As you rummage through your underwear drawer, you come across the unexpected—an underwire bra that’s seen better days. Truth be told, you haven’t seen it (or missed it) in years. But the longer you hold its delicate material in your hands, the more you start to wonder why you ditched it in the first place. You had some memorable times together.
Well, guess what?
The underwire bra is making a comeback—and it’s bringing sex appeal, support, and sultry sophistication along for the ride. We’re elevating the underwire bra on a pedestal and basking in its many perks, styles, and fits.
The Underwire Bra: A Boon to Your Bosom
Before we luxuriate in the benefits of underwire bras, it’s helpful to have the full picture of what an underwire bra actually is. Sure, it holds your breasts up (as most bras do), but what gives it its extra lift?
As the name so aptly suggests, an underwire bra is a brassiere that contains a thin wire sewn into the base of the bra.1 Shaped in two semi-loops matching your cup size, they rest against your chest and contour around the shape of your breasts.
And it’s due to that ingenious addition that underwire wearers experience so many perks:
They provide additional support – The wiring at the base gives underwire bras a sturdy structure than most bras that uplift sans wire. In return, you’re gifted with support and lift, which is especially valuable to women with bigger busts looking to quell back pain.
They complement any outfit – You can find underwire bras in an array of styles and materials, from balconettes and plunges to laces and sheer satins. So whether you’re wearing a slinky bodycon dress that contours every curve from top to bottom or you’re keeping it casual in a bra and blazer look, underwire bras are here to make your chest look phenomenal in any ensemble.
They accentuate your bust – Are you looking for an everyday wear bra that lifts and separates your breasts to give you the covetable cleavage you’ve only seen in magazines and movies? Look no further. One of the duties of an underwire bra is to contour to your unique breast shape and give your bust a natural lift along the way.
Types of Underwire Bras
Despite their simple construction, underwire bras eclipse simple fashion. They’ve come a long way since their creation in 1893,2 and nowadays, you can find an underwire in most styles of bra, from strapless to racerbacks.
So, as you dry off from your shower and finish your skincare routine, what underwired bra do you reach for?
It all depends on your personal bra style, of course, but we’ve compiled a list of our favorite fits to streamline your morning:
Plunge – The plunge bra has a seductively low cut in between the cups that allows you to proudly wear a plunging neckline without worrying that the bra will hog the spotlight. Rather, your low-lying neckline will be the focal point of your outfit—unless you want to draw attention to your lacy undergarments. In that case, consider a lace underwire bra with a deep v-shaped plunge and hand-cut scalloped trim lace. It’s supportive, it’s sexy, and it’ll boost your bust (and confidence) no matter your wardrobe.
Longline – A longline bra contains fabric that extends below the cup and covers the upper portion of your torso. Whether you’re searching for the ultimate wedding lingerie or you want to secretly embrace your inner bombshell under your work wardrobe, you can’t go wrong with a longline underwire bra. With eyelash edging details and scalloped lining, it offers sex appeal and elegance wrapped into a single lacy package.
Balconette – Also known as the shelf bra, the underwire balconette provides ample support and lifts your breasts to the “balcony,” as its name so aptly suggests. At the same time, it intentionally provides only half the coverage of full-cup bras—all the reason to dig out your favorite low-cut blouse and take it for a spin. If you’d rather leave a little to the imagination, the balconette’s ability to lift and accentuate your curves creates the perfect pairing with high-neck tops, too.
Pushup – A pushup bra incorporates padding into its deluxe design to achieve exactly what it set out to do—push up your breasts. They’re ideal for women with smaller chests, as they can add a little extra va-va-voom in the volume department. When you add an underwire into the equation, you can expect a substantial lift in addition to the cleavage-enhancing padding. It’s a win-win.
How To Determine Your Perfect Underwire Bra Fit (and Size)
Did you know that up to 85% of women are wearing the wrong-size bra? 3And to think—you’ve been wondering why your last underwire bra kept poking into your breast. You thought you’d invested in a poor-quality bra, when in fact, you might have just purchased the wrong size.
