20 Bra Types for Every Woman

20 Bra Types for Every Woman: The Complete Bra Style Guide


Bras have gone through a hell of an evolution since their invention. Fun fact: did you know Mark Twain (yes, the Mark Twain) invented the bra clasp? Thankfully, bra design has made its way back into the hands of women, you know, those who actually wear bras! 


And throughout that evolution, the types of bras on the market have expanded – a lot. Now, there are bras for different breast sizes and shapes, lifestyles, tastes, etc. And this innovation in bra design is thanks to women like you who voiced their opinion and gave feedback for the types of bras they want to wear. 


The days of not being able to wear an outfit due to not having the right type of bra aren’t completely gone, but we’re nearly there. As more companies start actively listening to its community, like we at True&Co. do almost obsessively, women can look forward to building the bra wardrobe of their dreams. 


To help get you started, we’ve put together a guide of 20 bra types and bra styles and which ones are the best for you, depending on what you’re looking for. But first things first: you’ll need to know your bra size and measurements. If you’re not sure, check out our guide on how to measure bra size. Still need help? Take our Fit Quiz and get results for your bra size and best-fitting bras. 


1. Push Up Bra


 


            


 


What it does: Push-up bras give your girls a boost using angled cups and padding, pushing them inwards and upwards. 


When to wear it: Push-up bras are designed to enhance your cleavage and are usually worn with low-cut tops and dresses. Keep in mind that while push-up bras help give your cleavage that va-va-voom effect, you don’t have to be showing cleavage to wear a push-up bra. Nothing wrong with giving your breasts a daily lift, low-cut top or not.


Good for: All breast shapes and sizes.


2. Strapless Bra



What it does: Because strapless bras are, well, strapless, they support breasts with an underwire and help from silicone or a rubber lining to prevent slippage. Most also have molded cups to help keep its shape.


When to wear it: A good strapless bra is a must for every wardrobe. Strapless bras are perfect for wearing under dresses or tops with exposed shoulders. Strapless bras are not all alike, so definitely take it for a test wear to determine whether you’ve found the right bra type. Top things you’ll want to check for: the underwire doesn’t dig into your chest; the band doesn’t slip; it properly supports your breasts; no spillage or gaping in the cups.


Good for: All breast shapes and sizes (as long as you find the right one!).


3. Balconette Bra


 


What it does: As the name suggests, balconette bras act as a sort of balcony for your breasts. This type of bra provides a subtle lift to enhance your natural shape and cleavage. 


When to wear it: The cups are usually designed to have a feminine, sexy look with little coverage. It’s another bra style that can be worn on the regular and is ideal for low-cut tops and dresses.


Good for: All breast shapes, especially those with fuller cup sizes (in comparison to the band).


4. Bralette



What it does: Bralettes are a bra style without wires or molded cups and with straps that can be thin or lacy. While it’s great for coverage and comfort, the simplicity of this type of bra means it doesn’t offer much when it comes to support.


When to wear it: It depends on the bralette, but you can’t go wrong with wearing it under a tank. Many bralettes can be worn visibly, either alone or styled with a revealing top. 


Good for: All breast shapes and smaller breast sizes because of the minimal support.


5. Demi Bra



         


 


What it does: Demi bras have cups that don’t cover the whole bust, closer to about half. The whole cup is low-cut (whereas a plunge bra is only low in the middle) and is usually lightly lined, flattering your breasts’ natural shape.


When to wear it: Demi bras are great for v-necks but can be worn with just about any top.


Good for: All breast shapes and sizes.


6. Full Coverage Bras


 


             


 


What it does: Above all else, full coverage bras are about support and comfort which makes them a great choice for bigger breasts that naturally need the extra coverage. They usually have a sturdy underwire, and more curve-hugging fabric. That doesn’t mean they can’t be attractive as well. You can have have it all with the right full coverage bra.


When to wear it: Full coverage bras are a great everyday, go-to bra. A typical t-shirt bra, they’re comfortable enough to wear with anything you want – tanks, blouses, button-ups … you name it. 


