A Complete Guide to Choosing the Best Plunge Bra

Christine Steuber
Jul 15, 2022
49
What is a plunge bra? How can you choose the best one for your figure? Read my guide to find all the answers.

What’s the one bra that comes to help when it’s time to wear a dress with a deep cleavage? That’s right, a plunge bra. 

There are so many models of a plunge bra that it can be slightly confusing. Choosing the right one makes a huge difference to the way your dress sits and how comfortable it fits. 

So, if you don’t know how to choose the perfect plunge bra for you, my guide is the right place to start. Keep on reading to find all the tips and product recommendations I hand-picked for you.

What is a Plunge Bra?

A plunge bra is an underwire bra that has angled cups with a low cut at the center. Plunge bras come in all shapes and designs for women with different breast volumes. 

The main characteristic feature of plunge bra designs is the open front area. It’s usually worn with dresses and blouses with a deep opening in front.

Plunge bras push the breast together to add extra volume. For more lift, you can find them with padding as well. 

Now let’s see on which occasions you can wear this bra model, shall we?

When should you wear a plunge bra?

Firstly, you should wear a plunge bra with a deep V-cut neck. Since one of the major features of a plunge bra is a deep cleavage, it should be worn with dresses and tops that have a deep cut in order not to flash the bra itself. 

Another occasion where you can wear a plunge bra is if you want to make your breasts look closer together and provide a more seductive look. You can add a natural lift to your bust by wearing a plunge bra underneath shirts with a deep cleavage.

Before deciding where you should wear this bra, let’s see what benefits and drawbacks it can have.

Pros and cons of a plunge bra

When choosing a bra, it’s important to be familiar with all its pros and be prepared to face its cons. I’ve selected some of the best and worst sides of a plunge bra that may help you with your choice.

Pros:

  • Lifts the breast and provides a naturally fuller look without any padding.
  • Perfect for wearing deep-cut shirts and dresses without showing off the bra.
  • Creates a nice silhouette under your clothes.
  • These types of bras provide a seductive look with deep V-cut tops.

Cons:

  • Lack of support – plunge bras can be uncomfortable for women with large breasts. The open cleavage area may cause breast overflow, so for larger breasts, look for plunge bras with a strap over the cups for extra support. Also, to avoid breast spillage, you can check out this article with bra tips for bigger breasts.

Besides the pros and cons of a deep plunge bra, let’s see how different it is from other styles.

Difference between plunge bra, push-up bra, balconette, and contour bra

There are too many styles and names of bras that can be confusing. So, let’s explore the main differences between some of the most popular styles of bras, such as plunge, push-up, balconette, and contour bras.

Below I’m sharing the main characteristic features of every bra type with images.

  • Plunge bra – deep V-cut neckline with wider straps and angled cups that provide lower coverage.
  • Push-up bra – has extra padding with closely fitted wires to elevate the bust and make it appear fuller. A plunge bra can sometimes be confused with this style, however, it’s not the same as a push-up bra.
  • Balconette – comes with wide-set straps and lower-cut cups that provide partial coverage, leaving the upper part of the bust open.
  • Contour bra – it’s a seamless bra with fully-padded cups with an underwire that holds the shape of the cups even when not worn. 

Judging by these characteristics, I can tell that the main difference between these styles is the amount of padding and coverage they offer. So, if you’re looking to add some boost to your breasts, a push-up bra is the right option. 

However, if you need a more seamless look without extra volume, a contour bra can be the ideal choice. If you’re looking for a bra to wear with a plunging neckline, then pick the plunge style. And if you want to show off some bust with a top-cut shirt, the balconette or the balcony bra is a perfect choice.

Now let’s see how you can pick the right plunge bra.

4 Steps to Choosing the Right Plunge Bra Size

The size of a bra makes a huge difference. Aside from simply feeling uncomfortable, a wrong-sized bra changes the way clothes sit on you.

Therefore it’s essential to find a bra that fits like a glove, and there are a few factors you need to consider to choose the right size. I’ve put them all together for you in this section.

Step #1: Consider your breast shape

The first step in finding the right bra size is understanding your breast shape.  Below I will share some of the most popular breast shapes, so you can find what’s closest to yours.

