Introduction of brassiers

Manufacturers produce an extremely wide variety of bras today that serve a variety of purposes. Bras can enhance the perceived shape of a woman's breasts, minimize or enlarge her perceived breast size, restrain breast movement during an activity such as exercise, enhance her cleavage, conceal her nipples, overcome sagging, serve prosthetic purposes, or facilitate nursing.Most bras are designed to be form-fitting, to lift the breasts off the chest wall if they sag, and to restrain their movement.

Bra Categories

Today the bra is broadly classified into following major categories
Type Description
Adhesive Bra

Adhesive Bras

A bra which adheres to the breasts. It has no straps or bands of any sort and provide little support to the breasts. This type of bra is intended for backless and strapless fashions. There are two types. There is the disposable paper ones that use a strong adhesive and the reusable ones that use silicone that can be washed and reused.
Bridal Corset

Bridal Bra/Corset

A bridal bra/corset mold and shape the upper body into a desired shape to fit the wedding dress. In addition to that, it promotes good posture and can be more comfortable as the weight of the breasts is carried by the whole corset rather than the brassiere’s shoulder straps.
Built-in Bra

Built-in Bra

Supportive brassiere-like structures on the inside of another garment, such as a swimsuit or tank top, which provide support for the bust without the need for a separate bra. In most such garments, these built-ins consist of a horizontal elastic strip, although some do have cups and underwires as with other bra types. In some cases these may easily be removed, if desired.
Convertible Bra

Convertible Bra

It has straps which may be detached and rearranged in different ways depending on the outfit. Alternatives to regular straps for strapless bras are beaded bra straps or clear plastic bra straps that provide support and style.
Demi Bra

Demi Bra

A half-cup bra style with wide-set straps and a horizontal bust line. Often seamed or boned, they give great cleavage and a frame-like effect. These offer less support, but enable low cut garments to be worn without the bra being seen. Demi bras may be designed to provide lift as do push-up bras.
Front closure Bra

Front Closure Bra

Bras that have closures, usually hooks and eyes, on the front rather than at the back. These bras lie completely flat at the back under clothing. Some feature a racerback style back which is great for wear with tank tops and for lending a no-slip effect to the straps.
Mastectomy Bra

Mastectomy Bra

Designed so that a prosthesis may be held in place and are intended for individuals who have lost one or both breasts in mastectomy treatment for breast cancer.
Maternity Bra

Maternity Bra

Designed such that they can be expanded to adjust as the breasts increase in size over the course of a pregnancy.
Novelty Bra

Novelty Bra

Designed more for show and sensuality than for function. They may include unusual materials, such as leather, coconuts or be unusual in design.
Nursing Bra

Nursing Bra

Designed to help make breastfeeding simpler by allowing the baby easy access to the nipple. Traditionally, the cups of nursing bras are covered with flaps of fabric that can be unclasped at the top and pulled down to expose the breast.
Padded Bra

Padded Bra

Bras with padding inside the lining. They are designed to provide a fuller shape for small breasts and are an alternative to bra stuffing, a practice among teenage girls in which ‘falsies’ like tissues, sugar packets, cotton balls, or socks are placed inside a bra to simulate larger breasts. Unlike push-up bras, however, most padded bras support the breasts but do not significantly lift them.
Push-up Bra

Push-up Bra

Structured so that the breasts are lifted and placed closer together to enhance the cleavage. The best known brand of push-up bra is the Wonderbra. Many push-up bras contain padding, typically made of foam or rubber, but some contain gel-filled pads. The main distinction between padded bras and push-up bras that incorporate padding is whether the padding is centred under each breast to simply lift them, or is centred outside the centre of each breast such that the padding pushes the breasts inwards.
Racerback Bra

Racerback Bra

Has shoulder straps that come over the shouder in a V pattern very close to the neck. This design is sometimes worn under strapless dresses or tops where traditional straps would be very obviously exposed. Many Sport bras use the racerback.
Shelf Bra

Shelf Bra

Essentially a rigid band, usually underwires, along the inframammary line that pushes up while covering none, or only a narrow strip, of the breast.
Sports Bra

Sport Bra

Provides firm support for the breasts, and are meant to prevent discomfort or embarrassment during vigorous exercise.
T-Shirt Bra

T-shirt Bra

Designed without raised seams, so that a tight t-shirt may be worn without the bra being visible. These often have padded cups to conceal nipples and to provide a smooth line under t-shirts.
Trainer Bra

Trainer Bra

Designed for young girls who have begun to develop breasts but have yet to be considered ‘developed’ enough to allow for a standard-sized bra to fit properly. They are of simple construction and offer very little support.
U-Plunge Bra

U-plunge Bra

Allows you to wear clothes that have a deep plunging neckline.
Water Bra

Water Bra

Bras which have water or silicon gel-filled cups to make your breasts look larger.
Vintage Bra

Vintage Bra

A type of full support bra with cups in the shape of a paraboloid of revolution with its axis perpendicular to the breast. Invented in the late 1940s, they were still being sold well into the 1960s.
Peephole Bra

Peephole Bras

The type of bra that has cups loosely covering the breasts, which also includes holes around the nipples.
Minimizer Bra

Minimizer Bra

Designed to play down the bust, in particular for women with cups of 34C and above. Minimizers, by compressing and shaping the breasts, help to create the illusion of being a cup size or two smaller, and are often more comfortable.
Belly Dance Bra

Belly Dance Bra

It is commonly assumed that a belly dancing bra size is the same as normal bra size. This is not necessarily so. For instance if you normally use a size 32C you may well find that a 34B will fit quite comfortably with a few minor adjustments to latch settings since most belly dancing bras are designed to cover very well.
Full Cup Bra

Full Cup Bra

Lingerie manufacturers don’t always agree on whatmakes a full cup, but a full cup bra is generally one where the cups cover the entire breast
Balconette Bra

Balcounette

A balconette is a sexy style of bra with a low neckline that goes straight across the bust. It has wide set straps for a square neckline. The cups are seamed to push the bust upwards to give a shelf like appearance similar to the look created by a corset.
Moulded Bra

Moulded Bra

So called because the cup is moulded from a single pieceot foam or fabric – so that it’s seamless.
Belly Dance Bra

Strapless

Indispensable under tricky tops, a strapless bra deserves aplace in every wardrobe. It’s important to get the tension right: too loose, and it won’t give enough support; too tight and it will pull itself down the ribcage.
Half Cup Bra

Half cup

Lingerie manufacturers do not always agree on whatmakes a half cup bra but as a general rule, it’s one where the cup stops just above the nipple. It is generally moresuitable for a smaller cup but larger cup brands arebecoming increasingly skilled at creating supportive bras that give a good impression of a half cup