Looking for Lift? How to Achieve a Lifted Look Without a Padded Push Up Bra

January 18, 2023

Looking for Lift? How to Achieve a Lifted Look Without a Padded Push Up Bra

It can be a bit mind-boggling figuring out what bra size fits you best. You're one size in one brand and a different in another.

And to add insult to injury, finding the perfect bra style is a whole other story!

I'm sure you've heard of the more common bra types: push-ups, plunge bras, bralettes, etc. But maybe you've never heard of the lift bra.

A lift bra is a more comfortable, realistic-looking version of a push-up bra.

It lifts your breasts up the chest wall to where they would naturally sit. Because lift bras position your chest where they should be, these are perfect for your everyday wear, during your lounge time, and under your favorite outfit too.

close up of a black lace lift bra worn under a white button up shirt

What is a Lift Bra? 

A lift bra is all about giving you the ultimate support without pushing your breasts into an uncomfortable position. They can come as either wired or wireless. I know many people think that wireless bra styles won't support them properly. But that's a myth!

A lift bra can enhance your breasts in their natural position as a supportive bralette, or cup your breasts a bit more in an unmolded cup featuring an underwire.

These bras can be a little wider set in the cups. This wider size means they can fully encompass your breasts. (i.e., no side boob action) And there's no breast tissue getting pushed into your body, forcing skin toward the back of the band, creating what one bra expert calls 'back fluff'.

Lift bras are incredibly comfortable bras! They give that natural lift you want without feeling like you're pushing your girls into unnatural, uncomfortable positions.

Lift bras raise the breasts up on the chest wall to sit where they naturally should while supporting them. There's no pushing together like with a push-up bra, and neckline is not particularly low-cut, like it is with a plunge bra.

Isn't a Lift Bra The Same as a Push-Up Bra?

I know what you're thinking, isn't a lift bra just the same as a push-up bra? Although they seem to do the exact same thing: enhance your cleavage, they do it in a different way from each other.

As we know now, a lift bra is all about maximizing your breasts by lifting them into their natural position on the chest wall. They don't include extra padding or molded cups, designed to push up and create that famous 'Wonderbra' look.

Push-up bras can enhance your chest to the point of almost looking fake. They are designed to push up your breasts and bring them together.

Now, there's nothing wrong with that!

A push-up bra can be the best bra for your favorite cleavage-flaunting outfit or if you just feel more confident in yourself having them pushed up.

The main difference to look out for when shopping for a lift bra is whether there's a push-up element to the bra. Push-up bras have removable padding in many designs, and the cups are designed to angle your ladies up and together.

The padding is only there if your breast tissue needs a little help filling up the cup!

Types of Lift Bras

Luckily, there are lots of different bra types that raise your boobs naturally. As long as they lift without pushing them in together, you'll most likely be looking at a lift bra. Even if it doesn't specifically have the name 'lift 'bra' as part of its description.

Some of the bras you can get that are all about lifting without constricting include the unlined or unmolded wired bras, the balcony bra, and wireless bra. But remember, there's plenty of more designs like strapless, low cut, and full coverage!

Unmolded Wired Bras

Unmolded wired bras feature underwires, and multi-part cups that are not padded, or lined with foam. This is in contrast to something like a t-shirt bra,  which features a seamless cups made from a single piece of foam-lined fabric. It's a common misconception that t-shirt bras are the only type of bra that will look and feel smooth underneath your thin t-shirts -- unlined multi-part cups such as the SF style by Ewa Michalak is a great option for your daily t-shirt wear. These bras come in black and nude colors!

a tan seamless t-shirt bra on a hanger
A t-shirt bra creates a smooth look under a thin tee, but multi-part cups can also help achieve a smooth look - with even more support!

Balcony Bra

Balcony bras essentially lift your breasts up to the chest wall. Coming from the French word, balconette, these bras move your girls to the 'balcony' of your chest wall.

They typically have wider set adjustable straps and give you a sweetheart neckline. If you have a teardrop chest, this is the best bra for you. This means that the breast tissue sits under the nipple, so the balcony's high bridge helps fill out the cup properly.

close up of a red lace balcony braa balcony bra creates a sweetheart neckline at the "balcony" of the chest

Wireless Bra

We've all had bras in our lives that have extremely uncomfortable underwires that dig into our bodies throughout the day.

It may seem impossible to think that a wireless bra can actually lift your boobs up to where they should be. But bra brands have found a way to give you that all-important supportive bra while being wireless.

Using clever stitching and seams along the cups and vertical boning, you'll have all the support you need. And it's not only for the small busts of the world! Our range of wireless bras will fit your chest perfectly while being super soft.

wireless bras hanging on hangersWireless bras are one of the most comfortable choices available!

How are Lift Bras Constructed?

