UNDERSTANDING PARTS OF A BRA
While many wear them everyday, not all bra-wearers can identify the parts of a bra when asked. At Fit Au Max, we feel that this is an important element of the statistic that 4 in 5 women wear the wrong size of bra. For your comfort and health, it’s vital to accurately measure your bra size and find bras that match your size as much as possible. Knowing the parts of a bra and what to look for in a bra is important when finding the best fit and size for self. With that in mind, let’s identify the parts of a bra.
- There are the straps and rings & sliders to adjust the length of the straps. These allow the cup fabric to lay in place. While they appear to carry the weight of the breasts, straps actually do not provide the main support (the band plays that role). Straps are important for comfort. When you are looking for a bra to wear all day long, you want to ensure it does not cut into your shoulder. For fuller bust women, It is important to choose a bra with wider straps for greater comfort. The sliders allow strap adjustment to suit your torso size. This is vital. Check your sliders regularly, as they can shift and stretch out after extended wear.
- The apex, which is the part of the cup that is attached to the shoulder strap. If the apex is insufficient, fuller bust women may experience discomfort. The bra cups and the straps may dig into the breast tissue.
- The cups: these could be lined or unlined. They may contain underwire or not. The cups encase the breasts. Cups can be further broken down into different pieces: the upper cup, under cup (sometimes known as the bottom cup), and the cup side, which depending on the cup size can provide side support to prevent the bust spilling outwards toward the armpits. The upper cup shapes the bust. It may contain elastic material near the top of the cup, to provide more flexibility with regard to size. This can be helpful if one breast is bigger than the other. Firm material provides more support than elastic, as you would imagine.
- Underwires are located inside the cups and they provide structure for the breasts. They support the bust. The underwire can be made of metal or molded plastic. Underwires are very common in large cup size bras, as they are essential for minimizing the appearance. You can even find underwires in supportive swimsuits designed for larger bra cup sizes.
- Center gore, also known as the bridge or center front. This is the band between the cups that holds the cups together. The center gore should lie flat against your sternum (your breastbone, located at the center of your rib cage), which is called ‘sinking’ or ‘tacking’. If the center gore is not stable, it is likely that this is the wrong bra size for you.
- Hooks and eyes to fasten the bra in place. The hooks and eyes are arranged in rows. The larger size bras typically have between 3 and 4 rows of hooks and eyes, for additional support. Some bras feature closures in the front of the bra, while some have other options of securing or adjusting.
- The cradle, also known as the frame, keeps the underwire and cups in place. The cradle is part of the band that runs beneath and around the breasts. Check the height of the cradle as a predictor of support. For larger bra cup sizes, a taller cradle will help keep the breasts in place.
- Bones are found between the cradle and the wings. Boning provides support for the breasts. Bones help in keeping the cups in place, and simultaneously creating a slimming effect with the bra band. All our bras at Fit Au Max contain the bones.
- The wings are attached to the cradles and they provide support and balance. The wing helps with bra stability. Make sure that the wings are comfortable in relation to where your breasts sit on your chest. Breasts that sit higher can sometimes mean that bra wings will cut into the wearer’s armpits.
- Bands are the combination of the center gore, the cradles, and the wings. The bands provide the majority of the support. They carry the weight of the breasts and ensure a perfect fit. The bottom edge of the band should fit snugly against the body, anchoring the entire bra to the body. Establishing the correct band size for your bra is a huge part of finding a comfortable bra. Not only does it obviously determine your band size, it is a part of measuring your cup size, when subtracted from your bust measurement.
Picking The Right Bra For Full Busted Women
Now that you have reviewed the parts of a bra’s anatomy, and which ones are important to ensure support, you may be wondering what type of bra is best for your shape and size.
It is strongly recommended that full-busted women wear full coverage bras with deep narrow cups for a perfect bra fit. Firm bands for boning provide better overall support, and balanced weight distribution. The thicker the band, the better.
It is highly recommended to rotate your bras to avoid overstretching the band. Luckily, with Fit Au Max Lingerie you can purchase a selection of affordable, supportive bras that look great without breaking the bank.
Check out a few of our affordable supportive bras: