You're going to want all of these
We’re often told that accessories can make or break an outfit, but in reality the deal breaker is more about what you have on underneath your clothes than what you’ve added on top.
You wouldn’t build your dream home without great foundations, yet for many women lingerie is an after thought. Without getting the base of your look right, whatever goes on after won’t sit correctly: underwear in the right size can entirely alter your silhouette and the fit of your clothing.
We all know that we should get professionally fitted for a bra every six months but one reports suggests that as many as 80% of British women are wearing the wrong bra size! Not the support we need, right?
Bra fitting has moved on leaps and bounds in the last decade, and the very sterile environment that put off a generation of women in the early 2000s has been replaced by a host of trendy lingerie stores that make bra shopping pleasurable, rather than a chore.
From savouring an espresso while you wait in Rigby and Peller to the luxe new surroundings of the Selfridges ‘Body Studio’, it has never been more comfortable to shop for this intimate part of your wardrobe. The extension of sizes (both cup and back) means that even those with larger busts can have pretty lingerie.
Here we will look at the lingerie items every woman needs in her arsenal…
1. The Strapless Bra
Buy now: Luxe Strapless Bra, Curvy Kate, (from a D-H cup) £32 at Bravissimo
A strapless bra is an absolute must. It opens up your wardrobe choices hugely and with this season’s penchant for shoulder baring silhouettes, the strapless bra will be your best friend.
The magic of a strapless has often been seen as something only for smaller busts but luckily bra engineering has come a long way and large cup strapless bras are now more widely available and offer much greater support. We have opted for this incredibly supportive and comfortable one from Curvy Kate. Available up from a D – G cup and from a 28 – 38 back, this is a great choice for larger sizes. (Curvy Kate Luxe Biscotti Strapless Bra £32)
2. The Moulded Cup
Buy now: Elomi Morgan Moulded Bra, £40, Simply Be
Traditionally the moulded cup was a great way of adding an extra bit of padding and something that larger busts have avoided. However the moulded cup is perfect for wearing under t-shirt fabric as it gives a great rounded and smooth shape. Not after a little extra in that department? Try this great moulded cup bra from Elomi. All the shaping but none of the added enhancement.
3. The Full Body
Buy now: MAGISCULPT ELLA BLUSH LACE FIRM CONTROL BODYSHAPER, £36 at J.D. Williams
A popular fashion item this season, the bodysuit has hit every high street store with a vengeance. But rather than rocking it with a pair of denim cut offs we are talking about the lingerie body that gives you a smooth silhouette under that slinky dress. The reason a body works so well is that the one piece simply keeps everything in check. Nothing can roll up or down, so a smoother line is guaranteed. If you’re after more support in the bust, then go for a body that doesn’t include the bust cups so you can wear your own bra.
4. The Bra Free Body
Buy now: Spanx bodysuit, £77 from Net-A-Porter
This is the option for those that want to ensure they can wear their own bra but still get the smooth shaping effect of a body. The body comes under the bust, allowing you to wear your own supportive bra but to still avoid cutting your body in three places. While you can go for one that resembles more of a swimming costume, for those looking to avoid ‘chub rub’, or thighs rubbing together, this option here with shorts attached is great for adding to maximum comfort.
5. The sports Bra
Buy now: Panache moulded sports bra, £31.50 at Boobydoo
Every woman needs a good sports bra to work out in. There is nothing worse and often nothing more painful than trying to throw yourself full throttle into that Zumba routine whilst trying to keep your curves in check. This Panache sports bra is perfect for ensuring the only bounce is you, mid high—octane routine.
6. Control Knickers
Buy now: Magisculpt 3-pack tummy control briefs, £22 at Simply Be
While the reputation of big pants have been irreversibly damaged and championed in equal measure by Bridget Jones, we are still fans of this less than sexy knicker option. While we draw the line at those control pants that stop under the bra line – honestly has anyone ever managed to keep them from rolling down? We are loving the tummy control pants (essentially a firm high waisted knicker) that just gives a gentle smoothing effect without cutting off blood supply.
7. Something Sexy
It isn’t always about having the basics though. Of course those are important but adding some va-va-voom to your lingerie draw is equally important and when it comes to sassy sets we love Playful Promises. The lingerie line that has a vintage boudoir feel has recently launched their first foray into plus size too, taking some of their most popular styles up to a size 42G / UK24 making this an all inclusive lingerie brand that simply celebrates sexiness.
8. The Plunge Bra
Buy now: Chantelle multiway bra, £55 at John Lewis
The bra perfect for those deep-v necklines, a plunge bra is another wardrobe game changer. Ever given up on a dress or top because you just don’t have a bra that cuts deep enough? Chantelle has a great selection of pretty and practical plunge bras that don’t compromise on support or comfort.
9. The Booster
Buy now: Tutti Rouge Bra, £29.50 at Amazon
10. The Pretty Set
Buy now: Sexy lace plunge bra, £20 at Ann Summers
Some days you just need that little boost (in more ways than one). So having a pretty bra and knicker set in your arsenal is a great pick me up. This gorgeous pink and grey plunge and low rise knicker is part of Ann Summer’s new extended sizes range, or as they like to call it, #sizesexy.
11. The Full Cup Bra
Buy now: Pretty Secrets Daisy lace full cup bra, £10.75 at Matalan
And finally. The full cup bra, the old faithful with full bust coverage, is perfect for wearing under higher necks, especially snuggly fitted or jersey items where a half cup bra would show through the fabric. They’re great for creating shape and are especially good if you find that a half cup is simply not supportive enough and you’re ‘spilling out’. A full cup gives maximum coverage and support but can still be super stylish.
But the most important part of lingerie, whichever style has your name on it, is to go and get fitted for it. Make yourself one of the 20% and get fitted every six months. Just like you update your wardrobe when the new season’s trends kick in, make sure you have the perfect foundations to match.