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When Frederick's of Hollywood's first-ever push-up bra busted onto the lingerie scene in 1948, it changed the brassiere business forever. The push-up bra gave ladies of all bust sizes a way to reveal more cleavage, especially in low-cut necklines. In 1994, The Wonderbra, an updated design of the push-up bra, once again sent push-up bras flying off shelves. Today, this innovative lingerie remains a staple in women's wardrobes, providing “the girls” with that extra lift for special occasions.

Designed for Lift

With its firm underwire support and specially designed cups, a push-up bra works to lift the breasts. However, notable bra-fit expert Susan Nethero says in her book “Bra Talk” that push-up bras actually don't work much differently from “regular” bras, noting that all well-designed bras should lift the breasts. Regardless, push-up bras also have padded cups to provide more center cleavage; this additional volume typically gives the appearance of lift. The padding is often sewn into the bra's cups, but some versions are filled with gel for a more a natural look. Removable padding also helps push-up bras give breasts a boost. Removable padding is usually in the form of soft fabric “cookies” or gel “cutlets.”

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About the Author

Ivy Morris

Ivy Morris specializes in health, fitness, beauty, fashion and music. Her work has appeared in "Sacramento News and Review," "Prosper Magazine" and "Sacramento Parent Magazine," among other publications. Morris also writes for medical offices and legal practices. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in government-journalism from Sacramento State University.