Great style goes deeper than simply wearing this season’s fashions and the latest colour trends. Whatever care you put into choosing your outfit can be completely wasted if you don’t pay attention to what’s underneath it. Investing in good, well-fitting underwear will not only make you feel more comfortable as you go about your day, but will actually make your clothes look and fit better too.
When it comes to choosing lingerie, comfort should be as important a consideration as how it looks. A well-fitting bra is not only beneficial for your looks but for your health too. A badly fitting bra can cause back pain and poor posture, while harsh synthetic fabrics can cause sweating and skin irritation. Here’s our top tips for what you should be looking for in your perfect bra, whatever your size.
- Get yourself properly measured. It’s easy and tempting just to keep buying the same size you’ve bought before, but your shape and size can change a lot over the average lifespan of a bra so don’t simply assume the size you bought last time is the best fit again. There are lots of guides available to help you calculate your correct bra size, but if you’re unsure or prefer a professional assessment, most reputable department stores and lingerie shops offer a free measuring service.
- Even when you know your correct size, be prepared to go up or down in your cup size or band measurement when you’re shopping around. Every lingerie brand will vary in fit from another, and even different styles from the same brand can fit very differently depending on the construction. Your perfect fit in a non-wired bra might not be the same as in an underwired or sports bra, so it’s always best to try on before you buy if you can.
- If you have sensitive skin, you’ll find bras with a high cotton content to be much more comfortable for day-long wear. Look out for brands such as Sloggi and Miss Mary of Sweden who specialise in soft cotton bras in a wide range of extremely comfortable styles and levels of support.
- Always choose a proper sports bra for any strenuous activity to avoid pain and discomfort – especially important for those with a fuller figure. Sports styles offer the necessary extra support, and often have gel straps and moisture-wicking fabric to keep you cool and comfortable during your workout.
- A plain, simple t-shirt bra is probably the most popular choice for all-day, everyday comfort. Their seamless, smooth cups means you don’t find unsightly lines and seams showing under tight-fitting tops. They can be found in a huge range of colours from nudes to seasonal brights, and they provide excellent support and gentle control. Wacoal, Chantelle and Bestform are among the top lingerie brands that offer pretty everyday seam –free bras.
- Seeing the colour of your bra through your clothes is never a good look, so keep at least one skin colour bra in your lingerie drawer. Contrary to what many women think, a white bra is not the best choice to wear under white or very pale garments. A nude one that’s closer to your own skin colouring is much more invisible and won’t show through clothing, especially if it has seamless, smooth cups too. All styles from simple t-shirt bras to glamorous balconette or demi cup bras can be found in a range of nude shades to suit most skin tones.
- Take care of your bras so they’ll keep their shape and support better. Handwashing rather than just throwing them in the machine with the rest of your wash will help bras last longer, especially if they contain delicate fabrics and lace. And never put them in the dryer! Elastic naturally breaks down over time, but you can extend its life by rotating your bras and so reducing the wear time for each one. If you find a style you love and that fits perfectly, it’s worth investing in three or four of them so you don’t wear the same one every time. With care, a bra might last on average 6 months to a year before losing its elasticity and no longer offering optimal support.