Bridal bra is a type of undergarment typically worn under a wedding gown or other formal attire. Bridal bras are typically more expensive than regular bras, and are often embellished with beading and embroidery.
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The neckline of the wedding gown often determines the type of bridal bra that will be needed. If the gown is off the shoulder or strapless, the bridal bra will need to be strapless as well. If the wedding gown has sleeves or straps, the bra can be either strapless or strapped. In some instances, wedding gowns may have high necklines in front, with a back neckline that is plunging. For this situation, a special backless bra would be required.
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Most bridal bras are designed along the same lines as a corset. They are intended to offer maximum lift and support of the breasts while slimming the ribcage and waistline. The top part of a bridal bra is somewhat like a traditional bra, but it extends all the way down to the waistline or below. Closure for bridal bras can be in either the back or the front.
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More expensive bridal bras have vertical boning sewn into the midsection to help support the bust and slim the waist. The boning is usually made of narrow bands of fabric-covered steel or heavy plastic. In addition, bridal bras can be purchased that target specific areas of the body for slimming. For instance, some bridal bras are designed to target the abdominal area, which would help draw in a stomach paunch.
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Some bridal bras are entire body suits, ending just below the knee. This type of undergarment slims not only the waistline, but the hips and upper thighs as well. This type of bridal bra is popular for use with very form-fitting gowns, such as the mermaid style. Mermaid silhouette gowns cling to the body until just below the knee, where the gown begins to flare out and eventually ends with a very full hemline at floor level.
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Modern bridal bras achieve the slimming effect by using fabrics that are blended with spandex. This blended fabric is typically more comfortable than pure elastic. For some women who want or need a great deal of slimming or support, elastic bridal bras will typically work better. Elastic bridal bras are not considered as comfortable as spandex.