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Types of bras and breastforms for a man's torso

Well girls.... there are a multitude of different types of bra, and every manufacturer has there little "quirks". Below I have tried to provide details of the main types of bra and breast form, how they are different, so that you can try and choose one that best meets your needs (please also refer to the section on fitting, and the "Easy as 1-2-3" Bra and Breast Form Size Calculator). In many ways the most difficult part of finding the right bra, is finding one that fits you well, and looks great, particularly for those with large back sizes.

I will try and cover (just click on the title to jump to that section, or just scroll down the page):

Bras


Bras

1. Underwired bras vs non-wired bras for crossdressers

Underwired bras

The vast majority of bras on the market are "Underwired", and most women would not even consider a non-wired bra (but there is a place for them - see below). These bras have a curved wire that follows the shape under the breast and gives lift and support. The actual shape and stiffness of the wire varies considerably between manufacturers and bra styles. So a "push-up" bra will have a different wire and construction to a regular bra.

Underwired bras are great for giving a feminine shape and keeping a breast form in the right position on the chest wall. However, care must be taken to get the right size, as if the wire "digs in" to your chest they can become very uncomfortable . This is particularly important in looking at bras for men's torsos.

Care also needs to be taken in choosing a breast form to wear with an underwired bra. Asymmetrical breast forms have a part of the breast form which comes around the side of the chest (under the arm). This is exactly where an underwired bra's wire is positioned to shape and support the breast. The great danger is that the wire can end up damaging the breast form, or you may end up wearing your breast form slightly more centrally than you should (so the breast form is not pinched by the wire).

Obviously, this will not be the case for every bra, and some do fit nicely. However to keep the maximum flexibility, if you wish to wear an underwired bra, we recommend that you match it with triangular breast forms.

Non-wired bras

Otherwise known as a "soft cup" or "comfort bra" (watch out for those terms as many sites do not specifically indicate that a bra is "non-wired"). These bras do not have a wire, and all of the shape and support is provided by the construction and material used in the bra. They tend to be slightly deeper at the centre of the bra, and have a fuller cup to ensure the breast / breastform is supported and secure.

Often these bras (as their name suggests) can be more comfortable to wear for a prolonged period of time. They are also often recommended where there is a degree of sensitivity in the chest (possibly through surgery). They are suitable for use with most shapes of breast form.

As all of the support is provided through the material of the bra, they do tend to be fuller in the cup, and therefore it is difficult for them to be "sexy". Don't be at all put off by this, as in my collection I have included a couple of very pretty, very comfortable non-wired bras.

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2. Unpocketed bras vs Pocketed bras

"Unpocketed bras"

"Unpocketed" is not really a common term in the lingerie world, but I have used it here to describe regular bras and draw the distinction between regular and pocketed bras. I prefer the term "fashion" bra. Unpocketed bras represent the vast majority of the bra market, and can be bought from any high street lingerie store. They can be underwired or non-wired (see above).

The main problem you have with unpocketed bras is finding the styles and shapes that will fully conceal the edge of your breast form, so you can have that perfect look. The other problem, can be finding the correct back / cup size, particularly if you have a larger back.

I firmly believe that the perfect look is achieved when a bra just conceals the edge of a breast form, it provides such a more believable image for the wearer than where the edge of the breast form can be seen.

I have deliberately only selected bras to be on this website that will fully conceal the edge of your breast forms. You will be amazed at the range of pretty and sexy bras that are available that will do this without being at all "frumpy".

Pocketed bras

Pocketed bras have been developed to cater to ladies who have had mastectomies or breast surgery. The availability and styling have come a long way in recent years. They are available as either underwired or non-wired (see above).

These bras are specifically designed to accommodate breast forms. They have a have a fabric pocket sewn into each cup, so that you can slide in your breast form. They are designed and constructed in a way which holds the breast form to the chest (so they don't noticeably fall away when you bend over).

There are a number of ways in which the pockets are constructed. All of the pocketed bras in my collection have the pockets as a "sleeve" within the cup itself. This means that they can be worn with your breast forms in the pockets or they can be worn as a regular bra, not using the pockets. This makes them very flexible in their use.

As pocketed bras have to hold, and fully conceal a breast form, they tend to be slightly fuller in the cup, particularly the non-wired pocketed bras. I have included some very pretty pocketed bras in the collection.

The vast majority of pocketed bras are underwired, but I have included both underwired and non-wired.

As for breast forms, I do not recommend using a "Teardrop" shaped breast form with these pocketed bras, as the size of the sleeve can often struggle to fit the top of the teardrop. Asymmetrical breast forms will be fine with the non-wired bras, but may not fit the underwired bras properly (see above). Once again I recommend a symmetrical triangle shaped breast form, as they will fit all of these bras perfectly.

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3. Specific transgender bras

These are bras that would not normally be sold to ladies, and have been specifically designed for the transgender market. We only sell one such item, which is pocketed as well. The main difference to our other bras is that the material that each cup is made from is extremely "sheer" (fine / thin), so that the breastform / nipple is both visible through the bra and the nipple shape may be visible through tight fitting clothing.

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4. Cup Styles

Full Cup

Full cup bras - as the name suggests - have a larger cup, which covers more of your breast. This can provide great shape and support, and gives improved confidence if you have any concerns about your breastform showing. Given the the size of the cup (and the coverage), full cup bras tend to be pretty, rather than "sexy". They can still be extremely glamorous, using beautiful lace and fabrics.

All of the pocketed bras in my collection can be considered as full cup, as by their very nature they have to be full enough to hold a breastform in a pocket.

Balconette

A balconette bra has a cup which is cut a little lower on the breast. All of the balconette bras in my collection are "3/4 balconettes". Although these have a smaller cup, all of the balconette bras in my collection have sufficient coverage to conceal the edge of a breastform. These can be very "sexy" as well as pretty.

I have not included any bras with a lower cut cup than a 3/4 balconette, as I would not be confident that they would conceal and firmly hold a breastform. Be careful when buying a balconette bra, you need to be really sure of how the cup will match your breastform.

Smooth / Padded Cup

As the name suggests these bras have a smooth finish, and will not use lace on the cup. They will generally have a moulded cup with a layer of padding. This gives a smooth, round, shape under clothing, without nipple-show.

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