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Big Bras Glossary

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Adhesive Nipple Covers

These small, discreet circular discs are used to make your nipples invisible under your clothing.

 

 

 

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Balconette

Lots of bras are described as balconette and it refers to the cups being cut lower than a full cup bra. This style gives support with a lower neckline than a full cup bra.

 

 

 

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Close-set Straps

Lots of straps start at the outermost side of the cups so they sit wide on your shoulder. Close-set straps start at the centre of the cup and sit in the middle of your shoulder - good for women with narrow shoulders.

 

 

 

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Decolletage

This literally means 'without a collar' and refers to the neckline of a woman's attire and how it shows off the neck and top of the breasts.

 

 

 

 

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Encapsulation

This word describes a sports bra that encapsulates each breast in its own cup. The alternative is one large cup that compresses the breasts down against the body.

The Panache Sports bra is an encapsulation bra.

 

 

 

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Full Cup

Full Cup bras cover most of your breast tissue and give your boobs excellent support. To make them look more delicate many full cup bras have a sheer top panel that is very fine over the tops of your breasts.

 

 

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Gore

The centre panel between your cups is the piece that should lie flat against your body. The gore keeps your breasts separated and supported.

 

 

 

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Heat Molded Bras

Bras that hold their shape without a breast inside them are created by heating a foam filled cup over a breast shape then cooling it so that the shape holds. This creates a seam free cup that is invisible under clothes. Also referred to as contour bras (can be wired or wirefree)

 

 

 

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Inside Sling

Some bras have a strip of supportive fabric that runs along the side from the armpit to the bottom of the cup. This supports your breast and brings it forward away from your armpit.

 

 

 

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Jacquard Bras

This refers to a fabric where the pattern is woven into the material rather than printed on. It's an intricate process that results in a very supportive and beautiful material. A great material for heavy breasts.

 

 

 

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Knickers

This is the English slang for all underwear (briefs, thongs, etc). Every woman deserves at least one bra with a matching pair of knickers!

 

 

 

 

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Longline Bras

Any bra that extends the band down towards your midriff is a longline bra. They differ from corsets in that they use clasps not cords to fasten.

 

 

 

 

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Microfiber

This refers to a combination of manmade fibers that are so finely woven that they are very lightweight. Their characteristics include allowing airflow through the fabric and wicking moisture away from the body.

 

 

 

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Nursing Bras

If you are breast-feeding then you need easy access to your breasts. Nursing bras have little clips where the cups meet the straps. Unclip this and the cup fall away from the breast. A safety strap keeps the cup nearby for easy reattachment. Nursing bras are usually wirefree.

Nursing Bras

 

 

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Organic Cotton

More and more brands are opting to use Organic Cotton in their bras because it is ethically produced, harvested and sold. Plus organic cotton bras are great for women with sensitive skin.

 

 

 

 

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Plunge

Some people think plunge bras aren't for big boobs but they're wrong! Plunge describes the shape of the cups which angle deeply towards the band between the breasts. As with all bras, you just need the right style and size for you.

 

 

 

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Quick Release

This sounds as though it's a feature designed by testosterone fueled teenagers, but actually lots of women need easy to release bras. Mobility issues (like osteoporosis) require less fiddley fastenings.

 

 

 

 

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Relativity

This isn't Einstein's relativity, this is band to cup relativity. The cup letter describes the volume relative to the band. E.g. an F cup on a 30 band is much smaller than the F cup on a 36 band. This is why it's a myth that D+ cups are huge! The cup on a 38C is bigger than the cup on a 28F.

Read this blog post about cups to band ratio

 

 

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Stretch Lace

Stretch lace does exactly what it says on the tin - it's stretchy and lacey and pure heaven! If, like me, you have one breast larger than the other, this magic creation will stretch to accommodate the larger breast while encasing the smaller one supportively.

 

 

 

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T-Shirt Bras

This has become one of the most sought after styles. The seamless cups mean your bras is invisible under a t-shirt. The cups usually have a light foam padding so that nipples don't show through.

Browse t-shirt bras

 

 

 

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Underwire

Ok so you know what underwire is, but what you probably don't know is that if you hate underwire because it pokes you then you're in the wrong bra. You don't hate underwire, you hate wearing the wrong bra. A correctly fitting underwire bra will not hurt you.

 

 

 

 

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V Neck

Unlike a plunge bra a V Neck bra is designed to give you full coverage and support but a tapered style at the front which is ideal for wearing V Neck clothes.

 

 

 

 

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Wings

Wings run underneath your armpit then around your back to the hook and eye fastener. The deeper the wing the most support your bra gives you.

 

 

 

 

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eXtenders

Bra extenders are ideal for women who are between standard even number sizes. If you are between a 32 and a 34 for example, buy a 32 band then add a bra extender that fastens to your bra's hook and eyes to give you some extra breathing room without losing support.

 

 

 

 

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Your Body

All the bra advice in the world doesn't substitute your knowledge of your body. The right bra should be comfortable, make you feel good about yourself and be the shape you like. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, you have to love it and live in it xx

 

 

 

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ZZZZZZZZZZZZsssss

Never sleep in a wired bra, it can damage your delicate breast cells. If you need support as you sleep choose a lightweight, wirefree bra in a breathable material like cotton or a microfiber.