Just like we can’t use a fork to eat cereal, we really can’t wear a nursing bra for exercising. There is a different style of bra for every woman and every occasion! Maybe it’s a sports bra for working out or a nursing bra for feeding your baby, a contour cup bra to look amazing under your fitted clothes or a push-up bra for a little extra cleavage – different women have different requirements at different times. Let our bra styling guide take you through the basics:
Usually made of stretchy fabric, bandeau bras consist of a single band of fabric that covers the breasts. Some contain built-in cups but bandeau bras usually provide little to no support. Some styles also come with lace trim or ruching in the middle. This is a strapless style and there is usually no fastening. A standard bandeau bra only holds the breasts in place and is not advisable if you want support or shaping. USE FOR: Small busts and little to no support.
Convertible / Multiway Bra
Also called convertible bras, this style comes with detachable straps that can be re-arranged depending on the clothes they are being worn with. This is the most versatile type of bra and can be worn with a variety of necklines and backs. Most multiway bras can be worn in a number of styles, including: traditional two over-the-shoulder straps, halter-neck, one-shoulder, racer-back and strapless. Some styles are even available with transparent straps for when you need a strapless bra but are not comfortable wearing one. If needed, transparent straps are also available separately. USE FOR: Multiple uses, with different styles of necklines and backs.
Maternity and Nursing Bras
A bra designed purely for practicality, nursing bras are used by women who are breast-feeding children. These are normally designed with full cups and wide straps to increase the amount of support and comfort given to nursing mothers. The most common style includes a flap of fabric covering the breast that may be unclipped or unhooked for easy access to the breast for feeding. They may also be made of stretchy fabric for easy movement and don’t normally have underwires, as they can be uncomfortable for sensitive nursing breasts. USE FOR: breast-feeding
Designed with curvier ladies in mind, minimiser bras are basically the opposite of push-up bras: meant to make the breasts appear smaller and less prominent. Fuller cups and clever seams help to compress and reshape the breasts to make large busts appear smaller. Minimiser bras are available in both underwired and wireless styles. Seams that shape the breasts flatter and further apart also make this the perfect bra to wear under shirts with buttons in the front that may gape. USE FOR: Larger breasts. Also very useful under button-up fronts.
A padded bra has padding in the base of the cup to lift your breast and give the appearance of larger breasts. The padded cups of the bra prevent nipples from being seen under fitted outfits and T-shirts. On top of that, padded bras are available in different necklines and coverage sizes in order to be suitable for different sized breasts.
Designed to be worn with low necklines, plunge bras usually feature wide-set straps and lower cups than normal. The fabric joining the two cups together (called the gore in technical terms) is lower and closer together. This pushes the cups together for subtle cleavage. Unlike push-up bras, plunge bras are not heavily padded and can be worn by women with curvier figures too. The cut ensures that the bra does not show under low-cut clothes and gives a flattering shape under them. USE FOR: low-cut clothes
Talk about instant cleavage! With extra padding on the bottom outside of the cup, push-up bras are designed specifically to push the breasts higher and closer to give cleavage and a rounder look. Nowadays, push-up bras are available in different levels of lift. Our Level 1 bras give you a rounder look and cleavage, with no extreme change. Level 2 push-up bras make your breasts appear 1 whole cup size larger and Level 3 push-up bras provide extreme lift and take you up 2 whole cup sizes! USE FOR: etc etc
Racerback / T-Back Bra
Most commonly seen in sports bras, this style provides more support and protection than normal over-the-shoulder straps. It features straps that meet in a V- or T-shaped pattern between the shoulder blades. This means it avoids the embarrassing slip of straps down your shoulders. Racerback styles provide better support and decrease bounce, especially for working out. They are also suitable for wearing under tops that may reveal shoulder straps, such as sleeveless shirts or tank tops. USE FOR: Sports bras or shoulder-revealing clothes.
Activities like working out, running and playing sports creates more movement than usual – and it’s no different for your breasts! Athletic activities increase movement and therefore need increased support. Improper innerwear may even cause muscle tearing in the breasts, making them sag. A sports bra provides extra support and reduces movement during active physical activity. Different levels of activity require different levels of support and most places have them available. Walking and yoga require light control; cycling, jogging and power-walking require medium control and playing sports, running or working out requires a maximum control or high impact sports bra. USE FOR: Physical activities, e.g. exercising or playing sports.
Strapless bras often come as convertible bras with detachable straps. It is a great option for shoulder-baring outfits. The two cups of a strapless bra are kept in place by a robust, wired underband. Make sure you buy the right size for yourself because if it’s too tight, you will feel uncomfortable and if it’s loose, it will keep falling off!
The t-shirt bra has been specially designed with no raised seams and other constructions – for the most smooth, unrevealing look possible, especially under fitted or clinging clothes. The cups are contoured for a super sleek appearance, and may be moulded or lightly padded for concealing nipples and giving a completely smooth finish. T-shirt bras are available in two styles: lightly padded for slight coverage, or with machine-molded contoured cups. Contoured cups are shaped by machine and designed with zero seams, making the bra as smooth as possible and giving a slightly better shape with no extra cleavage. USE FOR: Tight-fitting or clingy clothes. Also great for nipple coverage.
U Plunge / Deep Plunge Bra
Also called deep-plunge bras, this style is designed to be worn with extremely low-cut clothes. They provide a far deeper plunge than regular plunge bras and are designed with the lowest possible centre in a bra. USE FOR: Extremely low-cut clothes.