Types of Bras and their Purposes
Having been thin for most of my younger years, then having a baby in my twenties and nursing her for two years, I experienced frequent fluctuations in my weight, and along with it, the size of my breasts (sorry…TMI?). That lead me to explore different types of bras, wherein I discovered that there aren’t just two, three, or four types of bras, but over a dozen! Yep. But you don’t really have to have to be a mom or experience weight gain/loss to know this. If you often wear various styles of clothing, you’ll know that these various bras each serve a different purpose.
Listed here are the commonly known types of bras and their purposes:
- The T-shirt Bra. My fave. These have no raised seems and have usually padded cups to provide a smooth-looking texture when worn underneath tight-fitting shirts.
- Bandeau. A bandeau bra is a band of cloth that’s wrapped around the breasts. These provide minimal shaping or support, and are available with or without any pads inside. They’re worn either for comfort or for layering under sheerer tops.
- Racerback bra. To be worn with…you guessed it, racerback tops or dresses. These have a V pattern on the back and usually have a front closure.
Cute demi from Agent Provocateur
- Demi bra. These have half cups and wide-set straps, and are often structured and have underwires, to sort of ‘frame’ the chest and lift up the breasts. These are great for clothes with lower-cut fronts, and I think, for smaller-chested women. I’m on the search for a good demi bra!
- Sports bra. This is designed to provide a lot of support to the breasts, to minimize movement or discomfort during sports or other physical activities. Often, they’re made in breathable material, have wide bottom bands and straps, with no snaps or closures.
Anita nursing bra
- Nursing bra. Nursing bras are available in a variety of styles, but one thing they always have are cups that easily detach from the straps, or flaps that open to conveniently let babies access the nipple, during breastfeeding.
Another one from Agent Provocateur
- Strapless. These have no shoulder straps but can still provide adequate support to the breasts. For dresses and tops that reveal most of the decolletage, back, and shoulders.
- U bra. The U-bra or plunging bra has a deep, plunging middle. This allows you to wear clothes with deep, plunging necklines, yet still gives support and lift to the breasts.
- Corset bra. Corset bras, also knows as bridal bras, are highly structured and often stop either before the hip, at the ribcage, or at the waist. These are made to be worn with strapless, structured dresses such as wedding gowns, and provide support not only to the breasts but to the back, encouraging the wearer to sit up straight. It also helps shape the belly and torso.
- Push-up bra. I think the Wonderbra is probably the most widely-known push-up bra in history. Victoria’s Secret has a lot of them too. Push-up bras are wonderful for creating cleavage, and giving the breasts a lifted, perky appearance. These usually have underwires as well as padding that’s strategically located to push the breasts up or closer towards each other.
- Adhesive bra. I’ve seen so many of these at stores, but have never tried wearing one myself. Often these are made of silicone material, which help the cups stick to the skin, supposedly, for hours. These may possibly alleviate back pain as they have no straps and are basically just two cups that are stuck to each breast.
So, there you have ‘em. Pick one best-suited for a certain purpose or style. Wearing the right type of innerwear not only makes your outfit and you look better, it makes things easier too!
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