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Bra Glossary

For sports bras scroll down to the bottom


Athletic Bras (Also see Sports Bras.)
When you move, so does your bust. It's called "bounce." And it can cause discomfort during workouts. Repeated bounce can even damage tissue. The solution? A good athletic bra. Athletic bras give needed support to help control jarring bounce. Most provide either medium or high motion control, depending on whether they're designed for moderate or intense activity levels. Many athletic bras also wick away moisture to keep you cool and dry.

Average-Figure Bras (Also see Moderate-Support Bras.)
Do you wear bra size 34 or 36, with a B or C cup? Then you'll want an average-figure bra providing moderate support. Fortunately, most bras come in your size, so you have many styles to choose from!

Banded Bras
A banded bra has a fabric band that extends beneath the cups. Usually this band is elasticized for easy, flexible fit. Often it's plush-lined for comfort. It keeps the bra anchored in place plus provides added support. Banded bras can be either underwire bras or wire-free.

Bandless Bras
A bandless bra has no fabric band underneath the cups. Instead, the underwire channels form the bra's bottom edge. The bra's center and sides connect directly to these channels. The result is "less bra, more you": a clean, contemporary look.

Breathable Bras
Want to stay cool when your day heats up? Choose today's new breathable bras. Some are made with special fabrics designed to wick moisture from your skin, so you stay comfortably dry. Others have cup linings with tiny air pockets to allow refreshing ventilation.

Comfort-Strap Bras
Do your bra straps dig into your shoulders? Try switching to comfort-strap bras. Comfort-strap bras have wide cushioned straps that disperse pressure, relieve strain, and ease dig-in. Some comfort straps are cushioned with fiberfill. Others are filled with gel.

Contour Bras (Also see Molded-Cup Bras.)
Contour bras conform to your curves for a naturally shapely look. Most have sculpted cups, either lined or lightly padded, plus wires for lift and shaping. Many contour bras give superb support, so they're ideal for full-busted women. Others also enhance the bust, so they're perfect for smaller figures.

Convertible Bras
Sometimes you'd like to wear a strapless gown. Or a halter top. Or a tank. But who wants bra straps peeking out? Your solution: a convertible bra. Convertible bras have detachable straps that allow several wearing options. Remove the straps to go strapless. Attach them halter or crisscross style to wear under sleeveless tops. Even attach one strap diagonally to wear with one-shoulder fashions. A must for every woman's wardrobe.

CoolMax® Bras
That sweaty feeling? Forget about it. Choose a bra made with CoolMax polyester. This smooth performance fabric wicks moisture away from your skin, so you stay cooler and drier. Many sports bras and even some everyday bras contain some CoolMax fibers.

Cut-and-Sewn Bras (Also see Seamed Bras.)
Do you prefer bras that provide extra support? Consider a "cut-and-sewn" bra. Cut-and-sewn bras are highly constructed, with two-section or three-section cups. The cup sections are sewn together (seamed). The more seams, the greater the support. Which means you look and feel better. Choose from both wire-free and underwire styles.

Demi Bras
Do you long to take the plunge--with v-neck or low-cut fashions? Wear a demi bra underneath. Demi bras cover the nipple but not the entire breast. They have lower-cut necklines than standard bras, and wider-set ("camisole") straps. So, you can wear your favorite low-cut looks without worrying about peek-a-boo bra tops.

Foam-Cup Bras or Foam-Lined Bras or Stretch-Foam Bras
Do you wear knits, T-shirts, or other body-conscious styles? Then you'll want at least one foam-lined bra. Foam bras have cups lined with sleek, thin stretch foam, made of non-allergenic material. This foam conforms to your curves for gap-free custom fit. It provides smooth, natural shaping. And, best of all, it helps block show-through, so you can wear clingy clothes with confidence. Plus, since this foam is thinner than padding, it doesn't add extra bulk.

When stretch foam is ultra-thin, it's called micro-foam. When it's contoured — thinner at the sides and thicker toward the center — it's called graduated foam.

Front-Close Bras or Front-Hook Bras
Most bras fasten in back, usually with hooks and eyes. But front-close bras fasten in front with either hooks or clasps. This allows fast, easy "on / off." Ideal when you're dressing in a hurry. Great for women with arthritis. And perfect with low-cut tops.

