Monday, March 20, 2023

Bra Styles

Nothing improves a woman’s confidence like a great bra. Wearing the correct bra underneath an outfit makes you feel not only sexy, but comfortable too. Bras improve posture and relieve back and shoulder pain while providing lift and shape to breasts. There is a wide variety of bras to fit every woman’s needs, but sometimes the large selection makes choosing the right bra difficult and confusing. Below you will find a simple guide outlining the best bras for every outfit and specific need.

Although some bras can be classified within several categories, it is best to think of bras in three groups: Basic Comfort, Functional and Exotic.

Basic Comfort Bras
The main purpose of a Basic Comfort bra is to provide support and comfort for breasts under a wide variety of clothing styles. These bras are usually free of embellishment with more emphasis on practicality. Bras that fall within this category can be found at many, if not all, retail stores that carry women’s undergarments.

Full Coverage or Full Support Bra: This bra offers superior support and lift for women with a full bust. It’s also a popular choice for women who seek everyday comfort. Common features of this bra are thick or padded straps, full coverage cups and an underwire.

Minimizer Bra: The purpose of this bra is to minimize a full chest by slightly compressing and reshaping the breasts while maintaining a high level of comfort. When wearing this bra, a woman can expect her chest to look smaller by one to two cup sizes.

Soft Cup Bra: The soft cup bra is a great choice for women who want full support without the underwire that is common to many full coverage bras. A substantial under band provides support for breasts from underneath, making the underwire unnecessary.

T-shirt Bra: This popular bra is similar to a full coverage bra in many ways, but it is appropriate for any chest size. The benefits of this bra are a smooth exterior appearance ideal for wear beneath clingy or tight fabrics, such as jersey knit and spandex blends. The cups of this bra are usually molded, concealing the nipples and giving breasts a lifted and smooth appearance. Many T-shirt bras are seamless and neutral in color.

Training Bra: This bra is typically worn by adolescent girls who are just beginning to develop breasts. They are typically made of cotton or a cotton blend and offer minimal support.

Functional Bras
This category includes a wide variety of bra styles designed for wear beneath types of specialty clothing and for practical use in specific situations. These bras can range from minimalist to ornate in design and some may be difficult to find in a typical retail store.

Strapless Bra: This bra is common for wear beneath a wide range of shirts that display the shoulders, such as tank, tube and halter tops. This style is extremely diverse and can come with several variations. Common features include an underwire and strong under band for support beneath breasts.

Convertible Bra: These dynamic bras can be worn in a several ways under unique clothing styles. The bra itself is generally strapless with small cloth loops that allow you to detach and rearrange the bra straps, which have small metal or plastic hooks on each end. The bra can be worn many ways to complement many top styles. Many of the detachable straps are either decorative or clear in color.

Adhesive/Backless Bra: The ultimate in discretion, the backless bra is designed for wear beneath the most revealing clothing styles. Typically made of silicone, this bra adheres to the breasts and uses no straps of any kind to hold breasts in place. While offering little support, this bra is the best option for backless styles.

Bandeau Bra: A modification of the strapless bra, a bandeau bra is a simple strip of cloth wrapping around the chest. This style offers little support or shape for a woman’s chest.

Bridal Bra/Corset: This style is also known as a “bridal bustier” and is worn beneath bridal gowns and formal attire. Typically strapless and white or nude in color, the one-piece bridal bra and corset combination extends from the breasts to the waist, providing lift and support for breasts, a slimming effect on the waistline and a low back closure.

Racerback Bra: The distinguishing feature of this bra is the look of the straps, which follow the outline of a woman’s shoulder blades, forming a “V” on her back. This style works best under tank tops with thick straps. Many sport bras also have a racerback design.

U-Plunge Bra: This unique style is designed for wear under a shirt or dress with a deep, plunging neckline.

Mastectomy Bra: This bra is made for women who have undergone a single or double mastectomy procedure, resulting in the removal of one or both breasts. This bra is specially designed to hold a breast prosthesis in place, providing comfort and confidence for the wearer. All other features of the bra are standard.

Maternity/Nursing Bra: The essential bra for a new mom, a maternity or nursing bra provides the perfect balance of comfort and functionality you need. A maternity bra provides comfort and support for milk-filled breasts. A nursing bra is designed to make breastfeeding easier by providing easy access to the nipple during feedings.

Sport Bra: This is the preferred bra for athletics and working out. The purpose of this bra is to minimize discomfort by supplying ample support for breasts during exercise and sports activities. Sport bras typically have a racerback design and can be front closure or pullover in style.

Exotic Bras
This dramatic bra category includes styles that are meant to be seen! Bras within this group are designed to showcase your sex appeal. While some styles can be somewhat practical, many of these bras would be suited for the bedroom instead of daily wear. You can find these styles in specialty lingerie stores.

Demi Bra: This flirty bra is an excellent compromise between sexy and comfortable. The demi bra offers support similar to a full coverage bra but exposes more of the top of the breast, giving it a sexier feel. Demi bras are available with a variety of features and come in many materials, colors and sizes. This bra looks great under a low-cut shirt or dress.

Balconette: With less coverage than the demi bra, the balconette bra is another sexy option for low-cut shirts and dresses. Wide-set straps, an underwire and a slight push-up effect are common cleavage-enhancing features for the balconette bra. Available in an array of colors, materials and sizes, this style is sure to please your inner vixen.

Cupless/Open Cup Bra: This sexy bra consists of a decorative underwire, straps and no cups, leaving the breasts exposed. The cupless design is also known as a “shelf bra.” Obviously, this bra isn’t designed with comfort or practicality in mind, but is instead worn for visual appeal.

Peep Hole Bra: A peep hole bra’s main feature is a slit or hole that allows you to view the nipples only. The rest of the breast is not exposed as it is in an open cup bra. All other features of the bra are relatively standard, but it is not recommended for daily wear.

Common Bra Features
Most of the bras mentioned above have one or more of the following features.

Push up/Padding: Common in many bras, the push up or padded features add fullness and lift to smaller chests. The structure maximizes cleavage by padding breasts from the side and bottom of the bra. Padding can be sewn in or removable and can consist of many different materials, including cotton, foam, gel, silicone or liquids. When the push up feature is filled with liquid, the undergarment is called a “water bra.”

Underwire: An underwire is a common feature in many bras, especially those designed for women with large breasts. The wire, which offers lift and support, is usually covered in fabric for additional comfort.

Seamless: Seamless bras have gained popularity throughout the last decade for their ultra-smooth appearance under clothing. This style completely conceals seams, the underwire and any boning, making it the perfect option under any type of clothing.

Front Closure: Bras that clasp in the front using hook-and-eye closures, snaps or zippers are known as front closure bras. Many women prefer this feature to back closure bras because they are generally easier to remove.

Back Closure: Back closure bras are clasped together behind a woman’s back. Despite the difficulty that some women experience when putting on and taking off this type of bra, it continues to be the most popular bra closure style.

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