Many women don’t wear the right type of bra for their body type. The size may be right; but, the style they select often does not give them enough support or coverage. Some women need an underwire bra for coverage while other women find that a soft cup bra meets their needs.
Bra Features Are Key to Selecting the Right Type of Bra
There are ten basic types of bras. Each type is designed for a different body or style challenge. Here are the features and purposes of the various types and some tips on selecting the right type of bra for your figure.
Full Cup Bra
Your basic, everyday bra. The cup covers most of your breast and offers a good amount of support. Front hook and back hook styles are available.
Seamed Cup Bra
The cup in this bra is made of two or three sections. The seamed cups provide more support than a molded cup. The seams in the cups may be visible under many fabrics including thin knits.
As the name implies, a wire is sewn under each cup of the bra to provide extra support. The wire is generally made out of metal or some hard plastic. Women with large breasts often like the enhanced structure this bra offers. Either you love them or you hate them…or, you just need them.
Soft Cup Bras
Soft cup bras such as the Playtex 18 Hour Smoothing Lift Wirefree Bra do not have any wires around the cup. This style is usually a molded cup and is sometimes padded or lined.
Minimizer bras compress and redistribute the breast tissue towards your side and underarm, leaving the appearance of a one or two size reduction in cup size. Some women find the compression to be uncomfortable.
Contour Cup Bras
The cups in this bra maintain their shape due to an underwire, fiberfill or foam which is molded into a specific shape. This bra can add a smooth shape and eliminate nipple bumps (great under knits) and is excellent for women with different sized breasts.
This style is worn to achieve cleavage. The bra cups are designed to lift the breasts and are angled, forcing the breasts inward to create cleavage. Some styles also have a removable, elliptical-shaped pad which, when placed at the bottom of the cup, pushes the breast inward and upward making the breasts look larger.
Demi Cup Bras
A demi cup bra covers less of your breast than a full cup bra. Generally, the cup stops about one inch above the nipple thus reducing the amount of support this style offers. Women with above average sized breasts may find that they are spilling out of this bra.
This bra is intended for women who have lost one or both breasts from mastectomy surgery. A mastectomy bra is structured to hold a prosthesis, typically with an inside pocket.
If you are active, you need a sports bra. Sports bras are designed to maximize the support of the breast and minimize the bounce. Bouncing breasts aren’t just a nuisance, they can cause long-term damage. Sports bras come with or without an underwire.
One style of sports bra is the racerback bra. The name for this style comes from the unique configuration of its straps. Racerback bras have straps that join in the center of the back either in a T-back or Y-back depending on the exact configuration. This style is often used in sports bras since it provides a larger range of motion.
Looking for more information on selecting a sports bra? Check out How to Select a Sports Bra.
Be sure that you select the right size bra, regardless of which style bra you select. For help on calculating your bra size check out the into and tips in Quick & Easy Bra Calculator for Sizing.