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The Best Bra Styles for Every Body Type

Modern shopping mystery solved.

Magenta, Brassiere, Undergarment, Kitchen utensil,
Design by Betsy Farrell

Research says that 80 percent of women are buying the wrong bra size, though anecdotal evidence alone could tell you that the sheer act of shopping for your body type is a mystery in itself. "I think this fits" becomes "my new go-to bra style" and the cycle of ill-fitting straps and underwire discomfort goes on and on.

Here, we illuminate the process of bra shopping for you, with suggestions on the right bra styles and why they work for your body type. (You can thank us later).


Design by Betsy Farrell

1. Alana Bra, $60; thelittlebracompany.com. 2. Lexi Softcup Bra, $61; lonelylabel.com. 3. Hanky Panky Lace Cup Soft Bra, $46; net-aporter.com.

Since petite ladies with a smaller bust don't need as much support for their breasts, a soft triangle bra or wireless bra is a good everyday option. For ladies who want more of a lift, look for a molded bra with push-up cups and underwire.


Design by Betsy Farrell

1. Elle Macpherson Body Soft Plunge Bra, $49; net-a-porter.com. 2. Body By Victoria Demi Bra, $55; victoriassecret.com. 3. Calvin Klein Underwear Modern Cotton Bra, $65; net-a-porter.com.

Women with an athletic build often tend to have wide-set breasts, which is where demi bras with spaced-out cups and plunge bras can be super accommodating. A sports bra with a separated chest area and solid support (without being too tight) should also be a staple for any sports activities.


Design by Betsy Farrell

Having bigger breasts is problematic at best in the shopping and dressing department but it *can* be done if you're wearing a bra with comfortable wide-set straps and fuller coverage. A great balconette bra can provide support, lift, and separation all at once.

1. Montelle Keyhole Balconet Bra in Blue Iris, $58; journelle.com. 2. True & Co. Full Coverage T-Shirt Bra, $68; trueandco.com. 3. Never Say Never Demi Cup Bra, $106; cosabella.com.


Design by Betsy Farrell

Women with a smaller build up top can get away with rocking bandeau bras underneath their tee-shirts (which, like, more power to you). For a strappy bra, look for bras with tapered straps that won't slip off of shoulders.

1. Trenta Ombre Bandeau Bra, $91; cosabella.com. 2. Only Hearts Coucou Bralette, $48; journelle.com. 3. Hanky Panky Bandeau Stretch-Lace Soft Cup Bra, $40; net-a-porter.com.


Design by Betsy Farrell

Buying bras for curvier shapes can be a nightmare if you're not finding bras with more support in the siding and the straps. Seek out bras with a wide band for extra comfort and to help prevent spillage around the sides. An inner cup sling can also be a nice touch if you're looking for extra support and shaping.

1. Wacoal Minimizing Shaping Underwire Bra, $50; shop.nordstrom.com. 2. Panache Underwire Sports Bra, $70; shop.nordstrom.com. Elomi 'Cate' Underwire Bra, $59; shop.nordstrom.com.

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