The reality of bra shopping: You find a cute style you love—perhaps a convertible racerback or a demi-cup with lace detailing—and you snap it up to try on at home. The bra looks perfect until you pull that white T-shirt over your head...then it’s a disaster. You can see the outline of the cups against your maybe-too-thin-but-very-comfortable shirt, the sliders on your bra straps leave bumpy marks underneath, and the underwire is just too obvious. The struggle, I know. Finding the perfect bra to wear under a white T-shirt requires patience and perhaps a few annoying store returns.

In an effort to save everyone some time and stress, Marie Claire decided to put a bunch of bras to the test, hoping to once and for all find a style that will always look great under a white tee. We conducted an exhaustive search for T-shirt bra options (defined as a mid-coverage style that provides support but looks seamless under your clothing) from giant retailers like Target and Nordstrom and direct-to-consumer brands like ThirdLove and CUUP, in addition to tapping our friends and coworkers for their favorites. Then we ruled out designs with lace and exuberant prints, instead sticking to neutrals to minimize the bra's visibility.

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Once we narrowed down the brands we loved, we hit a vexing roadblock: Very few brands offered T-shirt bras in a range of color and sizes that accommodated our six volunteers. That should be less and less of a problem going forward, though; many retailers are working hard to accommodate chests of all sizes and women of all shades as the calls for lingerie companies to become more inclusive have never been louder.

With all this—availability, price, and popularity—in mind, we landed on five brands to test: Cosabella, CUUP, Knix, Harper Wilde, and Lively. Then, six women, all with varying bust sizes, tried on the same bra style from each brand under a soft, flattering, and not totally sheer Banana Republic crew neck tee ($20). Each woman crowned a favorite bra, followed by a runner up.

Your journey to the perfect white T-shirt bra ends here.

Choose a Size:

The Base
Harper Wilde

Why It Won:

"When I look for a bra, it's important that it supports and lifts my small boobs. This one hugged me just right and I liked the crisscross design in the middle. I prefer bras with underwire, and this bra has one under its buttery-soft fabric. It also has this v-neck shaped cup, so I could wear a low-cut T-shirt with this if I wanted to."

The Runner Up: CUUP

"I liked CUUP a lot because it felt like you weren't wearing a bra. But it didn't give me as much of a lift as the Harper Wilde one."

Why It Won:

"When you slip this one on, it feels like you're not wearing a bra. And I am the type that doesn’t like wearing bras. The cups are a little sheer, which gives it that sexy yet cute vibe. There are no harsh lines when you wear it under a tee and it fits well. I usually only wear bralettes, but if I had to pick a bra, I would wear something like this."

The Runner Up: Harper Wilde

"I feel like both bras are very similar. Harper Wilde was comfortable too, but it was a little thicker than CUUP."

Evolution Demi Bra

Why It Won:

"The Cosabella bra is so comfortable and makes everything look and feel great. The cups are not push ups, which I like, and have a very snug fit. I have a long torso, and I feel like this bra breaks up my frame and it doesn't cover up my chest completely. I normally only wear sports bras, so I am surprised this one fits as well as those and has the same level of comfort."

The Runner Up: Wiley

"It was soft, but it's a little more covered. I like the finishing of the cups for something a little different."

The Demi

Why It Won:

"This bra had the most natural fit on my boobs and I don’t feel like I'm wearing a bra at all. The material is a little see-through, and this sheer quality reminds me of my favorite bralettes, which I usually wear. I actually saw this brand featured on Instagram and wanted to try it on, so I'm glad I had the chance. I love it."

The Runner Up: Harper Wilde

"This bra fits so naturally, you don't feel it. It also gives you support where you need it."

The All-Day Deep V No-Wire

Why It Won:

"When I look for a bra, I generally shoot for comfort first because you're going to be wearing it all day. I pay attention to how the cups fit my boobs and the design of the bra, too. This one is soft to the touch and I didn't feel any press on my chest—like it was squishing my boobs in. I am surprised it doesn't have an underwire because my boobs still feel fully supported. The quality for that price is really good too."

The Runner Up: CUUP

"I like this one because it's light and airy. I didn't feel any pressure on my chest and it was super soft."

Padded V-Neck Bra
Knix $55

Why It Won:

"This one wins in overall comfort and the way it gives my breasts a lift. It doesn’t squeeze anything. I usually wear wired push up bras, so this is a whole other experience. This is so comfortable, I might have to switch from my other bras. I can even see myself working out during the day in this versus the other bras, which I would only wear for a few hours if I had to."

The Runner Up: Cosabella

"This bra was comfortable and gave my breasts a lift, but Knix was slightly comfier."

Photography: Kathryn Wirsing
Hair: Walton Nunez
Makeup: Nina Soriano

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