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Top 5 Bras Every College Girl Should Own


Top 5 Bras Every College Girl Should Own

I love lingerie. I truly believe that a strategically placed hint of hot pink or dash of lace can truly influence how I feel and act. Whether you believe that or not, it’s undeniable that a great bra can have a HUGE impact on how your clothes fit and, in turn, how you look.

If you haven’t been bra shopping for a while, go get fitted! Then check out this list for the essentials. No matter your size, style needs, or price range, this list is a great starting point for expanding that lingerie drawer!

1. The T-Shirt Bra

The T-Shirt Bra is your basic, go-to, everyday bra. Generally, T-shirt bras are lightly padded, or simply lined, to create a nice shape. T-shirt bras look great under tank tops, button ups, and obviously, form fitting tees.

TShirt Bra

If you’re looking for a great t-shirt bra, Victoria’s Secret PINK is the perfect place to start. They have great t-shirt bras both in full cup and demi styles, as well as bras in fun colors with lace side panels. These bras also feature a tiny hook on one strap that allow them to be worn three ways: halter, crossback, and classic.

If you choose the demi bra, you can pick from sizes 32-24AA-C and 36B-C.

The full cup bra with lace panels comes in sizes 32 A-D, 34 A-D, and 36B-D.

If you need a bigger size, Figleaves Basics offers an adorable and totally affordable lace-trimmed t-shirt bra starting at size 32DD, all the way through 38G.

2. The Strapless Bra

We all know how uncomfortable an ill-fitting strapless bra can be. If you get the wrong size, you face a few fashion issues–it’s too tight, it falls down, or it just looks awkward. A strapless bra that fits well, however, is your best friend. It will get you through strapless dresses, tank tops, halters, and one-shoulders without missing a beat.

When purchasing a strapless bra, it often helps to spend a bit more money and go to a department store to get fitted and find the best selections for your size. If you can, invest in a bra that is specifically strapless and not a convertible–in most cases, they tend have better construction and fit. Look for details such as internal gel strips, wire or plastic-reinforced side panels, and wide backs and sides for bras that will stay up and on.


My favorite strapless bras on the market (pictured above) include:

Pour Moi? Elegance strapless bra (at Figleaves), which features lace embroidery, removable straps, and a rhinestone center in a variety of sizes, sizes 32, 34, 36, 38A-E.

Felina ‘Hint of Skin’ Underwire Strapless Bra (at Figleaves), a seamless, foam contour bra with subtle push-up padding, sizes 32, 34, 36 B-D.

Victoria’s Secret Plunge multi-way bra with Gel-Curve, that creates a smooth line under any top, provides a great shape, and gives great cleavage, sizes 32-36A-DD, 38C-DD.

3. The Push-Up Bra

Every girl needs a great push-up bra. Whether you wear it to show off some cleavage, enhance your cup size, or just to treat yourself to a little sexy secret, a fabulous push-up is a wardrobe must.

Depending on your cup-size and what look you’re going for, you can pick a push-up with no padding or a lot of padding. If you’re looking for something on the more extreme end of the spectrum, there are bras filled with air, gel, and water that will increase your overall size and contribute to some killer cleavage. Because of these extra inserts, expect to spend a bit more on this type of bra.

There is so much variety in push-up bras now! You can have basic black or hot pink leopard print with lace – have fun with color and get something that makes you feel great.

Also, when it comes to picking your perfect push-up, make sure that you have classy (not smashed!) cleavage and lots of lift and support. The fit has to be right – if it’s too tight or too loose, look elsewhere!


Some of my favorite push-up picks are:

Frederick’s of Hollywood Liquid Lift Lace Bra, that promises to add a full cup size to your bust using liquid filled cups that warm to your body, sizes 32, 34, 36 A-C, 38 B-C, 40 C.

Betsey Johnson Rebel Rose Bra, a light pink bra with black lace overlay for rocker-edge with adorable bow accents, subtly padded, sizes 32, 34, 36 B-D.

