Intimate apparel can range from a sports bra to a sheer mesh body stocking. There is no limit to the fit, form, or function of today’s lingerie styles. The selection of lingerie can be frustrating at times due to the need for functionality and the desire for something that looks elegant or sexy. It’s not always easy balancing the two and when it comes to bra selection it can get a little tricky.
Most women have a number of bras in their lingerie drawer and not all of them are the more traditional, white with a little added lace, brassiere that is designed strictly to keep everything in place. While most bras are designed from a highly functional point of view such as support and structural or to add a little extra padding others are not. Bras designed primarily to provide a vision of sexuality, enhance sexual arousal or to just make a women feel sexy are extremely popular with women of all ages. Many bra styles however can be placed into more than one category and the shelf bra is one of the most popular.
What is a shelf bra? Shelf bras, also known as open cup bras or open bust bras are basically what the name implies, a supportive shelf for the breast. When wearing the shelf bra, the breasts rest on a shelf, which is made of underwire and a small cup similar to a regular bra, but with the top half removed, exposing the top part of the breast from just below the nipples upward.
For women who desire the all natural look, the shelf bra (or open cup bra) is the perfect choice. The beauty of this bra style is that a properly fitted shelf bra supports and lifts the breasts leaving the nipples exposed. This gives a braless appearance with the shape of the nipples prominently visible through the outer garment. This is great for women who have less then perky breast but want a perky braless look. Many shelf bras also have padding to make breasts appear bigger.
The built-in shelf bra is by far the most functional use of this bra style and continues to gain popularity. From formal gowns to tank tops women desiring lift and support will often select garments with built-in self bras. The most popular built-in can be found in swimwear for women who either want extra support or who would like to add a bit more feminine curve to their suits. Tank tops with thin spaghetti straps and built-in shelf bras are also becoming more popular and are available in all sizes. This style of tank top is often found in lingerie departments.
Women looking for a bra that is ultra sexy or erotic find the shelf bra fits the bill. Shelf bras designed specifically for sexual appeal or arousal come in a large selection of colors and fabrics. From leather to silk lace, shelf bras come in every fabric and color that standard bras come in and are often paired with sexy panties, g-strings or thongs.
If you are having trouble finding the open cup bra style you want in local lingerie stores, try searching online, the variety available is quite large and actually seeing the styles on real models gives a much better representation of the bra then seeing it only on a store hanger.
Big really is beautiful these days in the sexy world of women’s lingerie. Designers and manufacturers have woken up to the needs of woman of all shapes and sizes so finding the perfect shelf bra should be fairly straight forward for women with larger breasts. Again, shopping online is going to give you a much wider selection especially for curvier women and seeing the bra on models with larger breasts make it easier to select the garment best suited to your particular body type and style.