The Showdown: Push Up Bra vs Normal Bra (with Pictures)

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with all the differing bra choices there are and what the actual comparisons are between each of them? Likely one of the most common choices you face in your bra selection is the difference between a push up bra vs normal bra.

Let's dive into the differences and similarities between these types of bras so you will know best when to wear each type of bra. We also have worked with four different women to get their specific thoughts on a push up bra compared to a regular bra, including side by side pictures. 

Four women in push up bras, ranging in breast size from A cup, B cup, C cup, and D cup

Push Up Bra vs Normal Bra

Push up bras add more volume and increase the appearance of your breast size. They are great for creating deep cleavage, by propping your breasts up with supported underwire and strategically placed padding.

By differentiation, regular (or normal) bras are great for everyday use. They can offer some similar features as a push up bra, such as underwire or padding, but are not as pronounced.

A normal bra will support your breasts but won't offer the exaggerated lift and cleavage that a push up bra will.

A push up bra vs normal bra is a commonly pondered “this” or “that” scenario you have likely debated many times over. 

We can likely agree that what you wear for the first interview at your dream job will be totally different (and maybe not appropriate) from your favorite push-up bra for a night out.

Just like your outfits, bras do require careful consideration when choosing the appropriate one.

Woman in a white push up ra

What is a Push Up Bra?

​The push up bra, which first made its appearance with the “Rising Star” bra, is a type of bra that adds greater dimension and curves to your natural breasts. They are designed to lift and slightly tilt your boobs inwards as well as offering incredible support, no matter what your size!  

Here are some additional features of a push up bra:

However, despite all the above killer benefits to a push up bra, these types of bras are likely not for all times and all seasons. Figuring out the right occasions and what a push up bra should be used for can get confusing, so let’s break it down for you.

What Should a Push Up Bra be Used for?

A push up bra’s main function is to lift and tilt your breast towards your centerline with an incredibly comfortable design. Therefore, a push up bra is a great go-to bra if you are looking for increased cleavage.

When looking to increase the appearance of your chest, women of all breast sizes can benefit from a push up bra. That being said, women with A and B cups looking for push up bras to increase their overall chest size will typically find more options than larger sized busts.

Push up bras should also be used if you are looking to add greater fullness to your chest. Some of you might have narrower or shallower boobs up top, or maybe not as full following breastfeeding. A push up bra is a great choice, as the padding design will help to increase an even appearance of fullness!

A large busted lady in a black push up bra

Lastly, push up bras should be used for those of you that have wide set-breasts. Push up bra’s cups are designed to tilt slightly inwards, spilling the breast inwards and upwards. Therefore, the push up bra is your best choice, as they will nudge your boobs together in a really happy bra hug, great for those with sagging breasts!

When to Wear a Push Up Bra

Now that you know what a push up bra should be used for, when is a good time to consider a push up bra vs regular bra? A push up bra is great to wear for:

  • Low-cut dresses or shirts 
  • Form-fitting shirts or tops
  • An outfit where you want to add more volume and curve to your chest (especially for a night out)
  • Date night or an occasion when you're dressing up 

​For larger busted ladies, you flip flop between needing to wear a bra that minimizes your chest, and wanting a bra that gives you a little oomph and shape. Have no fear - there are bras for each of these circumstances,.

Tip: ​Since a push up bra will add more cleavage and size to your natural chest, this isn’t a good choice for button-down shirts. The added padding and cleavage will increase your chest size and thus cause gapping in your shirt buttons; risking possible (and unwanted) exposure of your goods.

What is a Normal Bra?

By contrast, a normal bra is any bra whose main purpose is to support your boobs (think, "everyday" bra). An everyday bra’s purpose is for regular wear. Normal bras are versatile in design and are meant to be worn with just about anything in your closet.  

Normal bras can feature full or demi-cups and will hold your breast up for support. Some normal bras do feature underwire, but seamless bras are also a fan favorite in the daily rotations of bras. However, their main function is for long-term, continual support of your breast tissue.

Woman wears a plum soft cup bra

Many of you will find that a normal bra is the most common type of bra available, therefore lending to the widest selection of bras available to shop for! Some types of normal bras include seamless, bralette, demi, balconette or t-shirt bras.

Is a Push Up Bra also a Normal Bra?

Normal bras encompass a wide array of different styles of bras, and it should be noted that certain styles of push up bra does can fall into the category of a normal, everyday bra.

  1. ​If the push up bra you have includes minimal push up (which can be common in popular push up bras for D cup women), underwire, and demi cups, this would also be considered a normal bra.
  2. In contrast, if your push up bra increases your bust size by 1-2 full cups, creates visible cleavage, and includes half cups, it would not be considered a regular bra.

The biggest differentiation of a push up bra from a normal bra is in their function for creating an enhanced bustline with the intent to show visible cleavage.

Tip: While everyday bras can feature padding and underwire for additional lift, most push up bras are not designed for everyday wear and will not work underneath all clothes, which is a hallmark feature of normal bras.

What Should a Normal Bra be Used for?