Good for: All breast shapes and sizes, especially fuller and bigger breasts.


7. Bandeau Bra


 


 


                


 


 


What it does: Bandeau bras are essentially itty-bitty tube tops that just cover your breasts. It’s a strip of cloth that you pull on – no straps, hooks, or cups.


When to wear it: Bandeaus are a good type of bra for wearing under strapless tops or dresses, and in some cases even as a top itself. Because they don’t have straps, hooks, or cups, breasts tend to have a more natural look which is nice if you find yourself wanting a break from the typical bra type. 


Good for: All breast shapes and smaller breast sizes. Bandeaus offer little to no support, so they’re not the best bra type for bigger breast sizes. 


8. Wireless Bra



What it does: Wireless bras can be found in all different bra types and styles. If you don’t like the feeling of a wire and don’t need the kind of support a wire offers, wireless bras are a great way to go. 


When to wear it: This is a type of bra that you can wear every day with just about anything. It really comes down to what you’re in the mood for. Some days you feel like wearing a bra style with an underwire for extra support, some days you might not – it’s all up to you!


Good for: All breast shapes and sizes.


9. T-Shirt Bra



What it does: A t-shirt bra is a type of bra that’s all about comfort. This bra style is usually seamless with molded cups so as to create a smooth silhouette under your tees.


When to wear it: T-shirt bras are of course great with t-shirts, but this type of bra is also great under any top, loose or form-fitting. 


Good for: All breast shapes and sizes.


10. Plunge Bra


What it does: Plunge bra styles have cups that are super low in the center, with a deep V-neckline and the cups are designed to enhance your cleavage in a natural-looking way.


When to wear it: This type of bra is ideal for low-cut tops and dresses.  


Good for: All breast shapes and sizes.


11. Longline Bra


 


          


 


What it does: A longline bra is a sort of hybrid between a crop top and a bra. Its band extends lower than typical bras, as far down as your hips, for added support. Some might even be designed to help with waist-shaping. 


When to wear it: You can find longline bra styles designed for a range of occasions, from everyday to bridal wear. 


Good for: Fuller breast shapes and larger breast sizes that need extra support.


12. Sports Bra


 


               


 


What it does: A sports bra is designed to minimize breast movement during physical activity. They offer different levels of support and compression (light, medium, and high impact) depending on the intensity of physical activity. If you’re running, you’ll definitely want a high impact sports bra. Light and medium impact sports bras are better for activities like yoga and barre (where not a lot of bouncing is involved).


When to wear it: Whenever you’re working out – whether at the gym, yoga studio, spin class, on the trails, etc. Not in the mood for cups and clasps, or compression, for that matter? Check out True Weekend, a bra that gives your breasts a well-deserved break from the daily grind, too. 


Good for: All breast shapes and sizes. Finding the right sports bra comes down to the fitness activity you need it for and the best-fitting style for your body. For larger breasts, you’ll definitely want to try them on and move around to make sure the support and comfort is there. It’s super important in this case to avoid risk of injury from an ill-fitting sports bra.


13. Convertible Bra


 


              


 


What it does: Convertible bras have straps that can go from straight to criss-cross. Their versatility makes it easy to outfit and who doesn’t like that? 


When to wear it: If you’ve got plans that require a quick wardrobe change, you can’t go wrong with a convertible bra. They can come in a range of different styles (demi cup, balconette, padded, etc.) because the only change is in the straps. You can wear a convertible bra with just about anything, depending on the style you choose.


Good for: All breast shapes and sizes.


14. Plus Size Bra


     


What it does: Plus size bras are designed to meet the needs of bigger, plus size breasts, with a focus on support and comfort. They’re meant to address common concerns such as back pain and more coverage for a seamless silhouette.


When to wear it: While they’re all about form and function, plus size bras are also just as feminine as any other type of bra. Plus size bras come in all styles and are simply a category that offers a wider range of band and cup sizes. Wear your favorite styles anytime, anywhere.