  • Asymmetrical.  Usually, one breast can be smaller or bigger than the other by one cup size. 
  • Athletic. Athletic breasts tend to have more muscle tissue rather than breast tissue. Also, they look wider.
  • Bell. Just like the name implies, these types of breasts resemble a bell shape. They are narrow at the top and go wider at the bottom.
  • Close-set. The name of this shape is pretty self-explanatory. Such breasts are set close to the center of the chest and have little to no gap in between.
  • Fundamental. These are symmetrical round breasts with nipples placed in the center of the chest.
  • East-West. These types of breasts are pointed outward, left, and right, so that’s where the name east-west comes from.
  • Relaxed. This shape tends to have looser breast tissue, pulling the breasts downward.
  • Round. These are voluminous breasts that are equally full from all sides.
  • Side-set. Such breasts are set apart with a visible space between them.
  • Slender. These are narrow breasts pointing downward. 
  • Teardrop. These are round breasts with a fuller bottom compared to the top.

Based on these characteristics, choose the breast type you associate with the most. It will help you pick a bra that doesn’t pinch or constrain your breasts too much. 

Step #2: Measure your band size

To find the best fitting plunge bra, you need to know your band size. If you choose the wrong band size, your bra will either be too tight and make it difficult to breathe or will be too loose around your ribs. 

You can find your band size at home using a tape measure. Wrap the measurer around your ribs, right under your breasts, where the band usually is placed. Make sure not to pull the tape too tight. Then write down the number indicating the size of the band.

Step #3: Measure your bust size

Another important step in finding the right size for a plunge bra is measuring your bust size. To do so, you need to use the soft measuring tape again.

Take the tape,  wrap it around your back, and measure to the highest point of your breast. Make sure you hold the tape straight from your back to the nipples without angling it up.

Step #4: Calculate your cup size

To find your cup size, you need to use simple math. Subtract the band size from the bust size to get the size of the cup. Based on your calculations, you should get one of these:

  • 1 inch= A cup
  • 2 inch = B cup 
  • 3 inch = C cup
  • 4 inch = D cup
  • 5 inch = DD cup

Once you have all this information, you need to combine the size of the band and the cup size to get your ideal bra size. For instance, if your band size is 40” and your cup is D, your ideal bra size is 40D.

How to Wear a Plunge Bra?

As mentioned above, plunge bras are ideal for shirts and dresses with a deep neckline. Apart from that, there are a few factors you need to consider when wearing a plunging bra. 

Firstly, the top of the cups shouldn’t have a gap. So, whenever you feel the lower parts of the cups are fuller than the upper parts, it’s not the best plunge bra for you. Plunge bras are designed to make the breasts fuller and not the opposite.

Also, while wearing a plunge bra, you need to make sure the center gore lies flat against your sternum. 

Now let’s look at some good examples of plunge bras you can consider buying.

Top 10 Plunge Bra Models to Consider

The bra market is pretty vast, so finding the best plunge bra models can be a challenge. So below, I’m sharing ten options of plunge bra models with customer reviews to help you make the right decision.

Option #1: The All-Day Plunge No-Wire Bra by Lively

The All-Day Plunge No-Wire Bra by Lively
Credit: Lively

If you hate bras with underwires that cause nothing but pain, you should definitely try this no-wire plunge bra. Personally, I prefer bras without wire since I can’t bear the discomfort throughout the day, and I think bras that offer no wire + extra support are a win-win option.

This review basically confirms my point:

The All-Day Plunge No-Wire Bra by Lively reivew
Review taken from Lively website as of July 13, 2022

Moving on to the next option with a push-up feature.

Option #2: Liquid Touch Push-Up Plunge Bra by Calvin Klein

Liquid Touch Push-Up Plunge Bra by Calvin Klein
Credit: Calvin Klein

If you’re looking for a soft and lightweight bra to wear all day, every day, this model of plunge bra is perfect for you. The model features push-up cups to provide a fuller look with cute lace trim.

This satisfied customer also points out that the fabric is soft and stretchy, so you don’t have to worry about pinching:

Liquid Touch Push-Up Plunge Bra by Calvin Klein positive review
Review taken from Calvin Klein website as of July 13, 2022

The next option is a comfy plunge bralette.

Option #3: Cotton Plunge Bralette by SKIMS

Cotton Plunge Bralette by SKIMS
Credit: SKIMS

If comfort is your main requirement in a bra, then a plunge bralette by SKIMS can be your savior. Many women swear by this product due to its comfort and modern look. The bralette is available in various colors and can come with matching panties.

Overall, the underwear by SKIMS has great reviews, and here’s the proof:

Cotton Plunge Bralette by SKIMS positive review
Review taken from SKIMS website as of July 13, 2022

Off to a lace plunge bra model.

Option #4: Full Figure Underwire Plunge Bra by Marks & Spencer

This next one is a fancy option with a lace design. This model provides full support for bigger busts as well.

