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The difference between an underwire, shelf bra and moulded cups

Ever wonder what the difference is between all the different bust support available? We’ve made it easy for you and explained all the different options available below:

Underwire Bra- An underwire bra has a thin rigid piece of metal, plastic or resin sewn into the underside of the cup of the bra. The purpose of the underwire is to provide additional support for the breasts. Underwire provides shaping and support, pushing the volume of the breast in an upwards and out direction. If you are looking an underwire in your bathers, head to our underwire swimwear section.

Shelf Bra- A shelf bra is a type of bra that supports the lower part of the breasts, equipped with an elastic band at the base to lift breasts up. Shelf bras are also known as ‘built-in bras’ and can be commonly found in camisoles, tank tops, and swimwear of course. 

Moulded Cup- Moulded cups are generally seamless, giving you a natural, rounded shape and sometimes have padding to prevent your nipple from coming through the material. Moulded cup bras are commonly found in sport bra styles, nursing bras and Tshirt bras including many of our swimsuit choices.

Please read through our website product descriptions to find out more details as to what is the best choice for you. Each of our swimsuits offer a lengthy description to assist you in making a good choice.


Mary Pryce:

I have an old, favourite swimsuit which has a proper concealed underwire bra that does up at the back, but is covered by the swimsuit. It is the best and most supportive swimsuit I’ve had but is no longer available and I have not been able to track down anything similar i.e. It is like wearing a real bra!
Can you please advise whether you could copy this swimsuit if I mailed it to you? Don’t care about the fabric/colour but I just want something that fits! Can email you photos if needed.
Swimsuit is a 12E.
Thanks in advance for your help/advice.
Mary Pryce

Dec 29, 2017

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