Silhouette: The overlooked aspect of bra shopping

I’ve written and read so many lingerie reviews in the last few years that you’d think I would now be an expert in selecting the perfect bra. I’ve just about got my head around how complicated bra sizing is, I know how to select a style I like that will suit and support me, plus I now know all the aspects of a good fit and how to adjust the bra to ensure you’ve achieved it. However, there’s one aspect that I always neglect, or forget about completely, and that’s the silhouette that a bra gives you.

Lori wearing the Love ur Look Pink Candy Collar DressHow many times have you tried a bra on without putting your top back on over it? It’s so obvious when you think about it – I mean, most of the time you wear a bra it’ll be underneath other clothes, right? – but it’s all too easy to look in the mirror and make up your mind purely on how the bra looks on its own. It’s pretty and fits well, decision made! But how many times have you put on clothing over a newly purchased bra to discover that it doesn’t give the silhouette you expected?

My most common reason for an otherwise lovely bra remaining in my lingerie drawer is that it only looks good under one specific outfit. I’ve got some bras that look fine on their own, but can’t be worn underneath a high-necked shirt or jumper because my boobs appear to sit too low. I’ve got other bras that look great until you put on a top and realise that the cups are so shallow that you look a bit… flat. Sometimes that works well for ensuring blouse buttons don’t gape, but most of the time it just looks wrong to me and so the bra goes back in the drawer.

I’m slowly getting into the habit of checking this when I buy a new bra, but will still not rule a style out completely for having an unusual silhouette on me. After all, I now have a mix of styles that work under the various shapes of dresses, t-shirts, turtle necks and shirts that I own (for example, the bra I was wearing when I tried on the pink dress above is definitely¬†not the bra I wear with it now!). However, it’s always worth putting a layer back on over the bra you’re trying on and checking yourself out in the mirror from all angles. You’ll be surprised what a deal breaker a weird side profile can be.

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Plus, edited by Bethany Rutter