Written by Charlotte Wood (last updated August 2, 2021)
Shopping for bras is like shopping for toothpaste or deodorant: There are so many options and sometimes it's so overwhelming that you actually can't make a choice. What do you choose—the padded, the non-padded, the push-up, the colored, the white, the lacy, the silky, the functional—what to choose?
One option is an underwire bra, but how do you know if that should be the course for you to take? It's actually not hard to determine and once you do, you'll have much more direction for your future bra shopping.
First of all you need to understand what an underwire bra actually is. There are a couple of definitions and you'll need to understand both. An underwire can be coined a bra with a wire support underneath the cup, with no extra support. Most bras are like this and anyone can wear them. They provide just enough support to give the bust a little more shape and can be found in bras with cup sizes from A to DD.
The other type of underwire bra is more specific to a certain bust type. This kind of bra has not only the wire support underneath the cup, but wire support throughout the cup of the bra. This type of bra is made specifically for those with the biggest busts; those who need that extra support. Face it—those of us wearing B cup do not need any extra support. Those with a C cup (maybe) and higher may feel more comfortable with that extra structural support.
For most bras below the C cup, you won't find ones with built-in wiring, but you may and just know that you really won't need those bras. You'll be fine with the simple wire underneath the cup. For those of you who have a larger cup size, you should seriously consider investing in a wire-support bra or two because it gives you more support and gives your bust more of a look; it just looks better!
An underwire bra is right for you if you need that extra support. You can determine that need on your own and I also recommend asking a trained store clerk for advice when bra shopping. Most lingerie stores offer a bra measuring service so that you can know your actual size and buy bras that fit what you need so you can look your best. Underwire bras are great for those who need them—good luck in your bra shopping endeavors!
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