Specialty Bras

From plunging to push up bras

You can find a wide variety of specialty bras, from fashionable designs to accompany the latest trends, to functional styles for hassle-free wear. Although many styles seem to have common features, the subtle differences create particular effects. For instance, a push-up bra is padded, but all padded bras do not achieve the same effect as a push-up. And although a strapless bra can work for that evening dress, it may not be your best choice for support. Learn about functional and fashionable specialty bras, including how they work on your body and how they can perfect your outfit.

Specialty Bras for Shape

While conventional bras can round out and gently lift the breasts, they don't create a large amount of cleavage. A push-up bra is the ideal choice for noticeable lift, as it's designed with padding around the bottom and sides of the cups to raise and separate the breasts. The result is a higher, sculpted bust that's well-supported with the help of an underwire. For exceptionally low-cut necklines, look for a push-up that's also a plunge bra – the edges of the cups meet at a lower point on the breast bone.

Padded bras are designed to increase the size of the breasts rather than create cleavage, using foam padding of varying thickness that is either molded to the cup or that sits in small pockets within the cup. Padded bras with pockets often come with removable pads, making them more versatile than the permanently padded styles. On the other hand, a molded padding across the full cup may follow the contours of your body more closely, allowing for a more comfortable fit.

Padded bras have evolved in style and material over the years, with many brands straying from the traditional foam padding and toward material that looks and feels more natural. In some cases, small bags of air or liquid are held in the cups to increase size and cleavage, which can be removed before laundering. Sometimes you can buy bra accessories, like inserts or clips, to get a different shaping effect from your existing bras.

Specialty Bras for Style

While some bras are meant to increase or reshape the breasts, other styles are meant to go with particular types of clothing or outfits. Although comfort bras are renowned for their gentle support and breathability, many can also serve as the perfect undergarment for T-shirts and lightweight dresses due to their seamless and shapely construction. For more daring outfits that feature low necklines or backless tops, a more specialized bra will lend discreet coverage and support.

A strapless outfit demands a strapless bra, which relies on the strength of the band to secure the bra and provide support. Although you want it to go unnoticed, avoid soft or seamless strapless bras unless you have a relatively small bust, as they will do little for your shape. If you tend to sport an array of clothing styles, you will likely welcome the versatility of a convertible bra instead of a strapless bra. This type of bra features straps that are either movable or removable; it provides more support than its strapless cousin and will be sure to keep up with the changing clothing trends each year.

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