This post arose out of one of my Skype fitting appointments (thank you Ursula!). My client asked what a leotard back means and it struck me that I've never explained this aspect of bras! The way the straps and band meet at the back of your bra can affect your fit. First of all here are a couple of reminders about the anatomy of the back of a bra (image above):
1) The straps attach to the wings. The position and angle at which the straps attach to the wing determines which shape back the bra has.
2) The band is the reinforced elastic along the bottom of the bra wing that culminates in the hook and eye closure which fastens at the back.
3) The wing is normally made of a different material to the cups, usually something very strong like powernet fabric that can withstand movement and multiple wears while giving support.
A Guide to Bra Backs
1) Square Back - the band and wings cut straight across the back and the straps meet the band virtually at a right angle. On this style the straps cut across the deepest and widest part of your back which can give you more visible lines under clothing. The straps are also set farther apart on the band so the style can be tricky for women with narrow or sloping shoulders.
|A band that is cut straight across your back where the straps meet the band almost at a right angle is a square back. Photo of Isis Blue from You! Lingerie|
|A leotard back is the most common shape on full bust bras as the band lends support and shaping for heavier busts: Example is Lucy Purple|
|Wacoal's V back is a much loved feature of their Basic Beauty bras|
|Lots of full bust sports bras have a racer back option for added support (like this one from Panache Sport)|
|A strapless bra, like Evie on the left, comes with detachable straps that can be made into a crisscross or halterneck back.|