Jezebel Coco Underwire Push-Up Bra (at Figleaves), a contoured push-up with removable push-up pads, mesh panels, and a keyhole center with a charm for elegance and romance, sizes 32-38 A-DD.

4. The Sports Bra

If you work out at all, you need to wear a sports bra! I cannot stress the importance of this enough.

A good sports bra keeps the girls in place and supports your back while you’re feeling the burn. Not enough to make you wear one? Did you know that your breasts can fly almost 8 inches outward when you run? Or, consider the fact that you have ligaments in your breasts that stretch over the course of your exercise program–this stretching can lead to sagging! Put a sports bra on the twins and call it a day.

If you’re a larger cup size, it can be incredibly difficult to find a sports bra that is supportive, comfortable, and fits correctly. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to pick up any old sports bra at Target like smaller chested girls, but there are bras on the market that will work for you!


A great bra for small and full-chested girls alike is the Shock Absorber bra (available at Figleaves). Shock Absorber bras come in different support levels from 1-4, 1 for small cup sizes doing low-impact exercise, and 4 for large cup sizes doing “extreme” impact exercises like running or soccer.

For the college gym, the Shock Absorber Support Level 3 Crossback crop top bra is a great pick. The padded straps can be worn traditionally or cross back, the bra is made from a fabric that helps to wick away sweat, and it has internal cups with hidden layers. It also features a two-hook back with hook and eye closure. Shock Absorber bras are sized like traditional bras and the Crossback comes in sizes 32 A-D, 34-36 A-DD, and 38 B-DD.

Other great sports bras include:

Nike Dri-Fit Core Bra, a colorful, tagless,compression fit bra with flat seams to reduce chaffing, sizes XS-XL.

Lululemon Not So Deep V Bra, a bikini-style bra featuring mesh racerback and inserts in an adorable pattern, sizes 4-12.

5. The Wireless Bra

Wireless bras are great for comfortable support. If you don’t like the feeling of that constricting, sometimes painful underwire, wireless bras are a great option for creating an almost identical look with a more relaxed feel.

Wear a wire-free bra as you would any other! They’re lightweight but still look great under tops, wrap dresses, sweat shirts, and pajamas for those of you who wear bras to bed. If you’re looking for shape, choose a wireless bra that is lined and has smooth fabric. If you like how wireless bras feel and aren’t looking for support, lace bralettes are a great way to go.


My picks for wireless bras include:

Spanx Bra-llelujiah! Wireless Front-Closure Bra (at Nordstrom), which promises to provide support and minimize unsightly back fat by conforming to your body, sizes 32-36 A-C

Victoria’s Secret Ipex Wireless Bra, a smooth, light bra with great coverage and support in a variety of neutral hues, sizes 32A-D, 34-36A-DD, 38B-DD, 40C-DD.

Honeydew Camellia Lace Bralette (at Figleaves) is comfortable, pretty, and perfect for small chests, sizes S-XL.

Your Thoughts?

Are you a lingerie lover? What’s your go-to, every day bra? Is it hard for you to find sizes or styles you like? Are you plain-jane or a wild girl with your unmentionables? Let us know with your comments!

Posted on on September 17, 2009 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , ,

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50 Responses to “Top 5 Bras Every College Girl Should Own”

  1. 1
    September 17th, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Amazing! :D very useful :)
    I have a lot of t-shirt bras already, so I’m looking for the strapless one, right now, since one shoulder shirts look awful with regular bras… :/

  2. 2
    September 17th, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Totally useful :) I have lots of problems when it comes to bras I haven’t find my perfect one yet but this article gave me some ideas :)

  3. 3
    September 17th, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    A post after my own heart! Bras are my biggest problem because I’m top heavy.

