The Magic of a Perfect Bra Band

THE BRA BAND is the most important part of a bra.

Knowing how bra bands differ will help you decide which is best for your unique shape.  It is the band that should take the majority of your breast weight and can only do so by fitting snugly.  The bra band disperses weight around your body and into your back and should reduce the strain on your shoulders and neck.  Obviously if the band is too loose, the whole garment shifts while wearing and is the number one reason any bra is uncomfortable.  

A wider band disperses more weight and will be more comfortable. Reputable bra designers grade their patterns according to size. Bras with larger band sizes and larger cup sizes will have wider bands than smaller sizes in the same style.


Panache Sports Bra in Black Lace

Panache Sports Bra is a banded, underwire bra that is cushioned with a gel casing.

Banded Bras have more fabric extending below the wire or seam of the cups. This fabric can vary in depth. For instance a long line bra may have several inches of fabric below the cups. Often a banded bra will be cushioned or lined to give extra comfort. Some women find that a banded bra flips up or rolls. This can happen when you have a high protruding tummy.. A good test is to sit down when you are trying a banded bra.

I Do Longline Bra from Prima Donna Twist in black lace

I Do Deep Longline Plunge Balcony Bra from Prima Donna Twist

Bandless Bras are always constructed with an underwire. It is the casing of the wire that rests underneath your breast. There isn’t any fabric below the cups. The central gore and wings attach directly to the cups. For women with high tummies or an outwardly flared rib cage a bandless bra can be much more comfortable.  With less surface area to diffuse breast weight, a bandless bra requires more support from the straps.

Parfait Aline Bandless Bra in Black

  Aline Bandless Bra from Parfait Lingerie

Hooks and Eyes on a bra band do make a difference to it’s overall supportiveness. Again, remember that well designed bras are graded by size of band and cups. Think of your clasps as a measurement of time and wear. Your bra band must fit snug with the hooks and eyes fastened nearest the edge of your band when you first buy a bra or in the case of some of us who are not “even” sizes, the middle set (or “odd” size). As the bra ages and stretches, you move to the next set of eyes. If after wearing on the 3rd set, your bra becomes uncomfortable, it is time to lay it to rest. Most bras have two rows of hooks. This is generally enough support in most typical sizes.

Magdalena Bra from Amoena back clasp of 4 hooks and eyes

Magdalena Bra by Amoena features 4 and 5 hook clasps

The Wing is a part of the band that attaches to the outside of your cups under your armpits and stretches around your back. The depth (measurement from top to bottom) of this part of bra does make a difference to comfort. Short waisted women and particularly those with larger cup sizes are challenged to find wings short enough. If you measure the depth of the wing of your most comfortable bra can look for similar bras styles.

Online bra form Conturelle featuring low side wings

Couture Online Bra features shorter side wings

In contrast, wearing a bra with wings that are not deep enough often will leave that migrating breast tissue we find under our arms spilling out. As there is no measurement used on any bra for a side wing, it is impossible to know what works best for you except for trial and error.

Panache’s Envy Bra features a deeper side wire and wing

Is you band size is right? Raise your arms straight up in the air.  If the band rides up your body (usually exposing breast as it moves) then your band is too big.  Also, while standing, pull the band away from your chest at the bras’ centre gore. It should not pull away more than a centimeter.

It might seem like a lot of work to find that perfect band but you can always call upon a Bra Fit Specialist to narrow out the choices and trust that when you find the perfect bra band it will be like Magic!

Carol ~ Owner, Ce Soir Lingerie