When it comes to bras, we all have our go-to’s. You have your everyday triangle bra which provides support from 9 to 5, your lace demi-bra for those nights when you’re feeling a little bit sultry, and your comfy lace bandeau for when you’re treating yourself to a lazy Saturday afternoon. But what bra do you wear under a plunge-neck dress or a flirty keyhole cutout top?
Enter the aptly-named plunge bra. What is a plunge bra? We’re glad you asked.
The plunge bra design is known for keeping the bridge of the bra (the middle part connecting the two cups, also known as the gore) lower than usual so that it doesn’t show when you’re rocking a deep V. Keep reading for a breakdown of the unique features of plunge bras, the various types of plunge bras available, and how you can style one as the focus of your outfit.
Anatomy of a Plunge Bra
You might already know how to measure your bra size at home, but with endless variations on bra design and detailing, how can you know when a bra is a plunge bra? Sure, the gore goes deeper than usual, but there are a few other characteristics to look out for when searching for the newest addition to your delicates drawer:
Deep V – This is the defining feature of the deep plunge bra—a gore and band that sits lower on the body than usual. Unlike on your demi or t-shirt bra, the bridge on the plunge bra might begin past the lower half of your breasts and end just above your top abdominals.
Angled contouring – Because of the deeper V-shape, the cups on a plunge bra end up at a steeper angle than the full coverage cups of your t-shirt bras or even the demi-cups of your push up bra. This can create a more dramatic line across the chest, perfect for a striking lingerie set you might wear without other clothes (wink wink).
Wide set straps – True to its purpose of staying invisible, a deep plunge bra may sometimes come with straps positioned more widely, resting on the outside of your collarbone.1
It’s All in the Gore
Because it’s often the first part of the plunge bra to catch your eye, the gore of the plunge bra can come in many different styles. When shopping for your plunge, choose a gore design that’s both functional and appealing to your unique style. As the centerpiece of the bra, the gore can make or break the look you’re after.
Examples of style variations include:
- A V-shaped gore that points to the end of the ribcage, which can create a sleek, pronounced angle from band to strap.
- A U-shaped gore that creates a sensual curved shape around the breasts without any sudden angles.
- A gore without any extra fabric on a thin underwire bra that creates a minimalistic, strappy style.
Regardless of the design, the gore of the bra should lie flat against your sternum. If it doesn’t, it could be because:2
- Your band is too big, causing the gore to hang loosely rather than press firmly.
- Your cups are too small, which can cause the gore to stretch or suspend between your breasts.
- The style of the gore doesn’t match the shape of your breasts (in which case, try on a bra with a differently-angled cups or shaped center).
Variations on the Plunge
When looking for your dream bra, you can often come up against trade-offs. Maybe the cups are a perfect fit, but the underwire is a tad too snug. Or maybe the straps are beautifully detailed with dainty sliders, but the bra doesn’t provide enough support.
Fortunately, the plunge bra makes finding the perfect bra easier. In fact, this style is often mixed and matched with other bra types, so it can meet your various needs and serve multiple functions.
Consider the following variations on the basic deep V:
Padded – Not all plunge bras are padded, but if you’re on the smaller side, you can opt for a padded variation to give you that extra lift. While padding on plunge bras varies in thickness, because of the angled contour of the bra, you may find that a lighter padding than what your push up bra offers is all you need.
Backless – If you’ve been invited to the black-tie event of the year and want to pull out that show stopping backless number with the deep neckline and back, choose a backless plunge bra to match. This variation features a V-shaped gore and either a low band placement (crossing in the small of the back) or adhesive sides.
Strapless or convertible – When you throw on that sexy, low cut dress for a sultry summer night, the last thing you want is to ruin the minimalist aesthetic with an extra set of straps. A strapless plunge bra does the trick, but remember that you may have to go with a tighter band to make up for the missing bra strap.
Benefits of a Plunge Bra
If you think that the plunging bra should only be saved for those extra special occasions where you dress to impress, think again. While, practically speaking, this bra is perfect for eye-catching outfits of a more revealing nature, the plunge bra also has a lot going for it when it comes to everyday wear. In fact, it might just become your new go-to bra. So, be sure to learn how to wash lingerie properly to help extend the life of your favorite bra.
