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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.

What is a T-Shirt Bra?

Essentially a t-shirt bra is the perfect bra solution for daily wear, particularly under fitted clothing. A t-shirt bra is often recognised for its clean design and smooth moulded cups, making it a great style to wear under fitted t-shirts. Moulded cups are round forms of synthetic fibres or heat-moulded foam; this helps maintain a rounded shape. This process creates beautifully smooth cups that eliminate those pesky bra lines under your clothes. T-shirt bras come in many different forms; they can be wire-free or with underwire and with padded or moulded cups.

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.

Bendon Body Seamfree Contour Bra

A combination of the t-shirt bra and the contour bra, our Bendon Body Seamfree Contour Bra flatters and supports your breasts with its seamless, flexible design built for all-day comfort. Lightweight foam cups and an underwire give you shape and support (and it happens to look fantastic under tee shirts).

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.

Lovable Seamless Soft Cup Bra

The ideal t-shirt bra for wearing underneath tee shirts, sweatshirts, and your favourite cosy loungewear (though it works well under all types of clothing). It’s a customer favourite thanks to its seamless fabric that offers a smooth, comfortable fit and moulded foam cups that provide wire-free support.

What our customers had to say about this style: 

“Comfortable and looks great under T-shirts as it has no seams or ridges. Wire-free supportive style is also good for gym and running. Would love to have this style available in more colours!” – Clare 

“This is a goodie! It has enough "thickness" in the fabric to give appropriate coverage when the air conditioning is too cold but is not so bulky that it feels like armour, and you could bump into things without knowing. The bra is super comfortable all day but still looks fresh and a wee bit lovely!” – Tiffany

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.

Bendon Body Padded Wireless Bra

Behold the perfect padded t-shirt bra. This t-shirt bra offers padding in the soft, moulded cup to provide lift and support without the need for wires (making it a great option for those who aren’t fans of underwires). Its triangle shape is versatile for wearing underneath a variety of necklines, and its seamless back strap is comfortable and discreet under clothing. 

What our customers love about this t-shirt bra:

“I love this bra; it’s so comfy but also supportive and flattering.” – Elowyn

“A great bra that’s comfortable all day! I love the cut of the cups; perfect for under lower-cut tops. I liked the pink one so much that I bought the black as well!” – Sandy

“I am very happy with my recent purchase of this bra. I prefer wireless bra styles, and I was thrilled to discover that it had generous padding (but not too much padding), which is quite hard to find in wireless bras. The shape is natural looking with a bit of uplift, and the thick band is comfortable (it loosens a little after the first wear) and keeps the bra in place.” – Fiona

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




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