number, a convertible option, or the perfect wire-free bra, we’ve got you covered—literally. And most importantly, we’ve outlined how to find a bra that fits every time.
What is the best bra to buy?
The best bra is the one that fits you, your outfit, and the occasion. That said, there are a few “best bras”—and they’re all different. Kimmay Caldwell, an undergarment educator and the founder of Hurray Kimmay, recommends having at least five bra styles in your wardrobe: an everyday bra that works with 50 to 70 percent of your outfits, a strapless or convertible bra, a sports bra, a comfy-cozy bra, and a va-va-voom bra that makes you feel like a million bucks.
What is the most comfortable bra for daily wear?
Over the past year, many of us have taken a more casual approach to bras and shapewear—especially if we’ve been working from home. The problem is that it’s easy to go wrong with what you think qualifies as a comfortable bra. “If you get a really stretchy, over-the-head bralette with no support, it’s hard to get a good fit,” says Caldwell. “And fit, even if it’s a casual bra, is actually what leads to comfort and support.” She recommends choosing one with an adjustable band and adjustable straps. One of her favorite bras in this category is Warner’s Easy Does It Bra, which is foam-lined and wire-free.
What is the most flattering bra?
The most flattering bra is the one that fits you best. To get the best fit, there are two important things to consider: the band and the cup. “The band should be snug,” says Caldwell. “It doesn’t have to choke you, but it should hug you so it can stay in place parallel to the floor.” As for the cup, expect the underwire of the bra to fit around each breast. “It should be on your body, not your breast,” explains Caldwell. “And it should tack in between your bust, meaning it should reach your body and hold in place against your chest and not be floating out.”
The two biggest bra mistakes Caldwell sees are bands that are too big and cups that are too small. Ahead, find the best types of bra for every occasion, plus tips for fitting them properly.
Best bra for large busts
Women with fuller busts are all too familiar with the experience of not being able to find a bra that fits or supports them properly. To find a bra you love, it’s important to do your research. “Panache and Freya are great brands,” says Caldwell. “Elomi bras are great for full busts and band sizes, and Elila cups go up to an N.”
For a basic, pretty, and supportive style, try Freya’s Fancies Plunge Balcony Bra, sold in band sizes 28 to 38 and cup sizes C to K. This bra is made with women who have larger busts in mind—so much so that the bra fit will differ depending on your size. The C to G cups have a plunging center with a single-hook back closure, while the GG to K cups have a full-coverage center with an increased hook closure. The bra also has a customizable band and straps so you can get the perfect fit. FYI, these are the signs you need to buy a new bra ASAP.
Best bra for small busts
Smaller busts can also be difficult to fit properly, so you might want to shop for a brand that specializes in petite bras. Caldwell recommends The Little Bra Company, which offers bras in 21 sizes, starting at 28A. The Gina Bra is a stunning wire-free T-shirt bra that you’ll want to live in. It comes in sizes 28A to 34C and is lightly padded to give a bit of shape and cleavage. Read TLBC’s Size Guide to ensure you get the right fit, as the bra is made specifically for petite bodies and could vary from your typical size. Finding the right bra is one of the tips personal stylists swear by.
Best wireless bra
Wireless bras are oh-so-comfy. With no underwire, they’re much less restrictive than wire bras, and there’s no opportunity for an unruly wire to pop out and poke you (the worst). This wardrobe staple is especially good for travel, running errands, and working from home. You wouldn’t think this type of bra could provide as much support as wire bras, but you’d be wrong! This sleek and seamless v-neck bra comes in a pullover style that slims the back and has wide straps that won’t dig. Its support comes from its bonded design and supportive micro-fabric. Plus, it comes in a whopping 10 color options.
Reviewer Debra T. writes, “I’m a DDD/F so usually when I see underwire free bras I LAUGH because yeah right. However, I was very pleasantly surprised to find this totally supported me.” If you’ve ever dreamed about ditching your bras altogether, you’ll want to read about the pros and cons of doing so before taking the plunge, so to speak.
Best T-shirt bra
You don’t want your bra showing through your T-shirt, which is why the T-shirt bra exists. Its silhouette is specifically designed to look seamless and invisible under your clothes, whether you’re wearing a tight tank top or a silky blouse. But the best part? These bras are made for comfort since they’re meant for everyday wear. When it comes to fit and appearance, our favorite T-shirt bras come from Harper Wilde, a line of high-quality bras without embellishments. Their everyday bra, called The Base, has front-adjustable straps, soft cups with light lining, and J-hooks to convert the bra to a racerback style; it comes in sizes 30A to 40DD and is invisible under even the wispiest top. By the way, this is the best bra color to wear under white shirts. (And no, it’s not nude!) Also check out Third Love for another great T-shirt bra choice.
