Every woman needs a push up bra in their lingerie collection. These bras personify passion and are equally sexy. Push up bras are women’s prized possessions. They help enhance the size of your breasts, boost cleavage, make them look rounder and perkier. A push up bra makes you feel beautiful in your own skin as it sets the tone of a youthful appeal while giving you a little oomph.
This push up bra guide is pretty detailed. We answer all the questions you have about these bras from what are push up bras, who should wear a push up bra, when to wear a push up bra, how push up bras work and why women need push up bras in their lingerie collection. Read on.
About Push Up Bras
What does the term push up mean and what exactly is a push up bra? The meaning is derived from the bra’s utility. Push up bras naturally enhance the size of your breasts as it tends to push the breast tissues inwards to create cleavage. The bra features support enhancers like foam pads usually embedded in the bra cups. The pads sit at the cup bottom, carefully positioned on the sides to help push your breasts inwards giving you a rounder and perkier look. This makes the bust appear firmer and fuller and cleavage more prominent.
Well, here’s how push up bras work. Push up bras feature foam pads that sit at the bottom of the bra cups, angled towards the sides to help push the breasts inwards and outwards to make your breasts appear rounder. This creates an illusion of fuller and firmer breasts and also makes the cleavage more prominent. So, one of the benefits of a push up bra is enhancing the appearance of your breasts and boosting cleavage.
Push up bras are available in different styles just like their regular counterparts. These bras are classified according to their padding level, intended purpose and fabric. For instance, if you want breast enlargement and lift, there’s a specific push up bra that serves that purpose. We get into details later in this guide.
Why You Need a Push Up Bra
A push up bra has three main benefits. You might come across several others, usually from sales people trying to market the product. Here goes:
- Push up bras gives your breasts ample lift.
- Push up bras naturally boost cleavage without sacrificing comfort and support. Ensure you get the right size and fit to get the most out of the bra.
- You can wear a push up bra with almost everything from plunging tops to t-shirts. A push up bra will complement all outfits in you wardrobe. There’s something for everyone seeing as they come in a range of styles. We’ll dive further into the details. Keep reading.
Save for the three benefits of push up bras listed above; it would be best if you keep in mind comfort. By now we all know that when it comes to bras, comfort is key. Your push up bra should be comfortable enough, provide lift and shape without compromising on style. If your push up bra gives you the vibe you were going for, then by all means go for it!
It’s also advisable to go up a cup size depending on the level of push up when you settle for this bra type. This is because the foam pads that help push the breasts towards the center tend to add a little volume and need extra room to comfortably fit in the bra without causing spillage.
Different Types of Push Up Bras
Push up bras are classified based on how thick the padding is and fall under three different categories. In the lingerie world, these categories are known as levels. The word level typically refers to the amount of lift the push up bra offers your breasts. Generally, the more the padding, the higher the level. If the push up bra is highly padded, then the gorgeous the cleavage.
Level 1 Push Up Bras
This is your go-to push up bra if you want a natural and subtle breast lift. Level 1 push up bra usually add your cup size by half an inch since only 1/3rd is padded.
Women with semi-full and full breasts stand to benefit the most from level 1 push up bras. These bras will help shape the breasts, lift and support them without additional bulk. The lift is quite natural and subtle to avoid drawing unnecessary attention towards the chest area. With a little bump and relaxed hold, a level 1 push up bra will give you that subtle lift you desire.
Level 2 Push Up Bras
These push up bras add a little extra oomph to the breasts by emphasizing the cleavage further. Level 2 push up bra padding covers the bottom part of the breasts and ends right below your nipple.
Level 2 push up bras have a sturdier grip and better hold perfect for small-breasted women. You can plump those tangerines in a level 2 push up bra and show off that cleavage. Women who wear cup sizes B and C stand to benefit the most from this type of push up bra. Plus, it sculpts the breasts, make them look rounder and spotlights your cleavage.
Level 2 push up bras also work well for women with small wide-set breasts.
