The bra is an essential part of the female ensemble, offering support and hopefully comfort throughout long days at work, wild nights on the town, or even just a quick drink with the girls. We wear bras for a purpose, one which we hope they will fulfil comfortably and in certain situations in a way that is aesthetically pleasing! A variety of reports and statistics have shown, however, that up to 85% of women are wearing the wrong bra size. This can cause discomfort and even pain, but size isn’t the only factor that makes a bra suitable. Other issues such as the type of bra, its straps, and even the material it is made of can affect how comfortable you feel whilst wearing it.
Spring and summer are the times of year when comfort of clothing becomes particularly relevant, considering the inevitable increase in temperature and therefore in sweating, itching, and overheating. In these seasons it is hugely important that the bra you choose to wear not only offers the support you need (particularly if participating in activities in the sun such as sports) but also a high level of comfort to get you through heat and humidity. To help you identify the right kind of bra to wear throughout these spring and summer months, here is our quick and helpful guide to picking out the perfect features.
Spring/Summer Colours and Fabrics
When bra shopping, you may find yourself irresistibly drawn to the prettiest designs and colours. Whilst obviously you want a bra that looks nice, not only in case others happen to see it but also because knowing you look good makes you feel good, it is also important to pay attention to the functions of particular colours and fabrics. In summer, for example, lighter fabrics such as cotton will help you stay cool under your clothes. Heavy padded bras, whilst giving you a bit of a boost, may weigh you down and make you feel uncomfortable in sweaty situations.
When it comes to colour, all year round every woman should own at least one white and one black bra. White bras are essential for wearing under white and other light colours if you don’t want your bra to show through – black bras, on the other hand, can be used to make a statement under certain kinds of clothing. Both white and black are also great because they go with anything. You may find that you like to match the colour of your underwear with whatever you are wearing on top; in that case you should make sure to be aware of summer colour trends. Pastel shades, cream, white and tan are consistent summer favourites.
Wired and Unwired
Most women have a general preference for either wired or unwired bras. Whilst wired bras technically provide more support due to the metal or plastic “wire” that curves under the cup, some people find them uncomfortable and prefer the simplicity of an unwired bra. In general, those with larger breasts require the extra support provided by a wire whilst smaller endowed women can get away with unwired bras. Wires do have the added bonus, however, of performing somewhat of a “push up” function should you wish to increase the size of your cleavage!
For comfort in summer, unwired bras will provide less friction and risk of chafing, as well as less sweating due to the light fabric against your skin rather than a thick wire. However, the kind of clothing you are wearing in spring and summer may require the added support that a wire can give. Underneath crop tops or strapped tops, for example, a wired bra will do a better job of holding things in place. It is good to have a mix of wired and unwired bras so that you can judge different situations based on which will be more or less appropriate.
Straps or No Straps (halternecks too)
Straps are another important part of your bra, especially in summer when it’s most likely that you will be breaking out the strapless tops and boob tubes. Some people also don’t like their bra straps to be visible when wearing tops with thin straps, so you may opt for a strapless bra in these circumstances. However, those will larger breasts may find that a strapless bra simply can’t do the job of providing full and firm support (although this is more likely with a high quality strapless bra, which yes, will be more expensive). You can also buy bras with “invisible” straps. These are straps made from basically see through plastic, so they aren’t quite literally invisible but are much more subtle and can give the impression that there are no bra straps there at all.
Another option for straps on a bra is to opt for a halterneck bra. Spring and summer are definitely the seasons for halterneck tops and dresses, and if you don’t feel entirely comfortable with a strapless bra but also don’t want any straps (even invisible ones) on show, a halterneck bra fits comfortably under a matching top or dress. The best possible option, if you’re willing to invest in a multi-purpose piece of clothing that will last, is to buy a multi-way bra. These can be worn with standard straps, changed to a halterneck strap, invisible straps, or worn strapless. One bra can serve a whole host of different functions. They usually come in white or black as these are the best multi-use colours.
Built in Bras
Occasionally you may find tops which advertise themselves as having a “built in bra” or “secret support”. These kinds of tops can be a dream come true if you find a good one, but there are lots of cheap, rubbish ones out there that offer very little support and simply don’t do what it says on the box. Rather than a top that just has some imitation wires built in, look for one which literally has built in, properly sized bra cups in the correct size. Try them on before buying to make sure it’s a good fit and holds you up well. Even though they may be hard to find, a good top with a built in bra can be extremely useful as a versatile piece of summer clothing, particularly on holiday when packing lots of items can be an issue.
With sunny weather (hopefully!) dominating in the summer, it’s a great time of year to get outdoors and get active. Particularly with the Olympics coming up, more and more people are embracing exciting sports. Spring and summer are great for sports like tennis and football, getting you out of the house and into the fresh air with friends or family. Working up a sweat in a standard bra, however, can result in all kinds of discomfort. Luckily, there are specially made bras out there designed for use in these situations – sports bras. They offer a high level of support and comfort, whilst keeping even the most sizable assets in check whilst you run, lunge, tackle and so on.
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