A Beginner's Guide to Molded Cup Bras

December 28, 2022

A Beginner's Guide to Molded Cup Bras

Molded cup bras, sometimes called, "contour bras," are a type of bra characterized by cups that are pre-shaped or formed, made with a layer of foam lining. They are designed to provide a smooth and seamless appearance under clothing, as well as a rounded shape and support for the breasts.

Molded bras are available in a variety of different styles, including t-shirt, balconette, plunge, and push-up styles. The cups are typically made from a variety of foam materials, including spacer foam, polyurethane, or memory foam. When choosing a molded bra, it is important to get measured and determine your correct band and cup size to ensure a proper fit and natural shape.

woman facing way and holding a few molded bras

What is a molded cup bra?

A molded bra, sometimes called a "contour bra," is any type of bra with cups that hold their shape. In some cases, the cups are made from a single piece of foam material that has been molded into the desired shape, rather than being sewn together from multiple pieces of fabric. These are often called "t shirt bras" and are a very popular style in the US. However, not all molded bras are t shirt bras!

Not all molded bras are t shirt bras!

Bras that leverage a multi-part cup structure can also be considered molded bras, if the cups are made from a stiffer, molded material.

Compared to t shirt bras, contour bras with multipart cups are fantastic options to provide extra support for very big sizes.


What are the benefits of molded cups?

Molded bras have been around for many years and have become increasingly popular due to their ability to provide a smooth and seamless appearance under clothing, as well as shape and support for breasts regardless of bust size.

For women who are looking for a modest option or are conscious of their nipples showing through their shirt, molded cups are a perfect solution as the thicker molded material can conceal the shape of nipples, even when the room it gets cold!


What is the difference between a molded and unmolded bra?

While the cups in a molded bra hold a rounded shape, an unmolded bra does not - the fabric and cup shape is softer and much less firm.

An unlined bra is an example of an unmolded bra that includes one or more layers of thin, flexible fabric with no foam lining.

When comparing molded and unmolded bras made in the same style, a bra with firmer, moulded cups may provide extra support and more lift due to the additional structure of the materials within the cup.

What are the different kinds of molded bras?

Contour bras come in a several different bra styles, each with its own unique features and benefits.

T shirt bras

T-shirt bras are a type of molded cup bra that are designed to be worn under t-shirts and other casual tops. These bras typically have underwire, and one-part cups that are made from a single piece of thin, stretchy material and thin foam padding. The padded cups are smooth, but the band and gore may have lace or other embellishments.

 T Shirt bras provide a completely smooth finish under thin tops


Push-up Bras

Push-up bras, on the other hand, have fully padded cups to create a dramatic lift and cleavage effect. In addition to having molded cups, push-up bras often also include extra padding at the bottom of the cup that add volume for ever more lift than your typical lightly padded molded style.

Ewa Michalak S Padded Push Up is an ultra-supportive molded style that is great for heavy busts, and comes in a very wide size range!


Molded Balconette Bras

Balconette bras are an underwire bra style that have wide-set straps and cups create a characteristic sweetheart neckline. Although balconettes are often unmolded, they can be made with a molded material in the cup and may be finished with a variety of decorative fabrics like lace or mesh that is overlaid on top of the corsetry foam padding.


The Gorteks Luna bra is lightly molded for lift without extra bulk! 

Molded Plunge Bras

Just like Balconette styles, plunge styles can be molded or unmolded. 

a white lace molded plunge bra on a mannequin

Ewa Michalak PL Padded Plunge comes in the stunning 'Antonina' white and ecru lace colorway and is perfect for low cut tops


Seamless Contour Bras

Seamless contour bras, as the name suggests, have lightly padded cups that are completely smooth and leverage a seamless design, making them ideal for wearing under tight or clingy clothing. However, since they lack seams that help support weight and provide structure to lift breasts, seamless bras may not be the best option for fuller busts. 

light pink seamless contour bra

How are molded bras made?

The process of creating molded cup bras involves a variety of materials and techniques. One of the most common materials used to make molded bras is foam, which can come in a variety of shapes and thicknesses.

There are three main types of foam used in the cups of molded bras:

  1. Spacer foam

  2. Polyurethane

  3. Memory foam

memory foam showing an imprint of a hand

Fun fact: some molded bras are made with the same type of foam as a memory foam mattress!


Which molded bra is right for me?

When it comes to choosing the perfect bra, there are a few key things to consider. First and foremost, it is important to get measured and determine your correct band and cup size. This can be done professionally at a lingerie store or department store, or you can use a bra sizing calculator to determine your size at home.


Your natural shape and personal preferences will also play a role in choosing the right molded bra. Most women are looking to address a specific need when looking for a great bra. For example, if you need a bra that provides maximum support and lift for your breasts, a push-up bra with padding may be the best choice.

When should I avoid molded bras?

Since molded bras come in may shapes and forms, you can wear a well-fitting contour bra for most occasions! Exercise may be the only exception: when working out, your breasts need a bra that can provide support appropriate to the activity, so sports bras may be a better option. Otherwise, you can wear a contour bra whenever you're looking for a great shape, lift, and a smooth, modest look.

Where can I shop for molded bras?

Molded bras are sold at most lingerie and undergarment retailers. At our store, we offer some super supportive molded bras with multipart cups, including:

Molded Push Up Styles

Molded Plunge Styles

Molded Wireless Styles


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