Whether or not bras really help or prevent sagging is controversial. Many women and plastic surgeons truly believe that bra usage minimizes sagging over time. Both day and night support counter act the vectors of gravity. At night, the breasts fall to the side, and a bra with reinforced lateral support such as an underwire may help maintain a closer cleavage. However, wearing a bra day and night is not a medically proven way to prevent sagging. Even with the best of push-up bras, women who are predisposed to sag will sag regardless of regular bra support. Genetics play a huge part in whether you’ll sag or not, as well as the elasticity of your skin, losing and gaining large amounts of weight (such as in pregnancy) and if you’re constantly exercising without proper support. Studies have shown that bra usage during strenuous exercise like running or jumping does decrease risks for sagging as the jarring motion from these types of exercise stretch the breast and its supporting ligaments quite vigorously.
Which Bras are Best?
Encapsulation bras are preferable to standard sports bras in runners and while doing aerobic exercise. These are bras that hold each breast in separate cups, similar to an underwire bra. Sports bras that flatten the breasts to the chest do not as effectively decrease the up and down motion of the breasts. Compression on each breast individually decreases external tension forces on the breasts. Women with larger breasts or large implants who run or jog regularly do best with an underwire plus an encapsulation sports bra over the top as a second layer.
Underwire bras provide the most attractive shape and uplift to the breast while providing lateral support for women predisposed to a wide cleavage or lateral flare of their breasts. Racer-back styles are also indicated in women with sloping chest walls and widely spaced breasts to push the breasts even closer on the chest wall and maximize central cleavage.