Pros and Cons: Underwire Bras

underwire bras

Bras with underwires for breast support and definition.

Good style for:

  • Almost everyone will benefit from a well-fitting underwire bra. It gives great definition to the bustline.

Not so good for:

  • Wide-set breasts may find the underwires painful unless the center panel is also wide.
  • A non-traditional underbust crease will have fit issues.
  • Omega shaped breasts will find the underwires resting lower on the chest and therefore possibly painful.
  • Splayed breasts will need to find the right center panel in order to feel comfortable.
  • Distended high tummy and prominent breast bone chests may find the wires in the center tipping out and away from their chest.
  • Anyone with sensitivities to metal.
  • Prominent ribs will find wires painful.

Until the end of WWII, bras were soft cup (wire-free) designed. The invention of the underwire revolutionized the industry by allowing a bra to have support but with less breast coverage. Demi bras, push-up bras, strapless bras and low plunge bras are all possible because of underwires.

Underwire bras, however are not for every woman. Underwires were designed with the presumption that women are columnar in shape – without curves or a tummy. Underwires may splay, but they do not fold or curl to accommodate a woman’s figure. Hence, women with an extended diaphragm or those that are petite and pear shaped can find wearing underwires uncomfortable – their bodies push the underwire away from their body and consequently send the underwire points poking into their body… ouch! One solution is to look for an underwire bra with an arch design in the center panel. This design will give a high tummy more room and allow the bra to lay against your sternum.

Underwires can be problematic on women with wider than normal breasts. Breast implants also tend to be wider than a natural breast. Wire-free bras are a great solution for women who don’t enjoy wearing underwire bras. Wire free bras are just plain comfortable. Lingerie manufacturers understand this and now make many great looking soft cup bras. We encourage you to look at the wide selection now available. And if you have a large cup size, look for soft cup bras with support panels designed into the cups.

Shop for great underwire bras.

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