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when should i wear a padded bra

It’s one of the great undergarment debates: padded bras or non-padded bras? Sure, non-padded bras have certain advantages — namely, if you prefer a natural look, and want to embrace your own unique shape. However, their padded counterparts have a plethora of perks as well. So, do you need a padded bra? Well, that depends on what you need your bra to accomplish, as well as your personal preferences.

That said, a padded bra can definitely come in handy for any woman, regardless of her shape or size.

Here are just a few reasons why you might need a padded bra, after all:

Nipple coverage

There’s no denying that it’s a tad embarrassing when you look down and notice your nipples are showing — particularly if you’re in a meeting, at the office, or on a first date. Luckily, a padded bra can help to prevent those blunders by providing additional coverage. Since they offer some extra material between your breasts and your shirt, your nipples are far less likely to make an appearance.


When it comes to achieving a nicely rounded shape, a padded bra with underwire is basically your best bet. Specifically, a contour bra is designed to sculpt your breasts into a flattering shape — and provide a seamless look under a form-fitting dress or top.

A more symmetrical look

Ever noticed that your breasts aren’t quite the same size? In truth, most women have one breast that is bigger than the other. However, if there’s a noticeable difference in size, you may have asymmetrical breasts. If that’s the case, don’t fret — it’s actually quite common. And fortunately, a padded bra can make the breasts look more even, as the padding helps to mask the difference in size.

Pro tip: You may want to look for a bra with removable padding — that way you can use the padding only on the cup for the breast that’s smaller, thus helping to even them out.

Related: Unlined Bra vs Padded Bra: What’s The Difference Between An Unlined Bra and A Padded Bra?

what's a padded bra

Charlotte Padded Bra 6901 | Charlotte Highwaist Brief 6917 in Red/Black


There are a wide variety of reasons why your boobs may be feeling a bit sensitive. For example, your period, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and some hormone medications may be to blame. An infection, muscle strain or another injury can also lead to some tenderness. When your breasts are feeling a bit sensitive, try wearing a wireless padded bra, which can provide a little more protective cushioning for them.


According to Baby Center, one of the most common side effects of breastfeeding is occasional leakage, particularly in the early stages. Some women may even leak from their breasts during pregnancy. Typically, this may occur when the breasts are too full of milk, often in the morning and during feedings. A padded bra, whether a nursing bra or otherwise, can prevent embarrassing situations by hiding any potential wet patches.

Final considerations

As you can tell, there is a slew of different rewards to wearing padded bras — beyond just enhancing the bust line. And they come in a wide variety of styles, so you’re sure to find one that lines up with your preferences. One of the most common misconceptions about padded bras is that they are all meant to boost your cleavage — and that certainly isn’t the case. While push-up bras can indeed accomplish just that, there are a variety of other padded bras that achieve an entirely different look. For example, there are padded t-shirt bras, demi cup brasplunge bras, and full-cup bras. In other words, no matter your needs, there’s a padded bra for you.

Related: Will Padded Bras Make My Bust Look Bigger?

what does padded bra mean

Charlotte Padded Bra 6901 | Charlotte Bikini 6905 in Red/Black


We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for your wedding day, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!

Featured image lingerie:
Charlotte Padded Bra 6901 | Charlotte Bikini 6905 in Red/Black
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Published by

Rebecca Strong

Rebecca is a Boston-based freelance writer who focuses on style, fitness, food, and travel. She has contributed to such publications as HuffPost, Elite Daily and U.S. News & World Report. When she's not writing, she can be found at home or in the studio working on the songs for her upcoming album. Her favorite bra is a black demi-cup style with all-over-lace — timeless and feminine.

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