I Wear a 34F, and Here's the Only Way I Shop for Pretty Summer Tops

My body has been the same exact shape (more or less a few pounds) since I was 14 years old. So, when I say I shop most often with my bra in mind, it’s not a complaint so much as it’s a pure, personal fact. If my clothes don’t allow for a comfortable 34F bra, I’m not wearing them. And summer presents its own interesting challenge.

This is the season of the pretty top. There are ruffles, rushing, and florals, but the most difficult of the bunch are those with halter necks, bare shoulders, and even more complicated silhouettes that take a bit more careful consideration into the lingerie that I can pair beneath. That’s why, below, I’ve created a small guide to a few of the most common pretty summer top styles right now and recommendations for what bras to wear with them. If you, like me, believe it’s often what’s underneath that counts, read on.

Sure, bras are able to do their jobs better when there are straps, but that doesn’t make us love strapless silhouettes any less.

Available in sizes 14 to 28.

This seamless style with removable straps will do the trick.

Available in sizes 30DD to 40DDD.

My favorite part about a wrap top is its ability to adjust for more or less coverage.

Available in sizes DK 34 to DK 42.

And I prefer a style underneath that mimics the top's neckline.

Available in sizes 32AA to 40G.

The pretty shoulder-tie top is a favorite of mine this season.

Available in sizes XS to 4X.

And it's probably because these styles allow a bustier woman the ability to conceal thicker bra straps under her clothes.

Light, airy, partially see-through (hey, why not?) tops are kind of a summer classic. 

Available in sizes XS to XL.

I prefer to keep what's underneath just as light and effortless. I personally swear by this bra style (and own in multiple colorways) because of how little fabric there is to it but also how well it supports.

Available in sizes 30A to 38J.

This super on-trend summer top, with its stretchy ruched center, doesn't necessarily present a challenge so much as an opportunity.

Available in sizes S to L.

I recommend a balconette style that has a similar square shape as your neckline and is great for lifting.

Available in sizes 30 GG to 38J.

Halter top bikinis are one of my favorite swim styles because of how well they support, but halter style tops may require more assistance.

Available in sizes XS to XL.

A good convertible bra is a great summer purchase, period. And this one with a slightly lower cut works well under so many silhouettes.

Available in sizes 30D to 38D.

No, this top style is not a challenge for most bras, but when it's worn a bit more undone and open (which I happen to like), you may want to consider the following.

Available in sizes XS to L.

The Bra: Lace, Plunge, and (Maybe) Wireless

Not only does the lace detail allow for a pretty peekaboo, but also, I recommend taking the opportunity (especially under a looser-fit shirt) to try a bra style sans underwire. Few do it well for women who are bustier, but I live in this style by Fortnight on the weekends.

Available in sizes 32A to 36DD.

The Top: Almost-Impossible-to-Conceal a Bra

I couldn't miss this shirt style in the roundup since it is huge for summer. Here's the thing: If you insist on wearing a bra underneath, it will show, and that's perfectly fine. If you want to go braless, that's great, too. However, if you're on the busty side and want to try to get away with a braless look without the full commitment, there's an alternative.

Available in sizes XXS to L.

Adhesive bras are kind of a love-it-or-hate-it product, but they're always an option for those who want it, and this particular brand goes all the way up to DDDD.

Available in sizes A/B to D/DDDD.

Invited to a fancy affair? I swear by these dresses to conceal a supportive bra.

Opening Image: @nnennaechem

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