Next to the wig there is likely not a single garment more important to a cross dresser than her bra. It’s the ultimate defining garment of womenhood. And it’s not that infrequent that we will wear a bra under our male clothes as it gives us that special sense of being a woman. This story by Teri Lynn Richards, BRAS – My Conduit to Femininity will resonate with all of you. It’s a bit long so you may want to come back and read it at your leisure.For a woman however, finding the correct bra is a task often beset with many fittings. A department store friend told me that it’s not uncommon for a woman to take 40 bras into a fitting room and come out with none or just a few to purchase. And then statistics tell us that at least 80% of women wear an incorrectly sized bra! Most women wear a bra too large in the back and too small in the cups. And although the average bra size is often quoted as being 36C, this is just the most popular size that women buy.
And if you wonder why bra-fitting is such an art, just check out this chart on the kind of boobs that women have.
We cross dressers have it easy because we control our boob size with inserts. Still I have a drawer full of bras that don’t quite fit, mostly too loose. If you haven’t been told, then know that band size is the most important element in a good-fitting bra.
Most people know that bra sizes are made up of two parts – a number and a letter. The number is known as the “band size” or “back size,” and the letter is the “cup size.” However, what many people do not realize is that cup sizes are in proportion to the band size, so a D cup, for example, is not the same size in every bra. A 28F is actually five cup sizes smaller than a 38F, so it’s not as big as it sounds! I purchased size 12 breast forms (a D cup) but my best fitting bra is a 44C. With our often larger ribcages, we really need to be accurate in our measurements.
Here’s one cup measurement system that I found interesting
A= Almost Boobs
B= Barely Noticeable
C= Can Do
D= Damm Good
DD= Double Damm
One NYC bra store now has a computer algorithm that helps to determine your true bra size and the customers more often choose the computer-generated recommendations then the size they were wearing. For sure, bras are more than a utility for us; they add grace to our figure and in many instances become a true fashion statement.
Of course if you are on hormones or have your own breasts, then you face many of the issues that genetic women have from saggy breasts to pain in the neck and shoulders. But a well-fitting bra will ensure that you don’t face problems walking, running or jumping
There are many different types of bras. Even my wife was unfamiliar with some of them. Given that bras and all forms of pretty, if not sexy, lingerie are staples for the transgender woman, then the below information will help you decide what fits you best and which are the most alluring to fulfill your fantasies.
But a bra is an investment piece and should be chosen wisely. A quality bra will give you the best fit and performance. Do not fear going to a bra-fitter for help, but if that is not for you, then follow the guidelines offered in our How To section and browse the selection of bras in our Boutique which have been selected by our personal shopper with the cross dresser in mind. Care of your bra is also important and again instructions are in the How To section of the Library.
There’s also more to know then just your measurements when buying a bra. Our breasts are more complicated than just numbers and letters — any bra-shopping experience will likely remind you of that. Choosing a undergarment that really does your body justice starts with understanding exactly what’s going on beneath your clothes. Thankfully, we found a little infographic that can help take some of the guesswork out of the process.
HerRoom‘s nifty chart points you in the right direction: towards your ideal bra, based on your breast type which you saw above. For instance, wireless bras may work well if you have conical-shaped breasts, while a push-up could be complimentary if your chest is a bit more uneven — which, as we know, is very common.
This chart is certainly not the end-all-be-all of bra shopping, but since we don’t exactly look forward to chatting with a sales associate about whether our chests are splayed or settled, it’s a helpful tool in determining what we should look for first. Check it out below, stock up on our other sworn-by expert tips, and consider yourself a better-prepared customer the next time you’re faced with overwhelming racks of lacy underthings.
So here are the many different types of bras. You never knew there were so many!
Adhesive bra (Nu-Bra). A bra which adheres to the breasts. It has no straps or bands of any sort and provide little support to the breasts. This type of bra is intended for backless and strapless fashions. The type most often worn by cross dressers to create cleavage use a strong adhesive and silicone that can be washed and reused. These instructions will help you.
Bridal Bra/Corset. A bridal bra/corset mold and shape the upper body into a desired shape to fit the wedding dress. In addition to that, it promotes good posture and can be more comfortable as the weight of the breasts is carried by the whole corset rather than the brassiere’s shoulder straps.
Built-in bra. A built-in bra is one that comes with the clothing, eliminating the need for a separate bra. This style can be found attached to the insides of swimsuits and tube tops. Some built-in bras are just horizontal, elastic fabric, but others have padding and underwired cups as well.