The biggest perk of this model is that it comes in exactly the right size, so you don’t have to worry about ordering it online. This customer also says that the lace is high-quality, as it doesn’t irritate your skin: 

Full Figure Underwire Plunge Bra by Marks & Spencer positive review
Review taken from Marks & Spencer website as of July 13, 2022

Now, let’s take a look at another fancy bra model.

Option #5: Front Close Lace Shine Strap Push-Up Bra by Victoria’s Secret

Of course, I couldn’t create a list of bras without mentioning Victoria’s Secret. This is another plunge bra option with a push-up feature that comes in a sexy design with laces. The special strap design can create an illusion of a strapless bra with certain shirts. So if you want to feel a little extra by wearing a deep V-cut bra, this can be the right choice.

This one is also made of high-quality lace that feels comfortable on your skin, as this happy customer confirms:

Front Close Lace Shine Strap Push-Up Bra by Victoria’s Secret positive review
Review taken from Victoria’s Secret website as of July 13, 2022

The next model in the line is for bigger busts.

Option #6: Bijou Full Figure Underwire Plunge Bra by Elomi

Bijou Full Figure Underwire Plunge Bra by Elomi
Credit: Lumingerie

Girls with fuller busts may struggle to find a comfortable bra they can wear with deep-cut shirts, so this option can be the ideal solution. This underwire plunging bra provides enough coverage, support, and comfort for big busts.

It is also made out of stretchy thick fabric that supports your breasts perfectly. The following customer confirms that it’s very comfortable for plus-size women:

Bijou Full Figure Underwire Plunge Bra by Elomi positive review
Review taken from Lumingerie website as of July 13, 2022

Let’s see what customers think of the next option, shall we?

Option #7: 24/7® Pima Cotton Plunge Bra by Third Love

24 7® Pima Cotton Plunge
Credit: Shopperboard

Here’s another favorite among customers. This plunge bra comes with removable inserts made of memory foam. The model features a foam-padded hook and eye and has no scratchy tags for utmost comfort.

Memory foam is known for its softness, and this reviewer confirms it – this bra feels very comfortable on:

24 7® Pima Cotton Plunge Bra by Third Love positive review
Review taken from ThirdLove website as of July 13, 2022

Next comes a cute lace plunge bra.

Option #8: Lace Half-Pad Plunge Bra by Victoria’s Secret

Another plunge top bra option from Victoria’s Secret. This model features cute laced straps and a half pad that provides enough coverage yet maintains a sexy look. 

This option comes with extra light padding that’s perfect for anyone looking for a comfy bra. This model is available in multiple colors and can also be matched with various panty models.

The reviewer below says they picked this bra for a low-cut dress, and it turned out exactly how they wanted:

Lace Half-Pad Plunge Bra by Victoria’s Secret positive review
Review taken from Victoria’s Secret website as of July 13, 2022

The next one on my list is a contour plunge bra.

Option #9: 24/7® Lace Contour Plunge Bra by Third Love

24 7® Lace Contour Plunge Bra by Third Love
Credit: ThirdLove

This fancy-looking bra features a removable insert with memory foam. The bra comes with mesh straps, a foam-padded hook, and an eye for maximum comfort. It is available in multiple colors and sizes to fit every bust size.

The main perk of choosing a bra with wide straps is that they don’t cut into your shoulders, and the reviewer below confirms it:

24 7® Lace Contour Plunge Bra by Third Love positive review
Review taken from ThirdLove website as of July 13, 2022

And now let’s see what’s waiting in the last option.

Option #10: Matilda Full Figure Underwire Plunge Bra by Elomi

Matilda Full Figure Underwire Plunge Bra by Elomi
Credit: Amazon

Comfy underwire plunge bra, especially for ladies with bigger bust sizes. The bra features elegant embroidery that elevates the design. Judging by customer reviews, this is a major favorite among larger chested women. It’s available in a range of colors.

This reviewer, for instance, loves the fact that this bra doesn’t have wires, so no pinching with this one:

Matilda Full Figure Underwire Plunge Bra by Elomi positive review
Review taken from Nordstrom website as of July 13, 2022

Other reviewers also seem to like that this bra has very soft straps that feel comfortable on the shoulders.

Over to You

And that’s a wrap.

Now with all the information you gained about plunge bras, you’re ready to hit the stores and find your perfect bras.

To conclude what we’ve covered so far, plunge bras are deep-cut bras made for styling shirts and dresses with a deep cleavage. This model is available in multiple designs, so whatever size of breast you may have, you can find the right plunge bra. Use the earlier-mentioned method to measure your breast size to find the best-fitting bra.

Good luck!

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