The Complete Push up Bra Guide:All you need to know


Know your push up bra

1. Know your push up bra

Push up bras are the ‘uncrowned brassiere’ of a woman’s closet. They personify passion and are synonymous with ‘sexy’. They sit around in women’s drawers like prized possessions. Looking for a rounded uplift to your bust? Want to highlight your cleavage? You got it! Push up bras set the tone on how you feel about yourself adding a youthful appeal giving you the lush ‘oomph’ you desire!

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about push up bras. From what they are, when to use, who can wear to how they work and why it is a must-have in your wardrobe. Let’s hop on!

What is a push up bra?


Source: Google

What is push up bra and what does it mean? Push up bra meaning lies in its utility. A push up bra naturally enhances a woman’s bust by pushing the breast tissues inwards creating a cleavage
effect. It uses support enhancers such as foam pads embedded within the bra cups. These pads rest at the bottom, angled to the sides, ‘pushing’ your bust inwards to give you a rounded look. This way, your cleavage is more prominent and your breasts appear full and intact.

So, how does a push up bra work? These pads rest at the bottom, angled to the sides, ‘pushing’ your bust inwards to give you a rounded look. This way, your cleavage is more prominent and your breasts appear full and intact. So, push up bra benefits you by providing you cleavage and a fuller look. There are a variety of push up bras based on the padding, material and the result intended (like, if you want a lift or enlargement, more of which we’ll cover in this guide).


why push up bra

2. why push up bra

No matter what they (the salespeople desperately trying to sell) tell you, push up bra benefits can be summarized in three points–

  • Boosts your cleavage without compromising comfort when worn right.
  • Gives your bust a lift.
  • Goes with about anything: T-shirts or plunging tops, you can wear your push up bra to complement almost anything. Given the vast number of choices, you can find the appropriate push-up bra for any outfit. We’ll discuss more on that in the following sections.

Apart from the advantages of push up bra listed above, you need to keep in mind that any bra you wear should be comfortable and provide the shape or lift, giving you the look you desire. If a push up bra gives you the look you’re aiming for, then simply go ahead and wear it.

You need to keep in mind that any bra you wear should be comfortable and provide the shape or lift, giving you the look you’re aiming for. If a push up bra gives you the look you desire, then simply go ahead and wear it.

Also, we recommend that especially when you go for a push up bra, you might consider wearing a cup size higher than your usual size depending on the push up level. That’s because the foam enhancer that pushes your bust towards the middle, takes up extra volume and needs more room to fit inside your bra without your breasts spilling out.


Types of push up bra

3. Types of push up bra

Based on the thickness of the padding

Based on the thickness of the padding, push up bras come in three different ‘levels’. The term ‘level’ refers to the extent of lift a push up bra gives your busts. More the level, the higher the padding. Higher the padding, the better your cleavage.

Level 1:

Go for a level 1 push up bra if you prefer a gentle, natural lift to your bust. About One-third of the bra is padded, and wearing this usually adds a half-cup size to your bust.

Who would benefit the most: You would find Level 1 push up bra apt if you have a full or semi-full bust. With a relaxed hold and a slight bump, this will offer you a subtle lift without attracting unwanted attention.

Level 2:

Level 2 push up bras add that bit of extra ‘oomph’ to your busts by further emphasizing your cleavage. The padding in this bra covers the base of your bust, finishing just below the nipple.

Who would benefit the most: With a better hold and a sturdier grip, the Level 2 push up bra is ideal for women with slightly smaller busts, say a B or a C cup. This bra sculpts the bust, spotlighting your cleavage, giving a rounder appeal.

Level 3:

Level 3 push up bras are the real bomb. Usually referred to as ‘explosive’ bras, these push up bras have twice the lift of a Level 1 push up bra, increasing your cup by two sizes. The padding covers three-fourths of the bra giving women with smaller breasts the divine chance to wear low-cut tops and flaunt their cleavage.

Who would benefit the most: Level 3 is a blessing for smaller cupped women as it gives them a much fuller look and does an exceptional job at drawing a better cleavage. Women with fuller breasts– Please stay away from this as this might induce an extreme level of discomfort.

