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How to Choose a Bra to Wear With Summer Tops

how to wear a convertible bra

Summer tops often mean breezy styles, skinny straps and halter necklines. Unfortunately, that means your bra may be on display rather than under wraps. Pairing the right bra with the right top helps you look your best in the summer -- and stay cool and comfortable.

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Bra Basics

For everyday summer wear, choose a breathable bra to keep you feeling cooler and keep your skin comfortable. That heavy, padded push-up bra is going to be sweaty in the summer heat. A basic T-shirt bra with a molded cup is comfortable for summer wear, particularly in natural fibers. This bra is office appropriate, and available in different styles to suit your summer wardrobe and your bust. Additionally, in a nude that matches your skin tone, these bras will disappear under even the thinnest and lightest tops. Nonwired bras can be more comfortable in the summer heat, but can be less flattering, especially if you're busty. These bras do work well with flowing, loose summer tops that don't require a perfectly perky bust. You can also opt for a tank with a built-in bra. These are available with shelf bras if you're not too curvy, or sized to fit with underwires for bustier women. They can be worn as camisoles or on their own in hot weather. Paired with a maxi skirt, the built-in bra camisole is ideal for summer weekends.

The Convertible Bra

A T-shirt style convertible bra with movable straps is an easy option to keep your bra straps under cover. Choose one with a half-cup or balconette style for greatest versatility. Convertible bras allow you to rearrange the straps into different configurations. You can typically wear it as a strapless bra, or attach a one-sided strap, a halter strap or racerback-style straps. Pair a convertible bra with many types of summer tops -- if your straps can be arranged to hide under your top, the convertible bra will solve your bra dilemmas. If

you expect to wear your convertible as a strapless, look for side boning and non-slip edging on the straps and cups. Pair your summer halters or bustiers with a full knee-length skirt for retro summer style. A convertible bra works with asymmetrical tops, halters and strapless styles, but it doesn't help with that cute backless dress or bare-backed top.

Go Backless

Many summer tops are backless, low backed or have decorative openings on the back. This can leave your bra straps on display and break the pretty line of your summer top. For formal occasions, try a backless bra. Some of these rely on a very low strap, near your waist, rather than at midback. Others use adhesive in the space under your arms to hold the bra in place. If you're a D cup or smaller you can opt for a sticky bra, made of two individual sticker cups instead of fabric. These backless solutions, however, aren't terribly comfortable. You can, for casual wear, cover your ordinary bra with a solid or lacy bandeau to keep the back strap hidden, or choose a front-close bra with a pretty lace back. Pair a cute tee with a cutout back with a short, full skirt or snug-fitting capris for a playful summer look.

Skinny Straps

Your mom probably told you not to let your bra straps show, ever. The rules are a bit less extreme than they once were. For casual wear, no one is going to be terribly startled by visible bra straps. If you're going to let your straps show, though, why not choose bras with prettier straps -- skip the dingy white bra that's been through too many washes. Wide lace straps or delicately embellished ones look better on display with a skinny strapped tank or summer sundress for casual wear. Showing your straps isn't office appropriate, but neither are spaghetti strap tops. Try an embellished-strap bra with a tank and shorts for a weekend errand day.

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