Your Guide To The Comfiest Bralettes That Don’t Skimp On Style Or Support

If 2020 was the year we killed off the bra, then 2021 is the unofficial year of the bralette. Wire-free support, extra soft materials and comfort without anything pinching or digging in – as Hannah Montana sings, they’re the best of both worlds. Perfect for our post-pandemic, remote-working world where loungewear sets and house dresses are wardrobe essentials.
Despite popular opinion, bralettes aren’t just for members of the itty bitty titty committee. From simple, seamless, cami-style designs to pretty lace pieces that you’ll want to show off, plenty of brands are designing bralettes for bigger busts that don’t skimp on support or style.
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But after more than a year of bra-free living and – for some of us – the inability to shop for new lingerie in person, where do you start looking for your perfect bralette? According to Tanya Robertson, founder of inclusive lingerie retailer womanhood, there are three design features to take into consideration.
1. The underband
"The thicker the underband, the better the support. Underbands should have some stretch to them so they can move and adjust to your rib size effectively. Our top tip: look for a ruched underband as these are really effective at offering support."
2. The straps
"A similar principle applies: the thicker the strap, the better the support. Straps shouldn’t dig into shoulders so if you have a bigger bust, look for straps that have a slight padding to alleviate the pressure on the shoulders."
3. Specific design features
"Some bras offer a cross stitching inside the bra that supports from the inside (Moons and Junes do this!). Another feature to look for is boning, which is essentially support to the side of the bust."
To make your search easier, we’ve done some digging to find the comfiest, most supportive and stylish designs on offer for every bust size. From household names on the lingerie scene to the high street, indie and sustainable brands and plus-size lines, read on for the best bralettes to shop now.
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Best bralettes for small boobs

There’s no better bra design for small boobs than a wireless bralette. Triangular designs especially are great as they are designed to follow the natural shape of your bust, meaning you don’t have to worry about any material gaping around your ribcage or armpits. Lucky for you, there’s plenty of choice out there, with extra pretty designs featuring lace, mesh or sheer materials.
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Day to day, ultra soft, unpadded triangle bras like these from Baserange and Sloggi offer a second-skin feel with just enough support to feel confident and comfortable. For small-busted girls looking for an extra oomph in the chest area, try bralettes with removable pads or a lifting halterneck design.
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Best bralettes for medium boobs

Those in the mid range of sizes have a tricky line to tread; you need more coverage than the non-wired, non-padded, tiny triangle bralettes but aren’t quite filling out the full cup, longline designs. What you need is the middle ground: triangular designs with an extra underband for support, slightly thicker straps and back straps than your small-boobed sisters, and racerbacks that take some of the pressure off your shoulders.
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Best bralettes for big boobs

For those with bigger busts, there are supportive bralette options out there, it’s just a case of knowing what to look for. First up, a longline bralette like this one from Torrid is brilliant. It not only doubles up as a cute, lace crop top but that extra material on the bottom offers lots of support, as does the high back. 
Another feature to look out for is an inner sling: a separate piece of fabric on the interior (or exterior) of the bra which can also include a thin yet sturdy piece of cord that holds the two cups at the front, just above the underband. Both provide yet another level of support that keeps you in place. You can find them on the likes of this Cosabella design (which we love for coming in a more inclusive range of nude shades to match more skin tones) and these two Lively pieces here and here. They prove that the classic triangular bralette look can be worn by bigger busts as well as small.
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Best plus-size bralettes for support

Much of the advice for bigger boobs applies to plus-size babes, too. The material under the cups and round your back is just as important as that holding your bust, a higher back or racerback design reduces the pressure on your neck and shoulders, and an extra soft underband means no uncomfortable rubbing.
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Best lace bralettes

Pretty, sexy lingerie needn’t be uncomfortable, as these gorgeous lace designs prove.
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Best white bralettes

Every lingerie drawer needs one or two quality white bralettes. Whether you’re a scoop-front, cami kind of girl or you like the plunge-front look, they’re an essential everyday piece – especially in the summer under your fave white T-shirts and blouses.
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Best black bralettes

Another essential, there’s no end of choice when it comes to black bralettes, from lacy pieces to simple, seamless designs for everyday. Statement pieces like this one from Underprotection double up as a date night top when worn with a pair of high-waisted jeans and a blazer.
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Best simple bralettes

Soft, comfortable and supportive enough to wear all day, these simple bralettes are the MVP of the work from home uniform.
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Refinery29's selection is purely editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items we love! As part of our business model we do work with affiliates; if you directly purchase something from a link on this article, we may earn a small amount of commission. Transparency is important to us at Refinery29, if you have any questions please reach out to us.

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