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21 Bra Types Every Girl Should Know In 2019: The Complete Bra Style Guide

Rachika Singh September 23, 2019 9 min read

Types of Bras You Should Know About

Most women share a love-hate relationship with bras. No matter how much you hate their pokes and stabs, you just can’t do without their lift and support. Well, the good part is that once you get to know what style, size and type complements your body, it can significantly transform the quality of life. The right bra type can magically enhance the appearance of your outfit whereas the wrong one can spoil your entire look. That’s why women should be well versed with the different types of bra styles available in the market and the outfits they go with.


Types of Bras


Here’s a video on Different Types of Bras


Here, we have enlisted 21 types of bras for women that you can find at Clovia. We have also mentioned some styling tips for each bra for the best pairing.


#1 Padded Bras

Padded Bra

A padded bra is crafted with padded cups or has pockets to insert pads (also called cookies). This style works best when your main concern is to hide visible nipples. It also adds volume to your breasts and gives them a rounder and fuller shape. Padded bras are available in both underwired & non-wired styles. Underwired padded bras give you a gentle lift while non-padded ones are great for everyday wear.


Style Guide
Breast Type All
Occasion Everyday
Outfit All


#2 T-shirt Bra

T-shirt Bra

A T-shirt bra is quite similar to a padded bra. It has smooth and seamless cups that don’t leave any impression when worn under body-hugging outfits. This style works best with fitted outfits for a clean & smooth silhouette.


Style Guide
Breast Type All
Occasion Everyday
Outfit T-Shirts, Body Hugging Dresses

#3 Push-Up Bra

Push Up Bra

A push-up bra lifts your breasts and pushes them closer while giving you a very prominent cleavage. Push-up bras usually have underwired cups for a gentle lift. They have angular padding that drastically changes the shape and look of your breasts. Starting from level 1 push up, which is a gentle push to a level 3, which is a heavy lift, you can pick the amount of drama you need!



Style Guide
Breast Type Mostly for Small, Saggy
Occasion Parties
Outfit Low cut blouses, Plunge Neck Outfits
Level 1 For small breasts
Level 2 For semi full or small breasts
Level 3 For full or semi full breasts

[Read  : Is the Size for a Push-Up Bra same as your Usual Bra?]

#4 Underwired Bras


As the name suggests, these bras have wired cups, although the cups may or may not be padded. The underwires provide a gentle lift to breast making them look perkier. This style works best for women who feel they have saggy breasts and need that extra lift.


Style Guide
Breast Type Large
Occasion All
Outfit All

#5 Convertible/ Multiway Bra

Convertible Bra

This style is the master of all bras. With detachable straps, it allows multiway styling including one strap, two straps, cross-shoulder, halter, criss-cross and even strapless. This one bra solves the purpose of many bras combined.


Style Guide
Breast Type All
Occasion Everyday, Gym
Outfit Tank Tops, Racerback Dresses

#6 Bralette


Bralette is a bra style that lies somewhere between a bra and a crop top. These easy-to-wear bras are usually non-padded non-wired and have a slip-on style. With less of support and construction, this style focuses more on style and comfort factor. They can be styled as a fashionable outwear too!


Style Guide
Breast Type Small, Medium
Occasion Parties
Outfit Transparent, Backless outfits or like crop tops

#7 Strapless Bras

Strapless Bra

A strapless bra is pretty much self-explanatory. This style can be worn without the straps. Its main support is offered by underwired cups and an inner silicon lining along the edges that prevent the bra from slipping down. Such styles sometimes have side boning for extra support. They work best under tube, strapless and off-shoulder outfits.


Style Guide
Breast Type Small
Occasion Casual outing, Parties
Outfit Off shoulder Tops, Tube Tops, Racerback Dresses

#8 Balconette Bra


A balconette bra can be identified by its wide set straps. The name has been derived from the word ‘balcony’ that pretty much resembles the neckline that is created by wide set straps. This bra style works best for broad necklines.


Style Guide
Breast Type Small, Medium
Occasion Weddings, Parties
Outfit Wide Neck Tops, Sarees, Salwar Suits

#9 Front Open Bra

Front Open Bra

Front open bras feature a clasp or a hook at the centre gore. This can be considered as the most convenient bra to wear. This style is popular amongst women who find it difficult or annoying to hook the bra at the back.


Style Guide
Breast Type Heavy breasted women
Solution Easy to tie front enclosures

#10 Halter Bra

Halter Bra

Halter bras have a single strap that either goes around the neck or straps that can be tied at the back of the neck. This style works best under halter dresses and tank tops. Most of the convertible bras give you an option of converting them into a halter style too.


Style Guide
Breast Type All
Occasion Parties, Day Out
Outfit Tube Tops, Strapless Dresses, Tank Tops, Racerback Dresses, Halter Neck Dresses

#11 Bandeau Bra

Bandeau Bra

Bandeau bras are also called tube bras. These are pretty basic in structure with no wiring, no padding and no straps. But quite a few tube bras come with inbuilt pockets to insert pads. This bra style works best under tube tops or racerback tops. Great option for times when you don’t want your straps to be visible.


