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The underwire in a bra can be a lady's lifesaver when it comes to giving her breasts some additional support without extra padding. However, not all beauties are shaped the same way. Consequently, half-wire bras are available. These bras are more for shaping than supporting, but the purpose of making the breasts look well-proportioned is the same.
A half-wire bra is a bra that has an underwire of only about half the usual length. Lingerie makers position the wire in the cup so it sits on the outer side of the breast and curves slightly underneath. The wire does not reach all the way under and back up the inner side of the breast the way a regular underwire does.
Bras with half-wires provide better control on the outer side of the breast, so they're ideal for gals whose breasts tend to point slightly outward. They pull the breasts gently back to the center of the body where they are supposed to be, giving you a more balanced look. At the same time, they don't provide support where it is not necessary, so your breasts look natural and aren't necessarily pushed up into cleavage you don't want.
Half-wire bras do not support as much underneath and thus aren't the best choice for women with particularly large breasts. The shape of the wire is more like a J than the traditional U underwire, so it can't give you the lift other bras can. The end of the wire tends to end right near the bottom of the breast. Some women find this to be really uncomfortable because they feel the point of the wire as the weight of their breasts pushes down on it.
As with any other bra, the comfort of a half-wire bra depends on proper sizing. If you're spilling out of your half-wire bra, either the cut is wrong or you need a bigger cup. The band shouldn't dig into you. If you have to change band sizes, realize that this can change how big the diameter of the half-wire is, as pointed out by the Her Room website. That can change how comfortable the bra is for you. Because half-wire bras don't provide as much support underneath, it can be tough to find them in larger sizes. Even so, with such a wide variety of lingerie manufacturers available, it's possible to find what you need. If you have trouble getting the right look or fit for you, it's possible to have bras custom made for you, although it likely will be pricier.