The molded cup bra delima

Molded bras are the most popular bra in North America. Every woman wants a bra that cannot be seen through a shirt. That’s all fine, but molded bras are the hardest style to fit. In fact some women cannot get a good fit in a molded bra. But we still insist on wearing them. The biggest problem you see in women with a molded bra is that they go for a cup that is too small, trying to prevent gaping. They continue to go down in cupsize and up in bandsize, loosing all their support. The best thing you can do when shopping for a molded bra is to start by finding your size in a seamed 3 part cup bra. This will give you a base line for what size you should be looking for in your molded bra. You may actually need a different size, but if you are sizing down two cupsizes to prevent gaps in the cups then something is not right.

So what is it about a molded bra that just doesn’t work out? It’s about breast composition. It’s always about body composition. Just like certain sizing methods work best for the D+ crowd, certain bras work best for certain types of breast tissue. Ladies with overly soft breasts or implants can have problems with the fit of a molded bra. Soft breasts can be too moveable to be easily molded by the cups. Augmented breasts may not be the correct shape (this is where implant profile comes into play) or too firm/stable. Even someone with very soft augmented breasts can have this problem. Ladies with firmer breast tissue (often the young ladies) or that have implants with a significant amount of breast tissue often have the best luck. Age, weight gain/loss, hormonal changes from pregnancy/breastfeeding or menopause can all change the tissue characteristics and how this type of bra fits you.

I cannot wear a molded bra. I don’t actually own one at all because 1.) they don’t come in my size (yet) and 2.) they just don’t work for me. Because of this I dug out the Affinitas Honey molded cup babydoll that I have to give some demonstrations for common mistakes women make with molded cup bras.


Please excuse the maternity shorts!

Obviously this is too small. It is sized at a 30G, too big in the band too small in the cups. If you look at just the cup itself it looks fine, there is no muffin boob to show it is to small.  The obvious sign from this side is the placement of the wire. While it is not sitting on my breast tissue (I am all forward breast), it is too far forward and should be under my arm more.  Behind the wire do you see the wrinkling on the band?  That is the projection of my breasts pulling the cups forward and causing stress on the band. Often times a band will feel too tight because the cups are too small, causing women to size up in the band. Many women will continue to size up in the band while decreasing the cupsize trying to get a molded cup to fit with out gaping.


A little cheeky picture to show the space between the center gore and my sternum.  Again, no muffin boob out the top of the cups, but this is too small.  A woman that does not know to look for gore lifting will just see this and assume that she needs to go down in band size. The common misconception is that when you see that lifting that means things are too big and you need to go down a cup. Add that to the gaping that many women expereince in a molded cup and women are pretty much guaranteed to think they need to size down. Just for reference, when this photo was taken I was wearing 28J/JJ bras, 3-4 cupsizes larger then this babydoll. And I still have gaping in the cups.


Again, not the best shot, you get to see more of my bathroom floor then anything. But yo can also see the space in the center gore indicating that the cups are small. My trusty pen is set to point to the area of the cups that gap, this is where I personally experience it. In the bottom breast you can see the shadowed area which is the same gap problem. Each woman has different breast characteristics, so gaping may be experienced in different parts of the bra.

Women with breast implants tend to experience it in the same area that I do. But the can also have problems with the bottom of the cup. Because the more firm feel of the implants they may not settle into the cups like breast tissue will.  Additionally, the profile of your implant may change where you have gaping. A woman with a wider implant (moderate or in some cases moderate plus) may find that they have the perfect width in the cup and there is no gap at the top or bottom. What they do have is a space between their breast and the apex of the cup. They don’t quite have the forward projection to fill that part of the bra. Women with an implant with more projection (high profile, ultra high profile, or overfilled saline, for reference I have UHP) will see that they projection of the implant pushes the cups forward, distorting the fit at the edge of the cup.  The cups are to firm and stiff to shift and fit around the implanted breast, where a three part seamed bra will.  Ladies with more natural breast tissue or fat tissue often have the firmness from the implant supporting the soft tissue, which will mold itself to the cups of the bra. They often find that they get the perfect fit in a molded bra.  These are the ladies that buy Deco after Deco because they love the fit and cleavage it provides.

For ladies with out implants, those with the softest breast tissue seem to have the most problem with molded cup bras. The soft tissue will fill the cup of the bra perfectly, but settle more into the cup after wear. The molded cup is too stiff to shift with the breast tissue as it settles into the cups. These ladies often find that they have gaping at the top of the cup after a short time of wear. Or in a plunge front molded bra they have spilling breast tissue between the cups. No matter how firm of a band these ladies often feel like they are not properly supported by the bra and that they have too much jiggle in the cups.

