Words by Charlotte Hope-Shannon, introduction by Lauren Silvester
On a scale of one to Justin Timberlake’s behaviour, how disappointed are you when you reach the bottom of your drawer and the last remaining bra is ill fitting and digs you in the ribs? Well you’re not alone because before I did my big bra purge, I felt like that all.. the.. time (really must get on top of that washing pile). After second baby many of the bras I had no longer fit me (breastfeeding, chocolate, biscuits…). Same for my pants (breastfeeding, chocolate, biscuits…). So I did a big refresh of my underwear drawer. I don’t know about you but when I have good underwear, I really feel like I’m nailing life (despite that washing pile…).
Before we delve in to this amazing guide that lovely Charlotte has put together, I wanted to share my personal favourite bra. It’s tried and tested and the subject of the unsolicited advice I’ve given to innocent customers who actually, ‘just want to browse, thanks’.
Even though lots of people rave about them, I never got on with nursing bras. You know the ones that snap open from the strap? I found them way too fiddly and they made me feel a bit like a utility. So there’s one style I’ve practically lived in for nine months (not counting the first few weeks spent in classic CK crop tops).
It’s the M&S Smoothing Non-Wired Bralet. I have them in all three colours and over the past 10 months I would say I’ve probably collected around 20 in total (changing sizes and discolouration of the white and nude from mixing in with dark washes). I wore these during pregnancy and I’m wearing the black one as I type this. They’re only £12 and honestly they’re the most comfortable bras I have ever worn. Super supportive for top heavy ladies and great for feeding in too.
I hope you find this guide useful!
The Bra Guide
Finding the perfect bra can be tricky. From providing support and comfort to making you feel confident in your own skin, there’s a huge range of check points we need to find ‘the one’. Regardless of size, it’s important to discover the right fit for your body. Whether it be non-wired comfort or high impact maximum support, the key is to feel confident in your bra whatever the occasion.
With a huge range of styles and shapes it can be difficult to know what’s best for your shape, so we’ve done the leg work for you.
Being much fuller in the breast department doesn’t have to mean discomfort and thick bands. We’re no longer in the 1940’s! From lasting support and smoothing uplift to the perfect shock absorbing sports bra, there’s plenty out there to help you find your perfect fit. Whether you’re looking for minimum bounce whilst playing your favourite sport or you want stylish practicality, innovative design is in your corner when it comes to the perfect fitting bra.
Marks & Spencer Full Cup Side Support – With practicality and style at the heart of this design, this bra comes with a three-piece cup that provides lasting support and coverage. Effective in all design aspects, this bra is made to support, uplift and smooth whilst also providing lasting comfort with elasticated edges.
Cosabella Never Say Never Bralette – With innovative stretch design and supportive power mesh, this bralette is designed specifically for ladies who are a DD cup upwards, who also have small band width. The perfect pull-on style!
John Lewis Shock Absorber Active Multi Sports Support Bra – This shock absorbing bra features padded and adjustable straps for extra support and has internal cupsize support. Made from moisture wicking fabric, this bra is suitable for a range of sports from cycling and aerobics to dance and running.
Whether you’re after the perfect push up bra or something a little more practical, bring refinement to your bra collection with these simple yet modern styles.
Marks & Spencer Underwired Full Cup T-Shirt – Perfect for everyday wear, this smoothing no show bra is lightweight whilst providing full coverage, breathable support. Available in a range of colours, there’s a perfect nude for every skin tone.
Next Push-Up Triple Boost Lace Bra – For those who want an added boost, this bra is perfect for under outfits that require some added padding. With underwiring and extra structure, this is a beautiful feminine bra with soft lace finishing and a flattering lift.
Arket Mesh Wire Bra – This soft sheer bra, is made from stretchy mesh in a recycled polyamide blend. Designed with adjustable shoulder straps and back closure with two rows of hook and eye, this gives the perfect support for medium sized chests, whilst also providing a sense of fun.
Next 3 Pack Lightly Padded Plunge Bras – Available up to a size 40E, this 3 pack of softly padded bras are a handy staple to have in your underwear drawer. With the option to buy matching bottoms, there’s nothing better than having your favourite bra in a host of different colours! These are wonderful for giving shape when wearing v necks and button up cardigans.
Our selection of beautiful underwear for smaller boobs are stylish alternatives to the basics.
Marks & Spencer Plunge Bralette – For those who are smaller breasted this pretty bralette is the perfect alternative to a wired bra. With a delicate woven patten, and elasticated band, comfort doesn’t have to mean ugly. Made from a blend of silk and lace this is the perfect bra, with flattering coverage for smaller breasted ladies.
Cosabella Free Cut Micro Tall Triangle – The perfect basic piece, this seamless bralette is designed for everyday wear, with comfortable fabric and simple construction. The non-padded cups are seamless and provide support. Available in a range of nudes, this is a go-to for those with smaller breasts.
Arkas organic-cotton soft-cup bra – Crafted from soft organic-cotton jersey, with adjustable straps this is the perfect lightweight bra with picot trim. A beautiful alternative to the everyday nude.
Post-Surgery & Mastectomy
Having surgery itself can be a daunting, add on the task of knowing which bra to wear post-procedure for both comfort and support, and the whole situation can be overwhelming. This selection of post-surgical bras features original and new designs, with a focus on providing breathable, gentle support. Whether you are looking for a full cup coverage or wire free comfort, these bras will give you the peace of mind to focus on your recovery with minimum hassle and maximum ease.
Marks & Spencer Full Cup – Specifically designed for support post-surgery, this full cup bra provides maximum coverage. Soft and breathable this bra includes a 4-way stretch for comfort and peace of mind.
Hummingbird Lingerie – Hummingbird Lingerie holds a unique collection of luxurious wire free bras specifically designed for women post-surgery.
Marks & Spencer Non-Wired – featuring a delicate swiss embroidered design, this non-wired post-surgical bra not only provides breathable comfort for scar tissue, but also gently supports the bust with smooth fabric. A beautiful option that is not only delicate towards your body but also stylish and flattering, with a special pocket opening in the cups, which can hold a prosthesis if needed.
John Lewis Royce Silver Post Surgery 1008 Bra – Built for comfort and support, this bra is perfect for taking into hospital for post-surgery. With proven anti-bacterial, anti-odour, thermo-regulating properties, this is safe for wear immediately after surgery. With front popper fastening and riptape straps, this bra is designed with female comfort in mind.