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11 best T-shirt bras: Get down to basics with these ultimate everyday essentials

The cream of the crop that offer comfort, security and support

Lauren Cunningham
Friday 10 December 2021 13:22
<p>We wore each one for a full day, taking it through the paces of day-to-day life</p>

We wore each one for a full day, taking it through the paces of day-to-day life

Here at IndyBest we’re usually reviewing a whole host of exciting things from chocolate hampers and champagne, to perfumes and hair straighteners. But, to paraphrase Baloo, every once in a while it’s good to go back to “the bare necessities”.

There’s no more basic need than underwear. And as any woman will tell you, a bra that rubs, is too tight, has a slippy strap or offers little support will inevitably end up shunned to the back of the drawer.

A good T-shirt bra should smooth out your chest, with minimal designs or patterns poking through, leaving you with a subtle curve outline no matter what size.

How we tested

In a bid to make bad bra’s a thing of the past, we tested options from a huge range of brands including Boux Avenue, Nudea, Femilet and Matalan, bringing you the very cream of the crop of T-shirt bras.

We wore each one for a full day while working from home spending hours at the computer, going up and down the supermarket isles, walking the dog, driving around town and the hundreds of other daily routine bits we all have to do.

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Our reviewer is a size 30D/32C so each bra was tested in that size, with comfort, style, mobility, support and ease of putting it on and taking it off all considered. And we’re confident we’ve found something for everyone.

The best T-shirt bras in 2021 are:

  • Best overall – Boux Avenue lounge bra: ​​£18, Bouxavenue.com
  • Best for comfort – Sloggi zero feel ultra bra: ​​£25.20, Sloggi.com
  • Best fit – Nudea the go to T-shirt bra: ​​£45, Nudea.com
  • Best eco-friendly – Pretty Polly eco seamfree eco-wear bralet: ​​£20, Prettypolly.co.uk
  • Best light support – Hanro cotton sensation underwired bra: ​​£63, Hanro.co.uk
  • Best budget buy – Matalan 2 pack cotton rich T-shirt bras: ​​£8, Matalan.co.uk
  • Best coverage – Pour Moi opulence T-shirt non wired bra: ​​£24, Pourmoi.co.uk
  • Best little lift – Wonderbra T-shirt bra: ​​£27, Wonderbra.co.uk
  • Best first bra – New Look white bow front T-shirt bra: ​​£7.99, Newlook.com
  • Best firm support – Boux Avenue T-shirt bra: ​​£20, Bouxavenue.com
  • Best for softness – Femilet norah soft feel T-shirt bra: ​​£52, Johnlewis.com

Boux Avenue lounge bra

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

  • Sizes: 28A-38DD

This bra is quite an unusual shape to your run of the mill bra designs, forming one solid piece rather than two cups and a centre front. But, it’s thanks to this design that the bra has to be named our IndyBest best buy. Particularly when wearing any tight-fitting T-shirts, this bra moulds the chest into one smooth curve, meaning no bulging, dipping, creasing or folding of fabric, leaving you with a seamless curvaceous silhouette. With no underwire, it is certainly more comfortable and less restricting than the standard wired versions. And even better, the straps also detach at the back meaning it can become a cross over or halterneck, too.

Sloggi zero feel ultra bra

Best: For comfort

Rating: 9/10

  • Sizes: XS-L

We may have “tested” this bra quite a few times, and even on an overnight flight, it was just that comfortable. Made with polyamide and elastane, it does exactly as the name suggests and you hardly notice you’re wearing anything (in the best way possible). Again with no underwiring, and with laser-cut edges, this bra provides seamless looking coverage with no bulging wires poking out.

There are also removable moulded cups meaning you can change the level of padding according to preference. But, while we loved it in a size small, we are dubious of the level of support it could offer for a larger chest.

Nudea the go to T-Shirt bra

Best: Fit

Rating: 9/10

  • Sizes: 32B-40H

Compared to the other lingerie giants such as Boux Avenue and Wonderbra featured in this round-up, Nudea is still relatively off the radar. But, we’re sure that will change once the secret gets out.

Founded in 2019, Nudea has put the focus back on fit, because after all there are few things that can ruin your day more than an ill-fitting bra. Thanks to a handy online size calculator, or the option to order a bra sizing tape measure, the awkwardness of getting your ta-ta’s out for a stranger doing a fitting is now a thing of the past. And once you’ve found the perfect fit, we’re sure you’ll be just as happy with the quality and design you receive, as ours was pretty hard to fault.

Even better, ensuring you keep your bra in tip-top shape and can re-use it for many years to come. All orders come with a mesh bag to use when washing and a care booklet which also shows how you can wear it three different ways, what a bonus.

Pretty Polly eco seamfree eco-wear bralet

Best: Eco-friendly

Rating: 8/10

  • Sizes: S-XL

Part of the eco-wear range, this Pretty Polly bra is the number one choice for anyone who puts the needs of the planet above their own. Made with biodegradable polyamide and recyclable yarn, this bra claims to decompose in three to five years when properly disposed of in landfill – now that’s something we didn’t expect any bra to be able to do. But, rest assured, there’s no way this bra can start vanishing while you’re wearing it, so don’t fret, you won’t be left exposed.

