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whats the difference between lined and unlined bras

Demi-cup versus full-cup, bra versus bralette, underwire versus wireless — sometimes selecting a bra comes down to two different options, and making the right choice for you depends on knowing the difference. When it comes to unlined versus lined bras, many women aren’t quite sure about the distinction, making bra shopping a bit of a struggle. But understanding what the lining offers can help you to decide which options better meets your needs. After all, the way a bra’s cups are lined can affect a number of its capabilities, so you’ll want to have a firm grasp on how it functions in order to determine whether it’s a must-have for your lifestyle, wardrobe, etc.

Luckily, in this guide, we’ve covered everything you need to know about the differences between these two categories. Read on to weigh the pros and cons of lined and unlined bras.

Lined bras

A lined bra contains extra layers of fabric or padding in the cups. As a result, lined styles have some enhanced shaping capabilities that can sculpt the breasts into a nicely rounded shape.

Moreover, due to the additional fabric or padding, lined bras also offer some extra coverage. So if you’re concerned about your nipples showing, keep in mind that lined bras are more likely to conceal them.

Note that lined bras can range in terms of just how much lining they have. For example, a lightly lined bra may just have one or two additional layers of material so that the cups aren’t sheer. Partially-lined bras feature cups that are unlined on the top (offering a peek at your decolletage) yet opaque on the bottom. This style provides an ideal compromise between the sexy sheer quality of an unlined bra and the practical coverage of a lined bra.

As far as styles go, T-shirt bras and push-up bras are two types that are usually lined (or padded).

Related: How To Wear Bralettes and Unlined Bras

Unlined bras

As the name suggests, an unlined bra does not contain any lining or padding in the cups whatsoever. So rather than sculpting your breasts, unlined bras will allow your breasts’ natural shape to shine. One reason they’re appreciated by many is that they’re incredibly lightweight. Some styles also have a subtly sexy appeal due to the semi-sheer cups.

Obviously, there’s slightly less coverage with unlined styles, so if you’re worried about nipple coverage, then you may just want to wear them under layers or tops and dresses that are constructed of a thicker fabric as opposed to skin-tight thin knits.

Unlined bras come in a slew of different fabrics (including lace and nylon). They can also be found in a range of styles, from unlined full-cup bras to unlined demi-cup bras. Very often, bralettes are unlined as well.

So, which type of bra is best for you? Well, it all comes down to your specific needs. If support is at the top of your mind, note that both unlined and lined bras can offer equal advantages in that department. If you’re seeking to enhance the shape of your bust while also getting additional nipple coverage, you’ll likely want to seek out a lined bra. On the other hand, if you’re simply seeking some lightweight lift, then an unlined bra will do the trick.

Related: What Is An Unlined Bra?

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 image lingerie:
Irene Unlined Wire Bra P5332 | Irene Bikini P5333 in 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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