  4. 4
    September 17th, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    I am top heavy as well.
    I love victoria secret wireless full coverage ipez bras (i’m a 34DD) but I have struggled big time to find a strapless bra that didn’t hurt the heck out of me after an hour.
    I’m definitely going to investigate that fig leaves website, looks like they have some great stuff

  5. 5
    September 17th, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Great article topic! I actually work at Victoria’s Secret and wearing the right bra is ESSENTIAL for clothing to look its best (or no bra, but with the proper styling tools…double stick tape, petals, ect.). I completely agree with all of your choices. I personally do not feel wireless is necessary for every person but it is a great option if you dont like underwires. If anyone has any questions about bras I would be happy to offer my expertise (part-time associate all through college, 3.5 years). Just a tip in general for bra shopping, not specific to Victoria’s Secret, do not be afraid to ask for help or to ask questions about the bras and their fit. We are all there to help and want to get you all in the best bra possible!

  6. 6
    September 17th, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Great article – just wanted to give another suggestion for sports bras for top-heavy girls. Title Nine ( is where I have gotten all of my sports bras and they are the best I’ve ever found – I’m a DD and it’s so hard to find supportive sports bras!

  7. 7
    September 17th, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Great article! I have one suggestion about sports bras: I know they’re supposed to hold you in, but make sure they aren’t TOO tight! I got one that was too tight and had major breathing problems while running. I wore it a few times before I figured out it was the bra, not just me!

    I actually haven’t worn a wireless bra since umm middle school? Maybe I’ll try one on just for fun next time.

  8. 8
    September 17th, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    This is a great post idea! It was a long time before I realized the importance of a good fitting bra and having the right bra for the occasion. It can make or break your outfit!

    I haven’t tried a wireless bra yet, I always figured that they wouldn’t work for me but I may look into it :)

  9. 9
    September 17th, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    I feel very good- I’m in high school and I own 4 out of the 5 bras! The sports bra is very importan because I do Irish Dance, and I have more everyday bras then push up or no underwire. I don’t own a strapless bra, but I sooooo rarely, if ever wear anything strapless it’s not really worth it. I’ll probally get one eventually.

    BTW, I think Calvin Klein makes some of the best and most comfortable everyday bras EVER.

  10. 10
    September 17th, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Great summary! I have noticed too that a great bar can take you soooo far. It’s the foundation of your look. I always look for something that can enhance my cleavage (I think my girls are too far apart…). One suggestion I can offer is never put bras into the washer. Hand care will keep your best fitting bras with you for years.

  11. 11
    September 17th, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    I love lingerie, too! I pretty much buy bras weekly (today I actually bought 2 sets and some individual bras). I have tons of each of these 5 types. Currently, I’m in the process of trying to organize my lingerie drawer… I even have to hang some in my closet. Now reading this is making me want to buy more. Anyways, this is a really great post! I was so excited when I saw it! All of these bras are pretty necessary to have, maybe except for the wireless for some girls. However, I usually wear bras to bed so they are really comfortable for that. Thanks for posting this!

  12. 12
    September 17th, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    A whole article about bras….and Nordstrom is only mentioned *once*?

    Victoria’s Secret is a joke. They try and push everyone down and into their size ranges. They ‘measured’ me, and stuck me in a 38C. You know the whole saying “9 in 10 women are wearing the wrong bra size”? Went to Nordstorm, where they know exactly what they’re doing, and they put me in the size I belong (36DD) and I feel 1000% better. Not to mention they do complementary consultations and measurements to ensure you’re buying the right bras for your body.

    Yes, I realize the point was to show different kinds of bras and I definitely agree, but I have to say of all my girlfriends, even the die-hard VS lovers, never go in there anymore because they’ve gone to Nordstrom. I also agree with the above – the right bra can pretty much make or break your day!

