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When it comes to feeling good in your clothes, nothing has quite the same impact as wearing a bra that fits perfectly. For all the styling hacks and must-have accessories in the world, your underpinnings are the real game changer. The best bras work for you, not against you, leaving your silhouette more defined and allowing the kind of effortless comfort that doesn't have you whipping the darn thing off the minute you get home.
Many of us struggle to find this holy grail of lingerie, so I'm providing you with a very good starting point: The three bras that sell like crazy, fit like a dream and have become repeat purchases and repeat orders for some time. This information comes courtesy of Selfridges's super-plush third-floor Body Studio lingerie and fit expert Clare Basche.
There are thousands of brassieres on offer, but if you're looking for the one you can wear day in and day out, then we've got answers.
There are the three things you need to consider first:
1. Your breast shape: More often than not, it's the shape of a bra, rather than the size you've chosen, that could be a problem. "Size and shape don't correlate, so you can be a G cup but have shallow breasts because all your volume is at the bottom, or you can be a D cup and all the volume is up top, so you're full," explains Claire. Look at the way a cup projects out from the side of the bra—if it's deep-looking, then you need fuller boobs at the top, if it's shallow-looking, then it's right for girls with weight at the bottom of their breast.
2. Take your time: "Try at least three different bras, don't give up after the first one, and if it's your first outing, you should also try three different brands. It's a process; just like when you're buying jeans," Claire says.
3. Replace your bras often: If you're battering your bras and wearing them constantly, you will need to replace them every six months or so. Be sure to get fitted again as well—our bodies change more than we think.
Try these three bras, and we guarantee you'll come away with something excellent. I even road-tested them myself, and I would have happily walked away with all of them.
1. WACAOL'S LA FEMME
Style Notes: This is a continual best seller for both Wacoal and the entire lingerie department—as it flies off the rails week in and week out. The style has been around for well over five years, which is quite unusual in the world of underwear, where updates and tweaks are common each season. Many expert fitters will use this as the first bra to try on any and every woman—so it's a safe bet.
Versatile fit: "If you're unsure of what breast shape you are, there are certain bras that are a bit more versatile than others. This sits on a lot of different bust shape," explains Claire, noting that this bra, out of all three, is most likely to suit the majority of women. It has adjustable straps and a firm back, so you can manoeuvre it into the right position.
Sweetheart neckline: This means you won't feel like you're in an over-the-shoulder boulder-holder. It will work with a range of lower necklines in your wardrobe.
Smooth finish: This is a great T-shirt bra option. The clean lines and slim padding create a seamless shape.
Range of sizes and colours: This goes up to an F cup, and it scales down to a 30 back. Black and nude are most popular, but Wacoal also offers brighter "fashion" shades each season.
Asian technology plus American fitting expertise: Wacoal is originally a Japanese brand, but with an HQ in the U.S., you get Asian innovation alongside great pattern cutting from America.
Shop more Wacoal bras
2. CHANTELLE'S FESTIVITE PLUNGE BRA
Style Notes: Chantelle has multiple front-runners, but the Festivité has been its big story for the past 12 months in Selfridges. "It's driving me insane because it comes in, and then it's gone again; we can barely keep up with the stock," Claire tells me. Here's why it's so popular.
Triangle-bra effect, but with plenty of support: "Triangles have been in fashion, but they have been a challenge if you're not a small cup; this gives a similar sort of look," says Claire.
Versatile fit: "It's the one most people try-on, and it just fits," she continues. "We fit all sorts of women in this—from a 32C to someone post-pregnancy."
Low cut for low necklines: The centre bridge (that bit in the middle of your bra) is particularly good for open shirts and blouses, or deep-V dresses.
Elastic lace is genius: The flat, elastic lace allows the bra to be more flexible and versatile so it can fit more women—but it's also subtle enough to not show up under tees and shirts.
Shop more Chantelle bras
3. SIMONE PERELE'S CARESSE BRA
Style Notes: Simone Pérèle is currently switching up much of its collection so it's hard to keep track of the best sellers on a day-to-day basis, but overall it's this Caresse style that keeps performing well. I also tried on the Delice Underwired 3D Contour Bra (£68) and took it home with me.
Spacer fabric: Spacer is basically a super high-tech type of ultra-thin padding. It's synthetic, so it holds its shape, but it's also breathable, like cotton, thanks to a clever honeycomb texture.
Lightweight and great for travel: You don't get too hot in this, and it feels weightless to wear—so it's great for being in all day, but it's also good for cramming into a suitcase.
Deep cups are good for fuller breasts: So if you have more volume at the top of your chest, this is the one.
Sweetheart neckline: This is the key detail that many women are opting for these days, even if they don't realise it.
Super-feminine: This French label offers the most delicate and girlish detailing, even across its simple T-shirt bras.
Remember that French sizing is different: DD doesn't exist, so you have to skip a size up. That means if you're usually a DD, choose E, and if E, then choose F, and so on.
Shop more Simone Perele
Next up, the lingerie mistakes everyone—us included—always make.
The story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.