A shelf bra is also known as an open bra, boob-out bra, open tipped bra or open bust bra. These bras do no cover the bust as a traditional bra does, instead they rest underneath the breasts, causing the breasts to sit on top of the bra like a shelf.
The primary purpose of a shelf bra is to enhance the look of the breasts by holding them up and making them appear fuller. It is an appealing piece of lingerie to both men and women because the breast itself is left exposed. When wearing a shelf bra under clothing, especially thin material, the nipples appear more prominent.
Most shelf bras are made of 100% cotton which makes them comfortable to wear. Another advantage is that these bras have an appeal to the opposite sex that regular bras just don't have.
Shelf bras are not meant to be worn as your everyday bra, although they are comfortable. They are not suitable for the office or workplace and may not be suitable for a night out with friends. Shelf bras are made for more intimate purposes.
In addition to the standard shelf bra, there are other items that you can purchase that contain a shelf bra within it. You can purchase shelf bra camisoles, tank tops or tankinis. These items all have a shelf bra built into them so that you don't have to wear your normal bra, making these items enhance your figure.