​A normal bra, due to its versatile design should be used as an everyday bra. It is the best bra choice for the ordinary, everyday moments, where comfort and versatility of design will go with almost all of the outfits in your closet. It’s your best no-fuss bra!

A normal bra should be used the most out of all bras in your collection since they are meant for everyday use. Thankfully, there are so many styles, fabrics, and color combinations available, so finding a fun selection of normal bras is an easy shopping experience!

Tip: ​Just be sure to update and rotate out your normal bra collection often! The shelf life of a normal bra is about 6-8 months due to its rigorous use. Check for signs of your bra being worn out, and replace as soon as you can!

When to Wear a Normal Bra

Since a normal bra is mainly for everyday wear there are many instances where this bra will be your best choice. Comfort will be your main reason wearing this, so your decision-making process in choosing a normal bra over others should be easy.

A regular bra will likely be your default, go-to undergarment that you pick out for almost all occasions. Guess what that means? You instinctively already know when to wear one and that’s exactly the best reason to wear your normal bras over others!  

Woman wears a dark blue soft cup bra

Here’s a few more times you should pick a normal bra:

  • Everyday wear with casual or business attire - keep it classy!
  • Outfits with buttons running along your centerline or restrictive material that doesn't allow stretch in the chest area
  • Outfits or moments that call for a more natural or conservative look
  • Check
    Occasions where comfort is your top priority - some days, it’s just a lazy, t-shirt and yoga pants kinda day!

Tip: ​Normal bras will be the type of bra that you will have the most of in your bra collection, so having many of these will be key to matching with all the outfits in your closet. Take liberties in trying new fabrics and cuts; you never know what new cuts of bras you will discover and fall in love with.

Comparing a Push Up Bra to a Normal Bra

It’s face-off time, girls! Time to talk brass tacks now, placing the push up bra against the normal bra to discuss their similarities and stark differences. If you haven’t started formulating an idea already, then read on for the head-to-head comparisons.

Push Up and Normal Bras Similarities

​​What are the similarities between a push up bra and a regular bra? Interestingly, there are a few, as all bras are designed with a few common goals in mind. Here are a few between the push up bra vs regular:

  • ​Both can feature padding
  • Both can have underwire
  • ​Both bras will support breasts and breast tissue
  • plus
    Both bras will feature non-adjustable or adjustable straps and full bands running around your mid-back
  • plus
    Both bras come in very comfortable styles
  • plus
    Both can be worn by both large and smaller chest women (yes, it’s true!)
A B cup girl side by side comparison picture of a regular bra vs push bra

Normal and Push Up Bras Differences

Now let’s explore the differences between these two bras to help you easily distinguish them:

  • ​A push up bra’s cups will tilt slightly inward towards the centerline of the body; normal bras will not have this feature
  • plus
    A push up bra’s main function is to add fullness to the breast and increase cleavage. A regular bra’s main function is for the support of your natural boobs as they are; no enhancements here!
  • A regular bra is for everyday wear, whereas a push up bra is more for specific occasions or outfits
  • A push up bra will usually have more padding than their regular bra counterparts
  • plus
    You will likely have a much larger selection of normal bras in your collection than push up bras due to the frequency of use
  • plus
    Finding the right push up bra for your particular shape and size might take a bit longer than finding normal bras
  • plus
    Smaller chested women will have a larger selection of padding options based on desired enhancements size
  • plus
    Larger chested women will likely want to stick with more minimal padding options, so as to not go overboard in sizing up too much!
  • plus
    Your cup size in a push up bra might be different than cup size of your normal bra
A C up girl has a push up bra vs a regular bra in side by side pictures

Major Distinguishing Factor

Overall the main distinguishing factor between these two bras is their function.

  1.  As shared earlier, a push up bra’s main focus is to enhance your breast via padding as well as guiding the breast tissue towards the centerline of your body.
  2. A normal bra’s main function is specifically for support. Normal bras will lift and hug your breast working with your natural shape and size. Normal bras will have a wide variety of cup shapes and cuts.

Therefore when shopping, you know you are looking at a push up bra if the cups are padded and tilted inward (giving a “v” or half moon like appearance from the front.)

A normal bra, by contrast, will likely come in a much wider range of shapes and sizes and will not feature the distinct cup tilt in the front.

An A cup girl side by side comparison picture of a push up bra vs a regular bra

The Final Verdict

Conclusion time! The push up bra vs normal bra pictures two slightly similar features in makeup, but with a large distinction in their purpose. So which should you wear?

The push up bra is your go-to bra when you are wanting a more dramatic bust appearance and are best suited for that special moment to show off your assets

Normal bras, by contrast, are your go-to bras for the everyday look and are well suited for a wider variety of occasions; the office, around the house or a casual night out.  

You have probably now formulated an idea of when you will wear each type of bra and for what purpose, which is music to your ears! Now, the next time you are faced with a “push up bra vs regular” conundrum, you won’t have to waste a second longer in your decision - you’ve got this girls!

Leave a Comment: