Most of you come to my site for style inspiration or my thoughts on what to wear now and how to #buylessbuybetter, but today I’m turning the tables and asking for your help in a specific area. That is, what is your favorite basic everyday bra? There are very few things in the clothing arena that flummox me more than bra shopping. I am not talking fancy, pretty bras here–that I can handle, but your average nude, wear-under-everything kind. I prefer no padding and no push-ups. Underwires I can take or leave. For the longest, I’ve had some Donna Karan bras that apparently don’t exist anymore. I tried this from Negative Underwear after getting sucked in to their Instagram ads, it’s ok but it cuts in a bit at the decollete so not ideal under T-shirts. Come to think of it, I’ve never had a basic bra that I really liked. So, I’m hoping the comments are going to fill up with your suggestions and we can crowdsource some stellar solutions, because this time, I need the help!
Maureen Flatley says
CUUP, esp the Balconette. It’s all I wear. I have a dozen of them. So comfortable but really supportive.
Christine Morrison says
True & Co has fantastic bras – basics that are supportive.
Hanro Hanro Hanro! I can’t stress enough! Their basic bras with no wire and classic simple shapes. With ultimate comfort cannot be beaten. I absolutely love them. Mine last forever and are an iconic staple in my wardrobe after many many years of searching. They are my everyday go to. I reserve the Eres sets for the exception but the Hanro for my everyday, dependable, feel great go to!
The Sloggi Go Alround Bralette in nude is v comfortable and fits well under most things, especially for summer . I like Uniqlo for underwear, esp the current Mame kurogouchi.
I’ve tried all of the new start-up brands, CUUP (hugely disappointing), Lively, etc…. none of them do the job. I also prefer no padding. I want a white, no lace, new designs, no bows…. with thin straps, no padding, plunge between the boobs, bra…made for someone who is a 32D. I don’t need lift from fat straps and thick side panels. My NATURAL boobs do it on their own and none of the bra companies recognize this. And all of these new brands seem to think that everyone wants a color. I want a WHITE bra. I only wear white or black. Occasionally a nude bra is OK. Warner used to make the perfect bra but they discontinued it. If you find one, let me know.
I’m a 32 D as well and cannot find a good bra without padding. CUUP also was hugely disappointing – horrible quality and horrible customer service. I’m going to look into Simone Perele – someone said they had good un-padded bras.
Dana D. says
Araks. I love their simple lace bra called the Tamara. They have a separate section for D cup wearers. I also buy their bathing suits.
Hugely important to me is that they are a sustainable/fair-trade produced brand. I also used to like Hanro but they are no longer making all of their under-pinnings in Europe.
Araks bras are available in white and a lot of fun colors for those who are so inclined. I haven’t tried their panties yet because I am sold on Patagonia bikini briefs (also fair-trade sewn).
Again, if you want a high-quality, simple bra at a decent price-point that is ALSO made conscientiously, try Araks.
Tanya Zaben says
I’m a big fan of Negative. Their underwire and non-wire are equally good. And no padding! For reference, I am a 34B.
For sheer comfort the Chantelle soft stretch v-neck bra is amazing. The straps are soft, flat and wide, you barely know you have it on. While they call it padded it really just disguises headlights. It isn’t what I consider padded. It’s perfect under tee shirts. I love Hanro bras for comfort as well, as several others have mentioned but if you need any lift at all, I don’t find them to have that.
I have three favorites, all by Wacoal:
Softly Styled Underwire Bra
Back Appeal Underwire T-Shirt Bra
Elevated Allure Underwire Bra
Also, the Anita Twin wireless soft bra. At Anita.com. Very comfy if a bit “Valkyrie” looking. But if you don’t care that it is utilitarian looking rather than pretty, they are fantastic.
Dominique Paye says
Twinnks! Their specialty is the “no visible cup line”. Love them!
Triumph – for all the reasons/requirement mentioned.
Lots of passion around this topic in the comments! I’ve been wearing the TENCEL Lite bralette by the Danish brand Organic Basics for years, and to me it’s the best. This company really walks the walk when it comes to sustainability (aside from their materials and production, they do things like create a “low impact website” to raise awareness that all this digital stuff has detrimental effects on the environment).
Plus, the colours are lush 🙂
If your favourite Donna Karan bra was only recently discontinued, you might still be able to find brand new ones on ebay sold by people who engage in ‘retail arbitrage’ aka buying up dead stock to re-sell.
I would never have bought bras off eBay because yikes, but I needed some at the beginning of the pandemic when shops were closed, and I wasn’t about to just cross my fingers and buy an untested new style online.
I got three brand new bras in my favourite make, model and size, still in their plastic bags, with their tags on (and still on those odd little lingerie dept hangers.) Good luck!
I am a C cup, and like you, am done with underwires and padding. I have to agree with all the Hanro love- especially their wireless bralettes. They last forever, are beautiful and most importantly, are comfortable!. I also recently visited an Intimissimi store (we don’t have them in California) and while I understand they are the Victoria’s Secret of Italy, I found the Stefania style (wireless bralette) to be supportive and pretty.
I like the revelation bras from Epure by Lise Charmel (formerly of Eres)
Purchased my 1st one at Bergdorf’s years ago, not sure on their inventory lately…..I did purchase some from a lingerie store in NYC last year.
Susan Strobel says
It was not until I had a proper bra fitting by a long-time saleswoman at Nordstrom (MOA- MN) that I cracked the code on bras. What I learned is that for petite women (and by your photos, you fit this category), it is all about understanding your anatomy. For example, I am 5’3″, very short-waisted (meaning bra straps have a tendency to be way too long), and have broad shoulders. I also learned that for my frame, my breasts are not close together (meaning there is more of a gap between them on my chest. With this information, a solid lingerie person can steer you to a bra that is built to accommodate ‘you’. I have great luck with Natori bliss, and I have learned that bras are a bit like jeans…one size in at one company does not translate to the next company. For example, I have gone up in band size to get a better fitting cup, and then have to tighten the strap on the tightest hooks in the back.
I hope this helps. It truly was an ‘aha’ moment for me when I was properly fitted.
All the best-
I recently tried Kit Undergarments lightweight triangle bra in sand and love it. I haven’t ever loved a bra and it’s comfortable and looks good under all clothing. Really impressed! Want to try Hanro after all the comments too.
I’m not sure if this will help or not as our body builds are quite different, but my all-time favorite no frills bra is the Fantasie 4520. It’s reasonably priced, it has no lace or padding, and it’s been consistently available for the last twenty years. However, the sizing seems slightly off (I usually wear a 32f/g in most bras, I wear a 34e in this bra). It’s basically the only bra I buy/wear these days – although, now I’m tempted to look into these Hanro bras that have been mentioned above. And I’m looking forward to hearing what you come up with as well; please keep us posted.
Best of luck on the hunt.
gail c says
Natori full coverage. Lightweight, breathable ( esp for this menopausal woman). So comfortable. Have been using their brand for 10+ yers.
Co-sign the value of getting fitted by a specialist; I went to Intimacy in Copley Plaza a couple years ago and they fitted me into a 32e/f (from a 36C!) made a huge difference in how my clothes fit.
Here are some brands that I like (I don’t like a padding or a ton of lace, and prefer plunge bras. I haven’t been able to find a non-underwire bra I like so these are all underwire:
Prima Donna plunge bras and Prima Donna twist
I have a couple Simone perele bras but they’re lacy, not everyday- https://www.simone-perele.com/us/half-cup-bra-sea-green-wish.html
One unrelated request – could you do a post on work bags that can carry a laptop (but aren’t totes? I had a manager who used a Lanvin bag that was just big enough for her laptop and I thought it was so stylish! But haven’t been able to find anything like that when I look..)
Chantelle and Palmers, my favorites 😌
I’m devoted to many a Natori t-shirt bra, as they are the most comfortable wired bras. They don’t last longer than maybe a year, but I’d rather be comfortable and replace more often than staying with a longer-lasting bra that I hate wearing. Lately also liking Chantelle for thinner summer-appropriate bras. I just got a couple wireless to try. And also a later convert to the basic cotton Calvin Klein t-shirt bras — also liking their bralettes lately for home life.
I tried to order a Lively bra via Madewell, but it never arrived and Madewell ended up canceling the order. I like the look of them though.
I’ve been interested in the Negative Underwear brand, so appreciate your thoughts on yours.
Well not sure that my needs and yours are the same, this past year has completely turned my off under wires, but i need/want nipple coverage, but not “real” padding. I’ve landed on the Natori Bliss Perfection Wire free T-Shirt Bra.
I’m very into Baserange at the movement. Their triangle bra to be specific. Organic bamboo, flattering and comfortable. They can be found on Net-a-Porter.
Good luck! Bra shopping is such a nightmare sometimes.
I’m another fan of the Baserange triangle bras. Boy Smells, the candle people, have a similar style, too, if you want more exuberant colors.
La Perla basic triangle bras with no wire or padding. Beige. Perfect.
Lisa Mac says
By being late to the comments on this one, I can see the clear distinction in brands for the full- and not-as-full-breasted! I want to +1 on the comments about a professional bra fitting – Nordstrom, Intimacy, and if you can find one, the local specialists (like Trousseau here in the DC area) can transform your selections and how you look in clothes. I live in the Empreinte Melody Seamless Bra (underwire, no padding, full coverage, natural rounded cup; a full range of neutrals and seasonal colors) and in general, find the European brands do best for me (30-32E, natural, post-menopausal breasts!) I also look for the number of hooks right off the bat – less than 3 and I know it won’t work for me.
Carleen Borsella says
I am going to cast my vote for Hanro. Just enough support, total comfort and the lest forever. 🙂
Another Wacoal fan here. I particularly like their Body by Wacoal style 65115 underwire. Simple and modern style (no lace), no padding, great under clothes, very comfortable, 2 hooks, good color range (although I only wear beige or black), and well-priced. The cup fabric provides good coverage and support while being thin but not sheer. And Erica, you may also like it -and it comes in white. This style was originally recommended to me by a great fitter at Saks, but I now buy direct from Wacoal because they seem to always be sold out in my size at Saks. Good luck and let us know what you find!
Melody Bryant says
Late to comment but I like True & Co and Chantelle wireless. Very comfy!