Level 3 Push Up Bras
Push up bras with level 3 padding are also known as explosive push up bras since they are the real deal. Level 3 push up bras usually offer double of everything as they help enhance your breast size by two cup sizes. The cup padding typically covers ¾ of the bra and gives small-breasted women a chance to show off their cleavage when rocking low-cut tops and dresses.
Women with small breasts are the greatest beneficiaries of level 3 push up bras. These push up bras make their breasts appear fuller and work exceptionally well when it comes to drawing a gorgeous cleavage.
Fair warning – level 3 push up bras can be extremely uncomfortable for women with large breasts.
Depending on the Push Up Bra Style:
By now, you show that there’s an extensive range of push up bras in the market. And this makes classifying them based on stye quite hard. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t be conversant with the different types of push up bras.
Push up bras are equally versatile and here’s what you should know about them since they are popular among women. Let’s look at some of the most common push up bra options that you need in your wardrobe:
1. Strapless Push Up Bras
If you are tired of peek-a-boo shoulder straps underneath your off-shoulder tops and dresses, get you a strapless push up bra. These bras work well under outfits that demand you keep the straps invisible. Don’t fret about going strapless since most of the bra’s support is usually drawn from the underbust band. You can comfortably rock your favorite clothes without going braless.
There’s a common misconception that large-breasted women cannot wear these types of bras since it causes quad boob and spillage at the top. Strapless push up bras work well for all breast shapes and sizes, you only need to get the right size and fit.
2. Plunge Push Up Bras
Plunge push up bras work well under tops and dresses with V-cut necklines. These bras feature cups that rest deep between the cleavage with wiring at the bottom front. The plunging neckline is the most sought-after design as it pairs up with the push up bra perfectly well.
The low-cut feature outlines the breasts and helps enhance cleavage. However, if your breast tissues are loose, you should steer clear of plunge push up bras as you won’t get enough support.
3. T-Shirt Push Up Bras
A t-shirt push up bra comes in handy if you want excellent coverage without sacrificing the push up benefits. T-shirt push up bras offer extra coverage yet virtually disappear underneath form-fitting t-shirts and tops to give you a seamless silhouette.
4. Wireless Push Up Bras
Wireless Push Up Bras are you best bet if you hate underwires. With advanced technology in the lingerie industry, wireless options are certainly taking over. Going wire free has lots of benefits in addition to giving you a molded look thanks to the push up effects.
Wireless push up bras feature molded cups for natural shaping and support without compromising on comfort and durability.
5. Bridal Push Up Bras
Bridal Push Up Bras are well suited for those special occasions. These bras are usually worn under wedding gowns and other formal attires. They are uniquely designed with pretty detailing and heavy work to give you a royal look on the D-day. These bras provide breast enhancement and keep you well supported and secure as it compliments the gown’s overall style.
6. Fancy Back Push Up Bras
Fancy Back Push Up Bras add a little flare to an otherwise basic and ordinary looking style. Save for enhancing cleavage, these push up bras allows you to show off your back. Fancy push up bras are a must have since they are stylish and classy.
Who Can Wear Push Up Bras?
All women can wear push up bras regardless of their breast shape and size. However, you should be conversant with the side effects of push up bras. Women with wide-set breasts should avoid push up bras especially if the gap is quite noticeable. By gap between the breasts, we certainly mean three or more inches wide. Save for this issue, anyone else can comfortably rock a push up bra small or big breasted!
Smaller-breasted women can go for push up bras that make their breasts appear fuller. Their counterparts with large breasts wear these bras for subtle lift.
Women with large breasts benefit from the ultimate support thanks to the padding.
Push up bras are literally a game changer for women with small breasts! They enhance the size of the breasts and boost cleavage. What’s more, if you wear a push up bra correctly, it increases your breast size by two cups!
Push up bras lift and enhance cleavage for both small and large-breasted women alike depending on the padding level. This is the main reason why all women need to add a push up bra their lingerie collection. For small breasts, push up bras help create a fuller look as it tends to push the breasts inwards. Women with large breasts on the other hand benefit from subtle lift and prominent cleavage that the bra gives.
