Types of Bra Designs

Types of Bra Designs

a list of common design styles for bras
There are several designs of brassieres, depending on a number of factors such as your body type, the setting, the type of outer garment you wish to wear, the comfort or support you desire and so on.

This leads to bras that differ in shape, functionality, fabric, color, class, breast coverage and so on. While most bras are made for basic support and comfort, a good number of other designs are essentially lingerie, realizing sexual appeal.

While bra sizing is somewhat regionally standardized, there lacks a standardized criterion for bra type categorization and thus the list of bra types can be endless.

(i) Full-figure bras

These are also referred to as full-support, full-coverage or plus size and they are designed to provide optimal coverage and support to large breasts. They are suitable for those with big busts or the plus size and the best full figure bras typically feature a rigid underwire and other supportive materials.

Madeline Kelly Women's Push up Full-Figure Bra with Lace Sling, Best Full Coverage Push up Bra


(ii) Backless bras

Also called adhesives, are stick-on bras normally made of sticky material such as polyurethane or silicone that attaches to your boobs. The bra pair can be in separate pieces or conjoined.

Some backless bras have shoulder and/or waist straps, eg JUST BEHAVIOR Low Back Converter Bra and so they don’t need to have the nipple adhesive. For the sticky bras, the adhesive has limited reuse times before it starts to fail.

JUST BEHAVIOR Low Back Bra Converter Adjustable Strap Extender Backless Bra Strap Converter for Backless Dress

Most backless bras do not provide much support to your boobs and they are an alternative when you can’t wear a strapped or strapless bra and still don’t want to go braless altogether.

(iii) Strapless bras

Instead of the usual shoulder straps, the best strapless bras use other means to support your boobs and hold in place.

These include a wider and stronger band, a longer and studier underwire, silicone padding for the cups, side boning and so on. It is the preferred choice of bra for bare-shoulder outfits and other outer garments with a wide neck.

CURVY COUTURE strapless underwire push up bra, best strapless bra for heavy breasts


(iv) Underwired bras

Underwire is a thin and curved strip of material (metal, resin, plastic, etc) sewn into the bra under channel, from the center band to the armpits.

It is meant to enhance the cup shapes and support to the breasts. Undewire is a contemporary design and the best wireless or no underwire bras have been the popular designs traditionally.

DELIMIRA Womens Slightly Lined Lace Plus-Size Strapless Bra for Stay-put Support, Best Strapless Bra for Large Saggy Breasts


(v) Maternity bras

These are full cup bras worn during pregnancy. Their shoulder straps are wider for maximum support and they use soft non-irritable fabric. Their cups may also be adjustable to expand as the breasts enlarge during pregnancy.

Motherhood Maternity Bra, Female's Wrap Front Nursing Sleep Brassiere


(vi) Nursing bra

These are meant for breastfeeding and like maternity bras, they have full breast cups, wider shoulder straps, and soft fabric.

They are meant to support the enlarged breasts during breastfeeding and they also feature clipped flaps that can be folded to expose the nipples.

Freya Pure Uw Moulded Nursing Bra for Women


(vii) Sports bra

These are adapted to your sweaty activities, such as rigid support and minimal to zero breast movement, stretchable and moisture-wicking fabric.

Glamorise Double-Layer Custom-Control Sport Bra for Women


(viii) Balconettes

Also referred to as shelf or balcony bras, they lift your breasts to accentuate their shape and appearance as well as the cleavage. This bra is not full coverage, and thus from above, the breasts appear like balconies because the bra is not visible from above.

Rosme Balconette Bra for Women with Padded Straps, Collection Kamila


(ix) Shelf bra

This is also referred to as a half-cup, open-cup or cupless bra and it is an underwired bra designed to minimally cover the breasts while supporting their underside and pushing them upward.

They don’t cover the nipples and they may be built-in or detached.

Dreamgirl Women's shelf bra- exposes the nipples


(x) Bandeau

This is a strapless band of cloth that is wrapped around the breasts. It is more applicable to those with a small bust and only provides minimal shaping and support. It’s similar to but smaller than a tube top.

Carole Martin strapless comfort wire free brassiere, best wireless bra for large breasts


(xi) Tube top

Like the bandeau, a tube top is a strapless and sleeveless garment that covers a woman’s upper torso.

Kurve Seamless Bandeau tube top - UV Protective Fabric, Rated UPF 50+ (Non-Padded) -Made in USA


(xii) Convertible / multiway bra

This brassiere features detachable straps as well as different arrangements for fastening the straps, such as over the shoulder, halter, criss-cross, one shoulder and so on.

Fruit of the Loom Multiway Bra for women, best convertible bra


(xiii) Bridal bra

This is meant for your wedding day and it can be strapless, sticky and may also be laced to enhance sexiness.


(xiv) Built-in bras

These bras are built into the outer garment, and this is common with swimsuits and tank tops. They can be in different designs, such as a bandeau, underwire or wireless cups, and some are even detachable.

Move With You Womens Crop Tank Tops Workout and Running High Neck Sports Bra with a Built-in bra


(xv) Bullet bra

In this brassiere, the cups are shaped like decorated paraboloids centered around the nipples. Popular in the 1940s, they have found a comeback and have been modernized in the last couple decades.

What Katie Did 1940s Vintage Peach Bullet Bra for women


(xvi) Push-up bra

This is a trendy bra meant to create the impression of a fuller cleavage. The cups are angled and padded to push your boobs upwards and inwards, thus revealing a sexy cleavage.

Maidenform Love The Lift Push Up Bra for Women


6 thoughts on “Types of Bra Designs”

    • That’s true, the same bra can fit different activities. Thanks for passing by

  1. Help me 56 and still have not found the right BRA!


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