Push up Level Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
Best suited for Full or semi-full bust Slightly smaller bust, especially if you have gaps in between your breasts Small bust
Function Gentle, natural lift Better lift and support Fuller/rounder look, better cleavage
Size increase by Ideal for D cups. Sometimes for B and C cup B and C cups Only for A and B cups. Sometimes C cup
Look <level1 level2 level3

Based on the Style:

Alright, here’s the thing you need to know– There are so, so many varieties of push up bras, that trying to classify them based on their style is pretty much– pointless. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t acquaint yourself with the various styles this versatile bra has to offer.

Still, based on their popularity, here are the most happening and fashionable push up bras you need to try at least once:

Strapless Push up Bra

Say goodbye to shoulder straps! This bra is well suited if your outfit demands you to get rid of bra straps. You need not worry about going strapless because support comes from the band. You can finally wear your favourite off-shoulder outfits without having to ditch your bras. Strapless push up bras is not meant for women with bigger busts since it causes quad boob effect and your breasts to spill out of the cups.

Plunge push up bras

Planning on wearing that low cut top or V-cut shirt? Then go for a plunge bra without any second thought. These bras have cups seated deep between your cleavage with short wiring in the front-bottom. Plunge is the most sought after neckline that pair with push up bras like a charm. Its low cut feature enhances your cleavage and outlines your bust. Women with loose breast tissue should be wary of plunge bras as their breasts may not receive the support they need.

T-shirt push up bras

Want a greater coverage without missing out on the benefits of a push up bra? T-shirt push up bras are what you need to consider. You can wear it under a tee as the neckline of the cup is not shown through your tight-fitting T-shirts because of it’s extra coverage. This gives you a smoother look without any undulations on your t-shirt.

Wireless push up bra

If you find underwires uncomfortable, this bra is perfect for you. Wire-free options are becoming popular with advances in technology. The benefits of going wire-free can be baked into a push up bra to give a moulded appearance. The cups are moulded in a way that it can serve the purpose of wired bras with the durability of a push up bra.

Bridal push up bra

Say goodbye to shoulder straps! This bra is well suited if your outfit demands you to get rid of bra straps. You need not worry about going strapless because support comes from the band. You can finally wear your favourite off-shoulder outfits without having to ditch your bras. Strapless push up bras are not meant for women with bigger busts since it causes quad boob effect and your breasts to spill out of the cups.

Fancy back push up bra

Bored with ordinary and looking for a change of taste? Fancy back push up bras are for you! These push up bras, apart from showing off your cleavage, lets you flaunt your back. With a style that’s never out of its place, fancy back push up bras are a must-try.


Who can wear a push up bra?

4. Who can wear a push up bra?

Push up bras suit most women. Still, you should be aware of push up bra side effects. Push up bras don’t suit women with wide-set breasts, as in when your breasts have a noticeable gap between them. How much gap? If you have a gap that is 3 fingers (or more) wide, a push up bra is not suitable for you. From what we’ve observed, about 10 percent of women fall under this category. Apart from the nature of your breasts, push up bra is well suited for small or large bust women.

  • Women with smaller busts can wear this as it gives them a fuller look. Those with bigger busts wear this to gain a nice lift.
  • Women already with fuller breasts enjoy the extra support the padding provides.
  • For smaller breasts, this bra is a saviour as it gives a prominent cleavage and enhances the bust shape. If worn properly, it can increase your bust size by up to two cups.

But the major reason why push up bras deserve all the attention is– small or large-busted, it can create the cleavage and lift one wants based on the level of padding.

Nature of breasts The relevance of Push up bra
Smaller breasts Helps to attain a fuller look by pushing the breasts inwards
Fuller breasts Gives a prominent cleavage and a gentle lift

Push up bras vs other bras

5. Push up bras vs other bras

Push up bra vs Everyday bras:

Push up bra vs everyday bra or Push up bra vs regular bra or Push up bra vs normal bra, it’s all the same. Everyday/ Regular/ Normal bras are usually seamed or moulded with no padding and underwires. Whereas, push up bras have three different levels of padding. Push up bras give a smooth finish and rounded look, eliminating seam lines that otherwise might have been visible through your outfit.

On the other hand, everyday bras give you a perky finish, tending to flatten your chest to the bust. The functionality of an everyday bra is to mould and support, whereas a push up bra pushes the breasts upward and inwards. That, plus the support.

