We wear them day in, day out and they’re simply part of everyday life for women – we’re talking about bras, of course. There are countless different kinds of bras, too – push-up bras, T-shirt bras, strapless bras and even sports bras. But what is the difference between all these different types and which bra should you wear when? In this article, pjuractive takes a closer look at bra types.
The range of bra types
There are countless different types of bra, all of which have different functions:
This classic bra type features a built-in wire, which provides support for your breasts and gives them a nice rounded shape at the same time. Underwired bras come in a range of different styles.
Why you should wear an underwired bra: To give your breasts the support they need, along with a nice rounded shape.
Who should wear an underwired bra: Underwired bras are suitable for all cup sizes.
Push-up bras are the bra of choice for anyone who would like a slightly bigger chest. With a cut that lifts the breasts from below and from the sides and integrated padding that flatters and makes even small breasts seem bigger, this is the perfect bra to conjure up a beautiful cleavage.
Why you should wear a push-up bra: To show your breasts off at their best. No matter what your bra size is – with a push-up bra, you’ll always have a sexy cleavage.
Who should wear a push-up bra: All women can wear push-ups. However, those with a smaller chest are likely to go for this kind of bra.
While a push-up bra will give the appearance of full breasts, making it look like more’s there than it actually is, a minimizer bra will help you achieve the opposite. The cut of this type of bra is intended to make breasts appear one or two sizes smaller. This bra type uses sculpting materials to hug the breasts close to the body, making them appear smaller.
Why you should wear a minimizer bra: If you have large breasts that simply look too big in many pieces of clothing. A minimizer bra allows you to do something about that.
Who should wear a minimizer bra: Women with a big chest.
As the name suggests, a half-cup or demi-cup bra has cups that are cut particularly low, only covering half the breast. The center bridge is therefore lower than it is in other bra types, too.
Why you should wear a half-cup bra: Half-cup bras are ideal for wearing under close-fitting sweaters or shirts as this type of bra barely shows under clothes.
Who should wear a half-cup bra: Women with small to medium-sized breasts.
Unlike a half-cup bra, with a full-cup bra the cups fully enclose the breasts. As a result, the center bridge is therefore particularly high in a bra of this kind.
Why you should wear a full-cup bra: Because a full-cup bra offers excellent support.
Who should wear a full-cup bra: Full-cup bras are perfect for women with a large bust.
T-shirt bras are designed to be able to be worn under a T-shirt without showing and looking unattractive. This type of bra therefore does not have any seams or lace that could be seen through a T-shirt. They are available with and without underwires, and many of them also have foam cups to give your breasts a nice, rounded shape.
Why you should wear a T-shirt bra: If you want to wear a close-fitting T-shirt without your underwear showing through, then reach for a T-shirt bra.
Who should wear a T-shirt bra: T-shirt bras can be worn by anybody, as they come in a wide range of different shapes and sizes.
Balconette bras actually take their name from the shape of a balcony. They feature half or ¾ cups and have a straight cut across the neckline with wide-set straps. This pushes the breasts forward, resembling a balcony.
Why you should wear a balconette bra: Because this bra type emphasizes your cleavage when you want to wear a particularly wide, straight neckline. This type of bra is a must under an empire line
dress, for example.
Who should wear a balconette bra: A balconette bra is ideal if you wear a B or C-cup.
Strapless bras allow you to unhook the straps from the cups and from the back and remove them. Not only are strapless bras therefore great for off-the-shoulder outfits, but they also provide the option of crossing the straps over at the back or using just one strap and crossing it over the back of your neck. In order to guarantee the necessary support, most strapless bras have a strip of silicone to stop them slipping.
Why you should wear a strapless bra: A strapless bra is essential if you want to wear a strapless top or dress.
Who should wear a strapless bra: In principle, anyone can wear a strapless bra. The bigger your chest, the more important it is to make sure it provides good support, however.
Halterneck bras have just one strap, which goes across the back of the neck from one cup to the other, keeping the back free.
Why you should wear a halterneck bra: Because it is perfect for wearing with a halterneck top or dress.
Who should wear a halterneck bra: Halterneck bras come in a vast range of different sizes, making this bra type suitable for everyone.
As the name suggests, non-wired bras don’t have underwires, making them especially comfortable. They come in many different styles, so they are ideal for both large and small breasts.
Why you should wear a non-wired bra: If you don’t like underwires and you want something a bit more comfortable, then non-wired bras are a good choice.
Who should wear a non-wired bra: Non-wired bras are available in all sizes.
Plunge bras have a particularly short center bridge between the cups, making them ideal for sweaters, T-shirts, or clothes with a low neckline. The V-shape of plunge bras even make the breasts look a little bigger, which is why some women choose this bra type in place of a push-up bra or maximizer bra.
Why you should wear a plunge bra: Because this bra type works particularly well with a low neckline and conjures up a beautiful cleavage by making breasts appear bigger.
Who should wear a plunge bra: Anyone can wear a plunge bra. They come in all different sizes.
Sports bras usually enclose the entire breast, are made from strong, durable materials and often have a so-called racer back. This ensures the bra fits particularly well and the straps cannot slip. Sports bras come with varying levels of support – so you can find the right bra type, no matter what the sport.
Why you should wear a sports bra: A sports bra provides the support you need, no matter how strenuous the activity.
Who should wear a sports bra: Anyone who exercises should wear a sports bra. If your breasts are well supported when you are doing sport, not only will you feel more comfortable but it will also relieve the strain on your back and connective tissues.
Here’s another look at all the different bra types at a glance:
|Bra type||Why?||Who for?|
|Underwired bra||For good support||For anyone|
|Push-up bra||To cheat your way to a slightly bigger chest 😉||For all those who aren’t so well-endowed|
|Minimizer bra||To make your breasts look a little smaller||For all those who are well endowed|
|Half-cup bra||So your bra won’t show through clothes||Ideal for those with small to medium-sized breasts|
|Full-cup bra||For great support||Ideal for those with large breasts|
|T-shirt bra||When you want to wear a close-fitting T-shirt||For anyone|
|Balconette bra||To emphasize your cleavage with a wide, straight neckline||For the B and C-cups among you|
|Strapless bra||To wear a strapless top or dress||For anyone (but the bigger your cup size, the better the support needs to be)|
|Halterneck bra||To wear a halterneck top or dress||For anyone|
|Non-wired bra||For extra comfort||For anyone|
|Plunge bra||For a low-cut neckline||For anyone|
|Sports bra||To cut a good figure when you’re exercising||For anyone|