Bullet Bra. A full-support bra with cups in the shape of a parabolid with its axis perpendicular to the breast. The bullet bra usually features concentric circles of decorative stitching centered on the nipples. Invented in the late-1940s, they were still being sold well into the 1980s. If you love the vintage look, this bra is for you and your chest will most definitely be noticeable
Convertible bra. This bra comes with detachable straps that can be arranged according to one’s needs as shown in this video. It is usually worn with clothes that reveal the back and shoulders, such as backless dresses with halter top necklines
Cupless Bra. Consists of a brassiere frame with no support cups. They expose the nipples with notched or contoured support cups. Usually worn as erotic lingerie, a cupless bra can cause the shape of the nipples to be prominently visible on an outer garment.
Demi cup bra. A demi cup bra covers only half the breasts, with its cups coming up above the nipples. This bra is suitable to wear with clothes that have plunging necklines. It is supportive, yet provides maximum exposure of the breasts.
Front Closure Bra. Bras that have closures, usually hooks and eyes, on the front rather than at the back. These bras lie completely flat at the back under clothing. Some feature a racerback style back which is great for wear with tank tops and for lending a no-slip effect to the straps.
Inflatible Bra. An inflatable under garment originally conceived as a light weight inflatable prosthetic for women who have under gone a breast mastectomy. The bra has pump-up air pads that can boost the cup size by two sizes or more depending on brands. There are many opinions on what size is best as we see here.
Leisure Bra. Sometimes referred to as a sleep bra. These are very soft, stretchy, comfortable easy-to-wear bras that do not provide much support, suitable as everyday wear for small busts. They are an alternative to going braless and intended for wear at home when relaxing or asleep. With a large bust, bra support may increase comfort during sleep
Long-line Bra. Extends from the bosom to the waist, offering additional abdominal control and smoothing of the woman’s torso. Distributes support over the entire lower torso instead of just the shoulders
Mastectomy bra. A mastectomy bra is intended for women who have undergone the removal of one or both breasts due to cancer treatments. Here, the cups are made with pockets to keep breast prostheses in place and simulate the existence of breasts
Novelty bra. A fashion bra designed for appearance and sensuality. May include unusual materials, like leather or feathers. Includes unusual designs like the open-tip, peekaboo, or peephole bra that feature holes or slits in the fabric that reveal the areolas and nipples. Usually made of sensuous material like lycra, nylon (nylon tricot), polyester, satin, lace or silk. Suitable for erotic situations. And if you are a golfer, well …….
Padded bra. This bra comes with padding inside the cup linings, adding volume to smaller breasts. Padded bras are popular with teenage girls, who may otherwise stuff their training bras with tissues to make their breasts look fuller
Peephole bra. A peephole bra features holes around the nipples. Its loose coverage of the entire breasts is insufficient to provide significant support. This type of bra is also worn in sexual situations
Racerback Bra. Has shoulder straps that come over the shouder in a V pattern very close to the neck. This design is sometimes worn under strapless dresses or tops where traditional straps would be very obviously exposed. Many Sport bras use the racerback
Sports bra. Sports bras are made for active women who engage in rigorous physical exercise. They are designed to be comfortable and supportive by holding the breasts in place during motion, therefore reducing damage to soft tissues of the chest. These bras are usually made of stretchable material to provide a snug fit.
Training bra. This type of bra is designed for preteen or teenage girls who are in the early stages of breast development. It is smaller than standard bra sizes, and its cups come without underwire support. Aside from providing some measure of breast support, it helps young girls to become accustomed to wearing a bra.
Underwired bra. Bras can come with or without underwire in their cups. An underwired bra provides strong support to the breasts and also maintains the shape of the bra. Some women claim that underwired bras lift their breasts, while others find these bras uncomfortable or painful.
Water Bra. Sometimes known as a liquid or gel bra. Contains water- or silicone gel-filled cups that enhance the size of the breasts. Air bras were a similar concept. Did you know that Julia Roberts wore a water-padded bra to enhance her clevage in her movie, Erin Brockovich.
Which bra do you like best?
An inflatible bra perhaps.Reminds me of the story of a national sales manager for an inflatable bra – created for the girls that nature had short-changed – apparently flying from Los Angeles to San Francisco with his most popular model. She was, of course, loyally wearing one of the boss’s products. It turned out that the plane had a nonpressurized cabin, and the higher they flew the more inflated the brassiere became. It was so nerve-racking for the other passengers that she finally had to retreat to the pilot’s compartment. She finished the flight there, gradually deflating.
Secrets to Wearing a Bra
Well, if you are still a little confused on which bra to wear (other than sexy), well so am I. So here is an interesting video on which bra to wear with each type of top. There are 12 of them from the everyday top to the exotic top with your erotic evening wear. Check out our convertible bras…they definitely are versatile.
Lastly, Nordstrom Lingerie has provided us with a delightful review of the 7 sexy bras that every women needs