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26 Bra Types Every Girl Should Know In 2020: The Complete Bra Style Guide

Bra Styles

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 complement your body, it can significantly transform the quality of life. The right bra types 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.

Here, we have enlisted 26 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.

Bra Types Infographic

#1 Padded Bras

Padded BraA 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: Padded Bra
Breast Type All
Occasion Everyday
Outfit All

#2 T-shirt Bra

T-shirt BraA 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: T-shirt Bra
Breast Type All
Occasion Everyday
Outfit T-Shirts, Body Hugging Dresses

#3 Push-Up Bra

Push-Up BraA 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: Push-Up Bra
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

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#4 Underwired Bras

Underwired BraAs 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: Underwired Bra
Breast Type Large
Occasion All
Outfit All

#5 Convertible/ Multiway Bra

Convertible-Multiway-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: Convertible/ Multiway Bra
Breast Type All
Occasion Everyday, Gym
Outfit Tank Tops, Racerback Dresses

#6 Bralette

BraletteBralette 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: Bralette
Breast Type Small, Medium
Occasion Parties
Outfit Transparent, Backless outfits or like crop tops

#7 Strapless Bras

Strapless BraA 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: Strapless Bra
Breast Type Small
Occasion Casual outing, Parties
Outfit Off shoulder Tops, Tube Tops, Racerback Dresses

#8 Balconette Bra

Balconette BraA 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: Balconette Bra
Breast Type Small, Medium
Occasion Weddings, Parties
Outfit Wide Neck Tops, Sarees, Salwar Suits

#9 Front Open Bra

Front Open BraFront 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: Front Open Bra
Breast Type Heavy breasted women
Solution Easy to tie front enclosures

#10 Halter Bra

Halter BraHalter 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: Halter Bra
Breast Type All
Occasion Parties, Day Out
Outfit Tube Tops, Strapless Dresses, Tank Tops, Racerback Dresses, Halter Neck Dresses

#11 Bandeau Bra

Bandeau BraBandeau 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: Bandeau Bra
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: Nursing Bra
Ideal time Pregnancy, Post pregnancy
Solution Convenient feeding access

#13 Racerback Bra

Racerback BraRacerback 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: Racerback Bra
Occasion Workout, Everyday
Outfit Tank Tops, Racerback Dresses

#14 Plunge Bra

Plunge BraPlunge 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: Plunge Bra
Breast Type Small, Medium
Occasion Weddings, Parties
Outfit V Neckline Dresses

#15 Cage Bra

Cage BraA 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: Cage Bra
Breast Type All
Occasion Honeymoon, Parties
Outfit Sheer Tops, Scoop Back Dresses

#16 Sports Bras

Sports BraSports 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: Sports Bra
Low Impact Workout Walking, Yoga, Pilates, Strength Training
Medium Impact Workout Dance, Ski, Zumba, Cycling
Heavy Impact Workout Gym, Running, Aerobics, Hiking

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#17 Stick On Bra

Stick On BraStick 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: Stick On Bra
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 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: Transparent Bra
Breast Type Large
Occasion Wedding, Parties
Outfit Backless Dresses, Tube Tops

#19 Bridal Bras

Bridal BraBridal 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: Bridal Bra
Breast Type All
Occasion Wedding, Honeymoon

#20 Beginner’s Bra

Beginner’s BraQuite 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: Beginner’s Bra
Ideal for Teenagers
Solution Provides support to growing girls
Outfit School Uniform, T-Shirt, Dresses

#21 Full Figure Bras

Full Figure BraFull 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.

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

#22 Lace Bra

Lace braThis is probably the sexiest bra style available in the market. It makes the perfect pick for a honeymoon or those special nights. Crafted with exquisite lace fabric, this bra lets you channel your inner diva in full swing. It enhances your appearance graciously to sweep your man off his feet by surprise.

Style Guide: Full Figure Bra
Breast Type All
Occasion Honeymoon, Bridal
Outfit Babydolls, Nighties

#23 Non-Padded Bras

Non-Padded BraA non-padded bra is best suited for women with larger breast size who don’t want any additional volume with the padding. The bulk free cups enhance the natural shape of your breasts, without making them look out of shape. And since they’re double layered, they don’t result in any nipple show either. They provide you just the right amount of comfort, so you can feel free all day long. They’re so light that you’ll not even feel like you’re wearing a bra at all. This is why many people consider them a great home option to simply relax and lounge around.

Style Guide: Full Figure Bra
Breast Type Large
Occasion Everyday
Outfit All

#24 Demi Bras

Demi BraLike the name states, ‘demi’ means half, so the demi bra means half bra. The cups are half/ smaller in size in comparison to a full cup bra. The bra covers much less area of breasts while ensuring the nipples are fully concealed. Because of its unique design and shape, it works great under low cut outfits. However, since the cups aren’t full, they don’t provide ample support like a full coverage bra does. It is mostly ideal for smaller breast sizes.

Style Guide: Full Figure Bra
Breast Type Small
Occasion All
Outfit Low neck

#25 Seamless bra

Seamless braBody hugging tops can be tricky because usually the bra shows underneath. Well, thankfully, a seamless bra is designed to help you with just that. It is ultra smooth and is specifically crafted to provide you a seamless silhouette underneath your clothes, even under the tightest ones. The cups are beautifully moulded to enhance your curves while giving them the fit and firm look.

Style Guide: Full Figure Bra
Breast Type All
Occasion Office, Parties
Outfit Body hugging

#26 Wireless bras

Wireless braAs obvious from the name, these bras are devoid of straps. So, if you’d always been irritated by the poking of underwires, this one’s for you. This bra is utterly comfortable and sits perfectly under your busts. And if you think they’re not supportive, you’re highly mistaken. These bras have sturdy underbands to provide your breasts the necessary support and lift, especially to the ones with smaller to mid sized breasts.

Style Guide: Full Figure Bra
Breast Type Mostly small, mid sized
Occasion Everyday
Outfit All

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.

Here’s a video on “Bra Types” that will help you understand it better!

 Bra Shopping

Expert’s Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why is it important to have a proper fitting bra?
A1. Wearing ill fitted bra can create a room for numerous health problems. It can make you prone to headache, neck pain, poor posture, skin irritation, and saggy breasts in the long run. Additionally, it can downgrade your overall appearance. It can make your breasts look out of place and bulky. On the other hand, the right sized bra can keep you healthier and enhance the look of your bust.

Q2. How do I know when my bra does not fit properly?
A2. Here are some signs that will help you identify the same:
1. Riding back band
2. Spilling breasts
3. Digging straps
4. Slipping straps
5. Gaping in cups

Q3. I have very small breasts. Do I really need to wear a bra?
A3. Yes, absolutely. No matter how small your bust size is, it is still mandatory for you to wear a bra to get the required support. Going braless might cause jiggling of breasts that can be super uncomfortable. Rest, padding or push-ups are totally your choice.

Q4. Which type of bra is best?
A4. There is no absolute best when it comes to bras. Each bra serves a different purpose, so you need to pick one depending on the purpose. For instance, you can’t wear your regular bra to the gym. Similarly, wearing a lace bra underneath a body hugging outfit would be a fashion faux pas.

Q5. I have bigger breasts. Which kind of bra is best for me?
A5. Here are some bras that are best suitable for women with bigger breasts:
1. Full coverage
2. Sports bras
3. Underwired
4. T-shirt
5. Push-up

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!
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