  13. 13
    September 17th, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    How does a bra fitting works? Is it awkward? Please answer, thanks! :)

  14. 14
    September 17th, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    Ally–I’m a diehard Nordstrom bra girl–I’m a 32D, so VS doesn’t always carry my size. That being said, Nordy’s bras can get pretty expensive, and I wanted to highlight a range of prices, styles, and sizes here. If you get fitted at Nordstrom and buy that size at Vickies it makes a world of difference. PS, the Betsey Johnson, Felina, and Jezebel bras are all sold at Nordstrom!

    Jenny–Bra fittings aren’t bad at all! If you go to a place like Nordstrom, they’ll take you back into a fitting room, have you take off your shirt and then measure (with your bra on!) the area right under your bust, the area directly above your bust, and your bust itself. From this, they get band numbers (32, 34, 36, etc) and cup sizes. Like Ally said, Nordstrom is a great place to do this because they have EXCELLENT customer service and will make sure that they get you into the correct sized bra!

  15. 15
    September 17th, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    I am sorry for those of you that have had bad experiences at VS, but we too offer complimentary bra fittings and are always availible to help you with fit. And for those of you that wear 32D and 32DD, Vickie’s is carrying those sizes in many bras now, including 3 of the 5 styles mentioned above (t-shirt, push-up, strapless). I do agree that nordstrom gives great customer service, but at most VS’s you should receive equal if not better help when shopping for a bra.

  16. 16
    September 17th, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    This article was amazing. I mean, I think that it takes a while to find a good bra, just because people are all different–but this article really brought it home.

    I am tired of seeing girls in the gym wear every day bras—that is so annoying–it is as bad as running on the treadmill in 3inch heels.

    I also really liked the fact that bralettes were mentioned. I personally live in a cold climate and do not prefer for the whole world to get an outline of my anatomy when I get cold–but they’re bold. More often than not–they are fun colors. Plus they make you feel brave to venture into the world with so little material for underwear–instead of padded bra armor.

  17. 17
    September 17th, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    Oh yes, i soo agree with the sports bra. I didn’t really have any sports bras until i purchased then awhile ago i do high impact aerobics, so a supportive one is a must!). Getting bras that wick moisture (not the cotton/lycra filmsy ones) are also ideal! Sizing for sports bras: go 1-2 (2 is best) from your normal bra size i.e not your cup, because you need to feel the firmness of the bra.

    I also owe the lululemon mentioned in the white! SO lovely

  18. 18
    September 18th, 2009 at 12:34 am

    Great post! I have all of these except the push up bra. My favorite for every-day wear is a 3/4 cup, wired, slightly padded bra (I have quite a small cup size – 34 B).

    Also, don’t forget the importance of nude bras! Nude bras work much better than white ones under white clothing! I have a wireless, strapless nude bra which sees me through *so* much!

  19. 19
    September 18th, 2009 at 1:10 am

    I agree with Leia on the nude bras! So much better than white. White is definitely visible through other whites. That’s a good point to make because when I see girls’ white bras through their shirt it drives me insane!

  20. 20
    September 18th, 2009 at 1:55 am

    Helpful post – there are an appalling amount of girls who still don’t seem to know these things! I’ve never bought a bra at Nordstrom; I will have to try next time, if I can ever get any farther in than the very addictive shoe department. You have my sympathy, Liza, as I am also a 32D. All my friends buy Aerie bras, which are adorable, obsessively, but they NEVER have any that fit me. Sad days. Nice tip that strapless bras are really different from convertibles; I didn’t know that.

    @Luinae: I’m an Irish dancer, too! Sorry, that just made me really excited. I’m also an equestrian, and horses are really bouncy, too, so I went on a giant sports bra quest this summer, sick of nothing working. Still haven’t found a perfect one :(

  21. 21
    September 18th, 2009 at 3:16 am

    Very helpful article. I only get my bras at Victoria’s secret, its a habit, lol.

