You walk into the bra area of the store, and you realize you are quickly faced with multiple decisions – Unlined? Lined? Demi cup? Full coverage? Multi-way? Racerback? The list goes on…
With so many options, how do you know which one is best for you?
For the second part of this three-part series, we are going to examine different bra styles.
Note: In case you missed it or want a quick refresher, be sure to check out Part One: Body Basics.
Unlined versus Lined
There are some common differentiators between these two bra styles to keep in mind. First of all, lined doesn't mean padding. In fact, many women would be hesitant to even consider a lined bra because they automatically link it to a padded bra.
This is not the case.
Now, what a lined bra does do for you is offer nipple coverage and slightly more support and shaping than its unlined counterpart.
Ultimately, the deciding factor between these two styles is personal opinion.
Full Coverage versus Demi
To cover or not to cover is the question between these styles.
Remember in Part One when we discussed breast shape? That topic is now coming full circle.
Often times, if you have a "teardrop" shape, a demi may work better for you. Why?
If you try on a full coverage bra and see some gathers or empty space at the top of the cup, try a demi style. The latter essentially cuts that portion of the bra from its shape. If you've tried a demi but feel you often fall out of the center - remember the question from the last post on breast positioning, that point is key here - you may want to try the next style.
I like to describe the balconnet bra like a shelf. It's meant to lift and separate, which can be quite helpful for women with close-set breasts and of course for those with breasts set further apart.
The main caveat with this style is the fullness of the breast - in regards to cup size.
Depending on your cup size, you may not fill out the balconnet enough to create a seamless look for your clothing. Of course, this depends on what and how you are wearing the bra.
The push-up is such a fun style because it warrants so many varying opinions. There is a camp that finds it odd to be "false advertising" while another wouldn't leave home without their trusted push-up.
The push-up is also a style that doesn't discriminate.
No matter what size you are, there's a chance you'll fall in love with a push-up.
For smaller chested women, it's about the added fullness; for fuller chested women, it's about the lift.
Just remember, there are varying degrees of push-up that aren't one-size-fits-all. Explore your options and find the right amount that works best for you, and it might be in either a demi or balconnet form, for example.
Here are some tips for some of the other styles of bras on the market.
Convertible bras are a versatile way to streamline your bra wardrobe. I do have these but also appreciate a bra that does a single job - such as a classic racerback.
Note: When switching your bra from one style to another, remember to adjust the straps and possibly the hook location on the band of the bra.
Racerback bras are a must in the summer, especially under tank tops and sleeveless dresses.
Strapless bras are a style that you may not wear that often but are something you need in your bra arsenal.
A Backless and Strapless bra is often a one-off purchase. They can be tricky to navigate, and I recommend purchasing this item with a particular outfit in mind.
For example, if you are fuller chested and depending on the style of the outfit you are planning to wear, you may want to purchase a low back bra instead - which may add more support and less worry for your night out.
On the other hand, if you are smaller chested, you may want something as simple as pasties.
Wireless bras have become one of my wardrobe staples.
A Note of Caution about this Style: Many women defer to wireless because they have been wearing the wrong size in the past and feel wireless are the only style that is comfortable, which most likely is not the case. A proper fitting bra and finding the right style can change this school of thought.
As for me, as I'm smaller chested, I have found wireless to provide enough padding and shape that I wouldn't get from an unlined bra while covering up any gaps I may otherwise have - back to Part One: Body Basics.
With that said, a well-fitting wired bra can be a game changer, which we will discuss more next time.
Above all, don't be afraid to try a new style of bra. I have helped many women with implants that have walked out with full coverage bras and even women with fuller chests leaving nicely lifted in their push-up styles.
Stay tuned for the conclusion of Finding Your Perfect Bra series when I share some general bra fitting tips and tricks.
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