The cups on these bras each have one seam to create two cup parts. This seaming creates shape, comfort and added support to the bra cups.
The cups on these bras each have two seams to create three cup parts. This construction is usually found on full figure bras because it gives comfort and greater support to the breasts.
A bra with no straps or back wings that adheres to the breast with medical-grade adhesive. Adhesive bras are usually made of polyurethane, silicone, or a similar material. Also known as a stick-on bra.
A woman's short, loose-fitting nightgown or negligee. Usually sleeveless, babydolls are sometimes made of sheer fabric like chiffon and adorned with lace, ruffles, bows, and ribbons. Often includes formed cups called a bralette. The name comes from the 1956 movie "Baby Doll" starring Carroll Baker.
The strips of fabric extending from the outer base of the cups to the back closure. Important aspects of the back wings are stretch vs. non-stretch, the measurement at the widest point (usually at the base of the cups), measurement at the closure, and type of closure including the number of hook-and-eye clasps.
The cup sits low on the breasts and is suitable for wearing under low-cut tops. The breast is lifted from the bottom to create a fuller, plumper appearance on top. Balconette styles generally give you a rounded shape but offer less coverage than full cup styles. Not to be confused with a demi-cup bra. Also known as a shelf bra.
See: Leotard Back
A strapless band of material that wraps around the breasts. It is usually made from stretchy fabrics like nylon or spandex and sometimes has built-in cups. It is ideal for small-busted women who dislike traditional bras.
A close-fitting bodice that extends from shoulders to waist, sometimes continuing past the hips.
Material sewn into vertical seams to provide additional structure, contouring, and support. Originally made of bone, it is now typically made of steel, metal spirals, or plastic.
An unlined, soft-cup bra without underwire. A bralette is a comfortable bra alternative with very light support, most appropriate for smaller cup sizes.
Bra Hook Extender
Detachable bra closures similar to the hook-and-eye closures of most bras. Extenders attach to your bra at the closures to extend the length of the band.
Adhesive nipple covers worn to prevent nipples from showing through sheer garments. Typically worn in lieu of a bra or under swimwear.
A highly-structured, close-fitting, strapless top intended to shape a woman's bust and torso. Typically shorter than a corset, bustiers usually end at or just above the waistline and feature built-in bras. Most include flexible boning throughout for shaping purposes.
Comfort Strap Bra
Comfort strap bras have wider-than-average straps that may be padded or lined. These specialized straps distribute breast weight more evenly so the wearer is more comfortable. Comfort strap bras are great for ladies who experience bra-related shoulder pain.
The piece of fabric which connects the cups of a bra and contributes to the shape and support of the bra. Non-stretch gores offer more support than stretch gores. Narrow center gores are better for close-set breasts and pair well with low-cut tops. Wide center gores are ideal for wide-set breasts. The center gore should always lie flat against your sternum.
Contour bras have seamless, pre-formed cups which are always padded or lined to help retain shape. These bras are designed to mimic the natural shape of a woman's body. They may contain underwire, and are more highly structured than a molded bra.
Removable pads of varying shape, generally used in push-up bras and designed to create dramatic, adjustable uplift. Cookies are a great way to increase bra size without surgery. Silicone cookies are sometimes called "chicken cutlets" because of their resemblance to raw chicken.
Any bra with straps designed to be worn in multiple ways, including traditional, racerback, halter, one-strap, or strapless. Convertible bras are a versatile wardrobe option because they can be worn with many different top styles.
A tightly-fitted support garment that extends from the bust to the hip. Flexible boning throughout creates support and shaping. Most have lace-up details and hook-and-eye back closures.
A darted seam starts at the bottom of the cup and runs straight up to the center, creating a rounded silhouette. This construction is usually found on full-figured or full-busted bras as it provides exceptional comfort, and support.
Demi" is a French prefix meaning "half." A demi-cup covers half to ¾ of the breasts, and is intended to cover the nipple but leave the upper bust exposed, creating sexy, lifted cleavage.
See: Bra Hook Extender
Foam Lined Cup
The cup of the bra is lined with foam and offers a pre-formed, rounded breast shape to create a smooth look under clothing. When it comes to foam lined bras, stretch foam is ideal because it will keep its shape after repeated washings. These bras do not add volume. For added size, look for padded bras.
Less rigid than regular underwire, flex wire is designed to hold the shape of the bra cup without putting pressure on the breast. This type of wire is most often found in nursing/maternity bras.
Full Busted Bra
Designed specifically for DD+ cup sizes, full busted bras offer a broader range of features meant to keep you supported and comfortable.
Full Cup Completely covers the breast, offering both more coverage and more shaping than other styles.
Full Figure Bra
Full figure bras offer comfort and support features for curvaceous women. Bands range in size from a 38 to a 56.
Front Closure Bra
Any bra with a clasp at the center front instead of the center back.
Padding that contours to the natural shape of a woman's breast. Graduated padding has a thick base for lift and tapers toward the top for a smooth line. This type of padding makes breasts look natural, lush, and full.
Strips of non-stretch fabric or foam built into bra cups for an extra layer of support. Often found in underwire bras to fortify the wire.
A bra with a U-shaped back that prevents the straps from sliding off the shoulders. This style hugs the body more closely than traditional square back designs, and is helpful for fuller figured women who need the extra support. Also called a U-Back or a ballet back.
A bra specifically designed to provide extra comfort and support for pregnant women. The cups are typically stretchy to accommodate tender, swelling breasts, and made of softer fabrics to prevent irritation. Some maternity bras double as nursing bras. See: Nursing Bra
Holds the breasts close to the body to gently redistribute breast tissue. This reduces the appearance of the bust by up to one cup size. Minimizer bras are helpful for women who experience gapping between shirt buttons or women who have difficulty finding blouses that fit.
Molded bras have non-padded cups that are pre-shaped and designed to mimic the natural shape of a woman's breasts. The fabric is typically flexible. May be either soft-cup or underwire.
Moisture wicking fabric draws moisture away from the skin to reduce sweating. Often made from synthetic materials like polyester blends, moisture wicking fabric is a great asset to look for in a sports bra.
See: Convertible Bra
A bra specifically designed for nursing women to aid in breastfeeding. It provides increased support and features detachable clips on the top of each cup to allow easy breastfeeding access. Often made of stretchy material to accommodate swollen breasts.
A bra with a V-shaped (plunging) neckline, angled cups and narrow center gore that creates the appearance of enhanced cleavage. Plunge bras are not as heavily padded as push-ups. Ideal for low-cut tops.
A bra that accentuates cleavage using angled cups and a variety of padding types. Most push-ups have underwire, and some include removable cookies for extra volume.
A bra with straps that form a "V" shape in the center of the back, designed for a no-show fit under tops with a T, Y, or X back. Most convertible bras can be made racerback. This is a high-functioning design ideal for sports bras and T-shirt bras.
Non-stretch straps, usually adjustable, which offer more support than stretch straps. Rigid straps are helpful for fuller-figured women who require extra support.
The base of the breast where it attaches to the torso. The width, height, and shape of your root play a major role in determining what kind of bra works best for you. Not necessarily correlated with breast size.
Seamless Cup Bra
Sometimes called a T-shirt bra, these bras feature smooth cups that appear nearly invisible under clothing. There may be seams in other parts of the bra, but they are typically designed to lay flat against the skin.
A thin undergarment worn beneath dresses and skirts to prevent chafing and to create a smooth appearance.
Soft Cup Bra
Bras designed to provide support without underwire. To accomplish this, they may be padded, seamed or lined.
Bras designed to offer additional support during exercise and physical activity. Sports bras are sturdier than regular bras, and are designed to minimize breast movement to protect chest ligaments from damage.
See: Adhesive Bra
A bra designed to change with a woman's body through pregnancy, delivery, and the first few weeks of motherhood. Intended to optimize comfort for sensitive breasts. Sometimes called comfort bras. See: Maternity Bra, Nursing Bra
A bra with triangular cups. Triangle bras are typically padded or lined in lieu of underwire. Narrow straps, gores, and back wings are characteristic of this style, making them ideal for petite figures.
Seamless, contoured bras designed to be invisible under clothing. Pairs well with thin or clingy.
See: Leotard Back
Underwire Thin, flexible wire which offers additional support to bra cups. Underwire is intended to lift, separate, and shape breasts.