Most Supportive and Least Supportive Bras

We get a lot of questions about our bras’ support level. From the most lifted, round, centered, contained,
locked ’n loaded… to the least. As with a lot of bra-things, the answer is more an art than a science.

We asked two fitting models to try on Understance bras and rank them by support level.

Model 1: Toni – Size: 40G

Model 2: Ellie – Size: 36DDD

The two models are not very different in size – only 3 absolute cup sizes apart (36DDD -> 38DDD -> 40DDD -> 40G). So why did they come up with such different rankings? One of the bras, Sierra FlexWire™ Balconette, is the most supportive bra on Toni’s list, and the least supportive on Ellie’s list.

The answer is a bra has to fit you well to be supportive. Toni and Ellie have very different breast shapes. There isn’t one bra that could possibly fit them both well.

Toni’s shape: very short roots, wide roots, medium projection. The feature of her breast shape that stands out the most is short roots.

Toni’s breasts when supported, side view

Average breasts when supported, side view

“X-ray” view of Toni in the Quinn FlexWire™ Full Coverage Bra

Full coverage bras don’t work for her. There are empty pockets at the top and bottom of the cups (seen from the shadow under the mesh panels and wrinkles above the wire). The wire is hovering below her breasts, not giving her much lift.

Now let’s look at Ellie (36DDD) in the same bra:

Full coverage bras fit Ellie very well, because her roots are average in height, and she is full on top. A full coverage bra can contain all of her breast tissue, passing the “bend test” with flying colors (bend over and shake, to test if your breasts will spill out of the bra).

Ellie’s breasts, side view. She doesn’t have fullness in the bottom, most of the breast tissue is above the nipple when supported.

The “x-ray” view of Ellie’s breasts in Quinn FlexWire™ Full Coverage Bra. Perfect fit!

Now let's look at Toni (40G) in her most supportive bra:

The “x-ray” view of this fit.

Toni found her best fit with Sierra FlexWire Balconette. Low coverage is the best match for her short roots.

And lastly, Ellie (36DDD) in the same bra:

Balconettes are too short in the cups for Ellie. They are dangerously low coverage for her – she will spill out if she bends forward.

The conclusion is: the most supportive bra is the one that fits you the best. If the bra is the wrong size or shape, it won’t offer support no matter how supportive it’s designed to be.

We know this isn’t the concise answer you wanted. To make finding your match a bit easier, we made a quiz. Check it out here:

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