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The Fashion Memo

The ultimate bra guide

Bra and briefs by Le Petit Trou

Whether you’re looking for support, versatility or the perfect barely-there bra to peek out from under your blazer, we’ve got you covered

Fashion

The full-cup bra

Shopping for a fuller-cup bra can be like Sophie’s Choice: you just keep being told that you can’t have pretty and supportive, it’s got to be one or the other. But at last, lingerie labels are coming to our rescue. Adina Reay and Yasmine Eslami both offer seriously sexy mesh bras up to a cup size FF, while Agent Provocateur’s bright, playful lace numbers are decorated with bows, hearts and embroidery. Chantelle, Stella McCartney and Cosabella are delicate and still very good at asset management…

The soft-cup bra

For smooth, understatedly sexy soft-cup bras, Skin and Baserange can’t be beat: think soft fabrics and effortless designs that are ideal under blouses. For something a little more special but still subtle, Love Stories, Les Girls Les Boys, Kiki de Montparnasse and Anine Bing offer irresistibly fun lacy and printed styles that are perfect partners in crime for sheer tops and low-buttoned silk shirts.

The multiway bra

You’ve found the perfect backless dress that fits like a glove, but the effect is being ruined by your bra straps. Now solutions abound to lift, smooth, sculpt and shape so you can feel secure in your favorite out-out outfit. We love La Perla’s take on the multiway, while Calvin Klein’s strapless style is a lingerie-drawer must. Then there’s our new discovery, Cali-based brand Fashion Forms, which uses hi-tech fabrics to create invisible support.

The contour bra

For under your favorite white tee or to create subtle shape for a specific outfit, give yourself a show of support and invest in the perfect contour bra. Stella McCartney, Chantelle and La Perla all have matching sets in classic shades, with lace or mesh detailing in stretch satins and jersey. When only smooth lines will suffice, look for molded cups to give a seamless and flattering shape without unrealistic extra lift.

The beautiful bra

Whether you prefer sleek silk, rainbow-hued lace or delicate detailing, there’s a real thrill to truly beautiful lingerie. If you want to go all-out glam, Agent Provocateur and Fleur du Mal offer red lace and sheer mesh suspender belt sets, corset details and super-seductive pairings. For unique one-shoulder bras and cut-out bodysuits, try Coco de Mer or I.D Sarrieri’s crystal-embellished and floral lace numbers.

The supportive bra

Need something with a little more support? Stella McCartney and Else have your back. Try a fashionable yet very functional bodysuit – they have inbuilt bras and will sculpt your stomach as well as supporting and lifting your breasts.

The eco option

Baserange uses eco-friendly fibers such as organic cotton and bamboo to create its beautifully simple, sporty-inspired lingerie. The label also collaborates with female- and family-run businesses, avoids toxic ingredients and uses techniques that minimize water consumption.

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The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown.