The A-Z of bra talk and the important terms every woman should know.
Just like shopping for a fine wine, finding the perfect bra is easier when you know the ins and outs of what youâre buying. Knowing the functionality of each component makes us that much more informed when shopping for the bras that will support us every day. We've put together a cheat sheet of key terms that are commonly heard amidst bra talk to give you a helping hand.
Also called the "shoulder point", the apex is where the straps join the cup.
The back gore, also known as the wing, extends from the side seams to the hooks and eyes. They balance the front of the bra by fastening together at the back, securing it to the body.
A padded or unpadded bra featuring low-cut cups and wide-set straps that give the appearance of a square neckline.
The bra band is one of the most important parts of a bra and is the part that runs around the rib cage. The cups are attached to the front of the bra band, the straps to the back, and in the centre of the bra band is where the hook and eye closures are typically located.
The support structure sewn into the vertical seam lines of a bra adding stabilisation. Fun fact: When boning was first introduced, it was actually made from bone, hence the name.
A bralette is an unlined, soft cup bra that resembles a crop top. Bralettes are ideal for teens and women with smaller busts.
The sturdy piece that sits flat against the chest. It anchors the cups and is a stabilisation point between the breasts to provide separation.
Cleavage is when breasts are pushed together until they touch or nearly touch. The most suited bras for attaining a cleavage are push up, plunge or balconette bras.
A contour bra (also known as a t-shirt bra) has lightly foam-lined or padded cups offering a seamless and smooth shape. The cups hold their shape even when not being worn.
The cradle, or frame, is the area around the cups that helps it sit securely around the breasts and anchors it to the body for support.
The cup is the most important part of the bra as it supports the breast! It can be made from foam or fabric, and is lined for extra comfort.
Cut & Sew
A cut and sew bra has structured seaming to give busts shape and support. The cups are made of two or three separate pieces of fabric that are sewn together to create a supportive cup.
Demi means 'half' in French. Demi bras have low-cut cups offering a flattering neckline with a natural push-up effect.
Embroidery is a form of needlework that embellishes fabrics for decorative purposes. Embroidery can help add colour, texture, richness, and dimension to your bra giving it a feminine finish.
A foam cup bra has padded lining added within the fabric of your bra cup to give your breast form and support.
A full coverage bra refers to the amount of cup coverage provided by a bra. Traditionally, a full coverage bra covers the entirety of each breast. Unlike a plunge or a push-up bra, this style does not show or accentuate cleavage at the top of the bra.
Front Close Bra
Front close bras fasten via the chest rather than on the back. Front close bras offer a smooth back and are very easy to put on.
Hook & Eye
The hook and eye hold the bra together. There are usually three sets of hooks and eyes, which can be adjusted and fastened to make the bra tighter or looser.
A delicate open fabric made by looping, twisting, or knitting thread in repetitive patterns that are used for trimming or decorative purposes.
With greater adjustment options, this wirefree style is designed to support mums during pregnancy and throughout the breastfeeding stage. Featuring nursing clips, it's perfect for wearing under singlets, tops and dresses.
Microfibre is a synthetic fibre, which is super thin, even slimmer than a strand of silk (which is about a fifth of the diameter of a human hair). Itâs an incredibly adaptable fabric that is known for its softness, durability, absorption, water repellence and electrostatics.
A minimiser bra redistributes the breast tissue to make the bust appear smaller. Berlei minimiser bras reduce the projection of the bust by up to a cup size.
Multi-way straps (also called a convertible bra) have straps that come off and hooks so you can reattach them in different ways designed for ultimate wardrobe versatility.
A defining feature of a bra, the neckline runs around the top of the bra.
Cups without the padding and bulk, designed to take the natural shape of your bust.
Wirefree bras designed to provide comfort and support after surgical procedures including lumpectomies, mastectomies and breast reconstructions.
A breast prothesis is used to replace a whole breast, or part of a breast, that may have been removed or changed during breast surgery. They can be worn directly on the skin or in a bra with pockets to hold the prosthesis.
Plunge bras create the appearance of increased cleavage because of their deep front cut, angled cups, and thin centre gore; however they are not heavily padded like push up bras.
Push Up Bra
A push up bra features additional padding at the bottom of the cup to lift the breasts to give a greater chest size effect. Berlei push up bras are designed with varying boost levels for the right fit.
Also known as a t-back, racer back bras are designed for a no-show look under tank tops. Most convertible strap bras can be worn racer back.
Straps that are non-stretch, designed to offer more support than stretch straps.
The shoulder strap is where the cup at the apex and the wing at the back join together.
Slide & Ring
These are the rings that secure the bra strap to the back gore. Lengthening or shortening these adjust the length of the strap.
For some bra styles, a sling is added to the inner cup to provide extra support to the side of the breasts to prevent spillage. This is often the case for larger cup sizes.
Ultra-light and breathable padding in the cups that moulds to and flatters your natural shape.
Strapless bras are designed to stay in place without shoulder straps. In most cases they have silicone strips on the inside of the band to keep the bra from sliding down. They are perfect for your favourite tops and dresses that bare your shoulders.
A t-shirt bra has seamless cups with light padding so nipples wonât show through. Theyâre perfect underneath clingy tops and lightweight fabrics offering a smooth, clean look.
The wire channel houses the wire that sits along the base of the cup. It's inside a tubular casing so you can't see it but you can feel it. Underwire supports and separates the breasts, placing them in the perfect position.