I’m brimming over with ideas to write about for this column, but I wanted to start with the basics. Over the years I’ve tried a ton of bras and I’m constantly asked about which ones are my favorites. This list represents bras that have washed and worn well, are still in my regular rotation and that I’ve invested in multiple versions of (or would have if they existed). If you’re looking for a winner to fill a hole in your lingerie wardrobe for the holidays, these are all good bras to start with. I’m generally a 34HH/36HH in UK sizes and anything from an L to a 1X panty, depending on the brand. Erica can special order most of these for you – as she’s done for me over the years!
My first experience with Panache bras was the result of a truly terrible fitting appointment and it put me off them as a brand for a long time. I’m glad I came back around, because the Jasmine/Envy/Clara bras are now one of my staples. While these are technically three different bras, they’re similar in feel and are a pretty sure bet for most people in this size range.
If you love fashion bras, the metallic Clara is a showstopper on. It’s also a great basic silhouette, which makes it perfect for those of us who love to wear fancy bras on a regular basis.
The Jasmine is the fashion version of the Envy, so both shapes are the same. The stretch lace top makes it easy to fit a range of tissue types and is a godsend if you are more full on top. It also means that if you change sizes a little bit the lace ensures a good fit anyway.
I have owned a whole host of Betty bras over the years, to the point where I cut myself off because they were all I was wearing. I’ve continued to branch out, but this bra is still a staple. While it’s a plunge bra, it isn’t as low cut as many standard plunges. This ensures great support, but makes it more like a balconette bra than a plunge. I love the slight pin up feel of this bra, along with the usual great Elomi fit and quality.
This is a relatively recent addition to my lingerie drawer, but I’ve been wearing it at least once a week since I got it. Elila wasn’t on my radar until I got to review a bunch of their offerings for The Lingerie Addict, but I’m a total convert now. While all of their offerings are of great quality, their Glamour Bra is something seriously special. The embroidery is luxurious, rivaling the great classic French lingerie brands for quality. The bra itself is supportive and gives a great silhouette under clothing, but also looks stunning by itself or as part of a set. I have washed and worn this a ton and it still looks like new. While this bra is definitely a splurge, it’s a worthwhile one.
I don’t buy from Bravissimo as much as I used to, but I still can’t find a great replacement for the Bravissimo half cup bras. These are sold under multiple style names, but they regularly pop up as The Rococo Charm bra and the Mademoiselle Bra. There is currently a gorgeous purple version on their website called the Sophia that would be perfect for the holidays.
For me, these bras are the ultimate combination of sex appeal and support. The half cup shape is great if you are more full on top, but also makes you feel supported and secure. They also double as a bedroom set, especially if you buy the matching panties. I have tried a ton of half cup bras over the years and haven’t yet managed to find a substitute, so I try to pick up the new ones when they come out.
This bra has the lowest gore of any full bust bra that I’ve tried, which makes it ideal for low cut tops or dresses. I’ve recommended this to more people over the last year than any other bra, mostly because other ladies end up asking me how I got a bra under my outfit! This bra is padded, made of thick satin and will disappear under any neckline. They also hold up really well over time. Tutti Rouge usually puts out a fashion version of this bra each season, but they also come in continuity colors as well.
Have you tried any of these bras? What do you think of them?