  22. 22
    September 18th, 2009 at 8:29 am

    Bra shopping for me means going to and ordering bras. I have small boobies – 32AA – and so I never find my size anyone. Aerie bras are great for me. The only thing is I ordered two different styles once and while one style fit, the other fit weird, and they were both the same size. I wish Aerie carried AA’s in-store so I could try them on before purchasing them. Or… I wish I had B-cups… because that seems to be the easiest bra size to find and I’d have nice cleavage too.

  23. 23
    September 18th, 2009 at 8:30 am

    find my size anywhere* — *yawn* It’s early over here.

  24. 24
    September 18th, 2009 at 9:18 am

    @Julie and other top heavy girls,

    I’m a 32 E or 34DD and so it is hard trying to find bras that are stylish and fun but also give enough support. So if anyone has any tips/fav stores let me know!

    Also, I had the hardest time shopping for bras when my whole family moved to Asia from Canada a couple years ago. Glad to know that since I’m in the US now, I have more choices.

  25. 25
    September 18th, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Great post! I just bought Pink’s new t-shirt and push up bras and love, love, love them. They totally fit well and were a really good deal (2 for $32…can’t beat that!)

  26. 26
    September 18th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Likewise with Lalalina, I worked at VS for what seemed to be forever. Made it all the way to a CSL before having my daughter and leaving. The right bra makes your look complete. Most women don’t like public fittings so it’s simple to do with a tape measurement at home. Most associates will get your measurments right – it’s always ideal to try on the bra even if you know your size. I’m a 36B in Very Sexy bras but a 36A in some Body By Victoria bras.

    My favorite go-to bra are ALWAYS push-up bras. But around the house it’s a simple t-shirt bra. I’ve never liked strapless. I’m pretty much a black or nude color wearer but always wore fashion colors in high school. I love Lace! It gives that extra oomph.

  27. 27
    September 18th, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    I love aerie too! I just changed shape (again. For crying out loud I’m almost twenty, aren’t I supposed to be done with puberty by now??) and I need all new bras, so I’m in the market. I’ll definitely check out nordstroms as well as VS and aerie.

  28. 28
    September 18th, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    I wear a T-shirt bra most of the time, a sports bra or a strapless bra when I need to. I NEVER wear a push-up bra, because I really DON’T want to emphasize that part of my anatomy. As for colors, I’m just starting to move beyond the white or flesh tones my school required (a bright color would be visible under our white blouses). I’m still too insecure to try leopard print, though.

    You didn’t list a single T-shirt bra in my size! It’s really difficult to find size 36A (everything seems to be 34A or 36B), any ideas?

  29. 29
    September 18th, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    not sure if this is terrible, but as i said above i’m pretty top heavy (34 DD) but im extremely active and pretty thin for having such big boobs.
    I know someoe said earlier girls with big boobs can’t just go to target and buy any old sports bra… but i do.
    I love the champion sports bras they carry there…the only thing is I double bag boobs or wear two sports bras at ones.
    It holds them supportively through everything from running to jumping jacks and kick boxing.
    anyone else find that wearing two sports bras at once really does the trick?

  30. 30
    September 19th, 2009 at 8:35 am

    I love your site and I admire most of your posts, but this note lacks a lot of information. First of all, it didn’t mention any bras in band sizes smaller than 32 – and actually, an avarage college girl band size is rather 30, if not 28 (with proper cup size). I know that’s probably because US isn’t exactly the Happy Breasts place. We have a lot of prejudices here when it comes to bras, like the one saying, that A = small boobies, B = medium boobies, C = medium-big boobies, D = huge boobies and DD = ZOMG watermelons. I’m personally a proper-fitted 28G, wearing a clothing size 4, and visually, you would say I’m a 34B/C – I’m just wearing a correct bra size (my mesurements are 24.2′ underbust tightly mesured and 34.6′ in bust – rather common mesurements). I won’t explain the mysteries of bra-fitting, while this guide provides all of the needed informations and it explains it better than I would ever do :)
    I don’t want to force anyone to do anything or prove that there is some conspiracy against womens breasts (there isn’t – US brands like VS just produce the sizes that sells, and while most woman think they’re 34 A/B/C, they produce those sizes, simple), but if you think that your breasts are strange, because no bra fits well or you can’t find a strapless bra that stays in place until you move a bit, it may be a good idea to reconsider you bra size. There is no such thing as ‘strange breasts’, or ‘too big/small breasts’, there are just incorrect bra sizes.
    I wish I were british – their country is a bra heaven, and their brands produces bras in a huge range from 28AA to 40KK – most of them are avilable on eBay and in other online stores (like the Masquerade brand).
    I hope my post doesn’t seem cranky and that it will help someone finding a correct bra size.

