It's Time for a Bra Upgrade: 18 Styles for Every Body Type, Clothing Conundrum, and Lifestyle
A good bra is like a good friend: supportive, lovely, and—once you find the perfect one—they’ll make you feel pretty all day long. Of course, it’s finding that perfect one that’s the hard part. But that’s where InStyle comes in. We worked our way through silk, satin, lace, Lycra, and even a few sequins. We tried on everything the market has to offer in the name of finding gorgeous miracle workers for all shapes, sizes, and lifestyles. Want a backless and strapless bra? Looking for a full-figured bra with heavy-duty support? Need a nude that matches your skin tone? Our picks have got you covered.
Click through the gallery to see the best bras now.
[wrn_button url="https://www.instyle.com/instyle/package/general/photos/0,,20720151_20741190_30030348,00.html" text="See the Photos" title="See the Photos"]
We always dreamed of a bra so comfortable that we forget to take it off. This super soft number has cups lined with velvety foam to give you a luscious shape with maximum coziness. A U-shaped back anchors the bra so you can move without having to constantly adjust the straps.
Maidenform, nylon-elastane, $38 (34?36A?D, 38B?D);
Darker-skinned women know that most bras billed as “nude” are anything but on them. That’s why we love this rich mocha-colored style, which disappears under clothes (even white T-shirts).
Wacoal, embroidered nylon spandex, $65(34–38B, 32–38C–DD, 32–36DDD);
A rear view can be every bit as titillating as cleavage, so be brave and wear that backless dress or top-this bra has you covered. The band wraps around the front, allowing you to wear even the deepest dips. This multi-tasker can also be worn over the shoulders, crisscross, or halter-style and comes in a wide range of sizes.
Le Mystere, nylon lycra, $65(34?36B, 32?38C?D, 32?36E);
This beauty has cups made of memory foam. Here’s how it works: Once you’ve worn them, the cups “remember” the shape of your breasts, giving you (close) to a perfect fit. Think of it as your girls lounging on a custom mattress.
Felina, nylon spandex, $40 (32–38C, 32–40D–DDD, 32–38G);
Strapless and Backless
Most adhesive styles resemble, well, slabs of raw meat. But this backless, strapless model has lace-covered cups, just like a real bra. “Wings” on the side give it extra staying power. And this is no throwaway-it can be reused for up to 25 times.
Fashion Forms, nylon spandex, $36 (A-D);
: Panache specializes in bras for D cups and above. This one, in a charming floral print, has an underwire and cups with three seams for added stability.
Panache, nylon-polyester, $65 (30?38D?K);
Pictured, bottom left: A black balconette style lets even G cups wear low-cut tops yet still get ample support. Specially designed cups reduce movement while giving you a natural shape and a gentle lift.
Soma Intimates, nylon spandex, $56 (34D?DD, 38?40C?D, 42D, 34DDD?G, 36C?G, 38?42DD?G, 44D?G);
Pictured, bottom right: It?s not your grandma?s bra! Yes, it has rounder cups for ample coverage and less spillage, as well as super-supportive straps. But this babe is also quite the coquette in come-hither lace.
Playtex Secrets, embroidered polyester and nylon-spandex, $37 (36?44B?DDD);
Remember the scrunched-up bust line, uncomfortable underwires, and continual fear of slippage? Well, this style is as far from your prom strapless as those 1980s shoe-box-size mobiles are from your smart phone. Molded cups, a novel side closure, and a one-piece band prevent both back fat overlap and uniboob, while a silicone band holds everything in place.
Star Power by Spanx, nylon-spandex, $48 (32–36A–DD, 38B–DD);
Sexy for Small Busts
Small-busted women are often stuck wearing what look like training bras. This honey of a look, in a yellow mesh fabric, is young and flirty without a whiff of middle school. An underwire gives you a little lift, while demi cups put your assets at center stage. (Note: This style runs small, so order a cup size larger.)