Best strapless bra
Caldwell says the reason many of us struggle with strapless bras is that we’re wearing the wrong size. Specifically, our band is too big and our cup is too small. “The poor fit is more noticeable with a strapless bra because you don’t have the straps to save you,” she says. “But really, those straps should not be doing that much work.” Follow the recommended guidelines on a reputable bra website to find the right fit, or visit a professional for a proper fitting. Try Spanx’s Up for Anything Strapless Bra in band sizes 32 to 40 and cup sizes A to DDD. The bra has memory foam cups that mold to your breast shape and a two-row adjustable band. You’ll never need to duck behind a plant at a party to yank up the bra under your dress again.
Best sports bra
“Sports bras range from highly constructed bras with less stretch that work best for running to strappy bras that are low support and meant to be worn more as fashion accessories,” says Laura Tempesta, the founder of Bravolution, a resource that provides sports bra reviews and education. The type of sports bra you wear depends on the rigor of the activity you’re doing and the size of your chest. The more strenuous the workout and the bigger your chest, the more support you’ll need. For maximum support, you’ll want thicker straps and/or built-in cups.
The Ultimate Sports Bra from SheFit is a solid choice for a bounce-free exercise session. The high-impact bra zips in the front, making it easy to put on and take off. The strap length, strap configuration, band, and padding are fully adjustable, so you can personalize your fit and level of support. Each cup is made of a reinforced power mesh material for compression and bounce reduction. And the bra boasts plush one-inch shoulder straps and a two-inch bust band for maximum support. Plus, it comes in a range of sizes up to 48.
Best unlined bra
An unlined bra is another comfy option and work-from-home staple. While most bras are lined with padding or foam, unlined bras are made with a single layer of fabric across the cups. This gives them a barely there feel and makes them perfect for throwing on under an oversized sweater or for days you want to embrace your natural shape. Negative Underwear’s Sieve Demi Bra offers a stunning take on the style. The second-skin micromesh material holds everything in place and it feels like you’re wearing next to nothing. The bra comes in four colors—black, buff, peach, and slate—and has a demi cut that maximizes cleavage and lift. Reviewers rave that the Instagram-famous product exceeded their expectations: “I figured the hype was overblown,” writes one five-star reviewer. “It wasn’t.” Also check out the brand CUUP for high-performing unlined bras.
Best convertible bra
Convertible bras can be tricky—those straps get confusing! But the best ones are worth it because they can be worn at least three ways: as a T-shirt bra, with a crisscross in the back, and as a halter. A great convertible bra allows you to save money (you won’t have to purchase a variety of styles) as well as space (whether you’re packing your lingerie drawer or a suitcase, you’ll get several bras for the space of one).
This On Gossamer option features a sleek, molded design that is undetectable under T-shirts and tank tops. It has a supportive underwire and a demi cut that enhances cleavage while allowing it to sit flat, no matter which way you attach the straps. Wear it with all of your tops that require a customized strap or as an everyday T-shirt bra that’s comfy as can be.
Best seamless bra
Another cozy bra you need in your drawer? The seamless bra. These bras are made without seams and sit flat on the body to minimize the risk of bumps showing through your clothes. Bali’s Comfort Revolution bra is a great wire-free, seamless option with full coverage. It has a three-column hook-and-eye closure for easy adjusting and double-layer cups for a smooth, natural shape. The bra is made of silky stretch microfiber for maximum comfort. Reviewers agree that this bra is supportive enough for larger breasts and say it’s so well-fitted, they often forget they’re wearing it. “It’s the first bra I’m not in a hurry to take off when I get home,” writes one five-star reviewer. To put it simply: It’s the perfect bra to have in your wardrobe as you reacclimate to bra-wearing society. You might also want to stock up on the best Nordstrom shapewear while you’re at it.
Best racerback bra
Racerback bras, which have straps that form a T or Y shape in the back, are ideal for racerback tops and dresses. However, they also have fit-related benefits. “Due to their strap formation, the weight of your breasts is distributed more evenly across your entire back (as opposed to just along your shoulders and upper back),” writes Rebecca Strong for Parfait Lingerie. “And because the straps sit closer to the neck, they aren’t at risk of slipping off your shoulders.” Essentially, these bras give you more lift and support than regular bras and are also less finicky.
Maidenform’s One Fab Fit Extra Coverage T-Back T-shirt Bra features a unique lace design on the back, with all of the support of a traditional racerback, and the smooth styling of a T-shirt bra on the front. It’s made using the brand’s signature seamless, microfiber Smartzone underwire cups that lift and shape from the sides, and it offers an adjustable band, straps, and front clasp. Add it to your collection for a pretty option that you can wear on days you need a little extra oomph.
Best U-plunge bra
Conquer any fears you may have about plunging necklines with a U-plunge bra. The front of the bra forms a U shape, to give the illusion that you aren’t wearing a bra with a deep v-neck top. It’s one of the secrets of women who always look put together. You can get a backless version, which has sticky sides to ensure it stays on, or you can choose one with a band for more support. This adhesive (and reusable) FashionForms U-Plunge is one of our favorites. It features a seamless design that will blend in under any type of top, as well as adjustable straps that can be worn three different ways: traditionally, crisscross, or halter. The bra has high-cut sides that increase cleavage and prevent side spillage. It also has inside pockets that can accommodate push-up pads, meaning it can switch between natural and va-va-voom in seconds.