  31. 31
    September 19th, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Ofc I meant “strapless bra that stays in place even if you move a bit” rather than “strapless bra that stays in place until you move a bit”.

    I also reccomend reading this post from british eBay:

  32. 32
    September 19th, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    All I can say for this article is. . . thanks for thinking about us top heavy girls! Big boobs aren’t great-they’re heavy, hurt your back, and they make it almost impossible to find tops and bras that fit right (Maybe someone could do an article on tops to buy if you’re big chested that don’t show the goods but aren’t mumu-ish tents, either???) . Anyway, thanks again for giving us an option too!

  33. 33
    September 22nd, 2009 at 5:40 am

    Hi, I’m from Romania and it’s the first time when I read your articles, but I’ve already love them. Congrats for the site and keep doing. :)

  34. 34
    September 23rd, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    hello, i would have to try finding bra’s at nordstrom cause when i went to buy bras at vs, they fitted me and im like a 32 B.
    32 B is so freeking hard to find cause i can’t fill the cup while the band is kinda tight.
    and sometimes the 34 A is perfect in the band, but too big in the cup.

  35. 35
    September 27th, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Hey there! Great article! I’m a 34D (very hard to find). Thanks for suggesting figleaves. It’s my new favorite site!

  36. 36
    November 2nd, 2009 at 6:43 am

    Girls, check this series about chosing a correct bra size. It’s in polish, but with subtitles (you can choose to display them in the lower right corner).

  37. 37
    February 4th, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    i love the victoria’s secret ipex demi bra…i have it in black, white and nude. also, the very sexy push ups (i like the ones without padding) are great! and gap body also makes some great bras.

  38. 38
    August 4th, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    Lol, my bras are t-shirt, demi, and push-ups all-in-one. A strapless bra would probably be a good idea since a lot of my shirts are one shoulder or strapless. I don’t think the wireless bras are secure or have enough padding, though, at least for someone that’s full figured like me.

  39. 39
    October 12th, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    My favorite bras are my push up bras and my sports bras:)

  40. 40
    November 14th, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    though i have read it it was very helpfull. at times i go to parties can any one suggest me abt invisible bras…

  41. 41
    January 2nd, 2011 at 5:32 am

    Wow! Thanks for introducing me to Figleaves, I’ve been looking so hard to find a store that sells bras in my size. I’m a 26 DD. Not even Victoria’s Secret sells that. So, it’s a relief that I can finally buy something that will not make my breasts sag like a grandma’s.

  42. 42
    April 26th, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    If you live in Canada, La Senza is a great place for bras! Pretty much all of mine are from there.

  43. 43
    October 28th, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    I love VS i always get my bra’s there, it is sometimes hard finding my size bacause i am a 38 DD. When i do find them i like them but the wires seem to bother me or pop out, they are great bras. It’s just annoying.

  44. 44
    October 27th, 2012 at 1:54 am

    If only half of these bras fitted me – if I get my cup size (32AA), the chest is too tight, and if I get the chest size right (38), the cups are half empty!

    I’d definatley reccommend a sport bra for any other flat people here – they must be the only bras ever that fit me…

  45. 45
    September 5th, 2013 at 5:44 am

    Vry useful article.. Felling sexy..

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