Ask Allie: Nude Bras for Non-Beige Women

Do you know where I can find ‘nude' bras for women with darker skin? I'm South Asian (& so naturally olive-skinned), but all the ‘nude' bras I try on in my local shops are too light for my skin- it's frustrating!

I know in your email you said this wasn’t necessarily post-worthy, but I think it is. With bras and shoes, I love how they say beige is “nude” yet such a small percentage of this planet is beige in color! I did a little sleuthing and found some bras that come in more than white, black, and bisque. I limited it to what are known as tee-shirt bras, since those are the styles that are best for wearing white, light-colored, or slightly sheer fabrics.

You also asked for more budget-friendly bras; bras are something I really think you should invest in, but I tried to find a broad range of prices, as well as sizes. All styles shown are from online retailers I know, like, trust, and have flexible return and exchange policies.

Nordstrom
Nordstrom is one of my favorite places to shop because they have great variety, great brands, and great customer service. I also love all the customer reviews – really helps me decide on a purchase! However, I find their online selection of bras to be a bit lacking – not as many colors or sizes as in-store. They offer free shipping and returns so I looked for some non-beige options and found:

Calvin Klein ‘Seductive Comfort – Customized Lift' Underwire Bra – On Sale for $28.90
This bra receives five positive reviews on the site, and comes in Dune (beige) and French Roast (online looks to be taupe but by the name I expect in real life it is more of a dark tan).

Chantelle Intimates ‘Basic Invisible' Memory Foam T-Shirt Bra – $68.00
Two positive reviews, a bra brand I know and love, and it comes in Ivory, Beige, and Toffee.

Bare Necessities
Bare Necessities is my first stop online for bras and other underpinnings. Their selection is extensive, their prices competitive, and they have a reasonable return policy (60 days, $6.95 returns or DIY postage). Like Nordstrom, they have customer reviews to help you with your purchase. If I had ventured out of tee shirt bras, I probably would have found dozens of styles that offered more than beige. However in this category I found four:

Le Mystère: Dream Tisha Seamless Full Fit Underwire Bra – $47.99 – $69.00
Surprisingly, the “Nude” color is the one on sale; they also have French Roast (online it looks like a pretty classic brown color), and Natural (which has more of an olive tone than Nude).

Barely There: Invisible Look Underwire Bra – $35.00
A positive review, and comes in colors such as Brown Sugar (light brown), and Soft Taupe (looks a bit darker than beige).

Panache: Porcelain Lace T-Shirt Bra – $62.00
While reviewers say it runs almost a cup big, it still seen favorably. It comes in Mocha, which from other Panache bras I know to be a darker shade than beige.

Huit: Purely Irresistible Underwire Bra – $79.00
I don’t know much about this brand and there aren’t any online reviews, but I found it pretty, Bare Necessities says this is a great brand, and it comes in Cookie (light brown) and Nude.

HerRoom
Another go-to for me when shopping for lingerie online. HerRoom offers free shipping over $70 ($5 otherwise), and super-swift returns. Again, online reviews to help you choose the right item. They also have an extensive selection online and cater to the woman with the full bust. I love their Universal Cup Sizing, which is so helpful for a woman like me who may be an E in one brand, an F in another, and a DD in yet another.

Playtex Side Smoothing Wire-Free Bra – $26.25
Decent reviews, killer price, and it comes in Soft Taupe (looks like a typical beige) and Maple Leaf (which looks to be a dark taupe or dark honey color).

elomi Caitlyn Underwire Side Support Bra – $55.00
Fabulous reviews and from a brand that caters to the woman with the full bust. This bra has a bit more decoration than others in this post, but I still think it’s subtle to work in many situations. Available in some fun colors, as well as the skin shades of Nude and Truffle.

Simone Perele Andora 3D Full Cup Bra – $89.00
A few reviews state this bra runs a bit small and I have encountered similar with this brand. However, like the reviewers say the bra is comfortable and attractive – a rarity for full figured tee shirt bras. Available in a variety of shades including Linen (online can’t tell if this is gray or a taupey-ivory), Nude, and Café So French.

