Monday, March 1, 2010

Bra Glossary

Having troubles with puzzling terms?

Back Wings???



Here I'll try to clarify all perplexing phrases with reference to brassiere.

Back Wings

Back wings are the strips of fabric that extend from the cups and secure in the back. Important features of the back wings are: stretch or inflexible, the measurement at the widest point, which is usually at the base of the cups, measurement at the closure, and type of fastening including number of hooks and eyes.
Balconette Bra
Balconettes showing little to no coverage as a more revealing version of a demi bra create striking uplift and cleavage, may have push-up pads also. The middle of the bra is slightly different in design to the half cup and appears to be more of a horizontal line going across the top of the breasts and the chest below that adds a sexier look. Thanks to the special construction (properly profiled cups and use of silicone tapes) the style can be worn as strapless.
Bandeau is strapless bra with no underwire. It provides no support and is recommended only for the smallest cup sizes.

A basque is also known as a torsolette. The term of French origin can mean a long-line cupped bra extending to the hips with garter hooks attached along the lower edge characterized by a close, contoured fit and extending past the waistline over the hips. Probably so called because this fashion of dress came from the Basques, and adopted by the French and then the English. Basque may also refer to details reminiscent of lingerie such as frilly lace and cut out designs.
Bodysuit, also called body is a comfortable and flexible one piece form-fitting garment covering the torso, usually with snaps at the crotch. Designed to help flatten out tummies and smooth out the curves they come with thong or brief backs. Some bodysuits have fitted cups with underwires to lift the bust.
Unlike the similar leotard, a bodysuit is not a form of athletic wear. Sheer or stretch bodysuit will flatter any woman's figure and give a lovely line, as well as sexy look.
It was once made from actual bone, hence the term boning. Today, boning is made of plastic strips that are drawn through slots in the material giving structure, support and body contouring, and preventing wrinkling of the fabric.
A bralette, called also bralet is a form fitting unlined bra with soft cups that resembles a crop top. Bralettes provide great comfort, but no support, as they don’t have underwire.
A bra with fitted sides that extends from bust down the waist to provide an hourglass look with more control. There are many different designs of bustier, with cups or without, may have padded cups, or not. Either with or without, removable or convertible straps and garters, which make the bustier more versatile. Flexible boning throughout the body of the garment and the back with a long row of hooks and eyes make them stylish, sexy and comfortable, as they provide both shaping and uplift. 
Usually made from good quality materials that are both durable and fashionable may have sexy looking or more practical looking. Sexy bustiers can be worn as either evening wear or as lingerie with almost any outfit, often with garters and stockings.
Bustiers gained popularity in the 1980's as outwear and evening attire.
Center Gore
The center gore or center panel is the piece of fabric that connects the cups together at the front. The size of this center piece determines a bra style. A supportive bra will have a center gore that comes up to the nipple line. A thinner center gore makes low or plunging necklines.
Contour Bra
A contour bra has padded or lined shaped cups with an underwire. Even unfilled the cups mimic and hold the natural shape of a woman's breasts. Contour bras provide a youthful, smooth, round and symmetrical breast shape, sculpted silhouette and outstanding support. They add definition and smoothness to the bustline and prevent nipples from show-through, as well as yield the extra benefit of balancing the appearance of uneven breasts and in-between bra sizes.
Cookies are removable pads, the padded inserts in the cup of a bra. Usually made of fiberfill, but can also be made with silicone, water, oil or a gel.
Cookies help to change the shape of the breast and are generally used in push-up bras designed to create dramatic, yet adjustable enhancement. They also help when there is a difference between the breasts size.
Convertible Bra
A convertible bra has moveable and often removable straps that detach and can be worn in a variety of configurations: conventional, halter, one-shoulder, off-the-shoulder, crisscrossed, and strapless. Convertible bras are a flexible option since they can be worn with a variety of tops, including boat neck, halter and asymmetrical necklines. 
A woman's support foundation garment which is stiffened, usually with flexible boning throughout the body of the garment for additional shaping, close fitting, possibly elasticized, and almost always laced or closed with a long row of hooks and eyes. It’s form fitted, highly structured support apparel that begins either above or just below the bust and extends down to the waist or below the hips, usually strapless. Similar to the bustier, but longer and usually pulled tight to the body for an hourglass look.