Good for: All breast shapes; sizes 38D and above.


15. Racerback Bra


 



What it does: Racerback bras have a central strap, or two criss-crossing straps that form the shape of a Y or V between the shoulder blades. This bra style is meant to boost support and distribute the weight more evenly along your shoulders and back.


When to wear it: The way the straps sit on the shoulder is more discreet than standard bra styles, so racerback bra types are great for wearing with cold-shoulder or sleeveless tops and dresses. 


Good for: All breast shapes and sizes, especially larger breast sizes that could use that added support.


16. Halter Bra


 


               


 


What it does: A halter bra is a bra style designed to wear with halter tops. The design of the straps is just like that of a halter top, which is great if you’re not one for strapless bras or bandeaus. 


When to wear it: Halter bras are designed to be worn under halter tops and dresses, but you could wear it under anything from a blouse to a t-shirt (if you wanted). It’s not really recommended as an everyday bra since the source of support is your neck. This can be especially straining if you have bigger breasts. 


Good for: All breast shapes and sizes.


17. Underwire Bra


 


               


 


What it does: An underwire bra is a common bra style that has a thin, semicircular strip of rigid material fitted and sewn into the fabric under each cup. The underwire is meant to provide reinforced support and little lift. Finding the right underwire bra can be tricky. The wrong type or size can cause way more discomfort than the lift and support they’re designed to provide. In fact, 42% of women in our community cited uncomfortable underwire as their biggest bra issue – and forty-two percent of millions of women is a lot of women!


When to wear it: Underwire bras come in all types of bra styles, from strapless to balconette. They can be worn all day, every day if you prefer the added support. The key is to find one that’s just as comfortable as a wireless one, where the underwire doesn’t dig in. That often comes down to making sure you have the right bra size.


Good for: Fuller breast shapes and larger bra sizes. 


18. Padded Bra


 


             


 


What it does: A padded bra is a type of bra with cups that have padding, or pockets for padding. Any type of bra can be a padded bra, from your typical everyday bra style to sports bras. Data from our Fit Quiz revealed that most women prefer lightly lined (45%) or unlined pads (25%), which makes sense since padded bras can be uncomfortable if you have larger breasts and/or are wearing the wrong size or style. 


When to wear it: Padded bras are a bra style that can be worn anytime, anywhere, with anything. The padding is intended to add fullness to the bust line, and enhance the appearance of your bust. Plus, they keep perky nips from showing more than you’d like. It’s really just a preference of whether you like bra types with a little more cushioning.


Good for: All breast shapes and sizes; accentuating smaller breasts.


19. Stick-On Adhesive Bra


 


               


 


What it does: A stick-on adhesive bra is basically a strapless bra without a band. They’re pretty straightforward in the sense that you just stick ‘em on your breasts for coverage and a bit of support. 


When to wear it: These are the types of bras you want when you want the coverage of a standard type of bra, and maybe even some cleavage, while wearing something backless or with exposed shoulders. If you just want your nipples covered, a stick-on adhesive type of bra will be your bra of choice.


Good for: All breast shapes and sizes.


20. Maternity Bra


 


             


 


What it does / When to wear it / Good for:  Maternity bras (not to be confused with nursing bras) are a type of bra designed to be worn during and after pregnancy. Side note: nursing bras are specifically made for breastfeeding. 


Women’s breasts grow while they’re pregnant so most, if not all, maternity bra styles come with extra support with stretchy fabric. To accommodate fluctuating breast sizes, they also have adjustable straps and extra hook-and-eye clasps in the back.


If you’re having a hard time finding a maternity bra you like, widen your search by trying on bras with the same features.


There you have it – your guide to 20 types of bras (and that’s not even all of them!). It’s a lot of info to take in, so we totally get it if you’re not sure where to start looking for the right types of bras for your wardrobe. 


Our Fit Quiz is a great place to find bra types that flatter and comfortably support your breast shape and size. Already have something in mind? Check out our complete bra collection to find your favorite bra types and bra styles.

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