How Many Bras Do You Need?

  |   By Elisabeth Dale

How many bras do you need? The easy answer is "as many as you can afford." But if you have a limited clothing budget, some tips on different bra styles and how well they wear might help.

First, factor in bra brand care and wear recommendations. Today's elastics and stretchy lace fabrics need a rest between wears. Many brands recommend you wear one bra no more than two days in a row. This doesn't mean you have to wash it every two days, just that you allow the bra to bounce back to its original shape after a couple of days wear. (This also extends the life of your bras and maximizes your investment.) If you follow this rule, you'll need 3 bras, at a minimum, to get through one week's wear rotation.

Second, choose bras that meet your fashion and lifestyle needs. Do you wear suits and dresses or set your own dress code? What's on your agenda for the week-end? Most women want t-shirt or contour bras because they provide a smooth look under clothes and keep "nippage" away. Many cut-and-sewn bras also do that same trick.

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If you don't wear a uniform of white button down shirts, pick styles that match your brighter personality and more colorful panties. There's no better way to start your day than by making make a fashion statement with your foundations.

small bust demi bra

Lula Lu Petites Demi Bra
Band Sizes 32-38, Cups AA-A
Image via Lula Lu Petites
how many bras do you need
Felina Sabrina Demi Underwire Bra
Fits Bands 32-38, Cups C-G
Available in Plum or Black
via HerRoom


Panache Tango Underwire Balconnet Bra
Fits Bands 28-44, Cups D-JJ
Available in nude, scarlet, black, black/multi, teal/mint
via HerRoom 

Third, expand wardrobe possibilities with two-in-one bra styles. Contour bras are available in underwire or wire free, push-up, full coverage, plunge, scoop neck and demi styles, and with convertible straps (allowing you to wear them criss-cross or strapless). Here are a few combo possibilities:

how many bras to own

Maidenform T-Back Push-Up Bra
Fits Bands 34-38, Cups A-D
Available in white, beige, black, and leopard
Image via HerRoom
Chantelle Sexy Plunge Bra
(w/removable push-up pads and convertible straps) 
Available in 6 colors
Fits Bands 30-40, Cups B-F
via HerRoom
Dita Overwire
Dita Von Teese
Her Sexellancy Overwire Bra (w/removal straps)
Fits Bands 32-36, Cups A-D
Image via Bloomingdales
how many bras do you need
Wacoal Halo Lace Convertible Underwire Bra
Fits Bands 32-38, Cups C-G
Available in Black, Cappuccino, Nude, Toast
via Nordstrom 

how many bras do you need

Elomi Bijou Soiree Molded Underwire w/Convertible Straps
Fits Bands 34-44, Cups E-G
via Nordstrom

Fourth, count the number of bra changes you make every day. If you head to yoga or the gym after work, you'll need to add 1 or 2 sports bras to your 3 basic bra wardrobe. Prefer to wear a sleep bra at night? Toss one more style into your bra drawer.

Moving Comfort Wire Free Sports Bra
Moving Comfort Wire Free Sports Bra
Fits Bands 30-38, Cups A-D
Image via Nordstrom 
Leading Lady Front Close Sleep and Leisure Bra
Fits Bands 36-52, Cups A/B to G/H
Available in 8 colors
via HerRoom

Fifth, consider your laundry habits. If you don't find time to wash your bras regularly, you'll want to add a couple of favorite "spares" to your lingerie wardrobe. With 3 basics, 2 sports bras, and 2 spares, that comes to 7 bras.

How to pay for them all? Don't slice up your bra budget into equal pieces. The bulk of your bra purchases should go toward those bras you wear the most: the ones that get you through an 8 to 10 hour day. Make sure you rotate your best bras so that you don't have to replace more than two at a time, if possible. Invest less in sports, sleep, strapless, or push-up styles, if you don't wear those as often.

What about you? How many bras do you need or own? How many do you regularly wear? Any styles you can't live without?

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