Designed to minimize a waist and maximize busts providing great lift and support. A corset supports the breasts from underneath and usually pushes them up and over the neckline edge. Some are designed to be worn to cover the bust and others are designed to sit under the bust line all are made to accentuate the bustline. May have attachments at the bottom to hold up the stockings.
Corsets are the lingerie seniors, but greatest and becoming more and more popular. There is a immense variety of designs, styles, fabrics to suit all occasions and outfits. They are not just underwear, they may be outerwear and may also have extras like faux fur, feathers and lace added to them for the unique look.
Demi Cup Bra
A demi cup, called also a demi or half cup bra provides less coverage than a full cup, but more than a balconette with contoured underwire, an open neckline, wide-set shoulder straps and cut-away cups. The half cup bra gives three quarters of coverage of the breasts and luscious look. They cover the nipple, but expose the upper part of the breasts, giving the look of more cleavage and at the same time phenomenal support. Thanks to the special construction (properly profiled cups and use of silicone tapes) the style can be worn as strapless.
This style is one of the sexiest ways to ensure comfort and support under low-cut necklines, but don’t let it seem like you’re “spilling out” your demi cup. In that case it's probably the wrong size. A demi cup bras offer the perfect amount of “barely there” coverage for petite to average figure women, while still being very fashionable and youthful. They are ideal to wear with low front cut tops and dresses.
This term is essentially used in defining the construction of a sports bra. The cup construction in a sport bra with an encapsulation design surrounds the breast for support while giving them a shape and not forming an uni-boob look.
Full Figure Bra
Full figure bras provide tremendous comfort and support designed specifically for voluptuous women. A full cup bras cover most of the breast and do not cause creases or indentations along the top of the breast if fitted properly. Ideal for larger busts and pregnant women as less support can lead to sagging of the breasts and back pains. They keep the shape and fullness of the bountiful breasts, yet can be very stylish and sexy looking.
Gel Bras 
Bras with usually irremovable gel inserts that make your breasts look bigger, give them a natural shape and are absolutely comfortable.
Half Contour Bra
Half contour full cup bra is perfect for voluptuous busts. The bottom half part of the cup is lined with soft padding or foam that firmly support breasts and beautifully feature them. The underwire and supportive boning lift the breasts up, gather them together and hold them up. Depends on the construction may have additional side supports helping to keep breasts at the center drawing attention to the appealing cleavage. Top part of the cup is made of lace or smooth fabric, e.g. microfiber.
Half contour full-figured bras providing more coverage, additional clasps and more fabric coverage under the arms, often include wider straps stitched to form a curve in the back and sometimes padded for extra comfort.
Designed for sizes 32C and upwards full cup bras give bountiful breasts a natural shape and are absolutely comfortable.
Inner Sling
Inner slings are curved strips of fabric that follow the natural curve of the bottom of the bra cup. As a support element they provide similar function as underwire, offering invisible additional support.
Minimizers tends to be for larger cup sizes over DD, since they are designed to make the breasts look smaller than normal. A minimizer bra reduces the appearance of the bust by up to one cup size. Cup design softly flattens the tissue and moves it to the sides under the arms, towards the center cleavage, up the chest and down towards the waist. Minimizers help to prevent “spilling over” and “gaping button” syndrome in shirts and blouses. These bras can be worn with day and evening wear and can give a smoother look around the bust area under clothing.
Molded Bra
Molded bra cups are shaped by a heat-machine process that mirror the natural breast shape. They do not have any cup padding and are generally not highly structured. Molded bras can be made of single layer of fabric or by heat fused with a thin layer of foam or fiberfill to provide a stiffer, non-collapsing cup shape. They may be either soft cup or underwired and are invisible under close fitting t-shirts and form fitting tops.  
Since molded bra cups are permanently shaped, they may not be the right bra for everyone. The cups tend to be rigid and may not encase the breasts properly. In that case seamless bras may be alternative.
Plunge bras designed to reveal more cleavage due to their deep (plunging) front silhouette, angled cups and thin center gore. Plunge bras differ from push-up bras as they are not so heavily padded.
Push Up
Pushup bras give the appearance of a larger breast size and more cleavage. Designed to lift the breasts and push them up, more to the center of the chest and to make them look more round, fuller and firm. Push-up bras create more cleavage for lower necklines using angled cups, underwire and variety of padding at the bottom portion of the cup. The filling, if removable, is known as cookies and is placed in the specially made, invisible pockets. Recently manufacturers use also silicone cushions for better adjustment to the body. 
