Five bras every self-respecting girl should own

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Ladies, take a look in your closet. You probably have the perfect winter coat, the perfect little black dress, the perfect jeans and the perfect killer pair of heels. But do you have the perfect bras to make your wardrobe really sizzle? If you don’t, it’s time to get to work.

“Having a bra wardrobe is perhaps one of the most important things a woman can do for herself,” noted Linda Hallman, owner of Vicanie’s, a bra fitting specialty store. “A proper bra can have the appearance of a 5 kilo weight loss and, most importantly, provides the added confidence that we look our best in our clothes.”

However, if bras have you baffled and you're overwhelmed by the choices, don’t stress. There are five bra styles that every lovely woman should own.

A proper bra can have the appearance of a 5 kilo weight loss, and, most importantly, provides the added confidence that we look our best in our clothes.

Linda Hallman, owner of Vicanie's

The T-shirt bra

The first bra in any lady's undergarment arsenal should always be the trusty T-shirt bra. This seamless bra comes in smooth materials, such as cotton or satin, to avoid lines and bumps under clothing, especially beneath shirts and dresses that have a slim fit.

“It may not be the most exciting item in your lingerie drawer, but it goes with everything,” says Ali Cudby, creator of and author of “Busted! The Fab Foundations Guide to Bras that Fit, Flatter and Feel Fantastic.”

Because this bra is a great foundation, you'll most likely wear it more than any other bra. “This is often the first you'll reach for on a busy morning, as we know it will work under just about everything,” Hallman notes.

Ultimately, colour is important when it comes to this style. The T-shirt bra should be skin tone, but “this doesn’t necessarily mean beige,” adds Hallman. Instead, it means a bra that's close to your skin tone. The closer the colour matches your particular skin colour, the less likely it is to peek out under your shirt.

Comfort is also key. Marianne Gimble, co-founder of lingerie and shapewear brand Va Bien, explains that a T-shirt bra should “feel so comfortable that it feels like [you’re] wearing nothing at all, while at the same time providing proper lift and support.”

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The black lace bra

Admit it, ladies: You love to look and feel sexy -- whether it’s for you or for your significant other. That’s exactly why you need a seductive black lace bra in your intimates collection.

“It [the black lace bra] is sexy but functional -- and you can select a lace that lays relatively flat so it can be worn under most clothes,” says Cudby. Also, if you’re limited to a small number of bras in your wardrobe, "the black lace bra will be your unfailing choice for dates, special occasions and days you just want to feel a little sexier than usual."

Hallman adds that having a dark-coloured bra is also essential because dyes from clothing can transfer to your bra, causing your light pink, yellow or beige bra to become discoloured — and no one likes a ruined bra.

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The sports bra

Sure, a sports bra may not be the most exciting addition to your wardrobe, but it’s a necessity for any active woman. Cudby said that a supportive sports bra when you exercise “is a must for your long-term health and perkiness."

Not only has new technology produced more specialized styles — like those specifically designed for big-busted or small-chested women — but many sports bras also feature wicking capabilities to keep you cool and reduce bounce by up to 80 percent, said Hallman. “Many ladies will invest in a good pair of workout shoes to support their feet but neglect to support their busts. Once breast tissue is stretched, it's impossible to repair without surgery.”

The plunge bra

Why have cleavage if you can’t show it off every now and then? And with a great plunge bra — which does just what the name suggests, plunging deep into your bust line — that’s exactly what you can do.

“Every woman has those low-neck clothes that require a bra with a special, equally low neckline,” Cudby notes. “For those clothes, the plunge bra is your go-to essential.”

So instead of throwing on a tank top under that deep-V neck blouse to avoid a peek-a-boo-bra moment on your hot date, stick with a plunge bra for support without all the extra material.

And while you’re at it, try picking a plunge bra with push-up features to give your look that extra oomph without pushing it over the edge. When you’ve got it, flaunt it.

The strapless bra

When you’re ready to bust out those strapless tops and dresses to show off your gorgeous shoulders and neckline, you’ll need a supportive, uplifting strapless bra to keep your ladies in place without showing any straps.

“A good strapless bra is a god-send, especially for full-busted girls,” Gimble said. “Imagine not having to tug up your strapless dress throughout an event -- to be 100 percent confident and in control.”

If possible, purchase the strapless style in both a skin-tone and black or dark shade, so that can handle strapless tops and dresses in any colour.

A strapless bra is an absolute must for any special occasion dress. “Nothing can spoil an elegant look more than our bra standing out,” says Hallman. “The pictures will be there forever.”

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Customise It

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Women come in all shapes and sizes, and thankfully bras do, too. But that doesn’t mean that every bra style will fit every woman. That’s where customisable bras -- also known as convertible bras -- come in.

Many of these bras have removable straps so that you can easily change the bra from a razor-back to crisscross to a halter, to a one-shoulder bra -- and even more. “This is like five bras in one, especially if it’s seamless,” Gimble says.

Plus, this bra style also often features fully adjustable straps so that you can shorten or lengthen the straps to find the best fit, making it a perfect choice for women whose straps are typically too long or too short.

The best part: You’re only paying one price for an endless number of bra styles. You don’t have to break the bank to find the convertible bra that's comfortable and stays in place.