Begin/Again: Bras That Don’t Suck

Jan 19, 2024

I have learned many lessons in the fifteen years since this blog began.  And one of the most important is that bra choices are absurdly personal.  What works for my 32C-turned-36-large-B post pregnancy breasts may not work for women with larger or smaller breasts.  But that all of us, regardless of size, want the same thing: a bra that is comfortable and makes us feel good.

Whatever that may mean for you, for me it means a variety of functional and pretty bras.  Because the bra I need for a WFH Tuesday is not the bra I need for a Friday night or Sunday morning.  Today, I want to focus on pretty bras that are still wearable.  These are not my basic, daily driver bras (underwire, wire-free).  These are the bras that make me feel good that look a little more like lingerie.  So let’s go!

Lined Lace Bras // One of my favorite bra styles pairs a traditional cup style with a lace or mesh overlay/trim.  What’s great about this bra is that it’s pretty without the complimentary nipple chafing caused by exposed lace.  This Natori bra is one of my favorite recent purchases (on sale in some colorways at Nordstrom).  For a fuller bust, try this Chantelle option.  Need something under-$50?  Victoria’s Secret has a gorgeous lined bra with a delicate lace trim.

Balconette Bras // A balconette bra is proof that just changing the shape of your bra cups can do a lot for the overall look.  They lift, they shape and they need nothing extra.  This is the bra style to show off with, period.

Natori’s liquid underwire is my favorite.  It’s the perfect style for square-neck tops.  If you need a fuller cup, Soma has you covered.  Their unlined scoop balconette bra is also a nice option.  For something under-$50, Wacoal’s b.tempted line has a great option.

Unlined Bras // This is bound to be a slightly controversial suggestion, but the  unlined, mesh style has grown in popularity in the past few years.  It is not a style that works for me, as I have very prominent nipples that need to be restrained.  But one of my closest and most stylish friends swears by these unlined bras from Negative.  The brand offers multiple unlined and lightly lined styles.  They also have sizing running up to 40 band size and G cups.

If you’re struggling with finding a bra that fits, I recommend going for a fitting.  Most department stores and any decent lingerie shop will help you out.  Carolyn Mirand, one of the few influencers I follow, has a great primer on how to measure and why it matters.  And, since she has a fuller bust, she is much more qualified to help some of you than I am.

Have a favorite bra?  Leave it in the comments.

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  1. M says:

    Strongly recommend Bezi Bra Discs. Life-changing when I found them and didn’t have to wear thick bras anymore.

    • CSVA says:

      Agree. They are life changers and last a VERY long time. I just gently wash them with some gentle soap every few wears.

  2. Amy says:

    Cuup has an interesting double-mesh bra. I love the concept but the fit hasn’t really worked well for me. The band doesn’t stretch much, but it’s worth a try for something between a thin foam and totally unlined.

    My daily drivers are the Negative lined bra (the “traditional” style they have) despite the cost.

  3. Jenny says:

    For years, Chantelle has been my go-to brand. Pre-kids, after one kid, after two kids…I’ve changed sizes (32C to 34B to 34C) and always returned to Chantelle. You can often find a few on sale at Nordstrom or Bloomingdales, though I don’t mind paying full price for something as important as a good bra.

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