Full-Figure Bras (Also see Plus-Size Bras.)
Do you wear a bra size between 38-50C-DD--or larger? Then you'll want a full-figure bra (either underwire or wire-free). Full-figure bras provide greater support than petite or average bras. Often they have wide cushioned straps, foam lining or fiberfill padding, and closures with three or four rows of hooks and eyes. Many full-figure bras are custom-designed for plus-size silhouettes.

Full-Support Bras
Even if you don't need a full-figure bra, you may require full support. Full-support bras provide lift and support via clever design details: seamed cups with banded edges, hidden under-cup slings, wide side wings, plus two- or three-hook closures. They may be either wire-free or underwire.

Gel-Strap Bras
Prefer bras with cushioned straps? Then you'll love our gel-strap bras. The straps are infused with silicone gel, so they're especially light on your shoulders. They disperse pressure more evenly, relieve strain, and ease dig-in, for comfort hour after hour.

Half-Size Bras
Are you between cup sizes? Is A too small but B too roomy? Is B a bit snug while C's too large? Try one of our half-size bras (exclusively from our Playtex® Thank Goodness It Fits® collection). These bras come in both full and half bra sizes, including NA (Nearly A), NB (Nearly B), and NC (Nearly C). So, they provide a more perfect fit, customized to your curves.

Laminated-Cup Bras
Laminated-cup bras are a lot like molded-cup bras. The cups consist of two fabric layers bonded or sealed together. These cups look sleek, not bulky. Yet their two-ply construction gives them extra strength for better support and shaping.

Light-Support Bras
Do you wear a bra size between 32 and 36, with a cup size like AA, A, or B? You'll want a light-support bra. Many light-support bras are unlined and wire-free, with seamless cups, bandless edges, and cutaway wings. These bras provide shaping plus just a bit of support. And, when they're made of soft fabrics like microfiber, they feel like they're "barely there."

Lycra® Spandex Bras
If your bra stretches, then it probably contains spandex. Spandex is a synthetic fiber with built-in "stretch memory." It's usually blended with another fabric, such as cotton, polyester, or nylon.

When you stretch, your spandex bra stretches with you. When you relax, it "remembers" (and recovers) its original shape. Result? You enjoy custom fit, all-day comfort, free-moving ease, plus shape-keeping durability. Many spandex bras contain anywhere from 2% to 15% spandex.

Lycra® spandex is a premium spandex produced and marketed by Invista. It is used in many stretch bras.

Maternity Bras or Nursing Bras
During pregnancy and right afterward, you need a special bra: a nursing / maternity bra. Maternity bras come in softer fabrics to pamper tender tissue. The cups usually stretch to accommodate changing breast size. Plus, the cups have special openings for easy access during nursing.

Microfiber Bras
For skin-caressing softness, nothing beats microfiber fabric. This high-tech synthetic is made with ultra-fine filaments, tightly knit for super smoothness. So, it's literally softer than silk. Plus, it breathes well, for cooling comfort.

All microfiber bras come in this ultra-soft fabric. These bras pamper your skin, keep their shape, and wash with ease. And, since they're so smooth, your clothes glide right on and drape more gracefully, too.

Microfiber bras can be either nylon or polyester, often with a little added spandex for stretch-perfect fit.

Minimizer Bras
Do your blouses gap in front? You may need a minimizer bra (available only in larger cup sizes). Minimizer bras reduce your bust-line by up to one cup size or more. They gently redistribute tissue to shape and streamline your curves. Result: Your clothes fit and feel better. Choose from seamed and seamless minimizer bras, in both wire-free and underwire styles.

Moderate-Support Bras (Also see Average-Figure Bras.)
Do you wear bra size 34 or 36, with a B or C cup? Then you'll want a moderate-support bra. Fortunately, most bras come in your size, so you have many styles to choose from!

Moisture-Wicking Bras
Perspiration can feel hot and sticky. The solution? A moisture-wicking bra. Moisture-wicking bras feature special fabrics that pull moisture away from your skin. (It's called "wicking.") The moisture then evaporates quickly and leaves you comfortably dry. Moisture-wicking bras can be either sports bras or everyday styles.

Molded-Cup Bras (Also see Contour Bras.)
Prefer a naturally shapely look? Choose a bra with molded cups. These cups conform to your curves and mimic your body's contours. So, they fit like a second skin...and work with your shape, not against it. Usually they're lined or lightly padded, with underwires for lift and shaping.

