Balconette bra, also commonly referred to as the balcony bra or even as a shelf bra is a bra that is offering less coverage than a common full-cup bra or even the demi-cup bra.
The name translates to ‘little balcony’, which could be referring to the shape the bra is holding. There are various theories explaining the naming of it. The first one states that the way bra is supporting the breasts reminds a balcony. There is also a theory that refers to the appearance of the bra and the way it is cut. Since the balconette bra covers only the lower part of the breasts, people sitting in a balcony overhead would not spot a bra when looking down at a woman wearing it. The balconette bra is shaped to provide a full and round appearance to the breasts, it lifts them and enhances their shape, appearance and cleavage.
The way this bra is different from the other types is the way it is structured.
STRUCTURE OF A BALCONETTE BRA
A balconette bra offers little to no coverage and holds a rectangular shape, providing only one half to three fourths coverage of a common full cup bra.
Less coverage offered means that the support has to come from the bottom. Therefore, most balconette bras have an underwire. Underwire manages to support medium to large-sized breasts and separates them. Additional support also comes from the wide band used. The cups of a balconette-style bra are cut to reveal more of the top and inner parts of the breasts. More of the chest and shoulder area is exposed, because of the wider set straps. Padding is used to help lift the breasts in balconette bras.
Balconette cups are a bit smaller than demi cups, a genuine balconette cup is going to be cut horizontally, slightly above the bust line to give the breasts the look of fullness and uplift. The vertical seams used just under the bust are added to give some extra boost. Many manufactures use the term of balconette bra for their bras when in fact they do not fit the description. Most of the time, a balconette cup has a bit of padding of enhance the bust size.
The straps of the balconette bra are placed just on the outer edges of the cups, allowing the breasts to be fully displayed and seen. Because of this, the most support for the bust comes from the bottom of the bra rather than from the straps. More traditional versions of the balconette bra reveal the top of the breasts and even the part of the areola and nipple, providing a way to lift up and display the breast, while still keeping with nude or semi-nude.
HISTORY OF THE BALCONETTE BRA
Balconette-style bra first came into mainstream fashion in the 1950s in the United States. Before that time, several bras of similar style were worn by women around the world. The bras were quite often revealing and either left a part of areola exposed or even did so to the whole front of the breast, only supporting the underside of the breasts. As the style evolved, the design became more and more conservative, covering one-half to three-quarters of the breasts. The first balconette bra was designed in the USA in 1938. Eleven years later, Marilyn Monroe was modelling a balconette bra, which may have had an effect on this bra becoming so popular.
ADVANTAGES OF A BALCONETTE BRA
The balconette bra has quite a few advantages, which is why a lot of women have at least one of them in their wardrobe. There are benefits of versatility and the way the breasts look in a bra. It is often believed that benefits of a balconette bra heavily outweigh the drawbacks. There are benefits of a balconette-style bra listed in the table below.
The strong support coming from the bottom of the bra is creating an upward push that highly enhances the appearance of the cleavage. Breasts appear rounder and fuller
Breast Size Enhancement
Padding on the underside, often used in the balconette bras add volume to the breasts when they are pushed upward.
Design and Appearance
Pleasant to the eye, balconette-style bras come in a wide range of colors, fabrics and patterns. Additionally, the way the bra is cut is flattering to the breasts.
The balconette-style bra can be worn with nearly any style outfit, thanks to the fact it is supportive, pleasing to the eye and it also enhances the appearance of the breasts.
Not like many specialty bras, balconette-bras manage to be not only visually appealing but also supportive.
The balconette bra presents only a few disadvantages. For example, less coverage and support offered might be unappealing to some. Also, it can be uncomplimentary to women who have larger busts, since only a small amount of cup actually supports the breasts. If the bra doesn’t fit well, the breasts may bulge over the top, therefore creating an unflattering look. It is important that women purchased the correct cup size in order for this not to happen. Women, who look for a more revealing style of a balconette bra, should look for a different model instead of just picking a smaller cup size. Small-busted women may be able to wear this bra with pretty much every outfit; it is not fully advised for women to wear this under thin materials or t-shirts unless they fit just perfectly. It is done to avoid the breasts spilling out of the bra.