Yoga Tanks: Shelf Bra vs Built In Bra

What is the difference between a shelf bra and a built in bra?

Yoga tanks come in a huge selection of styles, colors and patterns. I am often asked whats the difference between yoga tank tops with a shelf bra and a yoga tank with a built in bra. The term shelf bra came from lingerie originally but now it is used more commonly in the activewear and yoga tops categories.

Yoga tank tops with a shelf bra give you the support you need and the convenience you want. Wearing one less layer keeps you cool and decreases bulk. Bonus: yoga tank tops with a shelf bra means you have one less thing to wash.

The active woman today has to choose every morning the activewear that would take her from the yoga studio to work, to lunch or out to run errands. Many yoga tank tops and yoga leggings today are multi purpose and can be worn for yoga, cardio dance and to a lovely restaurant or lunch with the girls as well.  However, it can be confusing with such a selection to choose the right yoga tank for her next yoga class. Should she wear with or without shelf bra, and what is the difference between shelf bra and a built in bra?

Why shelf bra?

A lot of yoga tops come with shelf bras, there are two main reasons for this:

1. The straps are thin and does not cover a regular sports bra.

2. To avoid wearing an extra layer (i.e. a bra),  and go to your yoga class with the ease of wearing only one layer.

What is the difference between a shelf bra and a built in bra?

Yoga tops with shelf bra have a thick elastic band under the breasts but they do not offer cup support or nipple coverage. For larger cups these shelf bras do not offer the support needed for yoga, especially not for every day use. They are perfect however if you need a small amount of support and do not want to wear a sports bra.

Built in bras usually refer to more support in the cup area, and more nipple coverage. They generally also provide a more feminine curve and better shape than shelf bras. Some tank tops have removable pads, these are good for extra support, shape and nipple coverage.

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