When little orphan Annie sang, “You’re never fully dressed without a smile,” she was just a child and wasn’t thinking about the best bras to wear. As an adult, I bet she would have changed her tune to something more like “You’re never fully dressed without the proper undergarments.” It doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, but let’s face it, being a grown up is no song and dance! Especially when it comes to our wardrobe choices. I thought being a grownup earned me the right to wear whatever I choose. I’d combine the confidence of my 30’s and the financial stability of my 40’s and poof, have every fashion choice imaginable. But what I discovered was that the older I got, the fewer choices I had. A majority of the slinky summer dresses and low back tops I’d daydreamed about wearing as a child were just not going to work now. Not because of the price, style or even my age, but because it’s obvious that no one factored in the best bras to wear underneath. When I asked a few friends for their solutions to such problems, I found that, just like me, they didn’t have much to contribute. They were simply eliminating certain styles and cuts altogether. Squashing their fashion freedom for a lack of appropriate undergarments. This just doesn’t seem right! So, I decided to call on a few experts to see if I’d missed something. I do occasionally see women my age wearing strappy, low dipping numbers. Perhaps there have been textile innovations I’ve missed? According to the experts, yes and no. There are higher-tech compressing and lifting fabrics, but still, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. It takes research, trial and error and finding a place you trust to help find the right fit for a specific dress. In short, work. Now what’s more adult than that?

Here are the best bras according to friends and family