Many of us women might like to wear a pretty, lacy bra everyday, but it’s just not practical. No matter how well the fit, no matter how minimal the trimmings, these bras are just not versatile nor comfy enough for everyday. And so the plain ol’, nude colored “t-shirt” bra becomes the everyday staple for most women because it works under nearly everything. Even one of your strapless bras is probably just a strapless version of the nude t-shirt bra (I know two of mine are). But these bras can be so ugly!
I have a real aversion to ugliness, because I see it as lazy design. Functionality is important, especially for a bra, but form should never be sacrificed either. Would it kill these bra designers to stick a bow on the things? Must they be so utilitarian looking?
My major complaints concerning their ugliness are usually centered on:
- The shade of “nude” is bad. It is often a flat, silly puddy color. The common matte texture of the fabric often serves to make it even worse.
- Their absolute plainness. Every seam and wire is magnified because there’s no ornaments to offset them. It can give this creepy mannequin effect, as if you simply have nipple-less boobs.
- Efforts to make them pretty too often veer into matronly territory. Lace in these dull, nude shades can quickly look old lady. They become a mutant offspring of an everyday, simple bra and a sexy, frilly one. In any other color, these styles might work, but nude shades are tough to make pretty.
When it comes to nude, t-shirt bras, I want the right size and a flattering fit, comfort, versatility, and elegance in a sleek, modern style. This, apparently, is a lot to ask, especially when you’re seeking it in 28 or 30 band sizes. I will acknowledge there are a few decent options for the small band+high cup sizes, but they still don’t quite hit the “sleek and modern” look I prefer.
A few decent designs for small band+high cup sizes. Left to Right, from figleaves.com: Chantelle Icone t-shirt bra in “pink skin”; Figleaves seam-free, non-padded bra.
As much I dislike Victoria’s Secret for their poor sizing options and 5 inches of padding per bra, I will give one thing to them - they make pretty t-shirt bras. They have them in bright shades, some with a tad of lace, some with funky prints, but they also have the plain ol’ nude styles too, the kind that work under everything.
I have the Victoria’s Secret Biofit strapless number in my former, ill-fitting size (32C ). It’s nude, it’s no frills, but it manages to be sleek and pretty. The material has a nice shimmer; It really has that glossy look, just like the photo (see below). Yet, the sheen does not show under clothes at all & it actually offsets the anatomically-incorrect mannequin look. The nude is a very warm, rosy color, not that drab and creepy-mannequin flat tone. It has tiny little silver “button” looking ornaments down the center for a simple, chic touch. It’s practical while still maintaining some aesthetic appeal.
I also have the Victoria’s Secret Incredible demi bra in my former size, and while it stretched out ridiculously fast (and the straps cannot be adjusted because they supposedly “automatically” adjust…..well, not when it’s been washed half a dozen times!), I must admit that it too manages to be polished and modern. It too has a nice sheen and is an appealing shade of nude. The fact that it has so very little visible seaming further modernizes it. I mourn this bra! I mourn that it has such small sizing selections, I mourn that it wears out so fast, and I mourn that few other brands are making anything comparable, as far as aesthetics go.
Clean lines and a warm, shimmery nude shade shade make for a sleek, modern and versatile t-shirt bra. Left to Right, from Victoria’s Secret: Biofit strapless bra and Incredible demi bra.
From what I’ve browsed thus far, DKNY makes some comparable styles that set the bar in terms of aesthetics, but they also appear to be limited in size options, with only 32 or larger bands.
DKNY Nude, T-shirt Bras. Left to Right, Top: La Belle Nouvelle t-shirt and demi convertible bras; Sensual Comfort push-up, demi bra. Left to Right, Bottom: Jolie Nuit bra with lace. Belle Femme demi with contrast trim. Unknown DKNY model with touch of black lace. (Note: Some of these styles may be discontinued; they’re simply shown as examples of non-frumpy, nude colored, t-shirt styles.)
Le Mystere Women’s Isabella Nouveau Smooth Bra in nude (see photo below) combines sheen, a decent nude shade and simple lace for a winning combo. The sizing selection with this brand is usually pretty good, but I can’t find this model in small band sizes.
Le Mystere Women’s Isabella Nouveau Smooth Bra
The Huit Cupcake Bra in nude with underwire is an interesting design. I think it would need to be road-tested under clothes, but the soft cup style with a single seam and coverage over the nipple area seems like it’s pretty versatile. A non-molded option in nude that is quirky and cute is something I might like in my bra wardrobe. Unfortunately, again, the sizing choices are limited to 32 or larger bands.
The Elle Macpherson Margo contour bra is another nude colored bra that is technically not a t-shirt style, but the color and cut offers some versatility. Some Elle Macpherson bras do come in 30 band sizes, from what I know, and their bands are reported to run small.
Huit Cupcake bra and Elle Macpherson Margo contour bra.
Lovely readers, with your impeccable taste (as shown by your perusal of my blog), what is your favorite, go-to, wear under everything, everyday bra? Is it, as I suspect, a nude t-shirt bra? What are the pros and cons of this favorite of yours? Details, details! My next bra in my new size is likely going to be one of these, after all, as they are something of an essential when it comes to my bra wardrobe.