The Minimizer Bra…mythical, mysterious magical? But what is it really and how exactly does it work?

The term Minimizer Bra usually refers to a bra that is designed to absorb or mask the outward appearance of the bustline up to one cup size.  The general design of a minimizer restricts the forward projection of the breasts and redistributes the tissue to the sides of each cup (out into the underarm area and down into bottom of the cup), making the outward appearance less “busty”. 

Most Minimizer Bras are full-coverage with or without underwire. Those with wire often use a more open wire shape that can cause size confusion when you try other types of bras (your bra size in a Minimizer is often labelled one or more cup sizes smaller than your bra size in traditional bras…this does not mean your breasts actually got any smaller).   The Minimizer Bra has become a very popular item in recent years (not only for the vanity sizing) but because they are often the only bras in major stores that “fit”. The Minimizer bra often has a much greater cup capacity than traditional bras of the same size so when a women tries it on she finally feels that the bra really fits without having to adress the issue of limited size options (there is life beyond a double d, way way way beyond!).

The Perfect Minimizer is a highly sought after item for many women who wish to mask a well-defined bustline. A Minimizer can be useful in getting a particular outfit or item to fit just a little better (especially if your bust proportion is different than the that of the garment..most common complaint is the essential white button up blouse).  The idea of the minimizer is very appealing to many women who find their breast size inconvenient.

BUT, the Minimizer Bra does have some serious side effects. When the breast tissue is redistributed into the edges of the cups it blends into the bulk of the torso often times making the chest seem wider and broader, the bust seem lower and the waist less-defined. This spreading effect does not work with some women’s body frame or breast shape and they might find that the underwire digs in under the arm or that the breast tissue (which is naturally more projected) pushes the cup away from the body while leaving gaps around the arms and shoulders.

The Minimizer Bra may work for women whose breast naturally tend to be wide rather than deep or whose ribcage also tends to be wide; women who want moderate support and full coverage.  Women with petite frames or narrow ribcages may be overwhelmed by the minimizer bra. Women who want maximum support with lift and shape or lower coverage also may not be a good match for the Minimizer Bra. Understanding the way your body shape relates to different bra styles is the key. There are lots of great traditional bras that can have an equal or greater result from no-wire bralettes to multi-part balcony bras.

The Minimizer Bra will not work for everyone and before blaming those double chocolate chip cookies ask youself, “Does This Bra Make Me Look Fat?”

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