Had a request from a friend to please list out what I buy in each area. She wants to just save time and look at those brands (based on my extensive shopping experience, I daresay), and skip the hassle.
So, without further ado, these are my Holy Grail Must-Have Must-Buy items in each category, I’ll do a series of posts because there are a lot, from Undergarments to Tops, and Bottoms.
All my posts on all my favourite Go To Brands can be found here.
A BIT OF BODY HISTORY
I’m an inverted triangle, am usually a US 4 for fitted clothing, but with US 6 shoulders. I’m about 5’6″ and fairly slender. Barely any hips or bum or chest to speak of, but in the past year, I’ve noticed I have gotten a little curvier around the bum and hips (age? hormones? who knows), and I’ve embraced it, but no one can feel it but me… (and my partner 😉 ).
As of late, I have had very little patience wearing anything too tight or fitted, and now take everything in a US 6 if I find it is even an eensy bit too tight (not just tops or jackets for my shoulders, bottoms too).
For instance, I fit into Lululemon pants US 4, but prefer to buy US 6, and will even go up to a US 8 as they are tight. I’ll be sure to make size / style notes below as well.
GENERAL SHOPPING TIPS
A lot of what I do is shopping online, I even wrote a post: How to shop online. Sometimes I get some hits, sometimes they are misses, but after a few times, I get a good idea from just pictures, fabrication and description where it works or not.
- Go into the store first and try on all of their bras to know what size you actually are so shopping online is easier
- Sign up for an online coupon (a newsletter tends to always give a percentage off)
- Wait for days like Black Friday before buying anything — major sales abound!
- Buy a whole bunch at once if you can to save on shipping and duties — mostly for us Canadians
- BE SURE it is something you want/need before you hit “buy”, and do LOTS AND LOTS OF RESEARCH online
- Don’t be afraid of eBay either, I have found insanely good deals on there with New with Tags (NWT) items
Ready? Let’s begin.
I am a small cup size so I don’t actually need any support to speak of, so I always look for:
- Moulded cups
- Lightly lined
- NOT PADDED LIKE A COUCH — false advertising, I say
- Wire-free options – I hate how they dig into my chest
- T-shirt styles
- Straps – nothing fancy with or without straps, strapless, cross straps, etc.
I want the most versatile, hassle-free, feels-like-your-own-skin kind of undergarments in a bra. I always buy more nude bras than other colours (e.g. black), because nude goes with everything.
To give you an idea, I DIY’d my own one-strap bra by cutting up an old nude bra:
Voilà, $80 saved.
That said, here are my favourites in this category:
THE EVERY DAY BRA
This is my go-to every day bra.
I have it in dark blue, dark purple, black and 5X in nude. I regret the purple purchase, I never wear it but I use it for yoga now, so it is not a total loss.
Yes, I use normal bras for yoga because I can (small chest, remember?). I hate the yoga or sports bras because they always feel so tight, are in a racerback style which looks HORRID on me and I hate spending money on a BRA just to work out.
I stock up with 5 at a time to get the maximum discounts.
They keep coming up with different versions of this bra, but just search for “T-shirt” “Wireless” and you should find the latest version. If you can see the version I hacked up above to make it a one-strap bra, it has a different look, and is not as comfortable as these moulded cup versions as of late.
(Yes I bought 5 pairs. I almost want to buy 5 more to be stocked for the next 10 years. What if they change the style again? *sob*)
Take your own bra size.
CAMISOLE STYLE BRA
Why would I even consider this? Because it is ridiculously comfortable and some days, I don’t want to wear a lot of stuff.
I like wearing collared shirts and blouses, and sometimes you want just a bit of lace peeking out from a camisole or tank or something, but without the actual layer of a camisole or tank.
Enter: The Bralette.
I bought the black Bralette from Cosabella and was blown away at how comfortable, and supportive it was. I hear from Size D friends that it feels good even in much larger cup sizes, so don’t rule them out completely if you’re larger up top.
The only thing I will say, is that I pretty much feel naked in these things. It’s just a strip of lace and cloth covering my chest, so I went to the store and picked up some padded foam cups (the removable kind) for about $20, to give the camisole a little shape (because normal breasts especially ones after having a child are not perfect round spheres), and to feel a little more covered so to speak.
I wear this bralette underneath collared shirts, buttoned up only to where you see a BIT of the bra peeking out, and yes I have worn BLACK bralettes underneath white collared shirts.
If you buy the cami-style version that is longer, it doesn’t look as sexy, it just looks like a cropped camisole underneath a blouse, and I feel so free and comfortable going about my day.
I take a Small in these, but suspect a Medium would do me fine as well because of my wider torso/shoulders/ribcage.
Honestly, I am not a thong or g-string girl any more (am really getting too cranky for a strip of cloth wedged up my ass any more), but if you are still one, go for it with the Hanky Panky thong line that EVERYONE swears by is the most comfortable thong in the world.
Me, I’ll stick to a full granny panty, thanks.
I love these panties. They are super soft, comfortable, stretchy, and DEFINITELY panty-line free.
They are NOT CHEAP but they last a long time.
They are also cotton, which is breathable. They have a microfiber cya seamless version but I am looking at the photos and I suspect that microfiber edge would cut into my thighs/bump and leave a bumpy look.
I take a S/M in these.
UNDERWEAR FOR PERIODS
I wear them in place of pantyliners, along with a Diva Cup. They DO show pantylines (I guess only their thong doesn’t), and I wrote a whole review on the Thinx Nude Cheeky Panties, and my review on the Diva Cup. They’re pretty handy and the stains come out (promise).
I take a Small in these and may do their Boyshort next.
I have purchased so many, and this is the only one I like. It isn’t too tight, it doesn’t have “shapewear” capabilities (I don’t need it), and is just a simple slip that goes over my body.
It skims, it doesn’t hug, and it looks like a miniskirt dress. I was once changing in a room and a girl turns and says: I love your dress!
Me: … It’s a slip…..
Her: OH! .. It looks like it could be a dress…
I guess? 🙂 Anyway, I bought it in nude and black, and wear them under all of my wraps or anything that needs a little more coverage and something like a camisole bralette won’t do (see above).
Stay tuned for the next installment: Blazers, Toppers & Leather Jackets
All my posts on all my favourite Go To Brands can be found here.