The Center Panel
It’s important to look at the height of the center panel in relation to the apex or horizontal nipple line of your bust line.
A well-supporting bra will have a center panel at or above the line (see the above image on the left). At HerRoom, we have our exclusive "measured" image that is available on every bra. Our measured images give you a wealth of information. We photograph all bras on a mannequin and then apply a graphic overlay to show you the horizontal apex line (note: if the bra has lower cup padding, the bra will sit lower on the mannequin). Besides showing you how large the cups are, the placement of the straps, etc., this image at HerRoom will also help you understand the center panel placement and size. Simply click on or hover your cursor over the measured photo under each bra photo on our site.
Here are some additional facts about a center panel.
The wider the center panel, the better the bra will fit a woman with wide-set and splayed breasts. Most front closure bras, because of the clasp, have wider set cups as well. Most minimizers do not have a center panel. Bras where the underwires are short in the center have a very thin, if any, center panel, and this style is great for a woman with close-set breasts.
No Center Panel
Wide Center Panel.
Plunge style bras have become very popular in the last few years. This style allows you to wear a low neckline without your bra showing. But, you need to be careful with these styles. The center panel many times is simply a small piece of tape, or there isn’t really a center panel at all. In these cases, the center support of the bra is compromised, and for larger cup-sized women with less firm breasts, bending forward could cause the breasts to fall out of this type of bra.
Corded Center Panel
There are also bras with corded center panels. This can be a good choice for women with splayed breasts and uneven breasts because the center panel can adjust for a custom fit.
For the technical types, the center panel on many bra styles actually decreases in width as the cup sizes increase. This makes sense when you remember that as breasts get larger, they also get closer together. The center panel width at the apex line generally measures as follows: AA=1-1/2", A= 1-1/4", B=1", C= 3/4", D and larger =1/2". The center panel also usually increases in height as the cup size increases.