Differences Between a Contour Bra and a T-Shirt Bra
Molded Cups Are One Shared Feature
These two styles can be exactly the same. Or, they can have several key differences—it just depends on the brand.
If you search on any e-tailer’s site for T-shirt bra, for example, it can get confusing. You will find some bra styles described as T-shirt but, you are also likely to find contour, molded, and padded styles in the same category.
All Contour bras and T-shirt bras fall into the molded bra category, for the most part, because the cups are made with a molding technique. This means the bra cups hold their shape.
But there are no black-and-white rules in fashion or in lingerie. There are general guidelines that the majority of bra manufacturers follow, but some brands define T-shirt bras differently. I have seen at least one T-shirt style that didn’t have molded cups, so it always just depends on the brand.
It is also rare to find a bra with molded bra cups that aren’t called contour cups. This is because many brands will usually use a very thin layer of foam padding as lining in molded cups, which technically turns them into contour cups.
A T-shirt bra can have contour cups which are lightly padded or lined but a Contour bra always has contour cups.
A T-shirt bra always has seamless cups, while contour style cups can either be seamless or seamed.
Another difference: The padding or lining is sometimes less prominent and thinner in a bra called a T-shirt style than it is in a bra that is called a contour style. This is so a T-shirt bra can feel like a second skin which some styles strive to do and look as invisible as possible under form-fitting tops.
Which Style Is Best for You?
If you are full-chested and looking for a bra with cups that offer shaping benefits, you should probably try to avoid any bras that might add any hint of bulk. A T-shirt style bra, even if it says it has contour cups, may work better for you than a bra that is just described as a Contour style.
The exception is a Contour bra with seamed cups; these are perfect for fuller figures because this cup style offers extra support.
But again, it just depends on the brand, and the words they choose—descriptions aren’t always 100% accurate. So, don’t ever completely depend on a bra style’s name to tell you how it will fit, but it can give you clues.
If you want to add “fullness” to round out your figure, then a Contour bra is a great option for you and there is no need to look for one labeled “T-shirt.”
If you are looking for modesty and want to make sure there isn’t any sign of “nipple bulge” even when you are wearing the most form-fitting T-shirt, both Contour bras and T-shirt bras are designed for this purpose.
Are you just looking for a bra that won’t show any seams or the outline of your bra cup underneath your clingiest, most lightweight top? Then a T-shirt bra is for you.