Home » Blog » Underwire Bikini: A Complete Guide Table of Contents Underwire bikinis were introduced as a revolutionary swimwear design that offered great support and “lift” without full breast coverage. Since, they’ve evolved into one of the most loved, varied, and stylish bikini top styles on the market. But what are they really? There are many questions that arise when it comes to this popular piece, such as “what exactly is an underwire bikini?” and “are underwire bikinis comfortable?” In a nutshell, underwire bikinis are designed with a rigid, supportive “half-moon” wire in the lining that lies beneath the breast. Its purpose is to hold the bust in place, offering a defining “lift” alongside invaluable support. If the right size is worn, underwire bikinis are comfortable and functional. We answer all of your underwire bikini questions and give you the low-down on their pros and cons below. Starting with … What is an Underwire Bikini? An underwire bikini is a style of beachwear that contains a thin, semi-circular strip of rigid material within its lining. Similar to a standard, everyday bra, the wire sits just underneath the breasts and subtly pushes them upward. Underwire is designed to contour your bust by providing a “lift” and desirable round shape. However, its primary purpose is to take the weight off the bust, allowing the wearer relief and comfort. Is a Bikini Top the Same as a Bra? Bikini tops were inspired by the standard bra, meaning both items follow much the same design pattern. This rings especially true for underwire bikinis that offer the same supportive benefits as bras. Still, while bikini tops and bras serve many of the same purposes, they are not the same. Maldives $60 Select options Pearl $60 Select options Santorini $60 Select options Turtle Swimsuit $49 Select options Similar bikini top and bra features: They follow the same design outline: There’s no denying that bras and bikini tops look similar. Both items wrap around the chest and cover the breasts. In addition, there are strap and strapless designs for both. They cover the breast area: The triangle-shaped panels of bikini tops and bras both provide coverage of the bust. Differences between bikini tops and bras: There are a few key differences between bikinis and bras. For one, bikinis are typically much less supportive than bras unless, of course, you’re dealing with an underwire bikini. They also tend to be more revealing. However, perhaps the most significant dividing line between bras and bikini tops is their fabrics and materials. Swimsuits, including bikini tops, are made in a variety of materials, from spandex to Polyester to blends of Polyester and spandex, and nylon. These materials are compatible with water-based environments such as the beach or swimming pool. These material blends give swimsuits the flexible and water-ready properties that allow us to enjoy our swimming or water activities with ease. On the other hand, bras are primarily composed of cotton and other such materials that tend to degrade after prolonged exposure to water. Party Pack $160 Select options Ducks – Father and Son $70 Select options Santorini $60 Select options Tropical 2-Pack Swim ShortsRated 5.00 out of 5 $80 Select options Do you Need to Wear a Bra with a Swimsuit? Usually, no. Since most swimsuits are designed to be worn without any form of underwear, you shouldn’t have to, nor feel the need to, wear a bra. In fact, wearing a bra underneath your swimsuit can be uncomfortable and unsanitary, especially considering that the cotton in bras can become waterlogged. That said, if you feel you need extra support, you can wear a bra under your swimsuit. Still, a swimsuit or bikini top that is correctly fitted and features both underwire and padding should eliminate the need for any additional support or coverage. What is Padding in Swimsuits? Padding in swimsuits is often used to provide extra coverage and support. It can be made from various materials, including foam, gel, or fabric. Usually, the padding is sewn into the bikini top and cannot be removed. However, some removable padding options can help you to get the best of both worlds. Best of both worlds? Truth is, there are advantages and disadvantages to padding in swimsuits, much like there are pros and cons to underwiring in bikini tops. What are the Pros and Cons of an Underwire Bikini Top? For some, and bikini top with an underwire is the answer to all of their swimwear prayers. But, for others, it just never seems to be the right fit. Here’s why: Pros of underwire bikinis: Perfect for giving support to breasts and great definition to the bustline.Can enhance silhouette and offer gentle lift without added bulk.Offers more bikini styles and a variety of prints to choose from.Can ease back pain for particularly big-busted ladies.Good quality underwires will not poke, restrict, or cause discomfort meaning you can enjoy all of the benefits without any of the drawbacks. Cons of underwire bikinis: Wearing a tight underwired bikini can cause discomfort. Poor-quality underwires are most likely to start poking and restricting within a short period of use.Not a wise choice for women with wide-set breasts as the underwiring of the bikini can cause the chest area to look wider.May cause fit issues in case of non-traditional underbust caused from surgery or other such procedures and conditions. Truth be told, as the style evolves, the cons become less significant while the pros take centerstage. Someday, underwire bikinis will be the perfect swimwear choice for all – until then – it’s okay if you’d rather leave them on the shelf. Ruby $60 Select options Maldives $60 Select options Pineapple Watermelon Swim ShortsRated 5.00 out of 5 $60 Select options Lounge Pack $160 Select options Are underwire bikinis comfortable? Yes. A properly designed, form-fitting underwire bikini shouldn’t cause its wearer any discomfort. In fact, while you should feel the supportive benefits of the underwire, you shouldn’t be able to detect its presence. A bikini with underwiring can provide immense support, especially when made using quality materials and by reliable manufacturers. That said, some underwire bikinis are more comfortable than others. For example, an underwire bikini with padding can sometimes feel a bit “stiff” or heavy. In contrast, padding-less underwire bikinis do not share this same effect. As well, if the bikini top does not fit properly or if it features a bad-quality underwire, the result is often pinched sides, poking, and an all-around uncomfortable fit. How to Make an Underwire Bikini Top If you’re wondering, “How can I make my bikini top more supportive?” you’ve probably already tried multiple support-boosting methods. Maybe you’ve tightened the straps or envisioned sliding an underwire into its lining. Perhaps you’ve even toyed with the idea of wearing a bra under your bikini. Fortunately, there’s a solution: A DIY underwire bikini top. While we don’t recommend cutting into your bikini top, we suggest you start fresh with new materials. A quick online search results in several helpful tutorials and step-by-step guides on how to make an underwire top. The bottom line Underwire bikinis are by far one of the most popular swimwear options nowadays – and it’s really no wonder. They look great, provide fantastic support, highlight the bust, and come in a variety of styles and colors. With so many options available, it’s easy to find one that fits great no matter your body’s shape or size. At Decisive Beachwear, we’re big fans of all swimwear styles. We believe underwire bikini tops serve an invaluable purpose when it comes to comfort, style, and support, allowing their wearers to enjoy their swimming fun to the fullest. Bestsellers Pineapple Watermelon Swim ShortsRated 5.00 out of 5 $60 Select options Kvalitetsaktiepodden x Decisive Beachwear $65 Select options Flamingo swim shortsRated 4.50 out of 5 $60 Select options Tropical 2-Pack Swim ShortsRated 5.00 out of 5 $80 Select options Emerald $60 Select options Pineapple Watermelon – Father and Son $70 Select options Tropical 2-Pack Swim ShortsRated 5.00 out of 5 $80 Select options Atlantic $60 Select options Read more Different types of men’s swim trunksBoard shorts with and without liner [Complete guide 2022]Board shorts vs. swim trunks, what’s the difference?Best men’s swim shorts for your body type8 things you need to know about Jon Olsson Jonatan RosdahlI’ll write about anything and everything related to swimwear!