How to Create a Bra Wardrobe

Here are the bras you really need.

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

If you're a bra-wearer, then you probably have a favorite bra. Whether it’s something lacy or that broken-in t-shirt bra that looks good under almost everything, a quality bra that fits properly is a wardrobe essential. It can instantly make any outfit more flattering and have you feeling more confident.

But having the right selection of bras on hand can feel confusing. What bras do you really need and which will just end up sitting in the drawer? Here’s what Ra’el Cohen, co-founder and chief creative officer of ThirdLove, has to say about creating an ideal bra wardrobe.

Related:How to Measure Your Bra Size at Home

The Everyday Bra

While many of us are under the impression we need a fairly extensive bra wardrobe, Cohen suggests keeping just three to five bras in rotation—ideally, one for every day of the workweek—to prevent them from wearing out too quickly.

One must-have is a smoothing, neutral everyday bra. “It’s completely invisible under clothes with no excess bulk and zero bra lines. This can be a t-shirt bra like ThirdLove’s 24/7 Classic T-Shirt Bra, something simple like the 24/7 Second Skin Unlined Bra, or perhaps the 24/7 Classic Uplift Plunge Bra."

The Lacy Bra

Cohen also thinks every bra wearer should have a “fun, lacy bra,” like Third Love’s Lace Contour Plunge Bra. Depending upon the style, these bras can also enhance cleavage. For special occasions or when you want a step up from your go-to undergarments, this is the bra you'll reach for again and again. But you know your lifestyle and what you feel comfortable wearing best, so determine if this type of bra will fit into your rotation or will just take up drawer space.

Related:This Is What Really Happens When You Stop Wearing a Bra

The Sports Bra

While a sports bra isn’t 100 percent necessary for everyone, it’s a must-have for those who exercise. When shopping for sports bras, consider the workouts or sports you typically do (whether running or yoga or pickleball, etc.), and select a sports bra that matches your level of activity.

The Strapless Bra

If you attend a lot of events such as weddings or find yourself frequently getting dressed up, Cohen also recommends owning a strapless bra. A convertible strapless bra is a versatile option that will work with a wider range of dresses and tops. When shopping for a strapless bra, consider the neckline of the dresses you tend to wear or think you might wear in the future. If you prefer plunging necklines, for example, look for a plunge bra to match.

According to Cohen, a good strapless bra should never fall but shouldn’t be so tight that it’s uncomfortable. “Look for stretchy fabrics, side boning, and a wider smoothing band to get your most comfortable fit.”

To Underwire or Not to Underwire

Many women are under the impression that we need an underwire for proper support. However, this is a myth, Cohen explains. “Whether you wear an underwire bra or a wireless bra depends on your personal preference for fit and silhouette. If you’re wearing an outfit that would benefit from some additional support and structure, an underwire bra could be a good option. If you’re having a laid-back and casual day, a wireless bra will work great," she says.

Is comfort key? Having a wireless bra can feel great on those days you just want to be extra comfy.

Related:Show Your Bras the TLC They Deserve With These Easy Hand Washing Tips

How to Take Care of Your Bras

If you want your bras to stay supportive and last, it’s crucial to take care of them properly. “To keep your bras in great shape, you should plan on washing them every one to two weeks, depending on how often you wear them and how much physical activity you exert in them. Sports bras should be washed after every wear,” Cohen says.

Bras should be replaced every six months to one year depending on how often you wear them. However, you can extend their lives by taking extra care and hand-washing them. “If you need to wash your bras in the machine, use the gentle cycle on cold, hook the bra closed to avoid any snagging, and use a mesh laundry bag to help maintain the shape. Never put your bras in the dryer as the heat breaks down the spandex and elastic; instead, allow them to air dry.”

For more Real Simple news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on Real Simple.