Push up bra vs. Padded bra:

Both have pads, so what’s the difference between padded bra and push up bra? It’s the functionality. Pads in standard padded bras increase the volume of your bust. The pads in push up bras push your breasts inwards and a little higher. This provides a lift making your ‘twin-mountains’ appear fuller. To break it down, the only stark difference between a padded bra and a push up bra would be– A push up bra enhances cleavage while padded bras make your chest ‘look’ bigger. Push up bras are padded bras with the additional ‘push’. Push up bras have padding and as well as give you the cleavage.

Push up bras vs Sports bras:

Sports bras plug this one huge functional hole left by push up bras– the ease of doing physical activity. That’s right. We strongly advise you against wearing a push up bra for any kind of sport, unless it’s card or board games with friends or family. Remember–push up bra and physical activity don’t go with each other. So, whether it’s yoga, jogging or cycling, it’s a sports bra you need. That’s because sports bras give you the support, something that is not the prime goal of a push up bra. The padding in the push up bras may be a source of serious discomfort when you exercise or jump around for long hours in the name of sport.

Push up bra vs. Nursing bra:

Nursing bras serve a very specific purpose– to enable lactating women to breastfeed infants without having to detach the bra from their bust. This bra is a huge hit among breastfeeding moms especially because this bra comes with removable flaps that can be unfastened from the cups. This allows women to access their nipples single-handedly (literally).

New moms, please stay away from push up bras. Why? Because in lactating women, the heaviness of the bust is bound to cause discomfort as the push up padding tends to push the bust upwards. Also, the padding in a push up bra is heavy, and any moisture from the leakage of breast milk for long hours can cause discomfort.

Push up bra vs. T-shirt bra:

The first thing that’s supposed to come to your mind when you think of T-shirt bras is– ‘Seamless’. T-shirt bras are worn under T-shirts (duh, obviously). When you wear a normal bra, the bra lines are visible through the T-shirt. With T-shirt bras, no texture lines or bumps are visible through the tee. T-shirt bras make sure you have an even look with a smooth finish over your body. Wearing a push up bra under a T-shirt is a great idea when you’d like to highlight your cleavage in a low neckline T-shirt. Otherwise, it may cause your breasts to jiggle, causing discomfort when you perform daily activities.

Push up bra vs. Demi bra:

Love low-cut tops? If that’s the case, then Demi bras are perfect for you! ‘Demi’ denotes half, which means that the bras don’t provide full coverage. In fact, push up bras have more coverage than a demi. Demi bras cover one inch above your nipple and its tilt finish clads your breasts in a way that enhances cleavage.

So when it comes to demi bra vs push up bra, remember– demi bras are push up bras without the ‘push’.


How to choose the right push up bra?

6. How to choose the right push up bra?

While wearing bras, comfort is the first priority. There is no point in huffing and puffing in a push up bra if it creates unnecessary pressure on your chest and you aren’t able to even breathe properly while sitting throughout your day. Keeping in mind the push up bra side effects we mentioned earlier, here are some useful pointers which you need to run past by:

Things to look out for in a push up bra:

Keep away from oversized or undersized cups. This requires your wisdom to know what is the right size for you. Set apart a minute or two for finding the right bra size. Believe me, swinging between cup sizes, confusing over a 32B or a C is the last thing you’d want. In case of doubt can use an online bra calculator to put your cup size doubts to rest.
Choosing the right padding: Heavy padding won’t necessarily guarantee you more comfort. It doesn’t work that way. There are 3 different levels of padding available. Choose one based on your bust size and outfit. From what we’ve observed, here’s the general trend of a particular level of a push up corresponding to the cup size.


Level Cup size recommended Cup size NOT recommended
Level 1 Ideal for D cups. Sometimes for B and C cup as per personal preference.
Level 2 B and C cups
Level 3 Only for A and B cups. Sometimes C cup D or DD cups
Check for chafing: Bra chafing occurs when a certain part of bra fabric repeatedly rubs against your skin. It’s usually the straps rubbing against your shoulders. This happens in padded and wired bras as they have tighter stitches than an everyday moulded bra. And since most push up bras are padded as well as wired, they are prone to chafing. Apart from the shoulder, bra chafing occurs around the bra band region under the breasts and around the nipple region.
Check for poky underwires: Different bras have different underwires. Sometimes
the wires beneath the cup have a loose end that might stick out. That part that sticks out, pokes your skin and causes discomfort. Feel your finger against wired cups before wearing a bra to ensure there is nothing poky.
Things to watch out in Push up bra

Choosing the right size and fit:

It takes a well-fitted bra to make a huge difference in how good you feel in your outfit. Keeping that in mind, fitting matters, a lot. After all, what’s the point of wearing your ‘dream bra’, if the
size doesn’t suit your body?