Best stick-on bra
Stick-on bras are for your trickiest tops and dresses, especially if they’re backless or have low-cut backs. Unfortunately, these bras do not offer much support and may not be suitable for women with larger breasts. If you want to give one a try, the NuBra Seamless Adhesive Bra is a notoriously sticky and affordable option that comes in sizes A through E. Believe it or not, it’s hand-washable and reusable.
What’s the best way to put it on? “Bend over, stick one cup toward the outside of your breast, put the other one on your other breast, and clip them together,” celebrity stylist Anita Patrickson told Glamour. “It’ll help give you some cleavage.” To ensure the bra remains sticky, it should be applied to clean, dry skin without any moisturizer or deodorant (you can slather that on afterward). When applied correctly, it should stay in place no matter how long you wear it or how sweaty you get.
Best low-back bra
If you’re wearing something with a low back but feel like you need more coverage and support than a stick-on bra can give you, a low-back bra may be the best choice. Typically, these bras have straps that cross at the small of your back and wrap around to the front of your torso to keep your back free of any bra lines. And do you want to hear something truly genius? Fashion Forms makes straps that can convert any bra into a wrap-around, low-back bra. The two-pronged hook-and-eye closure attaches to the hook-and-eye closure on any bra and can be adjusted in length to fit your body. Reviewers say the strap is easy to use and is perfect for making the bras you already own go the extra mile for a backless outfit.
Generally speaking, you want to hide your bra straps—unless you’re wearing a bralette, that is. Bralettes are meant to be seen, and they come in all different colors, patterns, and fabrics. Plus, they’re incredibly comfortable. Wear them under low-cut T-shirts, sheer tops, or button-downs, and have just a bit of lace detail peeking out. It adds visual interest to your outfit and keeps you covered.
Caldwell says the key to finding a comfortable, everyday bralette is to look for one that offers an appropriate amount of support, such as this All Over Lace option from Bali. The fan-favorite bra with more than 3,000 five-star reviews features no-slip adjustable straps that can be hooked together to create a racerback style, as well as an adjustable hook-and-eye closure that allows you to customize the band. With a stretch microfiber interior and lace details, this breathable, wire-free bra will keep you comfy all day. Not to mention, the mesh panel in front prevents spillage in the chicest way possible. The bra comes in a range of colors and sizes from small to 3X-large. Also check out the popular Cosabella Never Say Never Sweetie Bralette.
Sometimes called pasties or breast petals, these stick-on tools are great for smaller-chested women who are unable to find a bra that works with a complicated outfit. (Larger-chested women will likely find that petals lack the support their bodies need.) Petals create a smooth, streamlined look without the need to wear a bra.
Our favorite option is from Nudwear. These 100 percent silicone petals can be worn for up to 12 hours and reused dozens of times. They come in two skin-tone colors—perfect for wearing under sheerer tops—and are hypoallergenic. The best part? Their medical-grade adhesive is sweatproof and waterproof. That means you can wear them under a challenging dress or even a lightly lined swimsuit that requires a bit more coverage. And unlike disposable petal options, these are as good for the planet as they are for your lingerie collection.
Best minimizing bra
Large breasts are fabulous, but they can also be overwhelming—and that’s where minimizing bras come in. They can help women with larger busts streamline their look, making it easier to wear certain types of tops like button-downs, and be more comfortable. Wacoal’s Full Figure Simple Shaping Minimizer Bra is made for C to G cups and can minimize the bustline up to one inch. It’s got an adjustable band and straps, and full-coverage seamless cups with a molded underwire. Reviewers say it minimizes the breasts without smushing them like other minimizer bras.
One fan raves: “The person who invented this bra should receive the Nobel prize for…improving the lives of women? Seriously, this is a very comfortable and well-fitting bra that will keep your ‘girls’ happy. It’s nearly as supportive and steadying as my sports bra. If you’re a full-busted, active lady who wants a bra that is fit-and-forget, this may well be the bra for you.”
Best nursing bra
This type of bra may be one of the most challenging bras to shop for—and it’s critical to get it right. There are a few things to look for in a nursing bra: extra hooks for a customizable size while your breasts change shape, light padding to help absorb any milk leakage, molded cups to disguise nursing pads or enlarged nipples, and clips for easy nursing. In 2020, The Bump awarded Bravado Designs its Best of Baby Top Nursing Bra Brand Award. Bravado’s Wireless Buttercup Maternity and Nursing Bra comes in sizes 34B to 42DDD and features soft foam cups, one-handed nursing clips, and convertible straps. Pro tip: Start shopping for nursing bras at the eight-month mark in your pregnancy for the best fit. Keep them in tip-top shape for as long as possible by learning how to wash them properly.
- Kimmay Caldwell, an undergarment educator and founder of Hurray Kimmay
- Laura Tempesta, the founder of Bravolution