A Tropical Affair

Bra Guide & Terms

Bra Styles

Push-up Bra:

A push-up bra will give your girls exactly that, a push up, usually with the help of some padding hidden in the cups. This extra padding may be built-in or removable, the latter allowing you to be slightly less up. Push-ups can come in different shapes, like demi or plunge. A push-up demi will create a very full effect with a lot of lift. A push-up plunge bra will will push your breasts upward and inward, creating enviable cleavage.



(Alternatively known as a Softcup)
Delicate, feminine, and completely comfortable, a bralette is a bra with no underwires. Bralettes are excellent for A to C cups. Stretchy or larger sized bralettes can comfortably fit and flatter implants. But watch out if you're naturally well-endowed, this is a style that more often than not gives little shaping or support.


Demi Cup Bra:

(Alternatively known as a Half Cup)
So called because the cups are approximately half the size of a full cup bra, a demi bra creates a beautiful frame for your decolletage by combining a generally horizontal neckline with wide-set straps. If a demi creates a particularly straight line across your bust, it is often referred to as a balconette. Because they create great cleavage and are often designed to be seen, demi bras are very popular among our clientele.


Full Cup Bra:

The fabric of the cups on a full cup bra will cover most of your breasts, providing all over support and decreasing pressure on your back. This bra style is a great option for women with naturally larger cup sizes.


Peekaboo Bra:

A peekaboo bra will be structured like a traditional bra - it may be demi, plunge, or even full cup. It is characterized by an opening in the center of the cup that exposes the nipple. Not for the timid, a peekaboo bra will draw a very enthusiastic response from your admirer. Peekaboos can also be used with nipple tassles to great effect.


Plunge Bra:

Often the best option to wear under a low-cut top, a plunge bra plunges below the level of the nipple in the center area where the cups meet. Most plunge bras produce a v-shaped neckline and consequently give your breasts a little push to the center for cleavage.


Self-adhesive Bra:

Today's innovative fashions sometimes call for a barely-there bra, meaning no straps, no back, no nonsense. In many of these cases, a self-adhesive bra is the smartest solution. The best self-adhesive products are silicone-based and often re-usable. 


Shelf Bra:

The cups of a shelf bra fall slightly under your nipples, rather than covering them. Very sexy and very skimpy, shelf bras usually look like extremely abbreviated demi bras, and allow for just a tiny bit of support.


Strapless/Convertible Bra:

If your strapless bra has detachable straps, congratulations, it's convertible! You won't be defeated by a tricky top because you can wear this bra in a multitude of ways by simply adjusting the straps. You can wear it strapless or with the straps in their normal positions. If you hook on the straps so they cross in the back, you now have a racerback bra. And if the straps are long enough, you can extend just one and halter it around your neck. Presto change-o, now you have a halter bra!


Bra Terms

Back Wings:

The strips of fabric that extend from the outer base of the cups, around your sides, and latch in the back are called the back wings. On some of the most beautiful bras, the designers' attention to detail will be apparent in the styling of the back wings.

Center Gore:

The center gore is the piece of fabric that joins your bra cups together at the front. The center gore should always lie flat against your breastbone; if it does not, the bra does not fit you properly. A non-stretch center gore will always provide more support than one that stretches.


Bra cups consist of the fabric that covers and supports your breasts. Cups may be cut-and-sewn - with as many as three pieces seamed together - or seamless and made of just one piece. Seamed styles won't stretch and offer great support, whereas seamless versions appear smooth under clingy clothing.


For the purposes of this website, findings refer to the plastic or metal hardware found on bras and other lingerie items. These include rings, slide closures, and clasps of any style. Findings are often dyed to match the garment, but can sometimes be gold or silver toned.

Inner Sling:

Another support feature is an inner sling, a curved strip of fabric in underwire bras that mimics the line of the underwire. This fabric is usually made of non-stretch material and rises no more than half height of the cup itself. An inner sling provides a taut, invisible shelf that supports the weight of your breast.


All padded bras have some sort of extra thickness added to the cups. The padding can be made of foam, silicone, air pockets, or even liquid. Graduated padding will be thicker at the base of the cups, creating a natural looking silhouette with phenomenal cleavage. In some cases, the padding will be removable.


The straps on a racerback bra pass between your shoulder blades, rather than outside of them. Many convertible bras can be made to accommodate racerback style tops by crossing the detachable straps in the back.


The straps of a bra rise up from the cups, pass over your shoulder, and attach to the back wings somewhat near the clasp. Straps may be constructed of rigid or stretch material, or some combination of the two. Rigid straps offer more support and are often thicker than stretch straps.

Structured (Contour/Lined/Molded):

Structured, contour, lined and molded are all ways of describing styles of bras that are not padded, but do have a measure of foam or other material that mirrors the contour of your breast, providing structure and protection against nipple show through. A molded bra will not add dimension to your cup size, like a padded bra will, but it will retain it's shape when you take it off.


A thin, flexible wire that is curved to offer additional support to the cups of bras. Underwires are encased in a tube of soft fabric to make them comfortable to wear against your body. Well constructed bras that fit properly will never have underwires that pinch or poke.

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