Often times there is different terminology with each type of clothing, and bras are no exception to this rule. It is extremely important to know the correct bra terminology whenever you are purchasing lingerie for yourself or for some one else.
Adhesive bras uses medical-grade adhesive to stick to your body and may be one piece or two separate cups, which only provides minimal support, but often leaves little bra to be seen under low cut or backless clothing. A backless bra either has no band in back or dips low in the back to not show under backless clothing. A balcony bra refers to how the bra cups are cut, which is similar to a demi cup bra, and the cups of a balcony bra do not provide full coverage over the breast and are cut in a horizontal line across the top of the bust. A strapless band of fabric worn around the bust line is called a bandeau bra.
Basque is a long-line bra extending to the hips with garter hooks attached along the lower edge. Boning is thin plastic or metal strips used to give more structure to a garment and are usually incorporated into a vertical seam. An unlined, soft cup or no cup bra that resembles a short cami, which is similar to a bandeau bra, with straps is known as a bralette. Bustier is a bra with additional fabric extending down to the waist or hip and may include garters, boning or lace-up closing and is often worn under formal gowns.
Cleavage is a noun used to describe the vertical line between a woman's breasts. Comfort Straps are wider than average straps and are usually padded or lined to be more comfortable on your shoulders. Cookies are a pad that is made of fiberfill, water, oil, or gel that you can insert in the cup of a bra, which helps to change the shape of the breast, or even-out the look of different sized breasts. A corset supports the breasts from underneath and usually pushes them up and over the neckline edge, which is almost always hooked, boned, close fitting, and laced that begins either above or just below the bust and extends down to the waist or below the hips.
Extenders are small elastic pieces with extra hooks and eyes that attached to a bra band to extend its length. Front close is a bra that closes in the center front and some bras that close in front with a hook and eye, some zip, and some use a plastic barrel closure. Graduated padding is a foam padding that starts heavy in the bottom of the bra cup and gradually becomes lighter towards the top of the cup as it provides a more natural push-up. Gore is the fabric in the front, center of a bra between the cups, which is a non-stretch gore fabric offers more support and shape after many wearings. The looped fabric in the gore allows for more freedom of movement, and some bras have a clasp in the gore that can be tightened for added breast compression.
A halter is a bra with a strap that goes from one shoulder, around the back of the neck, and connects at the next shoulder. A hidden underwire is a bra that does not have a seam separating the cups from the underwire. Inner sling is curved, soft strips of fabric inside a bra for added support, which follow the natural curve of the bottom of the cup, similar to an underwire. Moisture wicking refers to the fabric of the bra, which draws sweat and moisture away from the skin, to reduce skin irritation. Neathage is a slang term referring to exposure of the underside of a breast. Pasties are adhesive patches worn to cover the nipples.
Rigid straps are sometimes a feature for full figure bras, rigid straps are made from non-stretch fabric. Side cleavage is a slang term referring to the vertical line created between the breast and a woman's torso when the side of the breast is exposed. Soft cup bra has a molded cup but no underwire or padding. The problem that occurs when your bra squeezes the breasts to look like one long breast is known as an uniboob. Wide set straps refers to bras with shoulder straps that are set farther apart, more evenly distributing the weight of the breasts. Wing is the side panel of the bra band that usually stretches around the back, which provides most of the cup support by counterbalancing the weight of the breasts in front.