How many different bra styles do you have? What’s more, can you name them? We have created the ultimate bra guide. Just like our bodies, bras come in all shapes and sizes. Each bra shape has its’ own function and purpose. Every woman has experienced the frustration of trying to find the ideal fit. We hope this post will help guide you to the perfect bra.
Let’s begin by considering the different parts of a bra.
Parts of a Bra
Cups: The cups provide the space in which you place your breast tissue. A cup is typically sculpted into a round shape and overall easily identifiable.
Band: The band holds the bra into place around the body. Roughly 80% of the support in a bra comes from the band. It is built to carry the weight of your chest and should fit quite snug against your body. The band is also home to both the wings and the center gore, which we’ll get to in a minute.
Center gore: This is a small triangular piece that sits in between each cup. In a properly fitting bra, the center gore should rest flush against the skin.
Apex: Well, this sounds like math, doesn’t it? Well an apex is the peak, or summit of the bra; the point at which the straps meet the cups.
Hook and eye: The hook and eyes are located at the back of the bra, where you ‘hook’ the band into place. It is important that you close a new bra on the loosest setting so you can ultimately extend the life of your bra.
Underwire: Underwire (if existing) is placed in a canal toward the bottom of the bra and is often made of metal.
Straps: Bra straps help adjust the fit of your bra. Remember, the straps of a bra should not carry the weight of the breasts as this leads to back pain. Straps essentially hold the bra in place.
Now that we have covered the different parts of a bra let’s take a look at the various shapes and styles.
Types of Bras
Triangle: The style is simple and, yes, it takes its name from its shape. The straps are adjustable, and the hook fastens at the back. We have a great lace triangle bra with cerulean blue trim by Marie Jo Aida you might want to consider.
Underwire: A wire made of either plastic or metal runs under each cup to provide firm support for your bust. Underwire provides additional support for the breast tissue in the bra.
Bullet: One particular Jean Paul Gaultier bra in the 90s comes to mind. It was more of a super bullet bra that Madonna wore then, but, in a more toned down sense, the bullet bra is similar, just not as pointed. Bullet bras are able to keep their shape via concentric stitching rather than underwire.
Balconette: The balconette bra is constructed in a square-like shape. In a demi-cup style you can wear a more daring shirt without worrying about your bra showing.
Plunge: The plunge bra—formulated for the plunging neckline. The cup in a plunge bra is cut in at a deeper angle to accentuate your cleavage.
Pushup: Do you like the look of a fuller chest? Then the pushup bra is a great option for you. A pushup bra will lift and center your breasts. They usually have padding, either made of foam, gel or rubber.
Soft cup: These bras have no underwire. The support in a soft, or molded, cup is entirely dependent upon the band.
Strapless: Strapless bras have no shoulder straps and are made for wearing clothes that show your shoulders. Some strapless bras might include a pair of attachable straps that can convert into a haltered or racer back shape. Depending on the look, clear straps can help keep your strapless bra in place.
Sport: Nobody wants to be asked if they’re wearing a bra when exercising. Physical activity requires a sports bra. They will support and hold your breasts in place, and prevent unnecessary movement of the breasts. Sports bras come in both underwire and non underwire styles. If you are partaking in strenuous activity you might want to consider an underwire sports bra for added support.
Corset: The last we heard of the corset, it was a mainstay in 19th century England. However, as a popular item worn in wedding dresses, it might be making a 21st century comeback. Corsets will maintain an hourglass shape in any style dress. It’s form- fitting, and your chest is supported by the entire corset rather than the cups and underwire.
Bralette: A bralette is purely a stylistic choice, because they provide little support. Bralettes have no underwire and no padding. We have a great selection of bralettes to try out this summer. .
We’ll end Part 1 here. Continue to Part 2 to finish the list.