A demi cup bra has less breast coverage. The industry generally
cuts a demi cup to 1" above the nipple point. Most push-up bras
are demi cups to show more cleavage. The underwires of a demi
cup are much shallower or shorter. Also, most demi cups are designed
with a slight tilt to push the breasts towards the center for
more cleavage and remove breast tissue from under the arms. The
demi cup design is great for petite women who have issues with
their underwires poking.
Balconette is another name for a demi cup bra with a little less coverage. However,
manufacturers use this name on many styles that are not balconette. A true balconette cup will be cut horizontally just
above the bust line and give ones breast the look of fullness and uplift. A balconette cup usually has a little padding to
enhance bust size as well. The name balconette comes from men in the balcony of a theater looking down upon women.--a
balconette bra could not be seen from above.
Contour cups hold their shape, even when not worn. The cups have an underwire and fiberfill or foam lining molded into a specific shape.
Contour cups are a perfect choice for any woman seeking a sculpted silhouette, as they offer a specific round and symmetrical breast
shape. A contour bra can also add definition (not size) to the breast, a smooth shape, and elimination of nipple contours.
Contour Bras are a good choice for in-between bra sizes, or a woman with uneven breasts.
Lined cups give additional support and added opaqueness to the cup.
Maternity Cups - Pregnant women need support and breathability in their bras. Maternity cups come with inside underbust bands and
full coverage. Maternity cups are also made in fabrics that breathe to prevent breast tissue irritation.
A minimizer cup gives the appearance of reducing the projection
of your breasts. This allows women to wear front-button shirts
and blouses without gapping. A minimizer bra distributes the breast
flesh more towards the underarm and the center front. A minimizer
only shifts the mass in areas other than directly in front. No
cup can actually reduce your volume of breast tissue.
Push-up cups enhance a woman's bust line by creating cleavage
and the look of fuller breasts. Designed primarily for C cups
and smaller, push-up cups are shaped like a demi cup with significant
padding at the bottom of the cups.. The cups are angled inward
so that the breast tissue is pushed towards the center, thus creating
cleavage. An elliptical shaped pad at the bottom of the cup -
called the bump pad - is s ometimes removable. Placed on the bottom
outside area of the cup, this pad causes your breast tissue to
be pushed up and inward. Most push-up bras also have wide-set
straps. Setting the straps toward the outside edge of the cups
will further assist in directing the breast tissue towards the
center to create more cleavage.
A recent design change in push-up cups is a new pad in the shape of a wide "U". This U-shaped pad rests both at the bottom and along the outside
just inside the cup. Designers feel this pad design gives more extreme push-up and cleavage. HerRoom has several bras with this kind of padding.
Molded contour and seamless cups are a fairly recent addition
to the lingerie industry. A molded cup is seamless and has a pre-formed
breast shape molded into the cups fabric. The factory takes nylon
or polyester tricot fabric and heat forms it over various breast
molds to achieve the cups shape without seams. Molded cups can
be a single piece of fabric or fused with a thin layer of foam
or fiberfill for a more rigid non-collapsing cup shape. These
more rigid cups are called contour cups. Molded cups are very
popular today because they virtually disappear under t-shirts
and form-fitting tops. Also, if one breast is smaller than the
other, a contour molded cup tends to hide this fact.
the shape of a molded cup bra s pre-determined, their shape may not always be a good match for your breast
shape. These pre-shaped cups can be rigid. If you have wide breasts, a molded cup may not encase your breast
fully. Women with implants often find that contour molded bras do not fit well because their breast shape is
not as malleable as a natural breast so will not conform to the contour cup shape. Contour bras can also be a
challenge to store since the cups must not be folded or crushed lest they incur wrinkles that are very
difficult to remove.
A seamed cup bra has a cup made with 2 or more fabric pieces. Before
molded cups, seamed cups were the only bra cup option. Seaming
on a cup allows more variations in cup shapes. Vertical and diagonal
cup seams add to the cups support and tend to be more flattering
to one's breasts. Seamed cups (especially 3 section cups) will
always be more supportive than a molded cup. A bra cup with seams
can be made out of many more fabrics such as lace, satin, silk,
etc. Bras with beautiful details are almost always made with seamed
cups. And, if you need subtle altering for a better fit, seamed
cups are the way to go.
The drawback to seamed cups is that they may be visible under t-shirts and form-fitting fashions. For this reason, women should have both
styles of cups in their lingerie wardrobe.
Caring for your molded cup bras: Rigid molded cup bras need special care. Do not fold one cup inside out in order to nest the two cups
together. This will deform the shape of the reversed cup. Do not allow these cups to become smashed. Wrinkles and bumps can quickly form
thus giving the bra a strange shape. When traveling, try and fill each molded cup with a pair of socks or rolled up pantyhose to keep their
shape in packing. If the cups do wrinkle, it is possible to remove these wrinkles by placing the wrinkle between your hands and rubbing the
area. You can also try using a steamer. Directly ironing a wrinkle will not work and could possibly damage the bra.