In the beginning, bras were made by sewing two handkerchiefs together using ribbon to join them. Since then, there's been a bit of an improvement! Now, there's countless options of designs, styles, and colors to choose from.

To get great support with a lift bra, a lot of the responsibility lands on the structure of the cups and band (to provide additional support).

To get that supportive lift, the cups usually come in 3 or 4 separate pieces, stitched together.

Although it might seem to defy logic, these separate pieces and connecting stitching add the needed structure to cup your girls comfortably and keep them contained as you go about your day or night.

If you have a seamless bra, you'll notice how much more loose it seems compared to one that does have seams. Of course, there's nothing wrong with seamless cups, but a lift bra offers great support for those that prefer something a little extra in their bras.

When it comes to the band, many good-quality lift bra bands will have side boning. These 'bones' are usually made of plastic and line the side of each breast. This side boning adds to the structure of the bra while keeping that super comfy feel!

What Features of a Lift Bra Make It Work Well?

As mentioned above, lift bras provide just the right amount of support through clever construction with their cups, band, and straps.

Multi-part Cups

The 3- or 4-piece cups push up your chest without that extra padding typical of other bras like a push-up bra or a plunge bra. The seams run along each cup and hold each boob in place. Unlike with padded cups, there's no thick barrier feeling between you and your clothes.

Lift bras tend to be wider set, to help scoop and secure the entire breast into the cup. And stay there too.

Side Boning

The second typical feature of this style of bra is the side boning.

There are too many times when the best bras seem to fit perfectly, only for you to notice your ladies are escaping out the sides.

(It's also fairly common for this sideboob action to happen on an old bra too. So, it's important to take care of your bra properly. Hand wash and air dry your bras to keep them soft and super comfy.)

Adjustable Shoulder Straps

As with nearly all bras, lift bras typically come with adjustable shoulder straps to ensure a customized, perfect fit.

Although a bra's support does not come from the straps, the ability lengthen or shorten the straps to lay flat - without digging - is critical for a comfortable, proper fit that reduces strain on the neck and enables the bra to do its magic!

close up of a bra strap on a shoulder

Why Lift Bras Are Great For Full Busts

This style of bra is the perfect choice for women with a full chest. Depending on your shape, you might think that you need a push-up bra to achieve that sexy round silouhette.

But, past a certain size, having push-up bras in your underwear drawer is just taking up space.

someone shopping for a bra

The additional padding in push-up style bras is there to give your girls an extra boost in the cup by pushing up the breast tissue. Although there's removable padding in many of them, it kinda defeats the purpose.

Larger busts don't really need that push-up because they have enough breast tissue to comfortably fill the bra cup and create that natural round shape that you're after without adding volume.

And, with side boning, you'll be sure you're fully supported, cinching in your bust without squishing them together!

But, to make the most out of any bra, a sturdy, supportive band the only way to go if you want to keep your favorite bra going for as long as possible. With repeated wear, the band will stretch it out over time, so being able to tighten the band over time will ensure your bra stays supportive for longer.

As the cup size increases, so does the number of hook-and-eye clasps you typically see on a bra band. Again, this is all down to gravity and general wear. The common practice for finding the best bra is to feel secure but comfortable with the bra hooked at the tightest clasp (without feeling like the band is trying to dig into your ribs).

Most likely, the band will stretch after wearing a bra for long enough Having the option to move to the second or third hook-and-eye prolongs the life of your favorite bra.

Again, to keep it looking the best, hand wash it and hang dry!

Best Lift Bras

Now that you know what a lift bra is and how well it suits large busts, let's have a look at the best lift bras for you! Our collection of lift bras is comfy and supportive. And is sure to make you feel gorgeous!

If you want the guarantee of an amazing fit and good quality fabric, Polish bras are the underdog gems of the bra world. No matter if it's underwire or wireless, you be sure to find your most comfortable bra!

Gorteks Zara

The Zara bra is exactly what you're looking for if you're craving a wireless super soft bra. The amazing fabric is topped with a sheer mesh and feels amazing against your skin, with the cute accent of bows on each strap.

The mesh top is the perfect option to support you fully without feeling like your girls are being swallowed by the cup. And, if you're looking to streamline your look a bit more, the Zara has minimizing features, including vertical boning that will help cinch you in and smooth out any outfit or top.

Gortek's Zara comes with adjustable straps, either 2-3 hook clasps, and is available in nude or black.

The Zara bra is a minimizing style, but that doesn't mean they are there to flatten your cleavage. Bras with minimizing features just help smooth out your silhouette, and can be a great choice for women with large chests. This is especially true under button-up styles to help avoid the dreaded gaping that can happen with larger chests! But if you're not sold on the idea, why not check out this detailed guide?

Gorsenia Kelly

The Kelly bra comes in a gorgeous black color with delicate lace detailing. Because of the bra's design, it gives the illusion of being strapless. The straps are made of mesh until it reaches your neckline (hence the strapless look) before streamlining into the typical adjustable straps down your shoulders, ending with 3-hook back closure.

