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Tomima Talks: Bras with Side Support

Updated: Oct 19, 2022

Hello there,

The idiom “front and center” has its origin in the military world. It means to come out from the ranks and stand at the forefront of center stage. In my world, it’s our mantra for proper breast placement: pointing forward and centered on the chest.

For many, it’s a no-brainer. Our breasts naturally rest forward; however, for many others, help is needed to get them there. The best solution is finding side support integrated along the outer margins of our bra cups, and there are a variety of ways manufacturers do this.

Symptoms Solved with Side Support

Wearing a bra with intentional side support solves a myriad of fit and support issues. Such as:

• Bustline appearing wider than your frame • Lacking breast lift • Breasts point/resting east/west • Adequate breast volume but lacking a nice vertical cleavage line • Droopy breast profile

What Does Side Support Mean?

A bra claiming side support has extra reinforcement designed into the outer sides of the cups. It can extend down from where the shoulder strap is attached and can even encircle each breast. It can be found in bras both with and without underwires. The strongest side support, however, is predominantly found incorporated as a panel in seamed cups.

Our breast tissue is malleable (but for implants). This means their shape can be altered for the better by outside forces. Cup seams act as support beams in a bra cup. The more seams, the greater control a cup has to impact the shape of your breasts. Side breast support gives added reinforcement to stabilize and sustain a forward breast shape. It pushes your breast tissue forward and away from under your underarms – this is known as breast centering. For women with large breasts, proper side support can enable you to move your arms forward without your breasts always being in the way.

A quick test to determine if your bra is adequately centering your breasts is to lie down while wearing it. Do your breasts stay centered or fall to the sides?

Bras Without Side Support

Not all women need side support – their breasts naturally stay forward. This is why many bras do not offer side support. Many seamless bras, t-shirt bras, and molded bras tend not to have added side support (below I will show you there are also exceptions).

A minimizer bra style does not have side support because its job is to reduce breast projection. It, therefore, will move your breast tissue to your sides and up your chest to accomplish its task.

Bralettes, due to their less-structured styling, very rarely have any added side support. Plunge and single-hook, front-closure bra styles have a low center front. When a bra’s center sits below the horizontal apex line of a woman’s bust, there is less leverage to assist in pulling breasts forward.

Bras With Side Support

There are a variety of ways manufacturers build side support into a bra. It’s also quite common for a bra manufacturer to design a bra and then supplement only the larger cup sizes with added side support. You HerRoom followers are in luck here. My team and I always call this out for you in our details or with one of my Tomima Tips. We also try to supplement our images with an added shot of the modification on a larger cup-sized model.

Side Support Variations

As mentioned earlier, bra manufacturers have several ways of adding side support. And, many of these designs go further in providing breast lift.

Here are the many variations you can look for. And, to better see this detail at HerRoom, you can find it by clicking on our bras’ 360° video, always located just below our primary image.

Integrated Side Support Panels – The side section of a multi-part cup will be dedicated to side support. Many times it will be cut on the grain and lined with reinforcement.

Internal Side Support Panels – This side support is hidden inside the cup. This design can allow t-shirt bras and other seamless bras to contain additional side support.

Internal Side Support Slings – These slings provide not only side support, but also lift by extending the support panels down, wrapping underneath each breast. In our “features” filter, we give you “Side Support Sling” as an option to search.

Internal Circular Support Slings – This support is the ultimate solution to give you both side support and uplift. This is also a popular support technique used in encapsulation sports bras wanting no breast movement.

Sandwiched Support Panel – A seamless lined bra will have added support placed between the outer fabric and inner lining.

Side Support Conjoined with Straps – The strap and side panel are one. The upward pull of the strap along with the side panel gives both lift and centering.

Wide-Set Breast Issue

Side support can help create a more lovely cleavage line. But, I would be remiss if I did not mention the exception to this statement. Women with wide-set breasts and cup sizes smaller than a D will probably not be able to achieve this line between their breasts. Their breast base (many call this their “breast root”) will simply not allow it. Think of a tree where you can train it to bend, but its trunk remains stalwart. Such is the case with wide-set breasts and implants that have been placed further apart.

Final Thought…

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, May 8 in fact. Since I’m in the lingerie business, I’m always on the lookout for the perfect pajama and robe set for my mom. Now is the perfect time to shop, because Mother’s Day sleepwear is 20% off.


Many swimsuits are designed to be sexy. Thus, many times they have less support and more skin. You may not agree with our determinations in this test, but your breast health, fit and potential nip-slip were our metrics. Bra-sized swimwear can instill great confidence when you’re wearing the right size. Can you detect the swim top fits that have gone wrong?

Fondly, Tomima Founder & CEO

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