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How do minimizing bras work? Lingerie experts share what to know about the style

Everything you need to know about this unique bra style
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/ Source: TODAY

Still not sure what a minimizer bra does? We don't blame you. There are countless bra styles — demis, push-ups and many more — and figuring out what sets one apart from the others can be confusing.

If you've ever wondered if a minimizer bra is right for you, the Shop TODAY team has broken down everything you need to know. We've also scoured the web for 12 gorgeous styles to help you find your perfect fit.

What are the benefits of a minimizer bra?

The name says it all: a minimizer bra minimizes your bust. "It should make your bust look one to two cup sizes smaller, especially if you are a size DDD or larger," said Dora Lau, founder and president of Dora L International, an intimate apparel global sourcing and design company.

Having a larger bust can feel cumbersome at times, and Lau said that's where minimizer bras come in handy. "They can offer a comfort solution for large breasts through better support," she explained.

Still the the bra style isn't exclusively made for larger busts.

"There’s no body type that a minimizer bra fits best and there’s no minimizer bra that works best for all because everyone’s bodies are different," Suzanne Macbale, CEO and founder of New York-based lingerie brand LoveSuze, told us.

What to look for while shopping for a minimizer bra

Ready to try a minimizer bra? There are a few things you should keep an eye out for while shopping. For instance, Lau said the wing is the most important element of a minimizer since it anchors the bra.

"Without the wing, the lift and support will be compromised. The back should be more of a 'V' shape," she explained. Material also matters, and Lau suggests searching for a minimizer with a material that isn't too stretchy.

When buying a minimizer bra, Macbale tends to answer the following checklist:

  • How wide the straps are and if they are padded for comfort
  • How far apart the straps sit on your body
  • Whether the bra stays in place on the shoulders
  • How much support and/or padding the bra provides
  • Whether or not the bra digs into skin and makes you feel uncomfortable

Minimizer bras to shop

Delimira Plus-Size Underwire Unlined Minimizer Lace Bra

In order to get the perfect fit, it's important to consider just how much coverage you want. "If you want more coverage, opt for a minimizer bra with light padding built into the cup so nothing slips through. It boils down to what women are comfortable with and the look they are trying to achieve," Macbale said.

This Amazon bestseller has 10K+ five-star ratings and is made for women with DD cup and over. It has underwire support and lift and fully adjustable straps for added comfort. Plus, it comes in 29 beautiful colors. It's certainly the sexiest minimizer bra we've ever seen!

HSIA Underwire Bra Minimizer

Minimizer bras don't have to be boring. If you're looking for something with a touch of sex appeal, HSIA's lacy minimizer is a worthy contender. The popular style has 4K+ five-star ratings and comes in 24 colors (our fave is called Dusty Turquoise).

"With advanced technology, modern minimizer bras are pretty and offer great shape and support. Women who are looking for a minimizer bra shouldn’t feel that if they go for this style that it has to be like your grandma’s bra!" Lau said.

Bali Passion for Comfort Seamless Minimizer Underwire Bra

Half the battle of shopping for a comfortable bra is knowing how it should fit, and Macbale offered up some tips to help you find your perfect match. "A minimizer bra should be snug. However, it is important for a woman’s bust to maintain its shape. There should not be any spillage; breasts should be fully contained in the cup," she explained.

Bali's minimizer underwire bra combines comfort and function and comes in four colors and 28 sizes. The bra minimizes up to 1.5 inches and has lovely lace detailing at the top to add a feminine flair.

Lively The Comfort Minimizer Bra

Extra support doesn't have to equal discomfort. Au contraire, mes amis. "The most important thing is that you should not feel squashed or uncomfortable. You should feel comfortable all day and it should really look great under your clothes," Lau advised.

Lively put a premium on comfort while designing this style and added in comfy straps, double-layered fabric cups and a ballet style back that's equal parts cozy and supportive. It also has a solid rating from customers who call it "comfortable," "flattering" and "supportive."

Lilyette Beautiful Support Lace Full-Figure Minimizer Bra

Minimizer bras compress and reshape the bust by redistributing the breast tissue to a rounder shape, but they shouldn't flatten or compress the chest. "This takes away from the curvature and full shape of the natural bust. A good way to tell is to put the minimizer bra on and see how it looks underneath a T-shirt," Macbale told us.

Lilyette's lace minimizer bra claims to "minimize size, not shape," which seems just about perfect to us. The sassy style has gorgeous lace detailing and a floral print and it also has comfort features like adjustable straps and a smoothing back.

Playtex 18-Hour Smoothing Wireless Comfort Minimizer Bra

"Minimizers often have underwires, which have a slightly wider pitch than normal bras, to accommodate the wider spread of breast tissue. But wireless bras can also deliver effective minimization," Lau said.

This wireless bra promises to minimize your busy up to 1.5 inches and it provides plenty of support, including an extra layer on the side and back. The comfort strap and and tag-free design also help you avoid unnecessary digging or itchiness. The sheer detail is also rather sexy!

Lilyette by Bali Strapless Minimizer Underwire Bra

Yes, strapless minimizer bras exist! "A good minimizer bra gives uplift, control and comfort while gently compressing, reshaping and redistributing the breast tissue," Lau noted.

This one from Lilyette is perfect for special events and anytime you're wearing something with a unique neckline. It can also be worn as a regular bra since it comes with detachable, adjustable straps.

Glamorise Full Figure Wirefree Minimizer Support Bra

"Minimizers usually offer fuller coverage, so the bra goes higher to contain the flesh on the upper bust," Lau explained. This one from Glamorise combines coverage with comfort and comes in two beautiful blues (one light, one dark) and two neutral colors (white and nude).

The bra features Magic Lift Technology, with a cushioned band that lifts, shapes and supports breasts without a wire. Basically, it can reduce bust size by one cup without making you feel like you're getting a mammogram.

Olga Cloud 9 Minimizer Bra

"A minimizer should deliver a reduced, around/over the bust measurement, compared with a normal bra," Lau said. And that's exactly what this one from Olga does.

The sleek style reduces your bust up to one cup size and has double layer underwire cups and firm straps. It also comes in four colors and has delicate lace detailing in the middle that we adore.

Paramour by Felina Angie Front Close Minimizer Bra

Va-va-voom! We're en amour with Paramour's sexy minimizer bra. The style comes in two staple colors — black and nude — and a plethora of sizes. The front-close bra has firming cups that help define your bust's shape and undeniably sultry lace detailing. The wide straps also serve a useful purpose.

"Wider straps offer a minimizer bra extra comfortable support," Lau told us. Comfort and sex appeal? We'll take one in both colors, please!

Spanx Low Profile Minimizer Bra

Is there anything that the brand Spanx can't do? The shapewear company also makes a mean minimizer bra and this style uses sling technology to reduce bust size up to one inch. It does so while enhancing your curves, and that was one key element that Macbale told us is pivotal for a great minimizer bra.

"Minimizers don’t compress the bust as a high-impact sports bra would. Sports bras often create a uniboob, whereas a minimizer will still give a nice shape and profile," she explained.

Wacoal Back Appeal Minimizer Bra

Shopping for a minimizer bra is really no different than shopping for any other type of bra, according to Macbale. "When shopping for any bra, you need to understand your breast shape and how you like your bras to fit. Everyone’s bust is different and that requires different styles of bras," she revealed.

We're always willing to spend a bit more when we find a one-and-done bra that does it all, and Wacoal's minimizer has certainly caught our fancy. In addition to reducing the bust, the style also smooths your back and comes with foam contour cups and adjustable straps. The adorable mesh polka dot detailing at the center is also a welcome surprise!

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