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The Insider Pick:
We know that finding a bra that’s so comfortable that you forget it’s on sounds impossible, but it’s not. With an intelligent fit finder quiz, half sizes, and carefully designed bras that are as sexy as they are comfortable, ThirdLove makes the best bras you can buy.
Ladies, we’ve gotta take care of our ladies. Like us, they deserve the utmost respect and support, like us, they should never settle for second best. To that end, buying a bra that does your breasts proud is just about the best thing that you can do for yourself.
Alright, fine — That’s probably something of an overstatement, but the sentiment rings true. Buying bras may not be the most fun experience, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Luckily, there are a handful of companies that are looking to make the bra-purchasing process less of a hassle. But more importantly, the results are everything that you’ve ever wanted for your chest.
Your primary consideration when purchasing a bra should be comfort. After all, unless you’re letting the girls run free all the livelong day (which is fine!), you’re likely going to be wearing your bra for at least the eight-hour workday. That means that your underwire can’t be digging into your ribcage, that your straps can be tangling uncomfortably against your shoulder, and that your clasp can’t be scratching your back.
Then, you should also consider what style of bra you’d like. Are you looking to make an impression by pushing the ladies up, or are you looking to be a bit more inconspicuous with a classic t-shirt bra? There’s no wrong answer, of course, but there are certainly different bras for different occasions.
Perhaps most importantly, you’ll want to keep fit in mind. After all, an ill-fitting bra will be neither comfortable nor stylish (regardless of what you’re trying to achieve), but sometimes, figuring out exactly what bra size you are can be a bit difficult. This is especially the case when you’re doing your shopping online. Luckily, that’s not the case with a number of our favorite bra purveyors, who have gone to great lengths to ensure that you and your bra get along.
Regardless of which of these bras you choose, we’re confident that you (and the ladies) will be well satisfied.
Best bras overall: ThirdLove
Best delicate bras: Journelle
Best bras for $10 to $20: Hanes
Best for atypical shapes: Natori
Best strapless bras: Wacoal
Best bras for E (DD) to J: Trusst
Best bras and bralettes for $35: Lively
Updated on 7/18/2018 by Valis Vicenty and Malarie Gokey: Added Trusst and Lively bras based on testing.
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.The best bra overall
Face it — Today’s standard cup sizes aren’t always exactly what your body needs. And luckily, at ThirdLove, no one is expecting you (or your breasts) to fit into a predetermined mold. In just 60 seconds, Thirdlove will help you find a bra that feels as though it was actually tailored to your body, all without your ever having to leave the couch.
It all starts with ThirdLove’s Fit Finder tool, which as the name suggests, helps you find your actual right size. You’ll input the cup size and band measurements you normally abide by, as well as the company from which you’ve historically purchased your bra. But then you’ll also talk about where the shortcomings are — how much of a gap there is, how well the band actually sits against your back, and to what extent you find yourself adjusting the straps.
Most importantly, you’ll tell ThirdLove about the shape of your breasts, because yes, that will impact what bra is ultimately recommended.
Once you’re done with the full questionnaire, you’ll input your email address, and you’ll be shown what your bra size should be (it may be different than you previously imagined based on your answers), as well as a recommended bra. And best of all, if your bra size comes in a half cup (because yes, that’s a thing), ThirdLove can send you a bra that comes in a half size.
While you may not think that a web-based survey could actually take you to a better fitting bra, think again. As soon as I put on my ThirdLove Classic T-Shirt Bra, I knew that I’d been wrong with just about every other bra I’d ever worn. This is easily one of the most comfortable and truly supportive pieces of lingerie I’ve ever worn, and whereas other bras seem to work only with certain outfits, I’ve managed to wear this particular bra under cocktail dresses and sweats alike.
Although the T-Shirt Bra is the classic choice, ThirdLove has plenty of other fantastic options for you to choose from as well, including a racerback, a lace racerback with a front closure (which is beautiful, by the way), and another personal favorite, the lace balconette (for special occasions).
Several other women on the Insider Picks team have tried ThirdLove’s bras and love them. Since we’re all a range of sizes and shapes, it’s impressive that we all love these bras.
Reviewers at People called ThirdLove bras “the most comfortable…that [have] ever been on my body,” while nearly 22,500 customers have given the Classic T-Shirt Bra a 4.5 out of 5 stars on the company’s website.
Pros: Careful sizing guide, great fit, and comfortable material that doesn’t irritate the skin even after a long day of wear
Cons: The Classic T-Shirt Bra isn’t the sexiest bra in the world, but there are other options for that, too
The best delicate bra
One of the best things about Journelle is that it’s both an online and offline shop with a truly boutique experience. Just ask our friends over at The Gloss, who called shopping for a bra at Journelle “the best experience at a lingerie store ever.” But perhaps even better than the friendly sales associates (and truly, they’re difficult to beat), is the Isabel, which just so happens to be Journelle’s very first complete lingerie collection.
It combines Journelle’s two favorite things — French lingerie and “having things exactly how we want them.” And trust me, you want this bra. The classic French demi silhouette is delicate, whimsical, and feminine in the best of ways. There isn’t a detail missed on this bra, from the scalloped trim on the peek-a-boo straps to the floral lace pattern.
But don’t think that just because the Isabel is terribly pretty it won’t be terribly useful. This bra will do what it’s meant to do: keep you lifted and supported all the live-long day. That’s likely thanks to the two-part cup construction. The seaming helps to create shape, add comfort, and of course, aid in support.
And no matter what size you may be, the delicacy of the Isabel Balconette can indeed be for you. The bra comes in cup sizes A through G, and band sizes range from 30 to 36. Because it’s constructed of 100% nylon, it’s actually surprisingly comfortable despite all its fine lace detail.
Folks over at the Lingerie Addict note that the Isabel may be “a replacement for [their] favorite bra,” and the Isabel has solidified a spot on Journelle’s best selling list of lingerie. With the matching Isabel underwear, which comes in both a bikini and a thong, as well as a suspender belt, you can adorn yourself with a full Isabel set.
Pros: Sexy, delicate, and oh so feminine, all while being as supportive as a bra should be
Cons: At $84, the Isabel isn’t exactly the most budget-friendly buy
The best budget bra
High prices don’t always correlate with high quality, and similarly, budget buys don’t mean budget quality. No one knows this better than Hanes, the classic underwear brand that makes one of the best wire-free bras on the market.
Whether you want to call it a bralette or a wireless bra, you’ll certainly call it supremely comfortable. The Comfort Wire-Free bra line by Hanes is one of the sturdier bras you can buy. Sure, it’s not made of sexy lace, but as a result, it can withstand quite a bit of wear and tear. It doesn’t lose its shape or stretch out in unattractive ways after several cycles in the washing machine, and because it doesn’t have an underwire, it’s incredibly lightweight and flexible.
But don’t think that a lack of wire means a lack of support or structure. As folks over at Good Housekeeping noted, “I liked that this bra did not have an underwire, yet I felt fully supported. It was soft and comfortable…I almost forgot I was wearing a bra.”
Because the Wire-Free bras are fully adjustable, they also stay put quite well. Over 2,000 folks on Amazon have given the Hanes bra 4.4 out of 5 stars. Reviewers note that the bra “holds everything where it needs to be without wires and without binding or squishing or pushing things higher than they need to go.”
Pros: Extremely affordable, wide range of colors, good support, and straps that stay in place
Cons: There are a limited selection of cup and band sizes, so chestier women may not be able to find a good fit
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