Style Guide
Breast Type Small
Occasion Parties
Outfit Off Shoulder Tops, Tube Tops, Deep Neck Dresses, Sheer Tops

#12 Nursing Bra

Nursing Bra

Nursing bras are a blessing for new mothers. They feature a flap at the cups for easy feeding access. These flaps are usually secured with a clasp that can be unhooked by a single handle making it easy to feed the baby. These are crafted with breathable cotton fabric and are non-padded and non-wired to keep the mother at utmost ease during the time of changing breast shape and size. These are also called Maternity Bras.


Style Guide
Ideal time Pregnancy, Post pregnancy
Solution Convenient feeding access

#13 Racerback Bra

Racerback Bra

Racerback bras are the ones that have a tank top-like back. These work best under outfits that have a similar back style. It serves as a great option for women who often complain about bra straps slipping down the shoulders. A lot of women claim that these bras are very comfortable and feel light on the back.


Style Guide
Occasion Workout, Everyday
Outfit Tank Tops, Racerback Dresses

#14 Plunge Bra

Plunge Bra

Plunge bras have demi-coverage cups that covers one-third of the breasts and has a deep neckline all the way to the centre gore. They work best under outfits that have a low neckline and ensure no embarrassing bra peeks.


Style Guide
Breast Type Small, Medium
Occasion Weddings, Parties
Outfit V Neckline Dresses

#15 Cage Bra

Cage Bra

A cage bra is a very sexy style that features multiple straps on the front or back. This style is such that no woman can resist showing off. Cage bras can be styled with trendy & fashionable outfits or can be just worn alone with jacket. In other words, this bra serves both as innerwear and outerwear.


Style Guide
Breast Type All
Occasion Honeymoon, Parties
Outfit Sheer Tops, Scoop Back Dresses

#16 Sports Bras

Sports Bra

Sports bras are a must-have for any physical exercise. These bras support the breasts and minimise bounce. Depending on the nature of the activity, one can pick from a range of low impact, medium impact and heavy impact bras.


Style Guide
Low Impact Workout Walking, Yoga, Pilates, Strength Training
Medium Impact Workout Dance, Ski, Zumba, Cycling
Heavy Impact Workout Gym, Running, Aerobics, Hiking

[Read: 5 Benefits of Wearing a Sports Bra]

#17 Stick On Bra

Stick-On Bra

Stick on bras have no back straps or shoulder straps. They have an adhesive on the inner side of the cups that stick to the body and stays put. These bras work best under backless and strapless outfits. However, they may not work the best with heavy breasted women.


Style Guide
Breast Type Small
Occasion Parties
Solution Avoid bra strap visibility
Outfit Backless Dresses, Off Shoulder Tops, Tube Tops, Racerback Dresses, Sheer Back Dresses

#18 Transparent Bra

Transparent Bra

Transparent bras feature transparent back straps and shoulder straps. These straps go invisible under backless and strapless clothes and give a clean and smooth look.


Style Guide
Breast Type Large
Occasion Wedding, Parties
Outfit Backless Dresses, Tube Tops

#19 Bridal Bras

Bridal Bra

Bridal bras are the fanciest bra type of all. The premium fabrics like lace and satin to add to the bridal charm. The designs are super-sexy and functional to make a perfect addition to your bridal trousseau.


Style Guide
Breast Type All
Occasion Wedding, Honeymoon

#20 Beginner’s Bra

Beginners Bra

Quite similar to a bandeau bra, this bra has no hooks, pads or wiring. Beginner’s bras have a slip-on style to make it happy ‘first bra’ experience for the young girls.


Style Guide
Ideal for Teenagers
Solution Provides support to growing girls
Outfit School Uniform, T-Shirt, Dresses

#21 Full Figure Bras

Full Figure Bra

Full figure bras as the name suggest has full coverage cups and broader side coverage. Such styles work best with women who have bigger & fuller breasts. These bras prevent spillage and give a much more flattering figure.

Now that you know about all the popular bra styles available in the market you are ready to get-set-shop! But remember that picking the right bra size is as important as picking the right bra type. You can use the Bra Size Calculator to find your size in quick and easy steps.


Style Guide
Breast Type Large
Occasion Everyday as per convenience
Outfit Dresses, Tops, T-Shirts


Rachika Singh

Rachika Singh

Content Manager at Clovia
Dipped in glitter and soaked with thoughts, Rachika just wants to share her experiences with the world. She is a foodie, a pet-lover and a writer, based out of Delhi and is obsessed with beauty, fashion, and food. Being a fashion enthusiast, she loves keeping herself updated with the latest trends.
Check out my favorite video here!
Lingerie Stacking Hacks
Rachika Singh

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