You've Heard Them Before, But do You Know What They Really Are?
Bra is the shortened word for brassiere. It is a close-fitting undergarment which is worn to support and give shape to the breasts.
A bralette is an unlined, soft cup bra. It resembles a very short crop top. Most of the time used as a teen bra or sleep bra because they do not offer too much support.
3/4 Cup Bra
It's a Push-up bra with armholes and horizontal as well as vertical seams on the cups. It offers a deeper and sexier cleavage than the regular style bra. It supports the chest and allows for a seductive cleavage. This model is also great for larger cup sizes.
A bra designed with a low cut adjustable back band.
Balconette/Balcony bra is a half-cup bra which is also known as a demi cup bra. For the most part a balconette/balcony bra also includes a little padding to enhance bust size. It provides push-up support, gives great cleavage and a frame-like effect.
Contour bras have cups that hold their shape. The cups are always padded or lined and they have an underwire. They are similar to a molded bra, except molded bras may not have cups with padding or underwires. They are a great way to get a sculpted silhouette, as they offer a significant amount of coverage and control. It can also add definition (not size) to the breast, a smooth shape, and eliminates the showing of the nipple. A Contour bra is a good choice for in-between bra sizes, or uneven breasts.
Have straps which can be detached and rearranged in different ways. Bra straps can be positioned as wide set, criss-cross, or halter.
A demi bra refers to a half-coverage bra cup. It lies low on the breast, close to the nipple - ideal for smaller breasts and low-cut tops. The shoulder straps are also set farther apart (wide -set). They are also known as Balcony/Balconnette bras.
Full Cup Bra
A full cup bra is the opposite of a demi cup bra. It fully covers most of the breast. It offers more coverage and support. They are great for women who desire more coverage.
Full figure bras are made for full figure women. Bras made in this style are designed to give additional support. Common features include padding, wider shoulder straps and triple hook and eye closures.
The cups are made with foam. This type of padding doesn't bunch up during washing. It also gives a smooth look to the cup.
Front closure bras close in the center front. They make it easier for dressing purposes. They can also be good for plunging or v-necklines.
Also known as demi/balcony bras. It gives a great shape. It pushes up the chest for a pretty, rounded and lifted cleavage. It gives you a rounder and more curvaceous line and an open and sexy neckline.
Halter style bras have straps that fasten behind the neck. It is perfect for backless or low back dresses. This style of bra can more often convert to criss cross or one shoulder style.
Light support bras usually have cutaway wings with little or no banding under the cups.
This style of bra features cups with lining. It gives additional support and prevents the cup from being see - through.
Long Line bras are a great way to get midriff slimming. The to-the-waist panels give extra smoothing. This style of bra can offer the shaping of a corset without the uncomfortable boning.
Lightly lined bras are not padded bras. They are lightly lined with more than one piece of fabric. It offers a better way to cover the nipple. It also gives nice shaping to the breast.
Maternity bras are designed for women who are pregnant. They may sometimes be designed for easy access breast feeding once you have had the baby. They are slightly different from nursing bras because they are designed so that they can expand to adjust as the breast increases in size during your pregnancy.
A mastectomy bra is designed so that the prosthesis may be held in place. They are intended for individuals who have lost one or both breasts.
Minimizer bras are made to de-emphasize the bust on large breasted women. They compress and shape the breast. They help create the illusion of being a cup or two smaller. They reduce the bustline while still giving you a smooth natural shape. A well fitting minimizer bra will not give you the uni-boob look.
Enhance the cleavage and provide a fuller shape. It is ideal to wear under form fitted clothing because it is almost invisible. Molded cups are pre-shaped using a machine. They are shaped to give the breast a natural look. Molded doesn't mean padded. Some molded cup bras do not have padding and some do.
Nursing bras are designed for mothers who are nursing their baby. They make breastfeeding simpler because they allow easy access to the nipple. They have flaps of fabric over the cup that can be unclasped and pulled down for easy access of the breast. They are made to provide support even when the flap is pulled down.
Padded bras have padding inside the lining providing a fuller shaper for small breast. They add size and definition to a smaller bustline.
Push Up bras are designed so that the breasts are lifted and placed closer together to enhance the cleavage. They have the padding on the bottom and sides of the cup to add maximum cleavage. Sometimes push up bras have removable padding also known as a "cookie".
Plunge bra is designed especially for low cut necklines. They offer fuller coverage on the side and less in the center. They differ from push up bras because they don't have as much padding. They are the ideal choice for tops with deep necklines.
Racer Back bras are also known as T-back or Y-Back bras. They have straps that join in a "V" shape on the back between the shoulder blades. They are a great pick for tanks, specialty tops and dresses. It is also great for women with sloping shoulders because it prevents the straps from slipping off.
A seamless bra has smooth, seam free cups that enable you to wear lightweight fabrics and form fitting clothing without your bra showing through. This style of bra follows your own curves creating a rounded natural shaper with full support. It is almost invisible under your clothing.
Strapless bras look like bandeau tops. They have no shoulder straps. They have silicon strips/grips that help keep the bra in place while providing support. They usually come with removable straps which can be positioned parallel, criss cross, asymmetric or strapless. They may also come with transparent straps. They are ideal for dresses and tops where a normal bra would show.
Shelf bra can be another name used to describe a demi bra.
Shelf bra can refer to a supportive brassiere like structure inside of another garment that offers support for the bust without the need of a separate bra. Some camisoles, tank tops and swimsuits have this type of bra integrated into their design.
Soft cup bras are a style of bras that do not include an underwire. Do to not having an underwire these bras are very comfortable to many women. When wearing the proper fitting soft cup bra a woman can get nice support without the underwires.
Sports bras are made to be worn during exercise and sports activities in order to maximize support and minimize bounce. They are designed with wider straps and fuller cup coverage. They can be found with an underwire or without. They also come in several levels of activity and impact in order to cater to your activity level.
T-shirt bras are designed to look invisible under form fitted tops. They are seamless so that they are not visible under your form fitted tops. They offer a rounded natural shape with nice support.
Triangle bras have triangle shaped cups which offer nice coverage/support for petite to average figures. They usually do not have any underwires. Most of the bras in this design have thin straps.
Underwire bras have sewn-in wiring that goes underneath the breast in each cup. The underwire cups helps uplift the breast, separate and offer good support. They are ideal for full figured women. Many different materials are now used to make the underwires in the bras in order to provide you the best comfort.