Choosing a bra style can be a complicated and daunting task. Even a subtle difference in the style of a bra can have a significant impact on the way it fits and the way it makes your clothes hang. We’ve decided to take some of the pain out of choosing a bra with a handy bra-by-bra guide to shapes, fit and commonly used terminology. We’re going to start with a very popular style: the Pre-Formed bra.
A Pre-Formed bra won’t add volume to the bust
There are commonly two types of pre-formed bra. There is a smooth cup, which is very popular as a t-shirt bra, and there is the more elaborately embroidered and embellished type. Women choose pre-formed bras for all sorts of reasons; they provide coverage over the nipple area and won’t cause irritation like some lace bras can; they give a smooth line and an even look if you are a little fuller on one side of the bust than the other, and, if you get a plunge style, they can give a terrific cleavage. The main reason women don’t choose pre-formed bras is because of the common misconception that they will make you appear larger. This is especially true of ladies who are a D cup or above, and yet, generally, the fuller busted you are, the better these bras look. In a stark contrast to a padded bra, a pre-formed bra doesn’t have padding; they are usually made from a thin material and they are designed to only hold their own shape, rather than adding volume to your bust. Pre-formed bras are also commonly known as spacer bras, 3D molded bras, formed bras or contoured bras. The best way to tell the difference between a padded bra and a pre-formed bra is to feel slightly above the underwire in the cup if you can feel a step of padding or fabric, it is a padded bra. If all you can feel is the shape of the cup, it’s pre-formed.
When you try a pre-formed bra for the first time, it will probably feel a little strange. Rather than the fabric fitting around your bust as with a regular soft cup bra, you will have to fill the cup space within the bra. If your bust is small, or you find that you’re fuller at the bottom of the bust rather than at the top (very common in ladies who have breastfed), there might not be enough definition in the bust to fill the top of the cup. It’s important to remember that like most other bras, pre-formed bras come in different shapes. It’s very common to find plunge bras, but there are also balconette bras available too, which are cut lower on the bust. This might be a better shape to try if you’re not as full at the top of the breast.
Pre-Formed Plunge Bra
A Pre-Formed Balconette Bra
As with all other bras, you should check to make sure that the backband is snug but not uncomfortably tight when fastened on the loosest hook. With a pre-formed bra, it is also extremely important to make sure that there is no bulge at the side of the cup. Some women will find that even if they’re filling the main cup perfectly, they have an excess bulging from the side. If this is the case, it’s worth trying a larger cup size, but it might be that the bust is too wide for that particular style. A full cup bra with a 3-part sectional cup is ideal for this bust shape, but we’ll cover that in another article soon.
A well fitting pre-formed bra can make all the difference to your clothes, too. If you wear a lot of t-shirt style tops or tops and dresses which are made from jersey cotton or linen, it’s very easy to see lines left by lace or seams through them. A smooth pre-formed bra will give lift and definition to your bust whilst sitting perfectly and invisibly underneath your clothes.