No-Wire Bras (Also see Soft-Cup Bras and Wire-Free Bras.)
No-wire bras have no underwires...which can mean greater comfort. And today many no-wire bras also offer great support, thanks to clever design details: criss-cross frames; inner under-cup slings; 2-ply, molded, lined, or padded cups. Some no-wire bras give light to moderate support, for petite to average figures. Others furnish full support.

Padded Bras
Sometimes you want a little extra boost. That's where padded bras come in. Padded bras have thicker padding than regular stretch-foam bras. Their cups are lined with enough foam or fiberfill to add volume as well as shaping. Many padded bras add up to an entire cup size. So, they're ideal for women who'd like to enhance their assets.

Plus-Size Bras (Also see Full-Figure Bras.)
Do you wear a bra size between 38-50C-DD--or larger? Consider a plus-size bra (either underwire or wire-free). Plus-size bras provide greater support than petite or average bras. Often they have wide cushioned straps, foam lining or fiberfill padding, and closures with three or four rows of hooks and eyes. Many plus-size bras are custom-designed for women with fuller figures.

Push-up Bras
Every woman needs at least one push-up bra. So, go ahead--indulge! Push-up bras make your cleavage look fuller, rounder, and sexier. The cups are cleverly angled to give your curves a boost. Plus, they're usually padded to shape and enhance your bust. Sometimes they have small removable pads--called cookies--for extra volume.

Racer-Back Bras
Racer-back bras have Y-shaped backs that curve in between the shoulder blades. These racing-style backs add extra support plus keep bra straps anchored in place. Many sports bras and even some everyday bras have racer-back designs. Racer-back bras work well under sleeveless tops: The bra straps won't peek out or slide off shoulders.

Santoni® Bras (Also see Seam-Free / Stitch Free Bras.)
Santoni bras are seamless all over, not just in the cups. The only seams appear where the bra straps attach to the bra. Result? Santoni bras feel blissfully soft and look super-smooth under clothes. The secret's the special fabric, knit in one seamless piece on a circular knitting machine. For ultimate comfort, try a Santoni bra made of silky-soft stretch microfiber.

Seamed Bras (Also see Cut-&-Sewn Bras.)
Do you prefer bras that provide extra support? Consider a seamed bra. Seamed bras are highly constructed, with two-section or three-section cups. The cup sections are sewn together (seamed). The more seams, the greater the support. Which means you look and feel better. Choose from both wire-free and underwire styles.

Seamless Bras
Want a smooth no-line look under clothes? Opt for a seamless bra. Seamless bras have cups with no seams, for a sleek modern silhouette. Many seamless bras have clever details designed to add support--such as special linings and hidden under-cup slings.

Seam-Free / Stitch-Free Bras (Also see Santoni® Bras.)
Seam-free bras are seamless all over, not just in the cups. The only seams appear where the bra straps attach to the bra. Result? Seam-free bras feel blissfully soft and look super-smooth under clothes. The secret's the special fabric, knit in one seamless piece on a circular knitting machine. For ultimate comfort, try a seam-free bra made of silky-soft stretch microfiber.

Shelf Bras
Shelf bras provide a light layer of fabric for modesty. Usually they have an elastic bottom band for support. Shelf bras are often sewn inside camisoles and swimsuits.

Soft-Cup Bras (Also see No-Wire Bras and Wire-free Bras.)
Soft-cup have no underwires...which can mean greater comfort. And today many soft-cup bras also offer great support, thanks to clever design details: criss-cross frames; inner under-cup slings; 2-ply, molded, lined, or padded cups. Some soft-cup bras give light to moderate support, for petite to average figures. Others furnish full support.

Sports Bras (Also see Athletic Bras.)
When you move, so does your bust. It's called "bounce." And it can cause discomfort during workouts. Repeated bounce can even damage tissue. The solution? A good sports bra. Sports bras give needed support to help control jarring bounce. Most provide either medium or high motion control, depending on whether they're designed for moderate or intense activity levels. Many sports bras also wick away moisture to keep you cool and dry.

Strapless Bras
If you're wearing a strapless gown, you need a strapless bra — a bra with no shoulder straps. Today's strapless bras stay up better than ever, and also give great support, thanks to design details such as padding, boning, and shaping panels. Many strapless bras come with detachable straps for multiple wearing options.

T-Shirt Bras
Like many knit garments, T-shirts cling. Which means your bra seams (and your nipples) may show through. The solution? A T-shirt bra. T-shirt bras are usually seamless, so they're smooth under clingy clothes. Plus, they're either lined with sleek foam or lightly padded with polyfill, so they block embarrassing show-through.