Fresh Pair
My best friend told me about Fresh Pair. Like Bare Necessities and HerRoom, they have a huge selection and reasonable return policy. However, Fresh Pair often has obscure and discontinued brands and styles available for rock-bottom prices. These deals may be final sale, but if it’s a brand and style you know, you may end up getting a pretty fabulous deal. Again, I stuck just to tee shirt bras in my search and stopped searching when I got to the clearance styles since they had fewer sizes available. If you extend your search criteria, I know you’ll find more in the color and size you need. I also found many styles previously mentioned from other sites (I always featured in this post the lowest price I found from all four sites):

Leonisa Absolute Support Push-Up Bra- $35.00
This bra doesn’t have any customer reviews and it’s a brand I am not familiar with, but I like the price and love that it comes in Dark Brown as well as Nude.

Now I would love to hear from you – where do you find bras that are darker than nude? What brands, stores and styles do you like best?

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9 Comments

  1. Danielle Jenks
    August 7, 2012 / 11:26 pm

    PS – when I was pregnant, I could not wear wire bras, so I wore the Playtex Side Smoothing wire-free bras. They got the job done! In fact, they were so comfortable that I would sleep in them (a habit that started once my boobs moved into the next zip code).

  2. Danielle Jenks
    August 7, 2012 / 11:15 pm

    I love my two recent purchases from Nordstroms:
    1. Chantelle ‘C-Chic Sexy’ Convertible Spacer Foam Bra in ultra nude
    2. Chantelle ‘C Paris’ Memory Foam T-Shirt Bra in raspberry

    I was previously wearing bras purchased from Victoria’s Secret, size 36D. My cups certainly overfloweth in said bras. Turns out that I am actually a 36DDD!! HUGE difference! What I love most about the Chantelle bras is that it doesn’t feel like I’m wearing a bra! I actually love my boobs again! 😛

  3. August 7, 2012 / 7:41 pm

    My favorite t-shirt bra was discontinued last year. It was critical, because I wear knits 75% of the time. I ordered several from fresh pair and have ordered several times since then. While their regular nude color is fine for me, I did want to give a shout out for their legitimacy.

  4. August 7, 2012 / 2:40 pm

    Yay, thank you for answering my question! =D The reason I was looking for budget-friendly bras is because I’m on a college students’ budget, but also because my weight fluctuates so much that I need to buy about 3 different sizes =[ Anyway, I also sent the same question to Sal (from AlreadyPretty) & am happy with all the answers I’ve got from both you & her- now to go bra shopping! =D

  5. August 7, 2012 / 2:39 pm

    I’m in Austin and we are lucky to have Petticoat Fair, a bra boutique that is amazing. Everyone I know that shops there says that it has changed their life. It’s kind of like shopping for a wedding dress, and you have a fitter who works with you personally to find the best bras for you. I was in nursing bras for three years, and I went back this spring to get fitted again. I couldn’t believe what a difference it made, and I did get some Chantelle bras. You can shop online with them at http://www.petticoatfair.com/visit.html. I’m pretty sure they would help you over the phone, because their salesladies are incredibly knowledgeable. 🙂

  6. nicole
    August 7, 2012 / 11:33 am

    Thank you for this post! I typically just go with black bras and hope for the best, but would love a bra (and matching underwear) to blend better with my caramel skin!

  7. Julie
    August 7, 2012 / 9:23 am

    I haven’t ordered from this place, so I can’t speak to the quality or customer service, but they offer 20 skin tones and you can request a free color card to figure out which one is your best match:
    http://www.myskins.com/

  8. August 7, 2012 / 1:04 pm

    My bra shopping became a MUCH happier and easier experience when I started buying them (NWOT) on Ebay. I pick out the style at Nordstrom, snap a picture of the tag la la la and then find it online for a third of the price. I believe in good quality bras and now I can afford a whole drawer full!

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