The good news? You’re not alone—and it’s an easy fix.
There are two ways you can find a bra size that will feel comfortable and complement your breasts.
#1 Seek a Professional Bra Fitting
Leave it to the professionals to skillfully find your exact bra measurements. With the right bra size in hand, you’ll feel cool and confident during your next brassiere-inspired shopping spree.
Not sure where to go? You can usually book a bra fitting in the intimates section of a department store. If you’d rather have a more one-on-one experience, try calling a local lingerie shop to see if there’s someone who can take your measurements.
Here’s what you can expect at most bra fittings:4
Your shirt will come off – To get accurate measurements, the fitter will need to do so without extra layers like shirts or sweaters. We suggest you wear your favorite everyday wear bra so the fitter can see how it fits, where your breasts lie, and the style you prefer before they measure you.
They’ll measure your cup and band size – They only need two measurements to find your bra size. They’ll measure around your rib cage to find your band size and then again around the fullest section of your breasts to gauge your cup size. After they complete both measurements, they’ll bestow you with your official bra size—bada bing bada boom!
They’ll offer you different bra styles to try on – Afterward, they’ll often bring you a mix of styles to try on so you can decide what types of bras you prefer for your breast size and shape. From the full coverage bra to the sheer underwire bra, you’ll have plenty to try on to find your perfect match.
#2 Measure Your Bra Size at Home
If you’d rather save the undressing for a more intimate audience, we get it. Thankfully, you can measure your bra size from the comfort of your home. All you’ll need is the assistance of a helpful measuring tape nearby.
With your measuring tape at the ready, here’s how to measure your bra size:5
Step 1 – Like the professional fitting, you’ll need to remove your shirt so you can take accurate measurements of your band and cup size.
Step 2 – Before you measure your band size, it’s helpful to know what a band size is. If you’re a 36D, then your band size is 36 inches. To start, put the end of the tape measure under the center of your breastbone. Wrap the tape measure around your back where your bra normally sits and bring it around to meet the other part. If the measurement lands on an odd number, round up to the next even number to find your band size.
Step 3 – Measure your bust by wrapping the tape measure completely around the fullest part of your chest.
Step 4 – Subtract your bust size from your band size. Under the following scale, the difference between the two gives you your official cup size:5
- 0 – AA
- 1– A
- 2 – B
- 3 – C
- 4 – D
- 5 – DD
- And so on
For example, let’s say your band size measures 34 inches, and your bust measures 37 inches. The difference between those is three. That means your official cup size would be 34C. Voila—your official cup size is as easy as one, two, C.
Resurrect The Underwire Bra (And Your Cleavage) With Gooseberry
With its dedication to providing you with all-day comfort and all-encompassing allure, it’s easy to see why the underwire bra is making a well-deserved comeback in the realm of lingerie. And you have every reason to hop on the bandwagon—your bosom will thank you.
From lacy balconettes to sheer plunge bras, Gooseberry offers a wide selection of daring yet elegant delicates in various lingerie colors to make you feel like the gorgeous goddess you are. Whether you’re staying in for a cozy movie night with your boo or you’re taking the town by storm in your fiercest fit, our collection features timeless undergarments for any occasion.
- Women’s Health. Experts Reveal If Soft Bras Are Actually Bad for Your Breasts.https://www.womenshealthmag.com/uk/health/a40372034/underwired-vs-nonwired-bras/
- Vogue. The True History of the Ultimate Wardrobe Essential—Your Bra.https://www.vogue.com/article/history-of-the-bra-vanity-fair-lingerie#
- JSAMS. Optimizing Breast Support in Female Patients Through Correct Bra fFit. A Cross-Sectional Study. https://www.jsams.org/article/S1440-2440(10)00074-5/fulltext
- Southlake Style. Four Things To Expect At Your First Professional Bra Fitting. https://www.southlakestyle.com/style/shopping/4-things-to-expect-at-your-first-professional-bra-fitting/
- Vogue. How to Measure for a Bra That Won’t Sabotage Your Day.https://www.vogue.com/article/how-to-measure-for-a-bra#