Push ups correct the imperfections of the woman’s silhouette. While some give a subtle illusion of a lift, other pushup bras can provide more sensational effects. 
Seamless bras are constructed without seamed cups. There may be seams in other parts of the bra, but a single piece of fabric is used for the cups and there's no stitching on the cups, giving a smooth, natural, bra-less look, nice for wearing under close fitting tops.
Soft Cup
Soft cup bras do not have underwires. They may be padded or lined, may have lightly molded or fabric shaped cups. The lack of firm cups make them quite comfortable, but not elegant. The style has quite simple construction with no boning or extra support. Recommended for women with no heavy bust, due to the fact that this bra is not able to support full breasts and may cause disfiguration over the period of time.
Sports Bra
Sports bras are specifically designed to eliminate as much bounce as possible and give great support for the bust during exercising. It helps to keep your breasts in place while you’re being active. Whether you are doing aerobics, tennis, running or horse ridding sports bras help a lot to take the strain off the breast and chest muscles thanks to wider straps, broader cup coverage, additional clasps and stronger fabrications to contain the breasts. The lined cups are high at the front and sides for support, and they have a comfort under band with non-curl elastic to stop it from riding up. Most have a racer back for further support. Some styles do use hook and eye closures.
Sports bras vary in many ways depending on how active you are and what kind of sport you do. A lot of sports bras have a range of different supports for low impact sports up to high impact for more strenuous and active sports.
Wearing a sports bra will help prevent damage to the breast tissue that results from exercise movement that breaks down the ligaments and causes permanent sagging of the breasts. Women really should have a variety of sports bras if they do more than one sports activity.
Strapless Bra
Strapless bras are especially important for special occasions to be invisible under the  evening attire and those warm summer months when tube tops and strapless sun dresses are irresistible. 
Designed to stay up without straps due to a wider band, supportive boning, silicone strips along the inside to prevent slippage and underwires for more support. 
A strapless bra without underwires is called a bandeau. It offers no support and is recommended only for the smallest cup sizes.
Support Panel
A support panel, also known as inner sling is a rigid fabric insertion sewn inside bra cups to provide additional support. Works similar to underwire following the natural curve of the bra. An inner sling can go around the entire breast or just be panels on the sides or bottoms of the bra cup. Some support panels can be sewn outside the cup or incorporated into the cup design as an added panel.
A triangle bra has triangle shaped cups that offer the perfect amount of coverage, but not much support, so they are great for petite to average figures. Triangle bras may be padded or lined but generally do not have underwire. Most of them have thin straps, center gore and back wings.
T-Shirt Bra
Invisible under even the thinnest fabrics t-shirt bras are seamless, contoured, typically made of microfiber and create an ultra smooth look.
Unlined Bra
Unlined full figure bras are extremely supportive and tremendously comfortable if properly fitted. Constructed with underwires and supportive side boning for larger sizes that sometimes transform into straps hold breasts together at the center of the chest. Breasts will never stride on the sides. Due to detailed vertical or slanted cut of the cup the bust is lifted up, gathered steadily together and held naturally up. The bottom part of the cup is lined with double layer of fabric, as tulle or made of the stronger material.
Designed primarily for bountiful women unlined full busted bras are ultra-elegant, delicate and fit ideally, giving more coverage, elegantly forming breasts and drawing attention to the captivating cleavage.
Underwires are rigid insertions at the base of bra cups used for support, structure, and an graceful breast appearance. A thin, u-shaped wire offers an added support to the bra cups, bustiers, bodysuits and corsets. The underwire can be a flexible wire, a plastic coated piece of metal, or a molded plastic shape. Our bras are constructed with comfortable underwires and if fitted properly, they don't poke!
Underwire bras
Underwire bras with sewn into the fabric u-shaped wiring that runs underneath the breast in each bra cup to lift and support the breasts. This support attribute helps to lift, separate and shore up the bustline for better shape, extra support and help to reduce any sagging, especially for full-figured women. An underwire bra featuring cups with encircling support panels or slings is recommended for any woman with cup sizes DD and up.
All bras designed to give a particular shaping to the breast (push up bras, demi bras, strapless bras, etc.) include an underwire. They come in various different styles, designs and fit, and can be either plain looking or elegantly seductive. Some styles can give a seductive plunge look to the breasts. May be worn as everyday bra as well as with evening attire.

Take a look also at http://www.bustnlace.com/page.html?id=27

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