Beyond stealthiness, the versatile plunge bra comes with multiple advantages, including:
Natural lift – For women on the smaller side, the angled contour of the plunge bra can help pull up your breasts naturally, creating extra lift without looking artificial or distracting.1 This is especially true if your breasts sit close together as it enhances the action of the bra pulling toward the center.
Additional support – On the other hand, if you’re a woman with large, full breasts, you know the importance of shape and support. With a plunge bra, the angled line of the fabric lifts your breasts while also preventing spillage along the top. The result is tasteful cleavage that leaves you confident and glowing.
Extra flair – Let’s face it—a plunge bra is sexy. And when you add trims, embroidery, and specialty fabrics, such as lace, silk, or tulle, your plunge bra might just become the centerpiece of your next outfit.
How to Take the Plunge
There are endless possibilities for how to style your plunge bra, so don’t hold back when it’s time for that striking bra design to be the focus of your outfit. From casual to formal, elegant to trendy, the plunging bra can add texture, contrast, and glam to any outfit.
To spark your creativity, take a look at some of our favorite ideas for how to style a plunge bra:
Wear it like a bralette – If you have a plunge bra with a thick, lacey band that hits just above or at your top abdominal muscles, style it as an upscale, quality bralette. Pair a white plunge bra with a white blazer for a clean, modern aesthetic, or dress it down by throwing on a denim jacket or flowy tank top.
Pair it with a sheer top – Create mystery and nuance by layering a semi-opaque or sheer top over your plunge bra. You can even play with the color or pattern of the overlay to create different sheens and aesthetics. For instance, you can choose a white lace bra with a semi-opaque polka dot top blouse for a chic look or throw a sheer black button-down over your black bra to keep it classy.
Embrace the lingerie – Plunge bras make dazzling top pieces in different types of lingerie sets. Not only does the steeply angled V-shape create an incredibly flattering line, but it also helps the contrast between the band and the softer fabric of the cup stand out. Try out different combinations, such as a shiny, smooth underwire and lacey cups.
The best plunge bras to show off usually have beautiful designs of their own, such as special ornamentations or fabrics. Examples of plunge bras that are sure to make a statement include:
- A sheer black tulle bra with an embroidered pattern and thin, barely-there straps
- A white lace bra with scalloped trim along the cups and a delicate fringe along the band
- A steel gray-colored bra with floral embroidery, decorative double straps, and tasteful, intricate bows at the top of the cups and on the gore
Gooseberry: Effortless Support, Beautiful Design
With versatile styling options and variations in design, a plunge bra just might be what your top drawer is missing. So, are you ready to take the plunge and make a plunge bra one of your newest go-to’s?
At Gooseberry, we offer elegant, comfortable, and sustainably-made plunge bras inspired by French architecture and Indonesian lace. Our designs are sure to complement any outfit—deep V or otherwise—but are also glamorous and stylish enough to be worn on their own. Not sure where to start? Try out the cleavage-hugging Lou Lou Plunge Bra, which features hand-cut scalloped trim lace, or the delicate My Crush Plunge Bra that offers a V-shaped gore and underwired cups to lift your breasts naturally.
Whether you’re lounging around or getting ready for a special night out, shop Gooseberry to find that perfect balance of sexy, striking, unstructured, and free
At Gooseberry, we pride ourselves in providing luxury lingerie and sleepwear. Our collections are carefully crafted to provide you with high quality pieces. Whether you are searching for a strapless bra, lingerie panties, bodysuits or sexy sleepwear, we have it here for you. Explore our luxury lingerie for sale today!
The Better Fit. What is a Plunge Bra (And Why Do You Need One)? https://thebetterfit.com/what-is-plunge-bra/
Insider. You're probably wearing your bra wrong — here's how find one that fits perfectly. https://www.insider.com/how-to-tell-if-your-bra-fits-well-2018-1
Her Style Code. All You Need to Know About Strapless Bras & How to Buy Strapless Bras. https://www.herstylecode.com/clothing/everything-need-know-strapless-bras-buy/
Broke and Chic. Push up Bras Vs. Plunge Bras—which One Should You Wear? https://brokeandchic.com/push-up-bras-vs-plunge-bras-which-one-should-you-wear/