Push Up Bra Vs. Regular

by Fiona Miller ; Updated September 28, 2017

Although they were first invented in the late 19th century, women have been wearing bras on a large scale since the late 1920s as a replacement for corsets as a way to support the breasts. Bras have since become a staple in all women's wardrobes, as they support the breasts and give them a bit of a lift, even if they are saggy in actuality. Bras have been a source of comfort and controversy in their almost 100-year history. They have evolved from simple systems of support to bras that claim to do wonders, such as make you look an entire cup size larger.

Regular Bras

A "regular bra" is simply a bra without padding or any push-up component. It may be expensive or inexpensive, be colorful or plain, or come with lace or no adornment. A regular bra will simply hold the breasts in place during normal daily activities. However, many women will switch to a "sports bra" if they are doing active things, such as dance or working out, to achieve a bit more support.

What Is a Push-Up Bra?

A “push-up bra” essentially is a bra designed to lift the breasts even higher than a normal bra. A regular bra is designed to support the breasts, while a push-up bra is designed to make the breasts appear larger and fuller. Several large companies, such as Maidenform and Victoria's Secret, make these types of bras and spend quite a bit of money marketing them. The Wonderbra is a brand devoted exclusively to this style of bra.

Ways to Lift Up the Breasts

Most push-up bras simply have inserts that push the cups up a little bit farther, thus making the breasts come up a little higher. Many push-up bras have an added component of silicon or gel in the bra to further enhance the breasts and cleavage, making the breasts appear rounder and fuller. Some offer traditional padding made of cotton or cottonlike material. Push-up bras are offered in a wide range of looks and degrees of support.

History of the Push Up Bra

Push-up bras first appeared on the market in the 1950s to achieve the famous "pointed bust" look. In 1968, the trademark push-up bra would be designed by Wonderbra, but it would not achieve a great deal of success until the 1990s. In the 1990s, they became a phenomenon, with an ad campaign spread across the U.S. and UK featuring Eva Herzigova.

Which Is Right for Me?

Push-up bras work best on women with a smaller cup size. Women with larger breasts do not usually need extra help, and push-up bras are often only made up to a C cup. Before purchasing a push-up bra, consider the type of clothing you will be wearing with it and whether you feel it will be appropriate. Try on several bras before making a selection.

About the Author

Writing since 2008, Fiona Miller has taught English in Eastern Europe and also teaches kids in New York schools about the Holocaust. Her work can be found on Overstock.com, ConnectED and various other Web sites. Miller holds a B.A. in French from Chapman University and an M.A. in educational theater from New York University.