What is my push up bra size?

To get the best result out of a push up bra, you need to determine your correct bra size. I mean, you can’t afford ruining your outfit that you bought after so many trials. You can start by measuring your bust size and then determining your cup size.

Knowing your band size: You need to measure your chest. To find out, you need to take a measuring tape and wind it around yourself underneath your bust. Make sure to measure after you’ve exhaled because that’s the proper way to
do so. Round it off to the nearest even number. Suppose you get a 28.3, round it off to 29 and so on. You’re smart, so you get it.


Next, Bust size: To find the appropriate cup size, wrap the measuring tape over the highest part of the bust, over the nipples. Don’t hold the tape either too tight or too loose. Round off the measurement to the nearest inch if
it’s not a whole number. Suppose you get a 31, make it 32 (not 30).

Now, to find the cup size, use the secret (hush hush) formula,

Cup size = (Bust size – Band size)

Every inch difference will denote a cup size. A difference of 1 inch denotes A, a difference of 2 inch denotes B and so on. Use the table below for reference.

Difference (Bust size- Band size) in inches Cup size
1″ A
2″ B
3″ C
4″ D
5″ DD

You’re all set! Now write down the band size. And against it, write down the cup size. Tada! You have your bra size.

Have a look at the chart below for reference.

Bra Size Chart

Choosing the right material:

Fabric options are many, but choosing the right fabric goes a long way to complement your outfit.

  • Cotton: Usually cotton is the go-to option. We don’t blame you for the heaps of comfort it provides to your silhouette because that’s our favourite too. It also provides breathable comfort and support.
  • Nylon & Polyamide: These bras fare quite well in push up bras as they last longer and mould the cups well. Nylon and Polyamide have the added benefit of stretchability. The fabric stretches way more than any other fabric and retains its shape over a longer period of wear and tear.
  • Lace & Mesh: If you’re looking for something sensual you might want to opt for a lace, mesh, or a combination of the two for their alluring charm. With the perfect balance between support and sensuality, these push up bras are timeless.

So better consider the pros and cons of each fabric. If you’re shopping for lingerie online filter them by the type of material so that you have all options laid out in front of you.


How to wear a push up bra?

7. How to wear a push up bra?

Wearing a push up bra is like wearing any other bra. There is no huff and puff involved. It’s the usual drill. If you are well aware on how to wear a push up bra then you can directly skip to the checkpointers on wearing a push up bra.

Put your arms through the shoulder straps and then position your bra cups on your bust.
Next, make sure your breasts sit comfortably in the bra cups. You might have to bend forward a little till your breasts are snug.
Okay, no more bending. Now, stand erect and reach out for the bra band on your back. See if you can grasp the hook with your fingers and try fastening it. Ensure that the bra band is on level. Sometimes, while fastening it in a hurry, the bra band plays tricks ending up either too low or too high.
Done with the back? Phew. Now the shoulders. Keep adjusting your shoulder straps till they sit flat on your shoulder blades. Make it neither too loose, nor too tight.
After you’re done, make the final adjustments for the look and feel that suits you.
    • Checking if you have a quad-boob effect: Quad boob occurs when the top rim of your bra cup cuts into the breast tissue. This leads to your breast squeezed up on top of your bra, lumping in a way that makes every boob of yours appear as two. If this happens to you, chances are that you are wearing a smaller cup size than required. Either that or you’re wearing a bra style that doesn’t suit your body type.
Checking if you have a quad-boob
    • Checking for bulge on the sides. This happens when you put on a smaller cup size.
Checking for bulge on the sides
    • Making sure padding isn’t higher than desired: This occurs when the level of padding is too high for a given cup size. Ensure the right padding based on your bust size. Refer to the padding level chart and see how much padding is right for your cup size.
Push up bra padding Levels
    • Making sure that the band is straight on the back: Your band may ride up on the back due to the volume of the bust and the push up padding. Make sure that doesn’t happen by ensuring the right band size. After wearing a bra check if the band follows a straight line on your back without any bend.
Making sure that the band is straight on the back
    • Avoiding straps cutting into your shoulder: Shoulder straps in a push bra tend to dig in harder than normal bras. If your shoulder straps are digging in, you need to go a cup size bigger. It’s the job of the band (and not shoulder straps) to hold your bust in the right place. Shoulder straps must rest comfortably. Adjust for the proper fit.
Straps Digging
  • Avoiding wearing it for long periods of time: From what we’ve observed, we advise you to wear a push up bra for not more than 12 hours at a stretch. This makes sense since the push up padding works against gravity to push your bust upwards. As a result, there is pressure on the lower breast tissues.

