When it comes to lingerie, we’re spoilt for choice. Everything from lace to mesh, spiced up with cut-outs and delicate prints is up on offer. But that will never take away from the functionality of a basic bra. It’s that core piece, that essential, that will look good under a T-shirt, sheer top or party dress. And who said essentials must be boring? Hunkemoller, the Dutch maker of premium bras, has a superb collection of basic bras that not only do the job right (we’re talking about invisible bra lines and adequate support, here) but are good-looking as well. For those women looking to replenish their lingerie drawers, here’s what to look for when buying basic bras:

It Should Fit Well on the Loosest Hook

The right bra for you will fit comfortably when you’ve engaged the first hook – you will only need to use the second and third as your bra gets older and stretches out. If your bra is riding up your back, or if you need to keep adjusting your straps, it’s a sign that you’re wearing the wrong size.
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Invest in At Least 4

Your bra will only last so long. According to this bra fitter at American department store Nordstrom, a bra will only last you 100 fits. You're also cautioned not to wear the same bra every day, as body sweat will cause the bra’s elastic to deteriorate. That’s why it’s imperative to have at least 4, and ideally 7, bras in your wardrobe.

Invest in Quality

A good quality basic bra can do a lot for you, so invest in a good brand, like Hunkemoller, which uses quality fabrics. After all, breathable fabrics, like cotton, are perfect for the hot/humid Indian climate.

Fill the Cup

In case of moulded bras, your breast should fill the cup completely. If you're spilling out, or if there is extra room at the top, it's a sign that your bra is either too small or too big for you.

Go for the Demi Fit

Petite women might have a harder time finding the right bra. In such an instance, look for a Demi bra, as it has a shorter wire and won’t spike in the arm pits.

Pick a Wire-free Bra

If you haven’t found an underwire bra that fits well, or prefer on that gives you a looser fit than one with an underwire, the wire-free bra is for you. Here's what to look out for while buying a wire-free bra: the centre bridge should be high, so that it contains your breasts well. The fabric, too, should have low movement properties to provide adequate support.

Pick the Right Colour

The thumb rule is matching the colour of your bra to your skin tone, not your clothes, especially when wearing lighter fabrics. To create a seamless, polished look, where your bra disappears rather than pops out, pick a neutral colour, like beige, mocha or black.
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