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If you’re busty, you’ve been there before: An office-appropriate button-down can suddenly take an R-rated turn, gaping and puckering and leaving you overexposed. In any room you enter, your breasts introduce themselves before you do. You’re going in for a hug, and your chest awkwardly makes the first contact. These are some of the times in life you might wish you were wearing a minimizer bra.

Bare Necessities is here to answer all your questions about minimizers, and buyer Heather Viskovic names her personal favorites…

What is a minimizer bra?

Typically, a minimizer is a bra with non-stretch, full coverage cups that reduces the appearance of your bust. Because the cups aren’t stretchy, minimizers can also help fight bounce and sagging. Now more than ever, you have a lot of different, attractive design options.

How do minimizer bras work?

A minimizer lifts, compresses and encapsulates the breast tissue, redistributing it more evenly throughout the cups for a re-balanced look. By pulling your breasts closer to your body, they can make your chest look up to an inch smaller, depending on your size (fuller busts will experience more of a “reduction”). They also lessen the look of your forward projection. The latest minimizers are unlined, meaning they don’t rely on padding you don’t want to create volume you don’t need. Finally, minimizers can create slight cleavage by pushing breasts closer together, giving you a flattering, natural shape at the same time.

Who needs a minimizer bra?

If you’re a DD-cup or above and need extra support or want your bust to appear smaller, consider a minimizer. It’s also great to have a minimizer in your arsenal for the times you want to deflect unwanted attention, streamline your silhouette or be able to fit into the size or style of clothing you couldn’t before. Some women with smaller busts even like the shape a minimizer gives, especially when those breasts are proportionally large for their figures.

How do you choose a minimizer bra?

First, make sure you’re in the right size. Don’t try to buy a smaller bra in order to look smaller! Make sure the cups are snug, but not so tight that breast tissue is spilling over the top. Compression should be light; if you feel flattened like a pancake, try another size or style. And as with all bras, comfort is key. Even though you’re compressing, the fit and feel should still be easy. Finally, pick a style you’re going to get the most use out of.

Chantelle has an incredible collection Heather comes back to time and time again: They’re pretty, utilitarian and each one serves a purpose. Read on and see which one(s) fit your needs…

Top Picked Minimizer Bras

This has been one of our bestselling minimizers for ages. Not only is it really beautiful, with its classically French design and subtle tonal print, but it’s among the most effective minimizers you’re ever going to find…and it goes up to an E.U. I-cup! The thin, silky 2-ply jacquard fabric is super soft and comfortable. Smoothing side wings minimize any bulging, and some of the bigger sizes also have inner slings for the most possible support

The latest to join the party is this innovative bra-sized, wire-free newcomer, whose full-coverage shape has been really well received by BN staffers and shoppers alike. Flexible built-in boning anchors the bra on the sides, to bring you more front-and-center than east-west. Unlined, molded cups have a soft knit lining for comfort, but no padding. “I’ve worn the C Magnifique bra for years, so I’m so happy that I now have my go-to bra in a wireless version,” Heather says. “I wear an F-cup, and I felt very supported in this style.” Stay tuned for it in black soon, too.

In this version, you get the modern, simple look of a T-shirt bra in a fantastic range of colors with the smoothing and strength of a minimizer. It uses spacer fabric—a light, breathable honeycomb design—so you’re not contending with thick contoured padding. And because it’s a spacer, it conceals nipples a little more.

A fresh, modern take on Wacoal’s classic minimizer, this dual layer, molded underwire bra is totally flat and seamless, yet not without interest. When you’re in the mood for a minimizer in colors other than black and nude, these pretty, understated shades of perforated mesh lace are an appealing answer, all the way up to an I-cup.

Like their other perfect special occasion bras, Dominique comes through with a minimizer tailor-made for a big night out. The stretch microfiber fabric has a light-reflecting shimmer to it, and the appliqué flower motif on the straps is such a refined detail for the price. This silky-smooth operator is definitely your date-night minimizer.

Updated 8.24.2021

Bare Necessities: Editor Bio

From the desk of: Brooke Glassberg

Editor at Bare Necessities

Brooke oversees all the words here at Bare Necessities. In a previous life, she was an editor at Good Housekeeping and O, The Oprah Magazine. Brooke has written for Glamour, Travel+Leisure, Food Network and more. She’s into concerts, travel and her exceptionally adorable daughter and husband.


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