What is a Plunge Bra?

Kelly Ferguson

A plunge bra is a type of bra with a very low U or V shaped front, to accommodate low-cut shirts or dresses. They are generally intended to lift the breasts and separate them, to make the cleavage more visible and noticeable. Many plunge bras have extra padding in the cups to enhance the appearance of cleavage, adding to the effect of very low-cut shirts and dresses. They also often have removable or convertible bra straps that can be adapted to suit varying necklines.

A plunge bra can be worn with tops that have a low neckline.
A plunge bra can be worn with tops that have a low neckline.

Typically intended for wear only on special occasions, many plunge bras may not provide the comfort that a normal everyday bra would, though some women experience no problems with this. Some women find that the shaping intended to enhance the cleavage and make the breasts appear larger can feel awkward. However, going without a bra or using only a stick-on bra is not an option for some women, even when a very low neckline risks leaving a bra visible. This is where a plunge bra is useful.

A plunge bra can be made with any of the materials that a normal bra is made of, from fancy colored lace and satin to plain white cotton. The bras also come in many different styles such as push-up bras or camisole bras, in addition to a standard underwire style. Some plunge bras manage to be both strapless and backless, consisting of only the front portion of the bra, usually attached to the body with adhesive. Some longline corsets feature deep plunged fronts as well.

Many women who have purchased a plunge bra state that it is a lifesaver for special occasions. A common recommendation for future buyers is to ensure that not only is the plunge deep enough, but the cups are spaced wide enough to remain safely hidden under the shirt or dress. Finding a plunge bra that reveals enough skin without sacrificing comfort and support seems to be a balancing act for some women, who advise trying on several styles in stores before ordering online. Some styles seem to be more geared toward small-chested women, while others work better for those with a larger bust. Additionally, purchasing one cup size larger or smaller can have a large impact on comfort and the amount of cleavage shown, an important fact to consider because many brands tend to run slightly smaller or larger than the standard.

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