How to Choose the Right Bra for Your Dress

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How to Choose the Right Bra for Your Dress

Bright white bra straps with a figure hugging, off the shoulder, little black dress is not a great look. A sexy, silky bra clearly visible through a backless dress is also not conducive to an elegant appearance. However, the correct bra helps to lift and accentuate the figure, and creates a smooth, attractive line. Which bra to choose depends on both the style and the colour of the dress. By choosing the most appropriate type of bra, a woman can be sure that her dress will have clean lines, no unsightly straps, and that her outfit can be worn in comfort with confidence.

There are a wide range of bras available to purchase, from purely practical bras, to sexy, fashionable ones. This guide gives shoppers a number of different options of bras to pair with many of the most common dress types. It also explains the process of measuring for and buying the right bra size. Bras of all shapes, sizes, and styles can be purchased from lingerie retailers, clothing shops, and department stores, as well as eBay, which has a large number of bras ready to purchase at fabulous prices.

Which Bra to Wear With Which Dress

Fashion is constantly changing, with new materials and new styles being created and worn every year. There are, however, some staple dress types that are timeless, and remain popular, regardless of the shifts in fashion trends. Bras worn with these dresses are practical items to support and lift the breasts, and not the focal point of the outfit. When choosing a bra to wear with a particular dress, women should consider the need to have an appropriate level of comfort and support, as well as the desire for clean, flattering lines that do not detract from the beauty and elegance of the dress.

Backless Dresses

Backless dresses are elegant and very feminine. However, this beautiful look can be ruined easily if the shoulder straps, back band, or hook and eye fastener is on display. Luckily, there are a number of different options available that give support to the bust and help to maintain the stylish look of the dress.

Transparent straps on bras are an excellent choice, especially if the dress wearer has a large bust that requires very firm support, which she would not get from a strapless bra. Bras with transparent straps can be purchased in a variety of colours, patterns and styles. The back band of these bras is either transparent or flesh-coloured. While the transparent straps are visible close up, they are invisible from a distance, provided the bra is a good fit.

A low back bra can be worn with a backless dress. This style of bra has a similar structure to a regular bra, but it has a strap that wraps around the lower part of the back and joins together close to the waist. A low b ack bra converter consists of a fully-adjustable elasticated strip that attaches to the hook and eye fastener of a regular bra and transforms it into a low back bra. The main disadvantages to a converter of this nature are that it is likely to be visible through tight fitting dresses and it may prove to be uncomfortable when worn for long periods.

A backless bra is another option when wearing a backless dress. As the name suggests, it has no back band or hook and eye fasteners, and is held steady by shoulder straps. These bras only offer light to medium control, so they are not suitable for women with large busts.

Silicone adhesive bras adhere to the skin, and have no back band or shoulder straps. They are held in place with adhesive strips built into the bra. These silicone bras remain in place for long periods, even when wet, and are easily cleaned with soap and warm water. Silicone bras offer only light to medium control, and so are not suited to women who require more support.

Silk Dresses and Tight Fitting Dresses

Silk dresses and those that are tight fitting tend to cling to the body, so the seams of many bras are clearly visible, creating imperfections in the smooth line of the outfit. The best choice for these dresses are seamless bras. Some seamless bras have no seams anywhere on the bra, except where the straps connect to the cups, whereas others just have seamless cups. Both types help to create a smooth, flowing look in tight fitting, or silky dresses.

Halter Neck Dresses

A halter neck dress has a single strap of material that connects around the back of the neck. It allows the back of the wearer to be uncovered, and is a favoured style of dress, both as day wear in the summer months, and as evening wear. A halter neck bra is a good option for this type of dress. Like the dress, this bra is held around the back of the neck. A strapless bra is also an option, but the halter neck bra offers more support for women with a larger bust, or who prefer firm control.

Lace Dresses

Lace dresses are very revealing, and the bra worn underneath will most certainly be seen. Any bra style can be worn with a lace dress, but for a less obvious appearance, wearers should consider a bra which blends in with the lace fabric. Another option, for a more stand-out look, is to wear a bra of a strong, contrasting colour, or perhaps a camisole over the top of the bra.

Bra Sizing

As well as the style of the bra being appropriate, the bra must also be the correct size. If the wrong bra size is chosen, the bra may be uncomfortable and not offer the right level of support, or it may be very obvious beneath the dress and ruin the effect. Over 80% of women wear the incorrect bra size. Many women choose a bra that fits initially, and continue to wear that size over a long period of time, not taking into account that bra sizes changes as weight fluctuates. A bra can also become out of shape as the material stretches with repeated washing.

When buying a bra, it is important to get the proper measurements. Measurements should be taken while wearing an old bra, even an ill-fitting one. To find the band size, measure around the body, just underneath the breasts. Measure in inches, then round this number up to the nearest even number. Take another measurement, in inches, around the fullest part of the breast, again, rounding up to the nearest whole number. Using the chart below, convert the difference between these two numbers to calculate the cup size required.

Measurement Difference in Inches

Cup Size Required

Less than 1 inch


1 inch


2 inches


3 inches


4 inches


5 inches


6 inches


7 inches


8 inches


9 inches


10 inches


The chart above allows buyers to choose the best sized bra correctly, which means that the bra is comfortable and offers the correct level of support. Selecting the right bra also ensures that the bra works well with the chosen style of dress, without creating visible lines and bulges.

Bra Colour

When striving for an elegant look, nothing is worse than a bright or dark coloured bra showing plainly though a white, or light coloured dress, unless, of course, it is a deliberate style choice. There are a wide range of colours in most bra styles, so this faux pas can be avoided easily. White bras work well under light dresses, and nude bras are also an excellent option, as they match and compliment the skin tone. With nude bras, the colour should match as closely as possible to the skin of the wearer, to create an almost invisible look.

Purchasing a Bra on eBay

A bra can be purchased from a lingerie shop or department store. It can also be purchased from online retailers or an auction site, such as eBay.

When purchasing a bra from eBay, buyers should make sure that they choose a reputable eBay seller. The feedback for the seller gives the buyer a good indication of whether or not the sale will be smooth and straightforward. Feedback is left by previous buyers once a transaction has been completed and can be positive, negative, or neutral.

Buyers can search for a bra from the eBay homepage. They can then choose from one of the many categories available to narrow their search. The search can be narrowed down further by choosing the size of bra that is required. Once they have found a bra that they are interested in buying, they should read the description, and look at the photos. If there are any areas of concern, then they can ask the seller a question about the condition of the bra.


Wearing the wrong bra can completely ruin the look of a dress. A bright green bra worn beneath a delicate white dress does not necessarily make the right statement. The correct bra is invisible, whereas the wrong bra is clearly noticeable to all. This guide gives advice and guidance for choosing a bra with the right look, support, and level of comfort to match the dress that the buyer wants to wear. It also provides fitting advice, helping to avoid discomfort and unsightly bulging. Some bras are not suited to women who need firm control, and others are more suited to a particular dress style. Bras are available with and without straps, so the right bra can always be found for backless or even halter neck dresses. Using this guide allows buyers to achieve an elegant appearance with a smooth, attractive line by shopping for the right bra on eBay.

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