Tricot Bras
Many full-support bras come in tricot (either nylon or polyester). This finely knit fabric doesn't stretch, so it provides more stable support. Plus, since it's thin and fine, it looks and feels light and sleek. That means tricot bras bring you the best of both: full support plus airy comfort.

Underwire Bras
Underwire bras have flexible wires inside the bottom cups. These wires provide lift and support for a shapely, sag-free look. Usually they're plush-backed or cushion-tipped to help assure no-poke comfort. Most underwire bras offer moderate to full support.

Wire-free Bras (Also see No-Wire Bras and Soft-Cup Bras.)
Wire-free have no underwires...which can mean greater comfort. And today many wire-free bras also offer great support, thanks to clever design details: criss-cross frames; inner under-cup slings; 2-ply, molded, lined, or padded cups. Some wire-free bras give light to moderate support, for petite to average figures. Others furnish full support.

 

 

SPORTS BRA GLOSSARY
 
MCR   Motion Control Rating. MCR evaluates the amount of breast motion ("bounce") involved in physical activities. It gauges the level of support a sports bra must provide in order to control bounce at particular activity levels. High MCR sports bras control bounce during intense activities. Medium MCR sports bras control bounce during more moderate workouts.
 
DOUBLE DRY® SPORTS BRAS   Double Dry Champion sports bras feature our exclusive Double Dry fabric. Unlike many wicking fabrics, Double Dry has two layers. The inner layer's capillary action quickly wicks moisture to the outer layer, where it cannot re-contact your skin. Result? Ultimate moisture control, for cooler, drier workouts.
 
SEAMLESS SPORTS BRAS   Seamless Champion sports bras are made with a revolutionary seam-free knitting process. There are no seams, not even side seams, and virtually no stitches. As a result, these sleek-fitting sports bras give you maximum support while reducing painful chafing. Some Champion sports bras combine seam-free styling with Double Dry moisture control, for ultimate support and comfort.
 
FULL-SUPPORT SPORTS BRAS   Certain Champion sports bras provide comfortable full support for larger-busted women. These bras combine sleek compression fabrics with designs that encapsulate the bust. Result: stable, secure support for C, D, and DD cups. That means full-figured women can participate in high-motion workouts—comfortably—with confidence.
 
COMPRESSION SPORTS BRAS   Some Champion sports bras are made with compression fabrics. These sleek stretch fabrics hug the breasts closer to the chest wall, for greater support and comfort. Most compression bras boast simple designs—no wires; non-adjustable straps—for faster, easier on / off. So, they're great for active women who put a premium on convenience.
 
UNDERWIRE SPORTS BRAS   Underwire Champion sports bras have flexible cushioned wires inside the bottom cups. These wires lift and support the breasts, for a shapelier, sag-free look. They also add extra stability to help control jarring bounce.
 
SPORTS BRAS WITH MOLDED CUPS   Some Champion sports bras have molded cups, designed to conform to your curves. These cups control breast motion ("bounce") without compressing your bust. Result: a sleek, sculpted silhouette with naturally shapely contours
 
INNERWEAR SPORTS BRAS   Many Champion sports bras are made to go under your clothes. These bras encapsulate the bust, to separate and stabilize the breasts. Result: ultimate support for high-intensity workouts. Often these innerwear bras include thoughtful design details and advanced performance features—such as comfort straps, cushioned underwires, and Double Dry moisture control.
 
SHAPING SPORTS BRAS   Champion shaping sports bras create naturally contoured curves. Typically they have molded two-ply cups and/or spacer-fabric linings...so they subtly enhance your bust as they shape, support, and define. The result is a truly feminine look that flatters every cup size.
 
T-BACK & RACER-BACK SPORTS BRAS   Many Champion sports bras have T- or Y-shaped backs, which curve in between the shoulder blades. These racer-style backs add extra support to help control damaging bounce. Plus, they keep bra straps anchored securely in place.
 
BACK-CLOSE SPORTS BRAS   Many Champion sports bras fasten in back with plush-lined hook-&-eye closures. The advantage? A sleeker, less bulky look in front.
 
FRONT-CLOSE SPORTS BRAS   Some Champion sports bras fasten in front, usually with plush-lined zippers. The advantage? These bras slip on and off easily—a special boon for full-figured women.