Although the braless look seems to be gaining more and more popularity among the It girls of the moment, bras are actually must-have lingerie items that help you look flawless and elegant in any outfit. Of course, there are certain evening and cocktail dresses that should be worn without any bra, however, whether you go out for a walk or get ready for a party, you’ll definitely go for the most appropriate bra type for your attire options to guarantee the flabbergasting looks of yours. It’s here that it becomes vital to learn how to choose the right bra for every outfit you’re going to don!
The History of Bras
In the old days, women either bound their chest to keep the breasts in place or just let them loose, enjoying pushing them up to near spilling over with corsets or just allowing nature to take over. The bra, or brassiere as it was known in the past, is very much entwined with the status of women changing over time, as well as the evolution of fashion and the views society had of women’s bodies. In the latter part of the 19th century, the fashion trends tended towards turning the corset into a girdle around the waist while the upper part was suspended from the shoulders, while in the 19th century, the bras replaced the corset as the means of breast support. Commercial production of the brassieres began in the 1930s, now having turned this innovative move into a multi-billion dollar industry. While some women still prefer camisoles or just go without, nearly every single one of us that fit the female population owns at least a single pair, if not 5 or 10 or 15.
We have changed much from the days of breast bands in Ancient Greece and dudous from the Ming and Qing dynasties in China, the golden body chains of the Hoxne hoard and the olden brassiere forms used during India’s Vijayanagara Empire. The metal shortage in WWI brought the corset’s lifestyle to an end, while the newer bras focused on fit, accentuating the form, and enhancing a woman’s assets, while WWII brings with it the torpedo bra and the bullet. The 1950s bring with them maternity bras, while the modern day favorite push-up bras are created in 1964 for a Canadian lingerie company called Canadadelle. It was in 1977 that the training or jogging bras come to be, while the 1983 brings about the bikini bras. The Daily Mail found in 2009 that the average woman owns 16 bras at any given time, while the most alluring bras today are the incredible million dollar Victoria’s Secret jewel encrusted versions that often are the only reason we will sit down to watch their shows.
The Main Types of Bras
With the average woman owning 16 bras though, which should you be wearing for which occasion with which outfit, do you know?
• The T-shirt Bra: If you want a seamless and smooth look under your shirt, you probably should stick to a t-shirt bra that has no extra embellishments, fits against the chest perfectly and has small feminine details along with simple straps. Every woman should own at least one pair of these, though you can play around with the colors. We recommend owning one pair of white and/or nude in order to wear under those lighter colored shirts. They normally have underwires as well for extra support.
• The Strapless Bra: If you are wearing a strapless dress, chances are that you are not going to wear a bra with straps on. You will want something that gives you lift, is made to really support your chest and back and will be comfortable at the same time, sticking to your skin well without becoming bothersome and certainly without falling away to allow for a nipple slip. The perfect strapless bra will give great shape under a simple strapless dress so don’t cheap out on this one.
• The Convertible Bra: Backless dresses are super sexy but how can you wear them if your bra back will show up? Use a convertible bra with a lower back extender, technically being a single hook bra with a ballet back where the band swoops down to be thinner, making it easier to hide, no matter how open the back of the dress is. A lower back bra converter can actually be bought for a very affordable price and is worth having in your home, just in case. Furthermore, if you have a halter top that you need to adjust your bra for, make sure that your convertible bra can be styled to wear the strap around your neck. Those with stylish straps are okay to peek out from underneath, but in general you want to make sure that your look is as seamless as can be. If you are wearing a single shoulder dress, the convertible bra also gives you the option of removing one strap from it and allowing the remaining piece to be adjusted according to your specific needs.
• The Uplunge Bra: The latest fashion trends bring an abundance of dresses and outfits with plunging necklines, which need a bra to match their needs. That is why bras with plunge cuts exist and you should definitely invest in one or two this year, knowing that you won’t want to be going bare chested but you certainly do want to be giving your bust the perfect shape as you wear those garments from the runway shows.
• The Sticky Bra: If you want to get rid of the back as well as the straps, that leaves you with the sticky bra, which will definitely come in handy with many of the pieces that were paraded on the Fashion Weeks lately, ensuring you have some lift and shape without anything else showing, not from the center nor from the sides, not from the shoulders and certainly not in the back.
• The Sheer Top Balconette Bra: Lacy bras are gorgeous beyond belief and are definitely the go-to pieces when you are dressing up or down for a tantalizing time in with your partner. When you have a sheer top as well, you can certainly have fun with the colors used on your bra underneath, so choose a nice, punchy color. This is for the bold and the brave generally as few would dare venture out with a sheer top and a balconette bra underneath. It literally reminds us of a balcony, the breasts looking through the top sheer part which protect them from falling out.
• The Lace Triangle Bra: While most of us generally opt for the strapless bras when we are afraid of our straps showing, there are thinner strapped bras that are great to wear with spaghetti straps without competition brewing between what’s on top and what’s underneath. Detailing on the edges might also add a touch of fun to your look.
• The Racer Back Bra: Thin straps that meet in the back instead of falling straight down the shoulders are perfect to wear with racer back tops meant to show off your shoulder blades. It is a good look that offers a whole lot of support and is extremely comfortable to wear overall.
Photos courtesy of The Blonde Salad
Don’t miss: How to Choose Wedding Lingerie