Comparison Between Push Up Bras and Other Bra Types
Push Up Bras vs Everyday Bras
Everyday bras are also known as regular or normal bras. Everyday bras are usually molded or seamed with no underwires and padding. Push up bras on the other hand have padding in three different levels. They offer a rounded look and smooth finish eliminating the seam lines that can show through clothes.
Everyday bras have a perkier finish and tend to flatten the chest to the breasts. The main function of a regular bra is to support and mold as a push up bra helps push the breasts inwards and upwards. All that plus offering support in all the right places.
Push Up Bras vs Padded Bras
Push up bras and padded bras both have padding. So, how different are the two? The main difference is functionality. A standard padded bra with padding typically increases the breast volume. When it comes to push up bras, the padding helps push the breasts inwards and upwards to enhance cleavage. The pushing provides lift that gives your breasts a fuller look.
In other words, the only striking difference between the two bras is – a padded bra makes your breasts appear bigger while a push up bra helps create cleavage. A push up bra is basically a padded bra with extra oomph. Push up bras enhances cleavage and have padding too.
Push Up Bras vs Sports Bras
Sports bras offer more in terms of functionality compared to push up bras. Plus, they allow ease of movement when working out or engaging in any physical activity. Wearing a push up bra to a gym session or any sporting activity is not advisable unless it involves little to no movement. Remember, under no circumstance does a push up bra and physical activity complement each other. This therefore means that you’ll need to wear a sports bra whether it’s cycling, jogging or yoga.
Sports bras offer ultimate breast support ideal for physical activities and that is something you cannot get from a push up bra. Push up bras have padding that can be a bit uncomfortable when exercising and jumping around for an extended period when engaging in sports.
Push Up Bras vs Nursing Bras
Nursing bras are designed to serve a specific purpose and that is to ease the breastfeeding process without having to take off the entire bra. These bras are a necessity among nursing moms since it features removable flaps which can be fastened and unfastened directly from the bra cups. This allows you to effortlessly access the nipples with one hand.
Breastfeeding moms should steer clear of push up bras and here’s why:
During lactation, the breasts are usually heavy and the padding on a push up bra can cause discomfort as it pushes them upwards. Plus, the push up padding is equally heavy and tends to absorb moisture from leaking breast milk making you uncomfortable over time.
Push Up Bra vs T-Shirt Bra
When you talk of t-shirt bras, the first thing that usually comes to mind is – seamless. T-shirt bras remain virtually invisible underneath form-fitting clothing and are usually worn under t-shirts as well. Why else do you think they are called t-shirt bras in the first place?
Bra lines typically show through the t-shirt when you are wearing a regular bra. This is quite the opposite for t-shirt bras since there won’t be any bumps or texture lines. T-shirt bras gives you a smooth seamless look and creates a beautiful silhouette. You can wear a push up bra underneath your t-shirt especially if it features a low-cut neckline and you are looking to highlight cleavage. Otherwise, it can make your breasts bounce causing discomfort as you go about your daily activities.
Push Up Bras vs Demi Bras
A demi bra would be your best bet if you like low-cut tops and dresses. Demi usually denotes half, meaning the bras don’t offer full coverage. Matter of fact, push up bras provide more coverage compared to demi bras.
Demi bras usually cover an inch above the nipple while the tilt finish accentuates your curves in a certain way to enhance cleavage. When comparing push up bras to demi bras, always remember the latter push up bras without the push up effects.
Choosing the Right Push Up Bra
As earlier mentioned, comfort is key when it comes to bras. There’s absolutely no point in puffing and huffing your breasts in a push up bra if it makes you feel too constricted that you can’t breathe properly. This is because it tends to create unnecessary pressure on the chest causing discomfort bearing in mind the side effects of push up bras. Let’s look at some tips that you can run past:
What to Look Out for When Shopping for Push Up Bras:
Get the right cup size, it should neither be too large nor too small. Knowing your correct bra size will help you get the right cup size for your breasts. You can use a measuring tape to measure yourself at home, use the bra size calculator or look for a professional bra fitter to help you out. You don’t want to swing between sizes and get confused with the cup sizes as it can be quite frustrating.