Gorsenia's Kelly is another fabulous wireless choice. It's not padded and doesn't include an underwire. To help give you enough support and lift without the underwire, the Kelly has a wider band to keep you looking sexy and supported under any outfit.

Ewa Michalak SF Style

Our EM SF style collection is the perfect option for daily wear. Maybe you haven't given it a second thought, but Ewa Michalak bras use terms like SF to quickly describe each type of bra.

The SF name means semi-soft. It gives that padded feeling without the pads! Ideal for those that dislike padded bras.

The SF bra has thin, sturdy fabric at the bottom of the cup with elastic tulle at the tops to give full coverage while providing the space for your boobs to fill the cup as they naturally should. And comes with those all-important adjustable shoulder straps!

(If you're curious about what all of Ewa Michalak's bra terms are, you can check out this easy guide.)

EM SF "Gładzioch"

Meaning smooth in Polish, the Gładzioch bra is unmolded (i.e., not padded) and has full coverage. Wearing this soft underwire bra is a go-to choice for tackling every aspect of your day.

The Gładzioch fulfills that SF style with 4-part unmolded cups, all the while being minimalist. The higher bridge adds another level of security and is finished with a cute little button embellishment.

Coming in two colors - black and beige - the Gładzioch bra's underwire band has a fabulous narrowly-set underwire that conforms to your skin while cinching your girls and will fit perfectly!

EM SF Semi-Sheer "Nibynic"

The"Nibynic" bra is our best-seller, and it's easy to see why! Meaning "like nothing" in Polish, this bra is made of semi-sheer fabric. Coming in a subtle nude-beige color, it's the best bra for any colored top or outfit.

The Nibynic meets that SF style again, with full coverage 4-part unmolded cups. And that supportive soft high bridge creates that elegant round shape. Just like the Gładzioch bra, the Nibynic has narrowly set underwire, cinching in your bust and helping with a minimalist look.

No matter if you choose the Gładzioch or Nibynic, you're guaranteed to have amazingly comfortable yet supportive bras as part of your wardrobe.

Best Occasions to Wear a Lift Bra

To be honest, the sheer versatility of a lift bra means there's no real time during your week or month where they don't suit. When and where you wear them is up to you!

Every Day

Going about your day-to-day, bending over to pick up dirty laundry or to get a document from that annoyingly sticky bottom filing cabinet drawer, you're going to be comfy.

So, if you're craving a simplistic underwire lift bra for everyday wear, the lightweight Nibynic or smooth Gładzioch is the best bra for the job.

But, if you're just chilling out at home, slouched on the couch, wearing a wireless bra like Gortek's Zara under sweats or your favorite t-shirt is the only way to go. No uncomfortable underwire to dig into your slouching position!

Whether you go wireless or underwire, a lift bra keeps the girls secure as you move around, giving them the space to move along with you!

woman hanging out at home with a cup of tea

Why not make a lift bra your go-to day to day choice?

Nights Out as a Plunge Bra Alternative

Typically, when you're heading out for the night or going to an event like an office party or a friend's birthday, you'll no doubt want to show off your fabulous curvaceous shape by wearing more form-fitting or tight outfits.

Again, the sheer versatility of the lift bra design means there's a whole host of options to choose from. For example, the sultry sexy lace Kelly bralette is an ideal choice if you want to show off your fabulous figure under a sheer top. Or wear it as a top by itself! Why not show off its delicate detailing?

My only warning is that all lift bras have multi-part cups. Some seams are more subtle than others, but there's still there. So, a lift bra may not suit under a particularly tight body-con outfit or top.

(The support has got to come from somewhere, after all).

But it's not as if it's a surprise or taboo idea that we sometimes need a bra to show off our natural shape, so if those potential lines don't really concern you, then there's no problem!

women dressed up, holding champagne flukes

A lift bra can add some extra oomph to a night out!

How Do You Know If a Lift Bra is For You?

Hopefully, by now, you've got an idea of what these bras are all about. And if they suit you or not.

Whether they are or not really boils down to if you like unmolded bras and don't want your chest muffled behind padded fabric.

The possible styles, colors, and detailing makes there's no situation or occasion where a lift bra doesn't suit.

The only thing that matters with any bra is making sure you have the right cup size and band size. There's only so much bras can do if those measurements are wrong.

So, if you want to double-check your size from the comfort of your home, check out our easy-to-follow measurement guide.

Consider Adding a Comfy Lift Bra to your Rotation!

As you can see, there are plenty of versatile lift bra styles out there for everyone, even the larger busts among women. Long gone are the days when we've had to settle for bland, boring bras.

With such a range of bras to choose from, all you need to worry about is replacing your old one with a new favorite bra.

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