A posture bra is a bra designed to help reinforce correct posture and alignment. Some women may refer to them as a posture brace as well. The most common posture bras have special bands that provide extra support in the upper back. Many also have front and side panels to support the breasts. Due to the different styles and features, it can be confusing to select a bra that meets your needs. This article will provide some information and tips on how to choose a posture support bra.
Who Should Use a Posture Bra?
Anyone who wants to help improve their posture support or reduce upper back stress can benefit from a posture bra. Doctors may recommend posture bras after procedures such as breast reduction or heart surgery – this is to help support the back and breasts during recovery.
Posture bras may also help women with specific anatomical features (sloped and forward shoulders, forward head alignment, large breasts, etc.) that contribute to poor posture.
Types of Posture Bras
There are three prevalent posture support bra designs – the normal front closure bra design (e.g. looks like a regular bra), a sports-like pullover design, and a “longline” design where the front extends down the torso. The longline bra design has a reinforced panel which provides excellent front support, but often is not the most flattering! All are designed with the intent to offload stress from your shoulders (providing shoulder support), back, and neck.
Other features of posture bras include:
- Bands in back use a criss-cross design to provide the best upper back support.
- Front closures due to rear band design.
- Wire-free designs.
- Adjustable straps or back hook closure (on pullovers)
- Engineered back support panels and body panels (longline)
The longline designs clearly provide the most support and are recommended for women that have a natural forward shoulder roll or that have larger breasts.
Since many posture bras are constructed and sized differently, you often have to go one band size up. Your best option is to be measured in the store by a professional. If you are buying online, most sites selling posture support bras will note if you need to move up a band size.
Here are some general tips on sizing:
- The bra strap should comfortable and firm, but not too loose
- Your breasts should not bulge out of the cup (too tight); the cup should not crease or wrinkle (too loose).
- The back of the bra (band) should not slide up to your upper back.
- The middle of the bra should lie comfortably on your breastbone without being too loose.
Other Selection Criteria
Two things to consider before purchasing a posture bra are your body type and your daily routines.
First, think about your typical day and routines. Are you active and move around a lot? Do you sit in an office all day? Do your activities require loose or tight clothing?
- If you are very active and physical, a pullover posture bra design would probably be the most appropriate and comfortable.
- On the other hand, if you are sedentary and sit in front of a computer most of the day, a longline design will give you the best support and encourage better seating posture.
Next, consider your body type and anatomy.
- If you are thin or have smaller breasts, a normal design or elastic fit would probably be the most appropriate.
- If you are full figured and have large breasts, the longline design with front and side panels provide maximum support.
- If you already have poor posture or weak back and shoulder muscles, the longline design is also a good choice.
- If you just want the extra support or are in preventative mode, the typical front closure design will feel the closest to a regular bra.
Ultimately, try to choose the most comfortable bra that also encourages correct posture for your most common daily routines.
Posture bras can be a great way to provide the extra support needed for many women. After understanding the styles and sizing considerations, the most important factors for choosing a posture bra are comfort, daily usage, and your body anatomy.