How Many bras should I have?
This is a question we often get asked, and in the same way that you can’t expect your shoes to work with all your outfits, you will need different bras to work with your entire wardrobe (and different occasions in your life).
And yes, if you had to have only one bra and you didn’t want it to show under your clothes and work with as many outfits as possible, we would recommend a smooth bra as close to your skin tone as possible (but you may still need a sports bra, so that’s already two!). But that would be comparable to eating the same food or wearing the exact same outfit every day – not much fun.
So, the question remains: how many bras should I have? The answer is whatever works for you. But bear in mind that in order to get the most out of your bras, you shouldn’t wear them two days in a row, you probably need more than one of your favourite (it needs washing every two to three wears, or after each day if you get sweaty), and saving a bra for best is a waste of money as your size is more than likely to change with time.
For us, the magic number is six. Here they are:
A couple of flesh-coloured ones. These may vary a lot in colour depending on your skin, but as a rule, you want to go darker not lighter than your skin tone for invisibility purposes. These two happen to be smooth, one a plunge, one more a balcony that can also be changed into a strapless bra. These are only a must if you do not like showing your bras through your clothes.
A push up bra (we picked a nice neon one this time because life is too short for boring underwear!) for when you feel like showing a little cleavage or the neckline of your outfit needs something lower cut. It has little removable cookies inside so you can choose how much vavavoom you show.
A balcony bra. We’ve gone for red (because it doesn’t show through white) and it’s a colour that makes us happy. The balcony shape is especially good under square necklines like vest tops and spaghetti straps. This is also the bra we often call your ‘date night’ bra…because of what it does to your assets.
A black bra. This one happens to have a long line lace detail that when worn makes us feel a little sexier. But we think everybody should own at least one black bra…it’s a bit like that little black dress – a staple for any wardrobe.
A sports bra. Wired or not will be down to personal preference. Make sure you invest in a properly fitting sports bra if you do any kind of high impact activity (anything that makes your breasts bounce up and down) to avoid future sagging and to improve your comfort whilst exercising. It will also improve your performance!
These six bras would cover most of our wardrobe, but we’ll be honest it still wouldn’t be enough for us. We like to wear a non-wired sports bra for Pilates, and that wouldn’t work for more high impact activities for us; we go at least a cup size bigger just before our period, so we have a couple of bigger bras for those days too; we tend to buy two of our favourite bras so they last longer.
Ultimately, there is no magic number and we often expect our lingerie to last longer than it should and to work under every item in our wardrobe. So, the answer to how many bras is whatever works for you!
In the same way that some will own two pairs of shoes, others will have 20+ in their wardrobe. It is the same for bras. If you can cope with just 2 (one on, one in the wash) then good for you. If you need more variety in your lingerie drawer, that’s fine too. Regardless of how many you have, follow the rules below and you should never have to own an uncomfortable, ill-fitting bra again.
First, always get fitted. Don’t assume your size will remain the same. It changes all the time (weight fluctuations, hormonal changes, lifestyle) and don’t get hung up on a specific shape as not all bras will work for you and your lifestyle. Accept that breasts change with age (unless you have paid for them).
If you only ever wear two to four bras, these will need replacing once a year. Trust us, if we were to give you the same bra (in the appropriate size) a year on, you would notice the difference. Think about this: if you had to wear the same six items of clothing for a year (and only those) what state do you think they would be in after 12 months? They would need replacing.
Don’t feel you have to justify buying new underwear…do you justify that new top? No, even though you probably have over a dozen at home. Just because ‘no one sees it’ doesn’t mean you should keep on wearing that grey, overstretched underwear. Unlike leather shoes that can be re-soled, an old bra cannot be fixed. You cannot change a wire or bring back the elasticity to a worn out backband.
And please, if you are hoping to lose or gain weight, don’t wait until you have reached your goals to get yourself fitted. Go do it now! This way you will start your health journey with properly fitting underwear. This will make you feel more confident and comfortable which in turn is more likely to encourage you to stick to your new lifestyle. There is nothing more satisfying than getting to a point where you need to replace something because it is no longer size appropriate, rather than wearing the same old bra and for it never quite fit right.
And if getting rid of your unwanted bras makes you feel guilty, remember we have a bra bank. Your bras will earn money for charity then either be given a second lease of life or be recycled for parts, making room for better bras for yourself.
Don’t wait any longer. Book yourself an appointment at Amelie’s Follies for that long overdue bra fitting.