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Like my post about seamed bras from a few weeks ago, today’s post is in response to some questions I’ve received from friends and fit clients. Since many full-bust women get fitted into balconette or full-cup bras during their first few fittings, sometimes it can feel like the only styles available in D+ sizes are fuller-coverage. I’ve heard from clients who say that they’re happy with the fit, comfort, and support they get from their new bras, but they miss, for a variety of reasons, the “push up” feeling or impressive cleavage they got from their old bras.
A sure-fire way to get a push-up, cleavage-filled effect is to wear a bra that’s too small, like the Victoria’s Secret model above. Since too-small bras don’t, you know, feel all that good, are there other options?
Of course. I’m here for you. Click each image below to be taken to a retailer with the pictured bra in stock.
This is the go-to D+ plunge bra I’ve seen in most North American boutiques. Available in cup sizes from B to GG, Deco (and its many offshoots, from bridal to strapless to polka dots) features a super-plunging center gore and smooth molded cups for a centered, dramatic shape.
Cleo Koko (Koko Flirty, Koko Belle, etc.)
This is a newer molded collection from Cleo offering a super-plunge shape up to an H-cup. There have been a few different versions, with Koko Flirty seeming to offer the absolute lowest center gore and Koko Ikon combining a low center gore with the option to go strapless. While I haven’t tried this particular style yet, my experience with other molded bras from Panache is that they’re a little shallower than some other brands’, so your mileage may vary.
I’ve only tried one of Comexim’s plunge styles, but as I mentioned in my review, I’m already a fan. The shape offers lots of projection and lift with a low center gore for a revealing neckline, as well as narrow underwires to help pull breast tissue in from the sides of the body. Because it’s a padded seamed cup, rather than a molded cup, it offers a little more flexible fit than the Deco.
Tutti Rouge Jessica
This collection is brand new for Fall/Winter 2015, but it looks to be a winner: a classic black-and-neutral design with gorgeous matching suspender belt, it’s the only non-padded plunge bra on this list (I loooove non-padded bras, but I know I’m not everyone). Available in sizes 28-38 D-HH (UK) with removable “boosters” that fit into the interior slings of the bra to help you create different cleavage effects. I’ve read a lot of buzz about this particular style, and I’ll be interested to hear what people think when it’s released in August!
Ewa Michalak PL, 3D, and S styles
Several Ewa Michalak cuts include removable push up pads, among them the S, PL, and 3D styles which suit a truly dazzling range of sizes (from A to K cups!). These pads are intended to balance any asymmetry, and I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this recently, but it always bears repeating: having one breast that’s smaller or larger than another is super, SUPER common! It’s a good idea to buy a bra that fits your largest breast well, and if you like, you can always use a pad or cookie to fill out the cup on your smaller side. While these pads are helpful if you want to fill out the cups (or if your size fluctuates monthly), you can also use them for a little extra lift and cleavage.
In general I’m not a padded bra girl, as I mentioned, but the Satine collection, one of Bravissimo’s in-house designs, is really beautiful. Available in several continuity as well as fashion colors, this collection from Bravissimo offers a smooth, frill-free look (no bows or lace!) with padding for a little extra oomph. I was impressed when I tried this style on in London, but a word of warning: many people size up 1-2 cup sizes from the size they take in other UK brands.
All the bras above are variations on two shapes: a classic seamed plunge bra or a molded plunge bra. Remember how I said in my post about bra seams that vertical seams tell your breast tissue “hey! go up!”? If super-plunging shapes aren’t for you, you can get a great push-up effect from bras with vertical seams. You’ll most often find these called half-cups or demi-cups, to differentiate them from other bra shapes.
Ewa Michalak CH/CHP styles
These styles from Ewa Michalak all feature multiple vertical seams and give lots of lift, with very rounded “Marie-Antoinette-style” cleavage.
Bravissimo Rococo Charm
Bravissimo’s in-house padded half cup bra features elegant embroidery and a lovely coordinating suspender brief. The center gore is quite high, which is nice if you’ve ever felt like your breast tissue is about to spill out of a traditional plunge bra, but the vertical seams mean you’ll get lots of lift. I’ve really liked every colorway they’ve released for this set, so I’m crossing my fingers there will be a new color for Fall or Winter this year.
One of Freya’s go-to shapes is a classic padded half cup bra, and it’s the only cup shape they use for their longline bras (much to my annoyance, as they tend to run shallow and don’t work very well for me). The same concept applies though: the vertical seams provide a lot of lift for soft, rounded cleavage.
What do you think? Do you have a go-to push-up bra? Are any of these bras in your wardrobe?