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Bra Styles and Fit

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Finding the Right Styles

The Right Bra Style for a Small Bust:
A balcony-style bra, with or without padding, can highlight the natural curves of a small bust. Balcony-style bras provide lift and a lovely, curvy shape, as well as a nice neckline. Half-cup bras are also a good choice for a small bust, and selecting a bra with padding at the sides and under the bust provide extra lift. Avoid square-cut bras, as they serve to flatten the look of a small bust.

The Right Bra Style for a Large Bust:
Women with large busts should look for wide shoulder and back straps for firm support. Full cups provide better shaping and contain the breast better than other bra styles. Underwire bras provide the best support for big busts. Lace and decoration on the bra makes the bust appear larger, so if you want a smooth, natural look, a plain bra style without too much lace helps your bust appear smaller.

Different Clothes Require Different Bra Styles
Finding the right bra style isn't a one-size-fits-all proposition. Different bra styles provide different shaping and work best with different types of clothes. Tailored suits and shirts, for example, look best with a bit of uplift and firm control. When you're wearing jeans and a t-shirt, though, you might prefer a soft, seamless bra to shape you and wear well under the clingy tops. Flesh-colored bras are good under light clothes; wear dark-colored bras under dark tops to avoid flashing white bra, and backless bras go best with a low-cut party dress or sun top.

Bras with lycra or a bit of stretch are good choices if you're losing weight or if your weight varies over the course of the month. Breast size may change with diet, pregnancy, exercise, age and taking the Pill. Breast size can go up premenstrually, so women may need larger bras during the days leading up to a period. Pregnant women may experience hormonal changes that increase an entire bra size in a week, and should avoid underwires because the breasts may become fragile and sensitive.

Wear Sports Bras When You Exercise
Some women consider sports bras as "optional" during exercise. They're not. Any excessive breast movement puts a significant strain on the ligaments that hold the breasts in place, causing them to stretch and resulting in long-term sagging.

Everyday bras simply don't provide enough support and hold the breasts firmly in place during exercise. Sports bras are specially designed to allow freedom of movement while holding you firmly in place, and they're made of fabrics that channel moisture away from the skin to the outside of the fabric. Sports bras come in different shapes and styles suitable for different activity levels, but they're absolutely vital to wear when you exercise.

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