Duet Timpa, polyamide-elastane, $36 (32?38A?C);
The Best Seller
The French lingerie-maker Simone Perele's most popular model is as comfortable as a second skin, thanks to a seamless knit fabric that gives you great support and shape without adding volume. You’ll say oh la la too.
Simone Perele, polyester-elastane, $84 (32–40B–C, 30–40D–E, 30–38F, 36G);
Pretty for Peekaboo
Too pretty to stay undercover, these fetching little numbers can fill in for a cami. Pictured, top: Gap, cotton, $30 (32–36A–D); gap.com. Bottom left: Freya, polyester-nylon-polyamide, $69 (32–38C, 28–38D–G); nordstrom.com. Bottom right: Lily of France, nylon-spandex, $34 (34–36A, 34–38B–D); macys.com.
Whether you need a racerback, halter, or standard bra, this style has you (un)covered; slots on the band let you reconfigure it into a multitude of styles. Made of the lightest microfiber, it’s invisible under clothes.
Lou, elastane-polyamide, $65 (32–38B–D, 32–40C, 32–36E–F);
Lululemon spent years designing this bra pictured at top specifically for B- and C-cup women who do high-impact sports. Made of a featherweight fabric that won’t chafe delicate skin, it molds to your shape as your body warms it up. A back hook-and-eye closure gives you a gold-medal fit and a removable lining prevents see-through. Lululemon Athletica, nylon-lycra, $79 (34–38B, 32–38C–DD, 32–36DDD); lululemon.com.
Meanwhile, this miracle worker pictured at bottom lets DD -plus women run, jump, Zumba, or even do Cross Fit bounce-free. Double layers of fabric in the cups and wide, cushioned straps provide maximum stability; the adjustable racerback lets you customize the fit for even greater comfort. Champion Sports Bras, nylon spandex, $50 (34–40DD, 36–42DDD);
An underwire plus graduated padding inside the cup give you Sofia Vergara–worthy cleavage (well, almost!). But the fused edges lie flat so your secret is safe, even under lightweight fabrics. The straps can be converted to crisscross or halter style.
B. Tempt’d by Wacoal, nylon spandex, $40 (34–36B, 30–36C–DD);
Trim as many as two inches from your bust without sacrificing a natural-looking shape. The plunge-front adds a naughty vibe.
Lilyette, polyamide-elastane, $38 (34C?DD, 36?42C?DDD);
Small Bust Push-up
This push-up (named “the Erin” for our contributing editor Erin Sumwalt) is especially designed for petite women. Removable pads and convertible straps allow you to adjust the lift from a little to va-va-va-voom.
The Little Bra Company, polyamide-elastane, $62 (28–38A, 28–36B, 28–34C);
The Feel-Pretty-Every-day Bra
: This style, from a new line by Panache (one of our favorite D-plus brands), has an underwire and a three-part cup for unbeatable support. The striking floral fabric proves that a practical bra doesn?t have to look it.
Sculptresse, nylon-polyester, $62 (36?46D?HH);
The Lying-on-the-Couch Bra
Pictured, bottom left: Like to keep your upfronts in place when lounging, but want to feel like you?re wearing a sweatshirt? This stretchy pull-over prevents boob droopage but doesn?t feel constricting (the wide band at the bottom keeps it all in place).
Just My Size, nylon spandex, $14 (1X?5X);
The Night-on-the-Town Bra
Pictured, bottom right: This long-line style has an underwire, molded cups, and an elastic strip hidden in the band for superlative support, yet it still has a sexy, sculptural look. Wear it traditionally, crisscrossed, or as a halter or strapless.
Natural by Coconut Grove Intimates, polyester-spandex, $58 (30?44C?G);
This racerback style prevents straps from making unwelcome appearances, and the front closure ensures that it’s hassle-free.
Warner’s, nylon spandex, $36 (34–38B–D);