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“It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.” The phrase may apply when you’re talking about marriage or your career, but decidedly not when it comes to bra shopping. Because just like your boobs, bras come in all shapes and sizes. And while finding the perfect one feels like winning the lottery, shopping for one is a whole different game. Here, eight thoughts every woman has while she’s bra shopping.

Soma Image 2.27
Soma

“Yikes. Is this enough coverage?”
Shelf bras are best kept to the bedroom. We don’t need a repeat of Janet Jackson at the 2004 Super Bowl.

“Will this show through my white T-shirt?”
You know enough not to pair a lacy red bra under your thin white top. But you also know that you shouldn’t be wearing white under white, right? (It’s a recipe for visibility.) Instead, opt for a seamless nude bra with molded cups. Don’t be afraid to spend a little more than you normally would—you’ll wear this one constantly.

“Shoot, my back bulge is showing.”
The catch-22: You need support from the band, but that back bulge? No, thanks. Look for bras in smooth, stretchy fabrics that will support you without digging in. Soma’s Vanishing Back bra is one of our favorites, and it’s available in cups A to G.

“Can I actually pull off this bralette?”
This is a tricky one that really comes down to how much support you need. If you’re small chested, it’s a resounding yes. If you’re the opposite, it’s also a yes, so long as it’s a comfortable style that holds you in without compressing everything.

“Um, are my nipples going to show through this?”
If you have to ask, the answer is probably yes. If cold office environments (or genetics) are an issue for you, take care to wear a contoured bra with a thin layer of foam, if you catch our drift.

“How many ways can I wear this convertible bra?”
A convertible bra is the best thing since sliced bread. 

“And at which point do I get tangled in it?”
Until you try to get it off. Get yourself a style with straps that hook in the front, so you can convert the bra while you’re still wearing it.

“So, how long before this strapless bra is around my belly button?”
It really doesn’t have to be this way. In theory, a strapless bra should never fall down, since without the straps you’re only losing about 10 percent of the support. The rest comes from the band and underwire, so the key is to make sure the bra truly fits. Our favorite trick: Go down a band size and up a cup size from what you would normally wear. (Then wrap one of those spare straps around your rib cage, like so.)

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