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It can be easy to get confused between different bra styles when so many exist! But,don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’ll explain the most popular bra styles so you can let go of any bra shopping confusion and find the best styles for you. Your top drawer should be home to the best styles for your breast shape and lifestyle. So, you don’t need every single bra style in this guide, but we’re here to help you figure out what styles will work best for you.

How to find the right type of bra for you

Think about your breast shape and size

First things first, when it comes to finding the right bra type for you you’ll need to consider what works for your breast shape. Breasts are all wonderfully unique and therefore have their own fit requirements. If you’re unsure what breast shape you have, read our guide for more information. Once you know what styles will work best for your individual needs, you can start bra shopping! Everyone has a slightly different breast shape and size, so while you can wear any bra type you like, the most flattering styles will suit your specific shape and size.  

For help determining your bra size, check out our Bra Fitting 101 guide and sizing chart

Consider the outfit you want to wear the bra with

Finding the right bra is also about determining which clothing silhouette it’s best worn with. Here are some helpful tips: 

  • Consider the neckline of your outfit If it is a low v-neck, a plunge bra might be best for you. 

  • Take into account whether your outfit is strapless or backless We have strapless, backless and multiway for these tops and dresses. 

  • Think about the material of your outfit If your outfit is very figure-hugging or made from thin materials, choose a wire-free bra that won’t peak through the material. 

Consider how much coverage you want

Coverage is an essential factor to consider when hunting for your perfect style. If you want a little more coverage and support for the girls, opt for a full-coverage bra style. Consider a demi bra style for mid-coverage (not too much, not too little). Bras with less coverage often cater to different necklines, such as plunge bras.

Different bra types explained

What is a balconette bra?

A balconette bra – also known as a balcony cup – is characterised by its horizontally cut shallow cups and wide-set straps that sit at the side of the cup as opposed to the centre. Because balconette styles sit a little lower on the bust and have less coverage than a full-cup style, they work with most outfits and can be worn daily. 

Balconette bras are flattering for most shapes and sizes because it provides a natural-looking lift and creates the appearance of a fuller, rounder bust. Because of their half-cup shape, they’re an ideal style for teardrop-shaped breasts that need more coverage on the bottom as well as women with a larger bust size. 

Model wearing Lace Me Up Contour Balconette Bra

What are contour bras and t-shirt bras?

Contour bras have smooth, lightweight moulded cups with underwire support. They’re designed to have a seamless appearance that hides even under the tightest clothes. Contour bras have light padding that helps shape and lift the bust without making your breasts appear bigger. Because of this, they’re a great option for any woman who wants the rounded, symmetrical shape a push-up bra would provide without the added padding. Contour bras are also a go-to style for women with smaller or asymmetrical breasts who want natural shaping. 

Like contour bras, t-shirt bras have a smooth, seamless design that looks invisible under clothing, even tight-fitting t-shirts. There are many styles of t-shirt bras – they can be wireless or wire-free, padded or non-padded – but all of them have a minimal, lightweight design that’s comfortable enough to wear all day long. Because there are so many different styles, t-shirt bras work for women of all different shapes and sizes. 

Looking for your new everyday bra? Explore our range of contour and t-shirt bras.  

What is a DD to G cup bra?

DD to G cup bras, or plus size bras, provide superior comfort and support for ladies with larger busts. Plus-size bras come in various styles (contour, unlined, full coverage, etc.), so you can find one that suits your preferences.  

This bra typically adds more support with thicker straps, a wider band, and extra hook and eye closures. Many DD to G cup bras we offer also have features such as boning, power mesh fabrics, or an extra side sling that supplies additional support and complements your curves. 

What is a full-coverage bra?

Just like it sounds, full-coverage bras are those that offer maximum coverage. Though they work for all breast shapes and sizes, they’re particularly popular amongst women with larger breasts who want to minimise cleavage or breast spillage.

What is a maternity bra?

