Personal Style, Pop Culture

The 12 Best Bras for Summer

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As with a lot of things in life—shoes, workout routines, coffee flavors—you want certain bras in certain seasons. Now’s the time when strapless bras, racerback bras, bralettes and sports bras reign.

We asked our resident bra expert, Bare Necessities merchandise manager Heather Garcia, for her favorite summertime picks of each style of bra so you can put on the best, get outside and enjoy every minute of what feels like the shortest season.

SUMMER STAPLE: A Strapless Bra

Why you need it now: “Shoulder-baring fashion is everywhere, and it requires the right bra to be able to pull off the look,” says Heather. Our team of buyers constantly scours the market to put together the widest possible size range of strapless bras that actually stay up, so whether you’re going to a cookout or a cotillion, you can count on feeling put-together and supported. The two most important tell-tale signs that your strapless makes the cut: The gore should be tacking flat against your chest between the breasts, and the bra should feel comfortable right from the start. Otherwise, you’re not going to wear it, no matter how well it fits.

Strapless bras we love:

1. Wacoal Red Carpet Strapless Bra (at left): You can bet your bra straps on this all-star for C-cups and up. When someone asks us for a strapless suggestion, this is where we start.

2. Curvy Kate Luxe Strapless Bra: Full chests don’t faze this bra, which lifts, locks and loads, up to J-cup.

3. The Little Bra Company Sascha Strapless Bra: Smaller sizes get versatility and volume in one smooth, petite package.

SUMMER STAPLE: A Racerback Bra

Why you need it now: “In tank top season, this bra style is the only way to keep your straps under wraps. It’s all about functionality: It eliminates the worry over your bra straps sticking out, and the front-close makes it easy to put on, take off and to wear all day long,” says Heather, who points out that many of our top-rated DD styles come with J-hooks that allow you to convert the straps of a really supportive bra to racerback proportions, allowing straps to slip your mind…not your shoulders.

Racerback bras we love:

4. Freya Deco Vibe Convertible Plunge T-Shirt Bra (at right): Not only is it a gorgeously feminine full-bust bra, the fully adjustable straps are expressly designed to stay put and out of sight.

5. Elomi Matilda Convertible Plunge Bra (shown above): Shape and lift your curves in a so-pretty three-part-plunge with tulle panels and stretch elastic running along the top edge of the cups for a flexible fit.

6. Maidenform One Fab Fit Extra Coverage T-Back T-Shirt Bra: A layer of floral lace in the back of this for-average-proportions bra complements the smooth cups in front.

SUMMER STAPLE: A Bralette

Why you need it now: “If a racerback is meant to disappear under clothes, then a bralette is meant to get noticed under them,” Heather says. Bralettes are perfect for layering over your regular best-fitting bra to give it a lacy new look, or all on their own for a super-relaxed level of support. Pick one if your lingerie drawer feels like it’s lacking a fun, on-trend weekend option.

Bralettes we love:

7. Calvin Klein Modern Cotton Convertible Bralette (at left): The entire Modern Cotton collection is ideal for your down-time; this stretchy blend with straps you can style every which way is great for so many body types.

8. Cosabella Plus Size Never Say Never Sweetie Bralette: Go for neutrals or candy colors in this sheer, stretchy, impossibly lacy bralette you’re going to wear and wear all season long.

9. BraBar Hug Halter Bralette: This halter-style fits snugly for support and is as minimalist and easy-wearing as they come. The neckline makes it a no-show under virtually any top. (It also happens to be a great first bra for any young ladies in your life, too.)

SUMMER STAPLE: A Sports Bra

Why you need it now: “There’s no better time of year to work out! It’s finally warm, so you can find fresh motivation on the sidewalk or trails instead of on the treadmill,” says Heather. A bra made with innovative performance technology will keep your skin dry and free from chafing while also encapsulating or compressing breasts so they don’t get in the way of your run or yoga pose.

Sports bras we love:

10. Panache Ultimate High Impact Underwire (at right): Season after season, it remains our best-selling bra. If you’re busty and live for an intense workout, this is your bra.

11. Sculptresse High Impact Underwire: For max support in extended sizes, we’re all about this breathable, cushy new sports bra.

12. Natori Yogi Underwire: Medium impact activities play well with this bra that has stretch-foam cups hidden under the compression layer. We love the adjustability on the straps, too.

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Brooke Glassberg
Brooke is the editor of this here blog. In a previous life, she was an editor at Good Housekeeping and O, The Oprah Magazine. Brooke has written for Glamour, Travel+Leisure, New York Magazine and more. She’s into concerts, calligraphy, travel and her exceptionally adorable daughter and husband.
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