Learn about different styles of bras: demi cup, plunge, push-up, sports bras and more. Get advice to make it easier to choose the right styles for you.

Balconette bra

Balconette bra

A balconette bra is a type of demi cup bra, which basically means the cups are low to allow you to wear fairly low cut clothing. A balconette bra usually has a more of a horizontal line along the top…

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Bandeau bra

Bandeau bra
Photo source: 6pm.com

A bandeau bra is shaped like a strip over your breasts, sometimes with ruching in the middle. They are kind of a cross between a strapless bra and a tube top. They are made of stretchy fabric so don’t normally…

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Contour / molded cup bra

Contour bra

A contour or molded cup bra means the cups have been shaped by machine to fit the shape of your breasts. There is a slight difference between them (read this article for a full explanation) but the terms are so…

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Convertible / Multiway bra

Convertible bra
Photo source: Triumph

Convertible (also called multiway) bras are a must to own. The straps come off and have hooks so you can reattach them in different ways to wear with clothes where the straps of a standard bra would show. What strap…

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Demi cup bra

Demi bra

‘Demi’ describes a style of cup shape for a bra. It is quite low, it only just comes up over the nipple and usually plunges quite low to show cleavage. The shoulder straps are also set widely apart. Because the…

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Full cup bra

Full cup bra
Photo source: Berlei

The cups on a full cup bra completely cover the breasts. They offer the most support of any type of bra so are a popular choice for women with large cup sizes. As they are designed for women who want…

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Mastectomy Bra

Mastectomy bra
Photo source: Eloise Lingerie

Mastectomy bras are full cup bras that have a pocket inside the cups to insert breast forms (prosthesis). They are for women who have had one or both breasts removed. Some are also specially designed to be worn during the…

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Maternity and nursing bras

Nursing bra
Photo source: Triumph

Most of the time the terms ‘maternity bra’ and ‘nursing bra’ mean the same thing and are used interchangeably. Strictly speaking a maternity bra is for while you are pregnant and has the features you need for comfort and support…

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Minimiser bra

Minimiser bra
Photo source: Triumph

Minimiser bras are designed for women with average to large breasts who want them to appear smaller. Depending on your size a minimiser bra could reduce your bust measurement by an inch or two. The cups offer full coverage and…

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Padded bra

Padded bra

A padded bra has padding in the base of the cup to lift your breast and give the appearance of larger breasts. Padding can also refer to a light padding through the cup to hide any nipple shape, but usually…

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Plunge bra

Plunge bra

Plunge bras are designed so you can wear low cut clothes without your bra showing. The cups join together low between the breasts, with a thin centre piece. Usually the shoulder straps are wide, so you can wear any necklines…

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Push-up bra

Push-up bra

Push-up bras do exactly what they say, they push your breasts up and together to give maximum cleavage. They are usually plunge bras as well, this means the cups join low between the breasts so you can wear something low…

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Shelf bra

Shelf bra
Photo source: Ladystrange Lingerie

A shelf bra is also known as a platform bra, quarter-cup bra or cupless bra. It has underwires and supports from underneath, but has no cups or very short cups to expose your breasts. Obviously this bra is mainly just…

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Sports bra

Sports bra
Photo source: Triumph

Sports bras are designed to give you support during physical activity. There are different types that will work better for different activities. A sports bra for yoga should be really comfortable and offer greater movement, whereas one for jogging should…

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Stick-on / adhesive bra

Silicone stick-on bra

The most common type of stick-on bra is made of silicone but there are ones that look almost the same as the silicone one pictured but are made of foam. You can also get fabric ones that look more like…

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Strapless bra

Strapless bra
Photo source: Bendon

Strapless bras often come as convertible bras with detachable straps or you can also get bandeau bras. For most cases I would recommend a classic style strapless bra like the one pictured, bandeau bras don’t have underwires to shape them…

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T-shirt bra

T-shirt bra

A T-shirt bra has seamless contour cups that are designed to give a smooth look under tight or lightweight fabric. The cups are lightly padded to stop the shape of your nipples showing through. If you don’t want to add…

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U plunge / deep plunge bra

U plunge bra
Photo source: Bloomingdales

The U plunge bra is a speciality bra that is designed for really low cut necklines. There are the lowest you can get in the front and still be wearing a bra. If you need it to be lower you…

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