Choose a padded bra with underwire support for a firmer bust. Many padded and push-up bra styles feature substantial amounts of molded foam padding. Select this style if you want the appearance of a larger chest. If you’ll be adding breast forms, pick a bra with underwire support to help lift and hold the forms in place.

   *  The underwire sits in a U-shaped curve below each cup within a channel in the band. To find out whether a bra has underwire, pinch this part of the bra to see if it’s rigid.
    *   Make sure you choose the correct band size. Otherwise, the underwire may start digging into your chest.

Try a non-padded, wireless bra for a softer silhouette. If you plan to wear small breast forms or no padding at all, consider a soft, wireless bra. Based on your preferences, you can find wireless bras in sports-bra designs, jersey loungewear styles, lacey bralette options, and everything in between.[8]

   *  If you’d like to ease into wearing a bra, start off with a non-padded bra to see how you like it.
   *  Some wireless bras feature hook closures while others are stretchy and can be pulled on over your head. Try whichever style you prefer.

Select a pocket bra to hold large breast forms in place. If you’ve purchased breast forms, see if the retailer sells corresponding bras as well. Look for a bra that features pockets or pouches in each cup to hold the inserts.[9]

      * If you’re using large or heavy breast forms, a pocket bra will provide extra support and will keep them in place.
       * Make sure you pick out a pocket bra that’s compatible with the breast forms you plan to wear. Avoid buying one in too small a cup size; you might stretch it out trying to fit the inserts inside.

Wear a longline bra to smooth out your torso. If you’re looking for a bra that doubles as shapewear, opt for a longline bra. The band on a longline bra typically hits near the waist, and it contains boning to help cinch in your figure and while eliminating any bulges. Go up at least 1 size from your usual band size to account for the more constricted silhouette.[10]

       * Many longline bras feature a row of hooks and eyes at the back, which can be difficult to close up at first. Take some time to practice doing up the closures, starting with the top hook and working your way down.

Try a convertible bra for multiple bra strap configurations. If you find standard bra straps to be too short and constricting, or if you’d like to adjust your bra straps to suit a specific top or dress, choose a convertible bra. Inspect the bra to make sure the straps can be disconnected at the front and back. Look along the inside for additional loops so that you can connect the straps at any point.[11] When you’re ready to put on the bra, loosen the straps and hook them into the right configuration first, then tighten them until they’re comfortable.

       *  The straps on a convertible bra can be crisscrossed at the back, arranged in a one-shoulder shape, slung around your neck in a halter style, and more. Most styles can also be worn strapless.[12]
      *   Purchase a set of clear plastic straps for an invisible look.

Decide whether you prefer bras with back or front closures. Standard bras typically feature back closures that contain a few rows of hooks and eyes. Choose this style if you want the option of expanding or tightening the band, or adding a band extender, for the most comfortable fit. Opt for a front-closure bra if you have a wide ribcage or if you have a limited range of motion in your arms.

      *   Front closures consist of 2 pieces of plastic that click into place between the cups.[13]
      *   Look for a band with extra stretch if you’re worried about the feeling of a tight band around your ribcage.
      *  Avoid a band that’s too tight since it will cause the skin around your back to bulge out. Plus, it won’t be comfortable.

Pick a bra in your favorite color, fabric, and cut. Bras come in nearly an infinite number of styles, silhouettes, colors, fabrics, and designs, which means you’re sure to find a bra that fits with your personality and fashion sense. Opt for a smooth fabric in a neutral color like black or flesh tone if you want a seamless look. Or choose lace, sequins, and other little details if you prefer to show off your bra.[14]

       *  Keep in mind that lace, trims, pleats, seam lines, and other textured details will show through on tighter-fitting tops.
       *  Try a padded t-shirt bra with molded cups under a form-fitting top.
       *  Depending on the style and fit you want, experiment with different coverage options. Options range from full-coverage styles to demi-cup and balconette cuts.

Purchase your bra from a bricks-and-mortar or online retailer. Bras are available at nearly any department store or big-box retailer that sells clothing. For a plus-size bra, a pocket bra, or something specific, look at specialty retailers and lingerie shops. If you’re nervous about buying a bra in person, order one online. Just make sure they offer a good return policy in case the bra doesn’t fit correctly.

       *  Lingerie shopping can be lots of fun! Bring a friend with you and consider making a day out of it.