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The Bra Primer

Glossary of Bra

The Bra Primer

 

Back Wings – Back wings are the strips of fabric, which extend from the outer base of the cups and secure in the back. Important aspects of the back wings are; stretch vs. non-stretch, the measurement at the widest point (which is usually at the base of the cups), measurement at the closure, and type of close including number of hooks and eyes.
 
Balconette – Also known as a shelf bra, Balconettes are a more revealing version of a demi bra. Offering little to no coverage, balconettes create dramatic uplift and cleavage.
View our full selection of Balconette Bras
 
Bralette – A bralette is an unlined, soft cup bra, which resembles a crop top. Bralettes make the teen bra or sleep bra but they do not offer a significant amount of support.
View our full selection of Bralette Bras
 
Bustier – A highly structured garment, which extends from bust to hip. Most bustiers have flexible boning throughout the body of the garment for additional shaping, and close in the back with a long row of hooks and eyes. Additional features may include removable or convertible straps or garters. Smooth bustiers are perfect under special occasion wear as they provide both shaping and uplift.
View our full selection of Bustier Bras
 
Comfort Straps – Comfort Straps are wider than average straps and are usually padded or lined more evenly distributing the weight of the breast, increasing the comfort of the wearer. Comfort straps are an important feature for any woman who has experienced shoulder pain due to her bra.
View our full selection of Comfort Strap Bras
 
Center Gore – The center gore is the piece of fabric, which connects the cups of a bra at the front center. Important aspects of the center gore include; stretch vs. non-stretch – with the non-stretch offering significantly more support than stretch – and width measurement. Bras with low or plunge fronts have thinner center gores making them a good choice to pair with low cut tops.
 
Contour Bra – A contour bra has shaped cups, which must have all of the following characteristics; Cups are always padded or lined and they have an underwire. Even unfilled - cups mimic the natural shape of a woman’s body. Contour bras are similar to a molded bra, except molded bras are generally not as highly structured. Contour bras are a perfect choice for any woman seeking a sculpted silhouette, as they offer a significant amount of coverage and control.
View our full selection of Contour Bras
 
Cookies – Cookies are oval shaped, removable demi pads. These are generally used in bras, which are already padded to create dramatic, yet adjustable enhancement.
View our full selection of Cookies
 
Convertible – Describes any garment which has straps which detach and can be worn in a variety of ways including – criss-cross, halter, strapless or one shouldered. Garments with fully detachable straps are full convertible.

Convertible bras are a flexible option since they can be worn with a variety of tops, including boat neck and asymmetrical necklines.
View our full selection of Convertible Bras
 
Corset – A corset is a highly structured, form fitted support garment that extends from the bust to the hip. Most corsets have lace up details, flexible boning throughout the body of the garment for additional shaping, and close in the back with a long row of hooks and eyes.
View our full selection of Corset Bras
 
Demi – A demi cup bra offers the perfect amount of ‘barely there’ coverage for petite to average figure women. These bras offer less coverage than a full cup and more than a balconette. Demi bras cover the nipple and approximately half to ¾ of the breast, but if it seems like you’re “spilling out” of your demi cup its probably the wrong size.
View our full selection of Demi Bras
 
Foam Lined – As opposed to padded bras, foam lined bras have a thinner, lining. This lining does not add size, but provides additional shaping as well as protection against nipple show through.

A key feature to look for in foam lined bras is stretch foam lining. Stretch foam will create a natural looking silhouette and will keep their shape even after repeated washings.
View our full selection of Foam Lined Bras
 
Full Cup – A full cup bras completely covers most of the breast, offering both more coverage and more support than a demi cup bra.
View our full selection of Full Cup Bras
 
Full Figure Bras – At Bare Necessities, our selection of full figure bras starts at a size 38C and extends to a 52I. Full figure bras offer comfort and support features designed specifically for voluptuous women.
View our full selection of Full Figure Bras
 
Inner Sling – Inner slings are a support feature. They are curved strips of fabric, which follow the natural curve of the bra similar to an underwire, except soft. Inner slings follow the curve of the bottom of the cup offering invisible additional coverage.
View our full selection of Inner Sling Bras
 
Minimizer – A minimizer bra reduces the appearance of the bust by up to one cup size.
View our full selection of Minimizer Bras
 
Molded – Molded bras have cups, which are machine molded. The cups mirror the natural shape of a woman, for shape and comfort. Molded bras are generally unlined and may be either soft cup or underwire.
View our full selection of Molded Bras
 
Moisture Wicking – Moisture wicking fabrics draw moisture away from the skin. This is a great feature to look for in a sports bra.
View our full selection of Moisture Wicking Bras
 
Padded – Padded Bras have some type of padding lining the cups. Graduated padding is thicker at the base of the cups and creates a natural looking silhouette as well as the appearance of increased cleavage.
View our full selection of Padded Bras
 
Plunge – Plunge bras create the appearance of increased cleavage because of their deep (plunging) front silhouette, angled cups and thin center gore. Plunge bras differ from push-up bras in that they are not generally as heavily padded.
View our full selection of Plunge Bras
 
Push Up – Push up bras create the appearance of increased cleavage using angled cups (which generally have underwires), a variety of types of padding including graduated and cookies, and demi cups.
View our full selection of Push Up Bras
 
Racerback – A back silhouette, which curves in between the shoulder blades. Most convertible bras can be worn racerback, but a true racerback bra is a must-have to pair with racerback tanks.
View our full selection of Racerback Bras
 
Rigid Straps – Non-stretch straps which are generally adjustable. Rigid straps offer more support than stretch straps. Rigid straps are an important feature for Full Figure silhouettes. Some bras have straps, which are rigid in the front and stretch adjustable in the back for additional, adjustable comfort.
View our full selection of Rigid Strap Bras
 
Seamless – A bra constructed without seamed cups. There may be seams in other parts of the bra and still be considered seamless.

Seamless bras are a great choice for pairing with clingy knits, and lightweight jerseys since they are virtually invisible under clothing.
View our full selection of Seamless Bras
 
Soft Cup – Soft Cup bras do not have underwires, but may be padded or lined.
View our full selection of Soft Cup Bras
 
Sports Bra – Sports bras are specifically designed to offer the appropriate amount of support during moderate to intense physical activity.
View our full selection of Sports Bras
 
Triangle – A triangle bra has triangle shaped cups, which offer the perfect amount of coverage/support for petite to average figures. Triangle bras may be padded or lined but generally do not have underwires, and most have thin straps, center gore and back wings.
View our full selection of Triangle Bras
 
T-Shirt Bra – Designed to appear invisible under even the thinnest fabrics, t-shirt bras are seamless, generally made of microfiber with contour cups.

A great t-shirt bra is seasonless, since it can double as a sweater bra during the colder months.
View our full selection of T-Shirt Bras
 
Underwire – A thin, flexible wire, which offers added support to the cups of bras, bustier and shapewear. Modern bras are constructed with comfortable underwires, which don't poke. For any woman who likes the support of an underwire, but is wary about the comfort level, check out our selection of comfort underwire bras:
View our full selection of Comfort Underwire Bras
View our full selection of Underwire Bras

 

 

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