What Is the Difference Between a Padded Bra & a Pushup Bra?

Padded or push-up bras can help to shape or lift your breasts.

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Between spending hours in lingerie stores trying to find that perfect fit, strategically stuffing your bra or even trying to subdue your breasts, you spend a lot of time thinking about your bra. Manufacturers offer dozens of styles, giving you even more to consider. If you've narrowed your choices down to a padded or a push-up bra, congratulations -- you're on your way to choosing the bra that's right for you.

Padded Bras

Padded bras are usually filled with gel, foam or water to add volume to the bra, which makes your chest look larger than it really is. While the concept seems pretty straightforward, bra companies have made choosing the perfect padded bra even more difficult by adding varying levels of padding to their bras. Some bras are lightly padded, while others have lots of padding. Which padded bra you choose largely depends on your tastes and what looks best under your clothes.

Push-Up Bras

Oh, the push-up bra. It can work wonders for women who have experienced the more imposing side effects of gravity. Some push up bras lift and separate, and others lift and push your cleavage together. Some push-up bras contain padding but, unlike the all-over padding of a padded bra, the padding in a push-up bra is on the sides of the bra to help push your breasts together.

When to Pad

Padded bras are perfect for women who want to look bigger and are tired of tissue in their bras. Girls with only a handful can really get use out of a heavily padded bra, while girls who have more up top might want to stick with a more lightly padded bra. These bras help to shape breasts and create a rounder or smoother look underneath your clothes. Women who feel as though their breasts have an awkward shape to them may especially appreciate a padded bra.

When to Push

Push-up bras do exactly what the name implies. Therefore, women whose breasts have started sagging or who want their breasts to sit higher than usual find push-up bras particularly useful. If you are wearing a low-cut shirt or dress, a push-up bra may give you the added volume and lift to your breasts to get that look you're going for. Women who have lost a significant amount of weight and whose breasts have lost some of their perk may find a push-up bra works best for them.

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