Choose the Right Amount of Padding:
When it comes to push up bras, heavy padding doesn’t necessarily guarantee ultimate comfort. That is not how it works. Push up bras have three different padding levels to choose from depending on the size of your breasts and outfit. The level of push up padding also corresponds to the cup sizes.
Check for Bra Chafing:
Chafing usually occurs when the bra fabric rubs against the skin repeatedly. Mostly it’s the straps constantly rubbing on the shoulders in wired and padded bras since they feature tight stitches compared to regular molded bras. Push up bras are prone to chafing since they have padding and are also wired. Save for the shoulders, chafing also occurs around the ribcage where the band usually sits and on the nipples.
Check for Poking Wires:
There are different types of bras in the market and some of them features underwires in different designs. Some push up bras have the wires below the cups and a loose end can make them stick out. The sticking out part tends to poke the skin causing discomfort. Before wearing an underwire push up bra, try feeling your fingers against the cups to ascertain nothing is poky.
Finding the Right Fit and Size:
Wearing the right size and fit makes all the difference when it comes to bras. Fit is very important. A push up bra with a perfect fit will make you feel confident in your own skin. There’s no point in wearing your favorite bra if it doesn’t fit properly or is not best suited for your breast shape and size.
What’s Your Correct Push Up Bra Size?
You need to know your bra size to benefit from a push up bra. Remember, a bra can either make or break an outfit! Use a measuring tape to measure the bust size followed by the cup size.
To know the band size: Get the measurements of your chest. Use a measuring tape then wrap it around the ribcage where the bra’s band usually sits. Don’t hold your breath when taking the measurements. Round off the figure to the nearest even number. For instance, if the result is 28. 3, the nearest whole number should be 29 after round it off and so forth. Get the drift?
Bust Size: To get your cup size, place the measuring tape on the fullest part of your breasts- usually the nipples. Ensure the tape measure is neither too loose nor too tight. If the result is not a whole number, round it off to the nearest inch. For instance, if you measure 31, rounding it off gets you to 32 and not 30.
There’s a formula of finding the cup size. It’s the difference between the bust size and band size measurements. In simple terms this means: Cup size = Bust Size – Band Size.
An inch difference denotes the cup size. If the difference is one inch, then that means you are an A cup, a difference of two inches a B cup, three a C cup, four a D cup and so forth.
Choosing the right fabric:
Different push up bras are made with different fabrics. Getting the right fabric to complement the outfit is equally important. Here are some materials that you need to run past by;
Cotton – Most women usually prefer wearing cotton bras. Cotton fabric is incredibly comfortable and creates a beautiful silhouette. Plus, it’s breathable and offers comfortable support.
Polyamide and Nylon – These two fabrics are mostly featured in push up bras as they mold the cups quite well and are equally durable. They also stretch which is an added benefit. Nylon and polyamide stretch out more compared to other materials and they retain their shape even after several washes.
Mesh and Lace – Mesh and Lace is for women who want something sensual. You can opt for either of them or a combination of both for an alluring charm. The two fabrics strike a perfect balance between sensuality and support making push up bras timeless pieces.
You also need to be conversant with the advantages and disadvantages of every fabric. If you plan on shopping online for push up bras, always filter them according to the material so that you can have a variety to choose from.
Wearing Push Up Bras Correctly
Push up bras are worn just like regular bras. There isn’t a specific style of wearing a push up bra correctly. Here are some pointers that might come in handy:
- Stretch out your arms and place them through the straps then position the cups on the breasts.
- Adjust your breasts in the cups to ensure they sit comfortably. Slightly bend forward and use your hands to grab your breasts from the sides and let them rest in the cups.
- Stand straight and try reaching out for the bra’s back band, use your fingers to grasp the hook and eyes then fasten them. Make sure the band sits snugly under the breast tissue and level all the way around. It should neither be too high nor too low.
- When you are done with fastening, check the shoulders. Adjust the bra straps so that they lie flat on the shoulder blades. The shoulder straps should neither be too tight nor too loose.
- Finally, adjust the bra to your personal specifications to get a perfect fit and comfortable support.
