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Whether you’re a bra-wearing veteran or just starting your bra journey, this blog will leave you with a deeper understanding (and renewed appreciation!) for the engineering that goes into making these essential undergarments…

Bras have been around for centuries, but the design and construction of them has evolved significantly over time. Today, there are countless styles, shapes and sizes available to suit every body type and personal preference.

But what exactly goes into making a modern bra?

Read on as we take a closer look at the various components of a typical bra and how they work together to provide support and comfort.

Powernet is a fabric with small holes throughout; a lightweight, four-way stretch fabric that is widely used for bra backs and control wear. As the majority of the support of the bra comes from the back strap, bras that are manufactured with a superior quality powernet will definitely give you value for money as they will last longer and offer better support. Some styles, like the Sculptresse range, offer a double layer back strap that can assist with shaping and offer a smoothing effect.

Moving onto the cups, here you can choose between vertical and horizontal seams. Vertical seams lift breast tissue upwards from the bottom, giving great visual uplift, while horizontal seams direct breast tissue forward, allowing for great depth and dimension.

Half-cup bras are named as such because they will come halfway up your breast. These are great for ladies who have lost volume in their breasts, for one reason or another, as the cups are designed to push the breast up from the bottom. This style bra will also suit ladies looking for a more cleavage.

Comparing sewn cups and seam-free cups will help you understand cups that help ‘shape’ the breast vs a cup that offers a smooth look under clothing. A three-part cup bra is, as the name suggests, a bra where the seam divides the cup into three sections. Fuller-busted ladies will benefit from a three-section-cup bra as it will adjust to your body shape, enhancing your natural shape. A seam-free cup, often found in t-shirt bras offers a smooth look. This style will also often give a more rounded shape.

Stretch-lace cups offer a forgiving fit, meaning women with one breast larger than the other (which is more common than you think) will find this style better suited to their body and breast shape. Larger breasted ladies often think that lace top cups won’t offer enough support, but this is only a myth as there are gorgeous stretch-lace cups that are offered right up to a K-cup, without compromising on support.

Some cups offer a side sling which, simply put, are pieces of fabric on the side of a bra cup (either on the inside or outside) that help enhance the breast shape by bringing the breast to the centre and forward.

Spacer moulded t-shirt bras are designed with special fabric to create a light and breathable feel. T-shirt bras don’t always have to be boring (or heavily padded) if you don’t want them to be. These styles will mould a lot easier around the shape of your breast, providing a better fit compared to a thick padded bra.

And finally, when looking at strapless bras, you will find anti-slip silicone which helps secure the strapless bra and avoid the bra from falling down. Quality brands will use a higher grade silicone to ensure as little skin irritation as possible.

It’s no surprise that understanding the anatomy of a bra can seem really complex, but speaking to a reputable lingerie specialist will not only help put your mind at ease, but she will also be able to help you choose styles that will make the best of your assets, regardless of your shape or size.

At Bravacious, we pride ourselves on taking the time to understand our ladies’ needs. Book your personalised fitting with us on 079 799 5838 and have fun (rather than stress) finding your perfect lingerie fit.