Push Up Bras vs. Normal Bras:
4 Key Differences
It’s good to know what you like. From cars and cocktails to denim styles and drive-through orders, chances are you favor certain things over others. By the way, that doesn’t mean you’re picky — it just means you have certain preferences, and those preferences can be recognized through your taste in music, your line of work and, most noticeably, the clothing you choose to wear.
If you wear bras, then there are probably certain styles you prefer in that specific clothing category. However, it can be difficult to tell the difference between certain popular bra styles because they look similar in appearance. Though it is easy to distinguish between some different types of bra styles, push up bras and normal bras are easily (and understandably) mistaken for one another. If you’ve been fooled before, you’re definitely not alone. Here are the key differences between push up bras and normal bras that will help you make the distinction and define your bra preference.
A Few Quick Facts
Before we explain the differences between push up bras vs. normal bras, it’s important to know a few specifics about each style. This will not only help you recognize each style better, but it can also help you make a thoughtful choice when deciding which bra to buy.
By definition, push up bras do what their name says. This specific type of bra is designed to lift or “push up” the breasts and bring them closer together with the help of thick, padded or foam cups. This creates the appearance of a larger cup size for the person wearing it. Push up bras are popular among women regardless of bra size, breast shape or personal style preference, though the bra style does make a more noticeable difference among women with smaller cup sizes. The extra lifted look created by a push up bra is most commonly paired with dresses, plunging necklines and dressier occasions.
On the other hand, a normal bra is both appropriate and widely worn regardless of cup size or occasion. Many women consider this style to be their everyday bra as it remains comfortable when worn for long periods of time and remains hidden under most clothing styles. Because of this distinction, the term “normal bra” encompasses a wider range of features, additions and renditions than the push up bra. Generally speaking, a normal bra may include any bra that isn’t a bralette, shapewear bra, sports bra or otherwise differing style. Normal bras may or may not include underwire, though the exemplary versions of this style usually do include it so as not to confuse a normal bra with seamless, t-shirt or loungewear bra styles. Perhaps the most noticeable normal bra is an unpadded bra with moderate-size cups, no extra padding, adjustable straps and a hook and eye clasp in the back.
How to Tell the Difference Between Push Up Bras vs. Normal Bras
Now that you’re familiar with the defining features of push up bras and normal bras, it will be easier to spot the differences. Be sure to remember these key differences when shopping for bras. If you’re shopping in person, then see for yourself by examining the bra to make sure you know what you’re buying. Though online shopping is super convenient and efficient, you can’t feel items or get a look from every single angle in real time. Do not allow this to stop you from buying your bras online because this list can help you successfully tell the difference between a push up bra and a regular bra with ease. Make sure to read the bra description carefully since it will give you details about the bra features and benefits. Here are some additional key differences to look for when shopping for push up bras and normal bras:
When it comes to spotting the most notable differences between push up bras vs. normal bras, design elements will help you the most. In the push up bra description above, design elements and features like a fabric-layered cup area or additional foam padding on the cup’s interior region are mentioned. The extra padding in the bra cups increases breast lift and volume, so it’s a good rule of thumb to associate this feature with push up bras. Normal bras do not feature more than a light or moderate amount of full cup padding to keep their “normal” status. They tend to have a thin foam cup that makes the bust shape look rounded. Even though both bra types typically include underwire and similar straps, know that you won’t find any serious padding on a normal bra.
Tip: Take a good look at the item and product description because some push up bras can be sneaky! Instead of all-over padding or foam, some push up bras feature a discreet lump of padding that only covers the bottom region of the cup. This type of bra is most commonly found for large-busted women, because these pads will make the bust look more lifted and enhanced without giving additional volume.
Push up bras also tend to feature a different cup style than normal bras. If a bra name or description includes words like “demi,” “half cup” or “foam cup,” then make sure to take a closer look at the other features and details because these terms usually lead down the push up bra path. However, it’s not completely uncommon to see demi or half cups on some normal bra styles as well.
In addition to their divergent design elements, push up bras and normal bras also deliver a different bra look during wear. It’s important to know what each end result looks like so you can get a good idea of what kind of bra to wear for different occasions. In terms of wearing a normal or traditional bra with underwire and no extra padding, you can expect a look that holds your breasts in place via the straps and hooks and looks very similar to your natural breast shape. Normal bras can give more dramatic results if you have a slender or relaxed breast shape because the underwire gives these shapes much more lift.
Tip: Know your normal bra sizing! It’s so important to have a comfortable, basic bra that fits you well and doesn’t frustrate you with common bra problems like bra bulge, red marks or spillage.
Push up bras offer a specific look that makes your breasts appear larger. This is all thanks to the added padding or foam within the cups, which is explained above. Though some prefer a push up bra for frequent or even everyday wear, they are the perfect sexy bra style for a special occasion. Pair a push up bra with your next date night or party outfit and you’ll see the difference!
An added benefit of learning about the specific looks these bras offer is the opportunity to try them out for yourself. Are you strictly push up, simple and classic or somewhere in between? Try out both bra types (and more!) and you might find a new favorite look.
These days, it’s relatively easy to find your favorite style of bra in multiple colors, sizes and materials. The widespread bra availability is great because it means you can have more of what you love and most of the time there’s no sacrifice. However, a more detailed look at push up bras vs. normal bras, in particular, shows that there’s a clear winner between the two bra types when it comes to product and style variation.
You guessed it: normal bras take the win on this one. The iconic and versatile bra style has been pretty popular since the bullet bra trend faded post-1950s, after all. All that extra time on the scene accounts for something, right? Seriously, if you’re looking for a whole lot of variation when it comes to creative details, extra features, sizing and more, then the normal bra route is the way to go. Having said that, we’ve still got to hand it to push up bras for staying classy and very much on brand.
Tip: What you might not know is that you could be missing out on some great non-push up bras that are essentially modern takes on the classic normal bra. Leonisa offers refreshing-yet-classic bra styles like their underwire bra with tulle cutouts so you can rock the century’s most popular bra type while enjoying fun, fresh features like slender triangle cups, gold hardware, a mesh band and intricate double straps in the back.
4. Ideal Candidate
Though normal bras and push up bras differ in a few key ways, they one hundred percent hit the nail on the head for their own respective groups of bra wearers. With these two bras in comparison, preference is everything, though each bra type pairs exceptionally with some specific breast sizes and shapes.
Ideal push up bra candidates include anyone who strives for some extra oomph in the chest area. It also includes those who expect to see a visible change after they put on a bra. If you have a relaxed, side-set or slender breast shape, then a high-quality push up bra is perfect for you.
Alternately, you should absolutely rock a traditional bra if you are comfortable and confident with your current breast shape and size. Ideal members of the normal bra squad include those with round, relaxed, teardrop or bell breast shapes — or those who just like to keep things comfy and classic!