Shop Now New Bras Undies Lingerie Fit Blog Loyalty Program

bra styles

In terms of frequently asked bra questions, one of the most common ones surrounds multi-part cup bras. Specifically, you may have seen the term “three-part cup” and scratched your head over what it means. The truth is, these bras can play a powerful role in any woman’s bra collection — especially if you’re full busted.

Intrigued yet? Not surprising. Read on for a full lowdown on the purpose and benefits of a three-part cup bra.

What is a three part cup bra?

Seamed bras, also known as cut-and-sew bras or cut and sewn bras, contain carefully constructed cups that are made up of multiple parts. In a three-part cup bra, just as the name suggests, the seams divide the cup into three sections.

Typically, the cups are divided into two sections on the bottom (separated by a vertical seam) and one on the top. Some of them feature diagonal seams as well, which also work to bring the breasts inward. And others contain side panels to prevent any spillage out of the side of the cups. Most, but not all, three-part cup bras will include underwire.

Three-part cups can be found on a range of styles, from full-cup bras to padded bras and minimizer bras.

Related: The Girl’s Guide To Bra Styles

What are some of the benefits of three part cup bras?

The seamed cups on this type of bra have two key advantages: support and shaping.

As the seams make them sturdier, they are able to provide better support for heavier breasts. The direction that the seams are sewn in affects how it functions. And a vertical seam, which is almost always present in a three-part cup bra, directs the breast tissue upward, thus providing incredible lift.

As previously mentioned, women with large busts have a lot to gain from three-part cup bras. When the cup features multiple panels of material, it often provides a more customized fit as well as a more projected shape.

Speaking of which, the seams on a three-part cup bra can offer stellar shaping. In general, the rounded shape you see on a molded bra when it’s not being worn is essentially the shape you’re going to get for your breasts. A three-part cup bra, on the other hand, will adjust to your specific body, directing the tissue inward, upward, or outward as needed. In other words, while your breasts conform to a molded bra’s shape, a three-part cup bra will conform to and enhance your natural shape. (We know, it’s pretty amazing.) Just to be clear, though, you can find molded bras that contain seams (usually one vertical seam down each cup).

Additionally, seams offer one other important function: they reinforce the materials on the cup, thus helping to prevent them from getting misshapen or stretched out.

different bra styles

When would you wear a three-part cup bra?

Truth be told, there’s really no occasion when you can’t wear a three-part cup bra. The only situation in which you might forgo this style for a molded cup or seamless bra is if you’re wearing a super thin knit top and you’re concerned about the seams showing. However, you may be surprised to find that they remain invisible under most fabrics. If you’re super self-conscious about your nipples showing, you can opt for a lined or padded three-part cup bra as opposed to an unlined one.

Ready to shop for some three-part cup bras? We don’t blame you: As explained, they lend unparalleled support, definition, lift, and shaping. As always, be sure that you’ve been fitted recently before adding these handy little underthings to your collection — after all, you’ll only reap the full benefits of a three-part cup bra if it fits you flawlessly.

Related: Here’s How The Construction Of Your Bra Affects The Fit

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, 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 lingerie:
Sandrine Unlined Wire Bra P5352 in French Blue
Shop Now

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.

Go Top