By Carol Yaschuk
There is more to fitting than just finding your size.
Leotard or U-Shaped Back
A Leotard Back or U-Shaped Back forms a U shape. It has a wide band and deeper wings that provide more bust line support. This band drops from the wider wings down to the clasp forming the U shape that resembles a leotard. It is excellent for full busted women. The front strap is variable. In a full cup bra, the strap will be centered - excellent for sloping shoulders, or in the case of a balcony bra, the straps will be closer to the arms and generally show more cleavage.
A Square Back has a band and wings that cut straight across the back. The bra straps meet the bra band at a right angle. The square back is less expensive to construct and often you can find this bra at lower price points. Some figure types wear it quite successfully. The downfall to a square back is that it creates more visible lines underneath clothing. It is not the best choice for anyone with sloping shoulders.
The V-Back Bra is very similar to the Leotard Back except the straps are acutely angled towards the bra closure and appear V shaped. This type of bra back is an excellent choice for anyone with sloping or narrow shoulders. V-Back Bras usually have more front centered straps and the wings are not necessarily as wide as a Leotard Back.
Racer-Back / T-Back
Racer-Back or T-Back bras are more common in small cup sizes (A-C). More and more now we are starting to find Convertible Racer-Back bras in larger cup sizes (right up to J). In the T-Back position the bra cups are tugged back under the arms providing extra breast stability. This is a super feature in Sports Bras and can give you extra cleavage for Everyday bras.
Be cautious though. Not all bras are built the same way! Some straps are too short for long waisted women. Sometimes it is difficult to position J Hooks by yourself. When J hooks are totally reliant on the straps, they may never be in the right place. Unless you have someone to help you get into and out of your bra, look for hooks that are on the bra strap rings rather than on the straps themselves.
Strapless or Convertible Multi-Way Back
Strapless/Convertible Multi-Way Bras have horizontal bands much like the square back. The best strapless bras have deep and firm wings. This offers extra support to keep breasts in place without the need for straps. The bra must be worn snugly enough to support the breast yet not so tight as to slip down while wearing it.
Strapless bras are now usually available with one or two sets of straps. There will be a self strap (same colour as bra) and sometimes a clear strap. Clear straps can be difficult to work with. Sometimes they stick on themselves while you are setting the length and sometimes they stretch out while wearing them. It is not fashionable at all to show a clear strap. If you think it might show, just wear the self strap because everyone already gets the point that you need a bra.
Low Back or Backless
Parfait Elissa Low Back Bustier
If you are an A - C cup there are stick on cups you can purchase. Beware that your perspiration might make them fall off. If you buy the strappy bands to lower your bra back, the elastic lines might show all over your favorite dress or worse yet, your breasts fall out under the cups.
Bras provide support in a few ways. The cups, the band and the straps. There is no perfect solution when we take away the support of the straps and the band. The only way to get good support is to push up with a good fitting long line. Even so, the bra back can only be so low before support is lost.
Options like Parfait Lingerie’s Elissa Low Back Bustier can give girls options up to a G cup.
As always, you should dress from the inside out. Select your perfect lingerie and then find your perfect dress. It is more important to find your personal style than fit into the trend of the moment.