Elements of the Perfect Fit - Underwires, Center Panels and Straps

How A Bra's Center Panel (or Gore) Should Fit

Transcript from "Bra Fitting Secrets: How A Bra's Center Panel Should Fit" Video.

What holds the two bra cups together in the center is called a center panel or center gore. And the way this center panel sits, and how it’s shaped can tell you a lot about your bra.

The center panel should rest firmly against your sternum. If it doesn’t, your bra cups are not deep enough so you need to go up a cup size.

If your center panel is significantly pulling away from your sternum, you probably need to go up several cup sizes and down a band size.

The exception to this rule is if your bra is a minimizer or a wire-free bra. These styles many times will not rest on your sternum.

Most center panels come up to the horizontal apex line of a bra. The underwire tips are about 1” apart, and the shape is somewhat triangle.

However, there are other center panel variations out there, and you should understand which ones are best for you.

At HerRoom.com, we help by showing you a straight-on view of every bra along with a measured overlay.

There are bras with narrow center panels where the ends of the wires touch. For women with close-set breasts, this is a great design – they don’t’ need to try and finagle a center panel between their breasts. However, for women with wide set breasts, this is not optimal because the cups are set too close together.

Tall center panels where the height is taller than the apex line of a bra give great support – It’s a great choice for women with pendulous breasts or shallow breasts that are no longer firm.

And most sports bras have a tall center panel because it helps contain breasts and prevents vertical bounce.

Bras with low center panels are commonly called plunge bras. This style is great for low necklines, but it is also a great choice for petite and short-waisted women because this smaller center panel also creates a more pared down bra style.

An arched center panel has an arched bottom edge. This gives a bra a lighter look, and can be a great solution for women with a high tummy that can come up between their breasts.

A wide Triangle shaped center panel is great for breasts that tend to fall east and west and for women with wide-set breasts – if the distance between your breasts is more than 2 fingers, you have wide set breasts. This center panel is obviously not a good choice for women with close-set breasts.

Front closure bras, because of the closure, tend to also be wide center panels - again, a great choice for women with wider set breasts because they move the cups more outward.

The next time you shop for a bra, pay close attention to those center panels. Knowing which ones work best for you will help you optimize your bra fit.