Checkpoints for Push Up Bras
- Checking if a push up bra gives you a quadboob
Quadboob usually happens when the front top part of the bra cups cuts through your breast tissue. It makes the breasts squeeze out and lump at the top making them look like two pairs in each cup. If you can relate to this, you might have to go up a cup size since you probably are wearing a smaller size. If you are not wearing an ill-fitting bra, then the issue is in the choice of bra style. Maybe the bra style is not best suited for your body type.
- Checking for underarm bulges
Underarm bulge is usually as a result of wearing a small cup size.
- Checking the push up bra padding level
As earlier mentions, push up bras have three different level of padding based on the cup size. Ensure you wear a push up bra with the right amount of padding depending on the size of your breasts. For instance, women with heavy breasts will find level 3 push up bras uncomfortable owing to the high amount of padding. Their best bet is level 1 push up bras as level 3 works well for their counterparts with smaller breasts.
Ensure you are wearing a push up bra with the right amount of padding for your cup size. The padding level should not be too high or too low.
- Checking if the band is level all the way around
The bra band tends to ride up the back owing to the push up bra padding and breast volume. You can prevent this from happening by getting the correct band size. When you have your push up bra on, check if the band is level at the back without bends.
- The straps shouldn’t dig into the skin of slip off the shoulders
Shoulder straps digging into the skin is quite common with push up bras compared to regular bras. You might need to go up a cup size if the straps tend to cut into the skin. The straps should neither be too tight nor too loose but rather rest comfortably on the shoulders. Most of the bra’s support is usually derived from the underbust band and not the straps. If the straps are adjustable, adjust them for a proper fit.
- Avoid wearing a push up bra for an extended period
Wearing a push up bra for more than 8 hours a day is not advisable. Push up bra padding usually works against gravitational forces as it helps push the breasts upwards. Consequently, the lower breast tissues are subjected to pressure.
Buying a Push Up Bra
At this point, you know almost everything about push up bras including the styles and types. It’s time to go shopping! Most of have already own push up bras while others are certainly planning to get one. Don’t fret if it’s your first time exploring this type of bra, you are at the right place.
You’ll know what you are missing when you try on a push up bra with a perfect fit and the right amount of padding. When shopping for push up bras remember to check out the fabric specifications and size. The most important part is getting the right bra size!
You also need to consider what you’ll be wearing the bra with and the occasion. Are you looking for comfort, sexy oomph or a little bit of both? If you have the answer then you know exactly what you want in a push up bra. There’s a push up bra for every mood and occasion!
Myths and Common Misconceptions About Push Up Bras
Push up bras were made to attract men’s attention
Wrong! Push up bras are just like other regular bra styles that help enhance your breast shape underneath clothing. Wearing a push up bra is all about giving you the lift and volume you so much desire. But if you want to attract a man with a push up bra then you might as well try. (Tell us how that works for you).
Push up bra usually compromise comfort
No true. Push up bras come in a range of sizes and cater to all breast sizes and shapes. However, you need to find the right one for your body shape. Remember, some push up bras work better than others. Everything falls in place if you follow the guidelines on size and style recommendations based on your bust size. Push up bras are as comfortable as they are alluring.
However, as earlier mentioned, push up bras are not best suited for women with wide-set breasts.
Push up bras only work well for women with small breasts
This must be one of the most common misconception. Bra buffs usually tell people that push up bras only cater to small breasts since they enhance their size. While this might actually be true, these bras are not only constrained to small-breasted women. Their counterparts with fuller breasts enjoy the lift and shaping thanks to level 1 push up bras. However, level 3 push up bras only serve women with small busts.
Bottom line, all women stand to benefit from push up bras regardless of their breast size.
Push up bras give cleavage
Yes! Push up bras have a lot to offer including shape enhancement and lift. However, not all push up bras give cleavage.
Are push up bras ideal for everyday wear?
Push up bras are ideal for everyday use since you can wear them under a variety of outfits. Wearing a push up bra ultimately boosts your confidence. By now you all know that comfort is key when it comes to bras and a push up bra is no exception. If you plan on wearing a push up bra everyday, ensure you get the right size and fit for maximum comfort.