What Is a Minimizer Bra?

Kelly Ferguson

A minimizer bra is a bra that makes the bust look smaller and lends a more slender silhouette. Generally, a minimizer bra works by using strong material to compress the breasts and hold them tighter against the body, making them look one or even two cup sizes smaller. Unlike many compression sports bras, minimizer bras should not distort the individual shape of the breasts, and are therefore usually more attractive underneath clothing.

A minimizer bra.
A minimizer bra.

Many differently shaped women use minimizer bras to minimize the appearance of large breasts and keep their figure more proportional. They are especially popular among plus-size women who want a smoother, smaller shape. It is fairly common for a woman to wear both a minimizer bra and other shapewear, such as a tummy control garment, underneath dress clothing for work or for special events. Even without additional shapewear, the use of a minimizer bra can make shirts looser and more comfortable in the bust area and can prevent embarrassing mishaps such as popped buttons or ripped seams.

A minimizer bra works by using strong material to compress the breasts and hold them tighter against the body.
A minimizer bra works by using strong material to compress the breasts and hold them tighter against the body.

Some women, however, choose to steer clear of minimizer bras despite the apparent benefits. Some find that the compression is too uncomfortable to be worth the visual difference of only a few inches. Others find that they do not like the “squished” look they get and decide that it makes their bust look less proportional than with a regular bra. Still others are put off by the price, which can range from around the same as regular bras to twice or even triple the price, depending on the material, brand, and construction.

It is sometimes difficult to find the correct size when looking to purchase a minimizer bra, because many women forget that these bras fit a little bit differently than regular bras and end up buying the wrong size accidentally. Other women select the correct size at first, but then choose a size too large because the tightness of the fit feels awkward after only wearing regular bras. Many stores have attendants who fit customers for bras free of charge. Even when planning to buy online, it might be a good idea to get measured professionally first to avoid having to go through costly and time-consuming returns and exchanges through the mail. Sizing charts are also available, typically both in stores and online, that may help with choosing the correct size as long as the body measurements were taken accurately.

Compression sports bras may distort the shape of breasts whereas minimizer bras are not supposed to.
Compression sports bras may distort the shape of breasts whereas minimizer bras are not supposed to.

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Discussion Comments


Where do I get this? I live in Vizag so how do I get it?


Minimizer bras are my lifesaver. Before I started using them, I was extremely conscious about how I looked and I hated going shopping. You can't imagine how difficult it was for me in High School because I couldn't wear the same type of tight fitting shirts my friends wore. I felt like my breasts were too apparent and misshaped.

Regular bras are not as good at controlling breasts as minimizer bras are. I can wear anything I want now without it looking awkward in the chest area. I feel so much more comfortable and so much happier with myself. I recommend this bra to all the ladies out there who are experiencing the same.


@alisha - I've heard of that research, but I'm pretty sure that it turned out to be bogus, that neither underwire bras or any other kind turned out to really cause cancer. I read something about this in the New York Times; there was only one study done and it was never published in a peer-reviewed journal.

So if you like minimizer bras, go for it. I personally do not have that problem (cough, cough) but a friend of mine who is quite well-endowed just finally went for a fitting and invested in some minimizer bras that really fit. She looks like she lost fifteen pounds!


@alisha-- I don't think so because it is not that tight. Minimizer bras are more about support I think. My bust is basically too large and heavy for my body to carry. It creates a lot of tension, aches and pains in my back and neck. The minimizer bra I use is more like a sports bra, it helps spread out the weight to the sides so that it's not all on my back. It's so great to be pain free and it's actually super comfortable.


I had no idea that there are minimizer bras. I have seen a lot of bust size enlarging bras with extra padding that makes small breasts look large. I've worn them several times as well. It makes sense that just as women with a small bust size want to look larger, women with a large bust size, would want them to appear smaller.

I wonder if there are negative health affects of this type of bra though? I heard that wearing extremely tight bras all the time increases the risk of breast cancer. Apparently, tight bras prevent blood circulation in the breast making it difficult for the breasts to get rid of toxins. When the toxins accumulate, it could form into cancer cells.

Does this risk exist for minimizer bras as well? I wonder if manufacturers are aware of this?


@Sara007 - I agree with you about the style thing. When I go out to look for a minimizer bra one of the things I always check is the kind of fabric used and whether or not it has any strange design elements. Sometimes I will come across a bra that has an awkwardly placed bow or frilly seam that just throws the entire silhouette off.

When trying on bras it is a good idea to find a more expensive one that comes in a box. I have trouble trying on mimimizer bras that are just on a hanger because of the tags they have attached to them. I have been stabbed by a stray tag on more then one occasion.


Choosing a minimizer bra can be a bit of a challenge because if you get the wrong size it can be really uncomfortable. I agree that you should really go in for a professional bra fitting before you try and purchase a minimizer bra.

At my local department store the ladies department has free bra sizing so you don't really have to worry about making a mistake when you shop. Plus, you can always try the bra on to make sure you can still breathe and that you like the way you look. If you get the wrong style, that can also have a huge impact on your silhouette.

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