So I was having a girl’s night last week, and of course, bras and boobs came up as the number one topic. It seems now that I’ve started working in the lingerie business I’ve become quite the resident expert among my friends! My friend started complaining that her boobs looked too big. She’s a 34B and looked like a C cup in her top. She said she wanted padding to cover her nipples for all those cold evenings but didn’t want to look a cup size bigger. This led to a round-table discussion of contour padding vs. push-up padding. Here’s a rundown of the conversation with my friends, with some photos, links and examples of contour and push up styles I recommend.
Why would I want to wear a padded bra?
Every type of bra has its purpose. Contour bras and push-up bras are types of padded bras, so their benefits follow those of most padded bras. The majority of padded bra styles will give your breasts a rounded shape, offer lift and nipple coverage. Padded bras are ideal when worn with t-shirts, dresses and fitted clothes. While non-padded bras have their merits too, most don’t offer the same degree of nipple coverage as a padded bra (be careful for those chilly days, you may have an unexpected guest!). Contour and push-up bras are also available in wire-free options, if you like padded bras but want them without underwire.
What’s a contour bra, and why should I try wearing one?
Contour bras have a unified layer of padding or foam, and the padding is the same throughout the cup. A contour bra is great for women who don’t want to wear a padded bra, because they’re afraid that it will make their breasts look bigger. For women who want a natural lift without an extra cup size, this is the perfect style for you. Calvin Klein makes a beautiful Naked Glamour wire-free seamless contour bra! It’s great for every day and looks fantastic underneath a shirt or blouse. Contour bras are great as T-shirt bras because they are padded and unified, giving breasts a smooth, rounded look. For women that are full busted looking for an everyday bra, a t-shirt contour bra is the way to go. It gives a seamless and clean look, perfect for every day. For example, the Absolute Plus Memory Foam by Montelle Lingerie is the way to go for fuller figured women that want a nice shape and lift.
What about push-up bras?
A push-up bra includes the same kind of unified padding as a contour bra, with the added boost of a half-moon or crescent shape which is the extra padding towards the bottom of the cups. Depending on how much extra push-up padding there is within the bra, the bra will add lift, or an extra cup size (or two!) to your bustline. Usually a push up bra is narrower in the middle, at the center gore, and offers less coverage than a contour bra, which is slightly wider at the center. For a natural push-up, take a look at these push-up bras by Blush Lingerie, like this Idylle Embroidered Padded Push Up Bra. There is a small crescent shape inside that will give you a natural-looking boost that won’t exaggerate your bust size and is good to wear for every day. It’s a great way to convert from wearing contour bras to adding a little more oomph to your step. If you’re looking to add a lot of volume to your bust (one of our customers comically calls these bras “false advertising bras”), check out my blog on the Montelle prodigy maximizing push up bra. It’s amazing for all those women who want to add an extra cup size to their bust.
How and when do I wear contour & push-up bras?
Many contour and push up bras these days are seamless, making them perfect to wear with fitted tops. These padded bras offer a flattering cut on most bustlines and sizes. One of the best candidates for push-up bras are women who wear an A or B cup and are looking to make the most of their smaller breasts. A push-up bra can help fill out that top or dress that just wasn’t fitting you properly before. Even just a small push can make the biggest difference and add an extra boost of confidence. They’re great to wear with evening dresses or something with a lower cut in the front. Whereas, contour bras are perfect to wear for everyday. I wear t-shirt almost every day and I hate when the stitching shows through. I find t-shirts or any type of fitted top looks best with a contour bra. It gives you that seamless look with an extra lift (try it with a v-neck top for some sexy cleavage).
Most importantly, the same bra fitting rules apply to push up bras and contour bras. Just because it’s a push up bra does not mean you should have ‘quadboob’ or spill out of your top! Bras should fit properly and be comfortable! A padded bra should not squish your breasts or create bumps – the material of the cups should lie comfortably flat against your breasts, with the center gore lying flat against your breastbone. If your bra does not fit the basic rules for bra fitting then it’s time to get a new bra or get personalized bra fitting advice from us.
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