Even with so many different bra styles filling your drawers, from balconette bras to push-up bras to sports bras, there is always that one style you reach for daily. And for most women, it’s the coveted t-shirt bra (also known as the tee shirt bra). A t-shirt bra is a staple in many women’s lingerie collections because of its effortless, comfortable fit that pairs well under most clothing items. In other words, it’s a no-brainer bra you can always reach for—even when you’ve stumbled out of bed in the morning half awake.
And while the t-shirt bra remains a staple piece all women should have in their collection, many aren’t actually aware of what makes a t-shirt bra unique and how it differs from other styles of bras. Today, we’re here to tell you exactly how t-shirt bras differ from other bra styles and why it makes the perfect everyday wardrobe must-have.
The benefits of wearing a T-Shirt Bra
Because of their sleek, smooth design, t-shirt bras are versatile bras that offer plenty of benefits. For one, many women opt to wear the t-shirt bra under fitted clothes because it provides a smooth finish that makes it invisible underneath clothing. This is the number one benefit of wearing a t-shirt bra, making it even more important to choose a t-shirt bra that fits you flawlessly in order to get that smooth finish.
But don’t let the name fool you—while t-shirt bras are perfect for wearing underneath your favourite tees, they can also be worn under other clothing items, like adorable dresses and billowy blouses. Their smooth, skin-like effect also makes them a great bra solution for wearing under thinner, more see-through materials. T-shirt bras also tend to be made of soft fabrics such as modal cotton, making them comfy enough to wear all day long.
Another key benefit of wearing t-shirt bras comes from their moulded cups. In addition to providing comfortable support, the moulded cups work to offer the wearer a beautiful rounded bust shape, which is super flattering on all breast shapes and sizes.
Different types of T-Shirt Bras
The beauty of a t-shirt bra is that there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all.” A t-shirt bra can come in a number of different types and styles, from contour t-shirt bras to full coverage t-shirt bras that offer shape and support without emphasising breast size. And while the range of t-shirt bras is amazing, it can also be a point of confusion for many, leading some to believe all contour bras are t-shirt bras when this is not the case.
So what defines a t-shirt bra? Any bra that has been designed with smooth fabric, minimal seam or seamless construction, and moulded cups is probably a t-shirt bra. Read more about the ins and outs of t-shirt bras here.
T-shirt bra vs contour bra
Contour bras (also known as shaper bras) is a bra style characterised by its coverage and support. They tend to have a light layer of padding, but you can often find some without padding or ones made with underwire for extra shape and support. Contour bras smooth areas around the back and underarms that are prone to bra spillage, keeping your breasts fully contained. Like t-shirt bras, contour bras have moulded cups and a seamless design that hides underneath clothes.
It’s a modest style that, like t-shirt bras, can be worn under everyday clothing items, but they create a defined shape of the breasts with their contoured design. T-shirt bras don’t necessarily sculpt and shape your breasts in the same way that a contour would. Contour bras give the breasts a defined, symmetrical round shape to the breasts that certain t-shirt bra styles, such as our Simply Me Full Coverage Contour Bra, also give.
One of the primary differences between t-shirt bras and contour bras is that even when you’re not wearing it, a contour bra will retain its sculpted shape, while some t-shirt bras with their softer moulded cups and minimal padding will not.
T-shirt bra vs sports bra
Like t-shirt bras, sports bras are a wardrobe staple every woman should have, but for different reasons. A sports bra has been specifically designed to minimise breast movement during exercise to eliminate breast pain. And while sports bras can offer a smooth, minimal style that’s attractive for wearing underneath tee shirts or loungewear, they also can be non-stretch and have maximum hold. For this reason, we recommend wearing sports bras only when you’re exercising.
And the same is true for a t-shirt bra. Although a t-shirt bra can keep your breasts contained and supported, we wouldn’t recommend wearing a traditional t-shirt bra for high-impact workouts. Instead, reach for a sports bra with the right amount of coverage and support for your breast shape, size, and the intensity of your exercise.
T-shirt bra vs padded bra
There are many variations of t-shirt bras. They can be padded or unpadded, seamless or have barely there seams. T-shirt bras have enough padding with their moulded cups to smooth and support your breasts while preventing the nipple from showing. The bra’s moulded cups create the look of a rounder bust, whilst a padded bra is designed to increase the size of your bust.
Padded bras can have light, medium, or heavy padding and their primary function is to lift and add volume to the breasts. And while padded bras have their time and place, t-shirt bras are the more comfortable option for everyday wear.
Shop T-Shirt Bras available at Bendon
As you can see, t-shirt bras offer specific benefits based on their style, shape, and support. It’s an easy wardrobe staple to throw on daily underneath tight, loose, or sheer fabrics (making getting dressed a little simpler). Its everyday wearability is one reason we believe every woman should have a t-shirt bra in her drawer, but don’t just take our word for it. You’ll want to try a t-shirt bra for yourself.
Ready to introduce a trustee t-shirt bra into your lingerie collection? Shop t-shirt bras available at Bendon. And if you’re looking for more guidance, check out our insider blog for in-depth guides that will help you build your dream lingerie collection.
Other helpful reads:
T-shirt bras 101
5 bras every woman needs
Bra fitting 101