The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Ask BB: Supportive Bras for Summer Clothes

I can't find bras that give good support and are comfortable yet are still well hidden when wearing off-shoulder/bareback/low neckline dresses or tops. SOS! Your Fan, Denise in Distress

If there's one thing I learned while working at it's this: Make sure you are wearing the right size bra! Many women are not, and that goes for all women regardless of size. Use an online guide or better yet, go get a complimentary in-store bra-fitting at a place like Nordstrom. Finding the right size bra can be life changing for you and the girls.

Next, be sure to try on bras before you buy, even if you think you know your size. Each style will fit differently. Here are a few places to look:

This convertible bra by Cacique for Lane Bryant has received great customer reviews. I'm sure it's not perfect but it will work with lots of different tops. The clean lines and flesh tone are another plus (forget lace and frills, what you want it smooth, comfy support).

Another affordable amazing bra brand is Olga, which you can find at Kohls on sale. This bra will give you smooth coverage under many sleeveless dresses and tops.

Yet another option is to find a camisole with built-in support; this one's strapless but you can always layer a regular camisole under many tops/dresses for additional support which will add interest to your outfit as well.

What are the best bra/undergarments for your summer wardrobe? Are there certain styles you found work best? Certain styles to avoid?

I love Lane Bryant's 7-n-1 bra (pictured above). It's great as a strapless and the 6 other ways you can covert it.

Forgive me if this grosses anyone out, but I have 2 fairly new (only worn twice) that I can't wear any longer: 38DD - black, 40DD - cream. Feel free to e-mail me, I'll gladly mail them.

My next fav is Fredricks of Hollywood Extreme Cleavage convertible (also comes in strapless). Fits fairly true to size.
#1 TexNYQueen on 2010-07-26 16:37 (Reply)
What to avoid: white, black, patterned or colored bras. Seriously: the cutesie patterns do not work well with most summer wear - especially with lighter colors and/or lighter fabrics.

Textures - lace, ribbon, other extras: not only unnecessary, but also unwanted. Sure, they are cute - but when worn with basic Just Doesn't Work.

Strapless is good, but without some form of silicone or latex banding that holds to the skin, they migrate often in the wear of the day. Trust me.

Shapewear camisoles are a good option. Depending on your dimensions, you can get by with tank tops, camisoles with patterns, etc - with double-duty shelf bras or other self-enclosed support - but many of the tanks/camis are poorly constructed - when fitting them, bend forward, stretch your arms, flex your spine - if it's not still in relative place, it's not going to work - no matter how otherwise "perfect" the item is.

There was a low-backed, underwired bra with removable straps - I forget the designer - which was constructed with boning in the sides. Nice, but not good for daily wear - although for backless gowns, it is irreplaceable.
#2 the_kcar on 2010-07-27 02:22 (Reply)
i am absolutely in love with forever 21's padded sports bras. they have structure and coverage and look like camisoles, but are much cooler for the summer heat. the colors are also fun to wear under casual sheer tees. admittedly, i dont have much of a chest, and these don't look too big-chest friendly. but if i could i would buy them in every color.
#3 chelsea on 2010-07-27 12:43 (Reply)
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