By a certain age, we women know what we want: comfort, ease, to look good, to feel great. Sexy, even, sometimes. We’ve honed our personal style, we avoid trying too hard, we acknowledge the trends without chasing after them. We understand the impact a great accessory can have—like a bra that will never let us down.
The Best Bras for Women Over 40
Wacoal Halo Lace Convertible Bra (bands 30-40, cups B-G)
If you subscribe to a less-is-more bra philosophy, Halo Lace is where it’s at. Thin, unlined, full-coverage underwire cups come with built-in slings to bolster DDDs and Gs. Those cups seem to complement most of our shapes, especially those of us who sag or are shallow up top—it’s that comfortable, stretchy flat lace that conforms like custom to your figure and makes itself scarce under clothes. Even the band design changes the higher you go. With a sliding J-hook, the fully adjustable straps convert into a racerback—good for sloping shoulders—without you having to be a contortionist. There are almost as many colors as there are sizes; Red Pear is the newest. (When ordering, our Bra Fit Experts advise that the cups run deep, and Wacoal bands run snug. Call 877-728-9272 x4 or chat with them if you need fit advice.)
Chantelle Rive Gauche Bra (bands 32-42, E.U. cups C-I)
On the other hand, If you prefer a bit more bra than an unlined style can provide, this gorgeous, tried-and-true lacy style works impressively hard. With wide wings, a wide back band, wide straps and three-part seamed, lined, stretch cups, who even needs a push-up?! Not you, that’s who. Those seams are what afford an incredible amount of lift as well as side support for that “in-and-up” profile that eludes us with time. If you’re the sort who appreciates a matching set, check out the bikini bottoms that go with the Rive Gauche, or see it in action on Jessica.
Wacoal Visual Effects Minimizer Bra (bands 30-44, cups C-I)
Some days (and some shirts) just call for a minimizer, you know? This beauty is one of our very favorites. Nearly as inconspicuous as Halo Lace, this minimizer has a mesh lining behind the stretch lace cups for a one-two punch that works together to reduce the look of your bust size by as much as an inch. Other touches we appreciate: the fully adjustable, wide elastic straps; not an excessive amount of back band; a great color palette and an commendably wide range of cup sizes.
Chantelle C Magnifique Sexy Minimizer Bra (bands 32-44, E.U. cups C-H)
Evidently, it is possible to feel sexy and reduce the look of your chest at the same time. This smooth and, dare we say, sexy minimizer feels good to wear, looks really polished and makes you look polished, too, under a button-down or a top with a plunging neckline. By subtly rearranging your breast tissue down and to the sides, the simple mesh cups magically make you seem less busty. Inside, you’ll find side slings and a second satiny layer for some modesty. Bonus points for great color choices, pretty matte-and-shine straps and swanky gold hardware.
Wacoal Awareness Seamless Bra (bands 32-44, cups C-I)
Since it came out more than a decade ago, Wacoal fans have been singing Awareness’ praises. (One reviewer likens it to “a religious experience.”) Full-busted women who had previously been subjected to oversized center gores particularly love the narrow meeting point between the cups. And everybody seems to like the rainbow of colors this style comes in and the calla lily pattern quietly woven into the lace. While structured, the smooth and seamless molded stretch cups are still pretty thin. Larger cup sizes have padded, rigid straps for comfort and support as well as more hook-and-eye closures, so Awareness continues to surprise and delight at any size.
Wacoal Perfect Primer Bra (bands 32-46, cups C-H)
In a word, this bra is stretchy. The seamless microfiber underwire cups are like hammocks for your breasts—snug, but also relaxed. With built-in side-support, those unlined cups stretch to fit for a nice, natural shape. The cups are supremely soft and lightweight, adding up to a bra that’s comfy enough to wear all day without thinking about it again until it comes off. Not unlike the primer you put on under makeup, this bra creates a flawless foundation on which to build an outfit.
Glamorise Wonderwire Front-Close Bra (bands 34-48, cups B-H)
In a front-close style, it’s extra important to nail your perfect band size so that the bra isn’t riding up or putting the squeeze on with no hope of adjustment. That’s why we love the easy fit of Wonderwire. That lace trim isn’t just for looks; it helps with a forgiving fit (especially key if your breasts are different sizes). Same goes for the flexible wire hidden away inside the cushioned band and the smoothing shape enhancers inside the cups. Padded straps are more of a good thing.
Elomi Cate Side Support Bra (bands 34-46, U.K. cups DD-K)
There isn’t a lot of stretch to Cate, and that’s a good deal of what makes her so great—a firmly supportive fit in a shimmery satin package. Shaping side-support panels plus the four-part seamed cups impart the ultimate lift for full busts. The way the cups are constructed actually gives this full-coverage bra the lower-cut impression of a balconette, without ever easing up on the support. At any age, that’s the kind of win-win solution we can really get behind.