Maternity bras offer support and comfort as your body and breasts change during pregnancy. The best maternity bras will be wire-free, have comfortable cushioned shoulder straps, and have additional hooks to support your breasts as they grow. Women who are pregnant and breastfeeding will want to have at least two to three maternity bras in their collection. For more information, we have an Ultimate Guide to Maternity Bras up on our blog.

What is a non-padded and unlined bra?

Non-padded or unlined bras don’t feature any padding or foam in the cups. They typically have one layer of lining made from a sheer or stretchy fabric that is so comfortable you can hardly feel it. Non-padded and unlined bras are flattering and supportive no matter your breast shape or size. It all comes down to finding your preferred style and fabric.

What is a push-up bra?

The push-up bra is one of the most iconic bra types. They’re designed to give your bust extra lift and support; some push-up bras also contain extra padding that enhances your breast size. For women with small breasts, this style is ideal for creating more lift and cleavage. But they aren’t just for small-busted women! Push-ups are also great for medium to large breasts that need a little extra boost and added volume or women who want to accentuate their curves and give their busts a flattering lift.

What is a plunge bra?

You’ll know a plunge bra when you see one. They can be easily identified by their low-cut v-neckline and angled cups. The angled cups help bring your breasts closer together and reduce gaping, making them a perfect style for women with slim or wide-set breasts. They have less coverage than other bras, but their low neckline means you can wear them with plunging tops and dresses.

What is a sports bra?

No matter your breast size or activity level, every woman needs a sports bra or two in her collection. Sports bras – which range from low, medium, and high impact – are to be worn during exercise. They support overall breast health, prevent breast pain, and improve performance by offering comfort, support, and compression while exercising.  

What is a wire-free bra?

Wire-free or wireless bras are some of the most comfortable bras you can own. As the name suggests, they don’t have any wire and come in a variety of different styles, from bralettes to padded bras to seamless bras. Wire-free bras offer support based on the bra’s style, fabric, band width, etc.

What is a bralette?

Bralettes are a popular wire-free bra that is so well-loved it deserves its own category. Bralettes are known for their easy-to-wear, comfortable style that is non-padded and non-wired. Because of this, they offer less support and lift than other bra types and may not give larger bust sizes the support they need day to day. Most bralettes have a long-line style reminiscent of a crop top, so they can be worn as a fashion statement, too. 

What is a strapless bra?

A strapless bra is a bra without straps. They’re designed to be worn under tube tops or off-shoulder outfits where you don’t want your bra to show. Strapless bras can be worn by women of any breast size and shape and feel just as comfortable and secure as your usual bras, as long as you know what to look for. Key features you want in a strapless bra include a non-slip grip, side panel boning, extra hooks, and a wide supportive band.

What is a backless bra?

Going braless isn’t an option for everyone, which is where backless bras come in. You want to reach for a backless bra when wearing a backless top or dress you don’t want to go braless for or have your bra peeking through. 


Backless bras come in various styles, such as super-low back bras and adhesives that cover only the front of your breast. Adhesives are a great option for those who just want a little extra protection and nipple coverage. Women with larger busts who need ample support should opt for a low-back bra or bustier that feels more secure.  

What is a multiway bra?

Having a multiway bra in your collection is always a good idea. These multi-functional, convertible bras come with detachable straps that let you change the look and support. You can wear a multiway bra with two straps, or one strap or go completely strapless, depending on the outfit you want to wear it with. 

What is a demi cup bra?

The demi cup bra is similar to but cuts lower on the bust than the balconette bra. It has a straighter, lower neckline and is more revealing at the top of the bust, meaning it can be worn under low-cut tops and dresses.  

Like balconette bras, the demi-cup is ideal for bust shapes that are fuller at the bottom than at the top or for anyone who wants a natural lift. Demi cup bras also create a flattering cleavage by slightly tilting the breasts towards one another and drawing attention to the centre. 

Find your perfect bra type from Bendon

So there you have it, the difference between different types of bras explained! Are you ready to find your perfect match? Find the best bra to support you through the day. Shop our wide selection of bras. From daring demi cups to classic contour and t-shirt bras, there is a size and style here for everyone. 

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