So when you have a bra that works for only certain women why is it so popular?  No one can fight the fact that some clothing requires a smooth look. What are women who cannot wear a molded bra supposed to wear under a top that requires a smooth cup?  That depends on you. Layering is the first option. A cami (or crop top) can be used in the same way you would use a slip. It’s an extra layer between your garment and your body and undergarments. A slip can take a see through skirt and make it wearable or hide the lines of your panties and hose.  You could also look for styles at are three part cup construction with a softer padding. Your bra choice may still come down to something with seams. Take a look at the top you want your bra to go under. Would a three part vertical seamed bra be more appropriate for shaping and hiding of the seams?  Through personal experience I’ve found that I can wear a vertical seamed bra under many things that would require a smooth cup bra. These bras tend to have a foam lining and stitching that is nearly flat. This can make for nearly invisible seams under many items. I wear the Masquerade Rhea under many items because of the flat verticle seam design.

If you would still like to wear a normal three part seamed cup take a look at this post by Erica at Sophisticated Pair. It is a very useful post that gives specific examples of bras with the seam type you should look for. I would like you to note that the Rhea that I love has a very similar seam construction to that pointed out by Erica. The last thing you could do is just do your best to get over visible bra seams. Everyone knows that women wear them. Why are we set on hiding them? A showing seam won’t hurt for a regular outfit, just like a strap won’t kill it either. Yes, sometimes we may need a more polished look, but if you don’t care if your bra has visible seams I bet most other people won’t notice. No one has said a word to me about mine.


  1. HB

    At 26, I don’t think I’ve ever really owned a non-molded cup bra, other than a few lacy bras for the bedroom. I guess I still must fit in that “ladies with firmer breast tissue (often the young ladies)” category. I haven’t tried very many non-molded bras. They never seem to give the shape I prefer. Guess after reading this, I need to try some more non-molded to see if I actually have my size right after all.

    • It never hurts to try. 🙂 You may be surprised.
      I think the softer breasts come in to play after pregnancy or weight loss in the age bracket you (and I) are in. As far as age goes, I’ve seen more softening of the breast in the mid to late 30s or early forties. Right when women start experiencing premenopause hormone changes. Hormones seem to be the big player, our breasts change all through our adult life.
      I’d love to hear if you find any differences in size after trying a not molded bra.

  2. Maya

    I have also noticed, that with molded bras my breasts look taller instead of bulging out, if the cup is 1-2 sizes too small. That might be like that because my breast tissue is extremely firm.

    • Great point Maya! I see this with open top cups like the Masquerade Rhea even though it is not a molded cup bra. It is a three part foam cup bra. But it provides a good example of how the tall looking breast may look if the molded cup bra is too small.

  3. Nyx

    Where can a girl buy forward projecting bras? I am a 36g or 34h and all I can find in stores are molded cup which make me look big and the ones Oprah likes that push my breasts to the sides so moving my arms are weird. Not to mention it makes me look larger. Bodywise than I am. Any help here?

    • Hi Nyx! Are you wearing a UK 36G/34H or a US 36G/34H. I’m pretty sure you are wearing a US size because Oprah tends to push Le Mystere bras. If that is the case they you are in luck with UK bras. In UK bras you’d be looking at a 36F/34FF. This is right in the size range that Freya still has more narrow wires. They start getting wider in the G-H range and after H they are incredibly wide. You may also be able to do bras that are part of Panache’s Cleo line, but not Panache itself. Really the best bras for more cup depth or forward projection and more narrow wires are Ewa Michalak. Is a Polish designer and ordering can be more complicated. I’d really start by finding your size in a bra that is not molded and that sizes in UK sizing. Then it will be easier to find bras (UK sized bras are so much more readily available!) and it will be easier to find a good fit in a molded bra.

  4. You certainly run into bra problems when you are smaller then a 32 band and larger then a G cup. However molded cup bras force the breasts into place and keep them away from the armpits and off of the stomach. Non molded bras almost always show nipple and make people look 10-15 pounds heavier. I sell a molded cup bra for a living and I watch it transform people’s lives. Wish I cold post before and afters of my clients. If you download Bra Lady App from the apple store you can look at our before and afters. Hope you find a good bra. Word of advice if a 30G is too big in the band then try getting a 28H. When you take from band you add to cup. Curvy Kate is a god brand to try for 28 bands.


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