Anatomy of a Basic Bra

Bras have evolved over the years into a variety of unique, innovative and highly technical styles. Still most modern bras contain a few common elements and similar basic design.

The Band is the base part of the bra.  It wraps around the rib cage and fastens in the back. The band is very important because it is designed to anchor the entire bra to the body and should provide 75%-90% of the support.

The Cup is one of two usually separate areas of fabric that surround, lift and/or cover the breasts. The cup can be seamless (made of one piece of fabric) or multi-part (made of several different sections reinforced by carefully placed seams). There are advantages and disadvantages to each. The shape and construction of the cup determine the resulting breast shape; round, projected, minimized, natural, lifted or contoured.

The Bridge is the piece of fabric that connects the two cups, bridging the separate pieces of underwire. The top of the bridge is often adorned with a center bow and if properly fit; this area should lie flat against your chest.

The Wing is the side part of the band that wraps from the outer edge of the cup around the side of the body to the back of the band.

The Strap is the part of the bra that joins the top of the cup to the back of the band by going over each shoulder. The strap is used primarily to keep the cup in place not to support the entire weight of the breasts. Since bra straps are not necessary many bras are available with convertible or removable straps.