If you have breasts, then bras are likely a staple in your wardrobe. We wear these undergarments every single day, and they give us the lift and support we need.
While we rely on bras to boost the girls and relieve the burden from our neck and shoulders, have we ever stopped to consider what they are made of? The effort that goes into creating the perfect bra is nothing short of extraordinary.
Bras are modern marvels that we rarely think twice about. So, what are the parts of a bra, and why should we care?
Why Should We Know the Parts of a Bra?
Most women spend every waking moment in a bra. However, that doesn’t mean they all wear a bra that fits properly. To get the best fit, you should know the parts of a bra and how the design works. Once you understand how a bra works, you’ll be one step closer to finding the best fitting bra for your body type. So, here’s a run-down of every part of a bra so that you can find the right bra for you.
Containing Them: Cups
The most upfront and obvious component of a bra is the cup. Cups are where you house your breasts, and typically they are round or sport a slight point. Most bras are fashioned with two cups, though some exist that have only one cup.
Depending on the style, the cup shape and size will vary. The basic sizing starts with A and can go all the way up to N, but sizing also depends on what region you live in. For instance, US sizes are different from UK sizing; so, be sure to note the difference when shopping online.
Bra cups are broken down into three parts: upper cup, under cup, and side cup. The upper cup helps shape the bust and keeps the breast closer to the body. Typically, this part is made of a stretchy material to help mold the girls.
The under-cup’s job is to lift the breast upward. Unlike the top, the bottom is firmer and is often reinforced with padding or lining to help with the lift. Finally, the cup side supports the side of the breast and keeps it from spilling out. Some bras even have an extra side seam for reinforcement.
The cups of a bra should fit comfortably, hugging the girls, but not too snugly. Without a proper fitting, the cups can push your breasts out or your ta-tas could be swimming in fabric. Fit is essential for containing your chest, so take care when measuring.
Extra Support: Band Length
While the cup holds the boobs, the band carries the weight. A bra band should fit tightly, but not so that it squeezes the life out of you. The band is made up of several parts, such as the wings, back, and gore. Depending on your bra’s design, these parts may look very different. For instance, a U-back bra won’t be the same as a strapless bra. Some bras may not have these parts.
Sexy Back, Wing Man, and the Gore
The back of the bra provides the most support. Often, it holds the closure, links to the straps, and pulls back on the breast. Some bras have fabric panels, while others have a U-back, T-back or racerback, or straight back design. While most bras do have a back, there are backless designs.
Most bras have a closure on the back, but not all as some latch in the front. Those that do can be adjusted with the hook and eye panel. The size of the panel varies according to the size of the band and cup.
The wings of a bra start at the cup and end at the closure. The design varies from low to high, which can affect how it sits on the body. It is possible for a wing to sit too low or too high, the latter of which can cut into the armpits.
The gore, the final part of the band, sits between the cups. The height and shape matter depending on your breasts. Much like the wing, a gore that is too high can run against the chest, while one that is too low might not offer the proper support.
Wire or Wireless?
An additional part that is optional, bras can either have an underwire or go wireless. Which option you choose influences the rest of the bra’s design. Underwires give breasts added support, which means the straps don’t need to be as thick. The underwire rests in the lower part of the cup. The wires are usually made of metal and provide extra lift. Unfortunately, these wires can often dig if you don’t have the right sizing.
If you want to forgo a wire in favor of a strapless design, you may end up sacrificing support. However, wireless bras have taken a different shape to offer additional boost by using thicker straps, wider bands, and back panels.
Hoisting the Girls: Straps
The final part making up the bra is crucial to help carry the weight, the straps. While they do offer some extra lift, they shouldn’t be carrying all the weight. Too much weight on the straps can lead to back and shoulder issues.
These parts are mainly to stabilize the fit and work with the other bra parts. Most bras have adjustable straps to tailor fit different body types using a ring and slider. However, not all bra straps can be adjustable.
Depending on the bra, the straps will sit differently on your shoulders and against your back. Some are thin with the ring and slider, while others are thick, non-adjustable panels. There are also a few options with removable straps or none.
Finding the Perfect Fit
When it comes to finding the perfect bra, knowing the parts is a big help. By knowing what each component does for your body, you can have an easier time finding your trouble areas.
To ease your discomfort and feel flawless, the perfect-fitting bra is just what you need. Be sure to measure your cup and band, and you can start searching for your ideal bra today.