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9 Things You Should Know If You Wear A Bra

Let's break it down for you.

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So we spoke to three bra experts for the lowdown on every type of bra you need and why.

Man Repeller / Via giphy.com

The Experts

Kelly Dunmore, chief lingerie stylist at the luxury lingerie retailer Rigby and Peller.

Holly Mountfort, garment technologist at Figleaves, an online lingerie store that offers everything from bridalwear to nursing and mastectomy bras.

Emily Murphy at Bravissimo, a lingerie store that provides lingerie and swimwear in D+ cup sizes.

1. The T-shirt bra

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What is it? This is possibly the most comfortable bra you can have (apparently finding comfort in a bra is possible). A T-shirt bra is seamless, with smooth cups that give the boobs a natural, rounded shape. These bras are made to be invisible under tight-fitted T-shirts and clingy outfits.

Who needs it? "A light- and a dark-coloured T-shirt bra are must-haves for most people." Kelly Dunmore, Rigby & Teller

Who should avoid it? "I wouldn't really recommend it for G to H cups, because the lack of seams means less support. It's the seams of a bra that put your breasts in position. So without seams the bra has less support and longevity, especially for people with bigger breasts." KD

Why buy it? "It allows a smooth line under your clothes, and the comfort comes from finding the perfect fit." KD

2. The balconette bra

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What is it? Think more cleavage, less coverage. "The balconette is super comfortable and super supportive. It gives the boobs a rounded shape with great uplift." Emily Murphy, Bravissimo

Who needs it? "This shape suits everyone. No matter your size, the balconette is a great everyday shape, with a little glamour." Holly Mountfort, Figleaves

Why buy it? "This bra is great for scoop-neck tops or dresses. It adds volume to the top of the bust. It's kinda like putting your breast up on a shelf – everything is pushed from the bottom up. The seams from a balconette bra go from the underwire up towards the nipple, which is what allows the lift." KD

3. The full-cup bra

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What is it? "It's exactly what it says it is – it gives the bust full coverage. It covers your whole bust and leaves your boobs high on your chest, with no chance of escaping." KD

Who needs it? "This bra is made for people with fuller breasts, full in volume and in size." KD

Who should avoid it? People who don't need full-on support, or anyone looking for a "sexy" bra.

Why buy it?: "It gives the boobs a great shape that looks good under turtlenecks. It's not particularly sexy, but you can run for a bus and know everything will stay in place." KD

4. The half-cup bra

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What is it? "Again, it's exactly what it says it is. It covers half the boobs, so half is in, and half is out." KD

Who needs it? "This is the sexy-option bra everyone needs. It's especially great for teardrop busts (busts that are not full on top)." KD

Why buy it? "Although the boobs will be on show, getting the right fit will mean they won't fall out. This type of bra is more for effect and less about fit." KD

5. The plunge bra

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What is it? "Not to be confused with the ‘push-up’ bra. The plunge bra has a deep neckline, making it perfect for wrap dresses or evening wear." HM

Who needs it? "Anyone and everyone who has ever wanted to wear a deep plunge dress or top. These bras are perfect – they give great cleavage, but still provide you with great fit and support." EM

Why buy it? "A plunge bra is designed to push boobs closer together. It brings the boobs in by pushing it from the sides. Imagine putting your hands on the side of your boobs and pushing them in together – that is what a plunge bra does. The V shape of the plunge bra means it works great under low-cut tops. People with bigger boobs can get plunge bras, and if the size is right, then you won't fall out." KD

6. The strapless bra

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What is it? Another one that does what it says on the tin. It's a bra designed to be worn with no shoulder straps.

Who needs it? "Everyone should have at least one decent strapless bra." KD

Who should avoid it? "Anyone with a cup size past a G should not necessarily avoid a strapless bra, but know you won't be able to find a strapless bra that keeps you up for a long time. This is because gravity will play its part, and the bra will become uncomfortable." KD

Why buy it? "If you think you can't find a good strapless bra, then you're wearing the wrong size. You only lose 10% support with a strapless bra, so it shouldn't really make much of a difference. With a good bra you get 80% support from the band, 10% from the straps, and 10% from the cup. So as long as you have a good firm back band, your strapless bra will stay up." KD

7. The sports bra

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What is it? A sports bra provides additional support to breasts during physical exercise.

Who needs it? A sports bra is a must if you do physical exercise.

Why buy it? "This is the most important and most misunderstood of all underwear. As soon as your bust starts to develop, you should get fitted in a sports bra. The ligaments in the bust stretch during vigorous activity, if not properly supported, giving the dreaded droop!" HM

"What's important to know is that your sports bra should never see its first birthday. In fact, all bras should only last a year. Must bras are made with a high percentage of Lycra, which doesn't last past a year if you handwash your bras, and six months if you machine-wash your bras." KD

8. The bralette

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What is it? "Bralettes generally have no wire and are soft and light to wear." HM

"Bralettes are a triangle-shaped, non-wire version of the crop tops we wore as teens." KD

Who needs it? "A bralette is for people with 30-32-34 A-C bra size. People with smaller breasts or transgendered women with not much tissue hanging off the body." KD

Who should avoid it? People with bigger boobs should avoid this – it doesn't offer any support.

Why buy it? "It’s less about support and more about shape. It gives people with a smaller bust more shape and definition." KD

9. The mastectomy bra

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What is it? A special bra with pockets to hold the prosthesis.

Who needs it? Anyone who has had breast surgery.

Why buy it? "Bras for people who have had mastectomies have come a long way, which means people can get bras that combine comfort and style post-surgery. But because people get different procedures, they will need a bra that works for them and said procedure.

"Some people will get a reconstruction straightaway, and will need to be fitted to find the bra shape that is most comfortable. But I would advise them to avoid wired bras, at least for the first 12 months post-surgery.

"Those who don't get a reconstruction will get a breast prosthesis (artificial silicon breast). These sit in the pocket of specially made bras, which you can get in most good bra shops. Or they can be worn with a normal wired bra without a pocket." KD

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