When it comes to bras, it's easy to gravitate towards comfy T-shirt styles that make it feel like we're wearing nothing at all. But every once in a while when you're looking for a bit of a boost, you know it's time to break out the big guns: a push-up bra.
This sexy bra style is a wardrobe essential that every woman should own, but finding the right fit isn't always a walk in the park. So Shop TODAY consulted two bra experts to learn everything you need to know to help you find your perfect match.
Why should you wear a push-up bra?
Push-up bras are a little bit like the nude pump of the lingerie world: they lift you up and flatter your figure. And they have a way of boosting your confidence, too.
"Push-up bras can lift a woman’s bust and can also provide more support. Just as there are many types of busts, there are many different types of push-ups available — some that increase a woman’s bust a couple sizes and others that provide a more subtle lift," said Suzanne Macbale, CEO and founder of New York-based lingerie brand LoveSuze.
Her best advice? Finding one that makes you "feel comfortable and is the right fit for your body and lifestyle."
According to Bravissimo bra-fitting expert Mila Stojanovic, this style is ideal if you want to create a touch of cleavage with certain outfits. "A push-up bra is a plunge shape, so it pairs perfectly with plunging necklines," she noted.
How to get the perfect fit
Bra shopping can sometimes leave you with more questions than you started with. Different styles may require going up or down a size, so what should you do when it's time to buy a push-up bra?
Stojanovic recommends starting with a bra fitting in person or virtually. "A fit expert can double check your size in the push-up style to make sure it’s a perfect fit," she said.
Whether you've had a fitting or not, these are a few other features she says you should be looking for:
- The band should be firm but comfortable.
- The wires around the bottom of the cups should sit flat on your rib cage (not on your breast).
- Your breasts should be fully enclosed in the cups, even if it's a low-cut bra.
- Every part of the bra should lay flat against your skin. If you turn to the side or look head-on into a mirror, you want to see a smooth line where your bra meets your skin so there’s no gaping, bulging or spilling out of the top of the bra.
When it comes to padding, it's important to be wary of how much the push-up you're opting for has versus how much you're actually comfortable with and what works best for your bust size.
"There is no secret formula to finding the perfect push-up. Everybody is different. You have to find what works for your body," Macbale said. "Some people like more padding, some like their breasts to be close together, some like lift and separation, some like wires, some like wireless, some like more support and others don’t require as much support or lift."
Push-up bras to try
Not sure if push-up bras are right for you? Test the waters with this affordable find that has 10,000+ verified five-star customer ratings. One reviewer called it "comfortable, sexy, dependable" and another said they love how it's "true to size."
The lacy style comes in 15 colors and a plethora of sizes. The sultry cutouts on the back band are particularly eye-catching.
This gem offers the best of both worlds — the comfort of a T-shirt bra with the lift of a push-up — and comes in five colors, including several staple neutrals. The lacy bra offers light lift and support, and is a great everyday push-up when you don't want something too fussy.
Speaking of neutrals, this wireless style from Lively comes in three staple colors everyone should have in their collection. It comes in gray, black and nude and also converts to a racerback style.
The supportive style has soft padded cups, extra foam padding at the base and a flexible wing that keeps you comfortable all day long. What more could you ask for?
If all push-up bras looked the same, the world would be a rather boring place, so this stunning style is an immediate add to cart. With its double straps and lovely lace, the bra stands out from the crowd and it also has adjustable straps that put a premium on comfort. It comes in five colors, including classic gray and a gentle lavender hue.
This comfy push-up bra comes with gradual padding and has an ultra-soft microfiber material that won't leave you feeling itchy (major bonus). The double layer side wings combine comfort and support. Plus, the adjustable, convertible straps are also pretty handy.
This push-up from Soma checks off all the boxes with its padded cups, adjustable straps and soft fabric. It's also available in six colors, including a stunning rosy pink. One five-star reviewer loved it so much after purchasing one that they immediately bought three more.
With 9,000+ verified five-star ratings under its belt, this push-up comes well recommended from Amazon shoppers. "This bra does a great job pushing up, and fits great," one reviewer wrote. Another commented, "These bras are magic."
Shoppers say it offers just the right amount of padding without being over the top, and they also describe it as "comfortable," "beautiful" and "flattering."
Craving major cleavage? Amazon customers say this push-up bra can make it happen. The style has almost 5,000 verified five-star ratings and one shopper even said, "I almost don’t want to leave such a good review because I want to buy all the rest for myself." Another said it was the "best push-up bra" they've ever owned.
It has a thick band at the base and a plunging neckline with dainty lace trim. Other notable features include a soft fabric, a wire-free and convertible design and adjustable straps.
Push-up bras don't have to be bulky and heavy. Au contraire. Many styles are actually quite streamlined and feel nice and lightweight. Take this sleek style, for instance. It features foam cups and a thin band and straps, making it a practical option if you're wearing it underneath a T-shirt or blouse.
Lovely in lace! Nearly 3,000 verified Amazon shoppers have bestowed a perfect rating on this style with a plunging neckline. "Finally a bra that fits and is comfortable," one gushed. Another said, "It fit perfectly, and it doesn't pinch or gap. Love the placement of the straps too!"
Sometimes a more structured style is what you need to achieve the optimal amount of lift, and this popular push-up seems to be a true lingerie wonder. It has nearly 7,700 verified five-star ratings from shoppers who appreciate the affordable price, the quality of the product and the impressive results. Sounds like a bra-wearer's dream!