Environmental credentials aside, the bralet is extremely comfortable but isn’t the most supportive for larger busts, and no padding means that nipple outlines will be visible. If Samantha Jones was an eco-warrior, she’d be first in line.

Hanro cotton sensation underwired bra

Best: Light support

Rating: 7/10

  • Sizes: 34B-38E

A Hanro bra is quite a luxury, and being the most expensive option in our round-up is nothing new for the brand. For those who love the softness and breathability of cotton, you’re in good hands. Underwired for that little lift many people love, this bra walks the line of support quite tightly, with adjustable straps for an added lift but non-padded cups which hold rather than lift, squeeze or bulge. And although double lined, it does slightly free the nipple.

Matalan 2 pack cotton rich T-shirt bras

Best: Budget buy

Rating: 7/10

  • Sizes: 32A-42DD

Two bras for just £8 is a huge steal, but we didn’t expect anything less from budget-friendly retailer Matalan. Giving both white and black options, the only two necessities when it comes to underwear, if you’re looking to replace a worn-out bra, need an extra couple to cover laundry days or just hate the idea of splashing out on such a basic item then look no further. Made with cotton, polyester and elastane, the underwired options are the most basic choice in our round-up but are sure to get the job done.

Pour Moi opulence T-shirt non wired bra

Best: Coverage

Rating: 9/10

  • Sizes: 32A-44F

It’s hard to believe that there are no wires in this bra, but proving you don’t need them, this Pour Moi option gives great support, with a little extra lace detail to sweeten the deal. With padded cups which go right around to the underarm, this bra definitely has the most coverage of any we’ve tried, meaning it’s great for all chest sizes. Also available in a pink and black colourway, if you’re after a seamless shape with an added bit of cleavage then this is the best option for you.

Wonderbra T-shirt bra

Best: Little lift

Rating: 8/10

  • Sizes: 32A-38G

Of course we couldn’t write a best bra piece without including Wonderbra, it would be like not featuring Cadburys in a best chocolate bar round-up – the horror. And the aptly named T-shirt bra was the perfect pick.

As we’ve already discussed, the secret to a great T-shirt bra is a sculpted smooth silhouette, and this bra offers just that, plus an extra little padding for a cleavage boost. Unlike any of the other bras featured, this option does only have one hook and eye fastening compared to the standard two, which some people feel is less secure. But, if you’re wanting to wear a V neck or lower cut top and achieve a fuller, perkier looking bosom, then this is the answer.

New Look white bow front T-shirt bra

Best: First bra

Rating: 7/10

  • Sizes: 32B-38DD

Another purse-friendly option, this New Look bra brought back memories of our mums buying our first bra’s for us many moons ago. And just as it worked perfectly then, it also does now. Thanks to its standard and sturdy design, thin straps and moulded cups, plus its affordable pricing, if you’re not-so-little one is in need of some added chest support, we couldn’t recommend this highly enough. And it’s sure to work with any T-shirt or school shirt with ease.

Boux Avenue T-shirt bra

Best: Firm support

Rating: 8/10

  • Sizes: 30B-38G

This second offering from Boux Avenue is similar in many ways to the Hanro option (£63, Hanro.co.uk), but this bra provides a bit more support thanks to slightly padded, more rounded cups and a thicker, sturdier fabric all around. Incredibly soft and available in five different colourways this basic everyday staple is great for those who like everything to stay in one place throughout the day. And the no-fuss design works great under any item of clothing.

Femilet norah soft feel T-shirt bra

Best: For softness

Rating: 9/10

  • Sizes: 32C-38DD

For anyone who’s a fan of lingerie brand Chantelle, sister brand Femilet definitely won’t disappoint. The most decorative of our bra options, featuring a floral lace design, this Femilet bra caught our attention both at first sight and at first touch with its silky soft fabric. And unlike regular lace bras thanks to the softness there’s no worry of the pattern showing through any clothing, making it a great contender in the T-shirt bra category.

Underwired for added support, the one downside to this bra is that it’s handwash only – but, that is usually a sign of great underwear, meaning we can’t be lazy with this one.

The verdict: T-shirt bras

At first, you may have been thinking a bra is a bra, what’s the difference? But, after reading this piece hopefully you now know there’s a whole host of different criteria to be met. Whether you’re a wired or non-wired fan, into padding, tight straps, comfort or lift, you’re sure to have found at least one option out of this mix.

For us, of course, the Boux Avenue lounge bra tops the charts, with Nudea, Pour Moi, Femilet and Sloggi’s T-shirt bras all coming in a close second. But for those who prefer more cleavage then Wonderbra is calling your name, bargain hunters will be lining up for Matalan, and eco-warriors are going to be after the Pretty Polly biodegradable bra.

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We’ve also found the best comfortable bras that are wireless and supportive

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