Purchasing your first push up bra!

8. Purchasing your first push up bra!

Alright, by now you know what push up bras mean and took a deep dive into various types and styles. It’s time you adorn one! You must have either tried one already or looking to explore push up bras. If it’s your first, we’re glad we met you at the right time. It’s never too late to dive in and tease your body with something new and alluring.

If you have already found out the best push up bra that suits your needs as we mentioned above, then we can’t be more pleased. We’re happy for you. But, there is always room to experiment. Just because you’re used to something need not mean it’s the most comforting. You may never know how uncomfortable you felt in the first place until you try on something better. Shyaway is one of the popular push up bra brands in India and we’d like to help you find a better push up bra. It’s a promise.

And we’d like to help you find a better push up bra. It’s a promise.

You need to keep in mind the size and material considerations we stated earlier. Apart from what you choose to wear, you might also want to know the ‘why’ or the occasion you choose to wear. Is it comfort you’re aiming for? Or is it a sexy oomph you’re looking for? Or even better, is it a bit of both?

No matter what, we have one for every occasion, one for every mood. Because here at Shyaway, we have the lingerie that listens to your body even if you don’t.


Common myths about push up bras (debunked)

9. Common myths about push up bras (debunked)

1. Were push up bras created to attract men?

Funny how guys think everything women wear is to soothe their eyes. Though you might not be entirely wrong about it (it might work for you, who knows?), it’s wrong to assume that push up bras are made by brands to attract men. Push up bras are just another type of bra that you wear to enhance your shape under a particular style of dress or top. Like we mentioned earlier, it’s all about providing you the lift you need and the volume you desire.

2. Do push up bras make you compromise on comfort?

It is a misconception that push up bras sculpt the ‘perfect’ bust at the cost of discomfort. After all, no pain, no gain right? But, this isn’t always the case.

Push up bras are available in both small and large sizes. It all depends on how well you know your body.Some push-up bras get the job done very well, others, not-so-much. If you keep in mind the shape and size guidelines we mentioned earlier, then rest assured, everything (in this case, your breasts) will fall into place. Speaking of comfort, push up bras suit you based on your bust placement. If you have wide-set breasts, wherein, your breasts are about three fingers apart, then push up bras are a no-no. Wearing a push up bra despite having a noticeable gap between your breasts is not recommended.

3. Are push up bras only meant for smaller bust women?

Bra buffs might tell you that push up bras are for women who have smaller bust so that their breasts appear big. While that is true, push up bras are not constrained to smaller women. To be real honest with you, women with fuller breasts opt for push up bra because it provides the shape. While Level 3 push up bras serve smaller busted women to make them appear 2 cup sizes bigger, Level 1 push up bra can give women with fuller busts the much-needed lift without altering their normal cup size.

4. Do push up bras only give cleavage?

While showing off your cleavage may sound enticing in thought, you won’t believe the staggering number of women who are least bothered about cleavage. They just want to breathe easier and feel comfortable. Though attaining cleavage may sound like a ‘win’ for you, there are many added perks of push up bras like lift and shape enhancement. There are tons of push up bra styles to choose from. While some give you cleavage, others, like we mentioned above, provide you a lift, shape enhancement making sure you’re high on ‘oomph’.

5. Are push up bras meant for everyday use?

Many brands suggest that push up bras are suitable for daily use to push more sales, but that’s not the case. They might say something like– “You don’t need a special occasion but need to feel special every day”. They preach that wearing push up bra boosts your confidence every day and you wouldn’t be feeling special if you don’t wear them.

No, thank you.

Many women don’t prefer wearing push up bras every day. It sure does go with a variety of outfits, so if you plan on wearing it every day make sure you consider the comfort based on the outfit. After all, it’s your body, your rules. If you are wondering which type of bra is best for daily use you should opt for an everyday bra.