Saturday, August 13, 2011

Push-up Bra

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Bras can be naughty or nice, functional or flimsy, saucy or sweet. Push up bras in particular veer toward the naughtier side of the argument, designed to thrust the breasts upward for an alluring display. Who first used the word "brassiere?" What did people use before bras? And why was it so important to burn them in the 1970s? Read on!  


  • The word "brassiere" was debuted into modern society, quite appropriately, by Vogue in 1907, but its history extends far before that. There is anthropological evidence of bras--more sports bra style than push-ups--as far back as Ancient Minoan civilization (used by female athletes), and the push-up itself descends from the grand legacy of the corset. The initial design of the corset was to compress the breasts so they would be pushed upward, creating a dramatic and eye-catching cleavage between the breasts. The corset was split into separate pieces (what would become known as the "girdle" and the bra) and while the girdle has fallen out of popularity, the bra is a staple of female undergarments, and the push-up bra remains true to the original legacy of corsets.


  • The push-up bra, more than any other style, has become both a symbol for female sexuality and also for the negative and restrictive side of gender politics. Because it is a garment that literally binds the chest for a more sexually appealing display, it became an especially unpopular symbol of female submission during the 1970s, giving rise to the famous bra burnings. Because of its blatant sexuality and emphasis of the female form, it hearkens back to 1950s pinups and also ushers in a long future of celebrating a woman's curves.


    • A push up bra's function is quite obvious in nature: using various techniques (see types) the bra lifts and supports the breast to create a younger looking chest with higher, firmer and rounder breasts. This generally creates a deep valley of cleavage between the breasts.


      What will you be doing in your bra?
      The right bra will accentuate a woman's figure and provide the bust with plenty of support. Consider two main factors when choosing a bra type: What will I be doing while wearing the bra, and does this bra fit my bust and figure?

      Push-Up Bras
      Many push-up bras have padding, giving the illusion of a larger cup size. Push up-bras tend to provide a boost, enhancing the bustline. They also help to hold everything in the right place. Because push-up bras have underwire and padding along the sides of the bra, they literally "push up" breasts, giving more accentuated cleavage.

      Regular Bra

      Regular bras do not have padding.
      Many regular bras will still accentuate the bustline and provide support, although they are not padded.

      How to Choose Push-Up Bras

      Push-up bras are designed to lift the breasts and enhance the bustline, increasing cleavage for a more voluptuous look. Push-up bras often contain underwiring and padding that helps create the appearance of larger breasts and more pronounced cleavage. These bras are considered the modern-day answer to old-fashioned corsets, which women also used to increase the appearance of cleavage. Unlike corsets, however, push-up bras are comfortable and won't restrict your breathing.


        • 1
          Cotton Push-Up Bra
          Choose a push-up bra that is comfortable. Some push-up bras contain strong metal or plastic underwires that can dig into the skin and cause discomfort. Cotton push-up bras with soft padding are typically the most comfortable.
        • 2
          Choose a push-up bra that fits well. Get fitted by a store associate to determine your exact size. She will use a measuring tape to measure your bust and help you find the bra that will provide the best fit.
        • 3
          Choose a push-up bra style that works well with your particular outfit. Push-up bras come in all types of styles including strapless, racerback, one-strap and demi cup. A strapless bra works best with a strapless gown or tube top, for instance, while a demi-cup bra looks best with a low-cut V-neck blouse.
        • 4
          Push-Up Bra Without Padding
          Choose a push-up bra based on its support. Some push-up bras are padded with air, water or simply extra cushioning, while others have underwires that create the look of a push-up without the padding. Some women find the padding excessive and prefer underwires, while others find underwires uncomfortable.
        • 5
          Embellished Push-Up Bra
          Choose a push-up bra that appeals to your aesthetic tastes. Push-up bras come in a wide variety of designs and styles; some are simple, while others are intricately embellished with lace or beads. Simple styles are best for under t-shirts or fitted tops for a seamless look.

      How to Wear a Push-Up Bra

      Wearing a push-up bra with confidence takes guts and the right fit. When shopping for a push-up bra take into account when and where you'll be wearing the bra. Finding something that suits you for everyday will be different from what works for a night in Las Vegas, so shop with this in mind.


        • 1
          Decide what kind of push-up bra you want. Think there's only one type of push-up bra? Think again. Push-up bras can give you just a little lift or a lot of cleavage, so decide on what's appropriate for the occasion. For everyday wear, look for a push-up bra with air-filled inserts, which provide a softer, more natural look. If you're painting the town red and want a major lift, look for a bra with padding as well as cutlet inserts, which push breasts up and together.
        • 2
          Get fitted by a professional, so you know what size you wear. Bra sizes fluctuate, especially if you've lost or gained weight, and having the right fit is crucial to successfully wearing a push-up bra. If you're in the U.S., Nordstrom is known for their expert bra staff, and you can also try Victoria's Secret or a local lingerie shop. Bra fittings are usually free.
        • 3
          Begin your search. If shopping online, be sure the site offers free returns, so you don't spend any more money if the bra doesn't work for you. You always want to make sure the store you purchase your bra from has a lenient return policy in the event your push-up bra doesn't turn out as you hoped.
        • 4
          Try the push-up bra on. Sizes vary from brand to brand, so be sure you try the bra on if purchasing in a store. Make sure the bra is snug under the breasts and around the rib cage, as it will stretch over time. Be sure the straps do not dig into your shoulder, and if it's a strapless push-up bra, be sure you can move around without it slipping down.
        • 5
          Wear your push-up bra. As you get used to wearing a push-up bra you may feel more comfortable with a bra with even more padding and lift than your initial purchase. Remember to wear the right push-up bra at the right time to avoid looking inappropriate in a day setting, such as a parent/teacher meeting or at the office. When you are going for a fuller look for evening or on vacation, you accentuate your push-up bra with low cut blouses and plunging necklines.
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