• Bra Styles - Helping You Choose

by Samantha Miles

Are you wearing the best bra for you? 6 styles you need to know about.

Ask any woman who has gotten her bra professionally sized and she'll tell you: "The right fit makes all the difference." But the right cup and bust sizes aren't the only important factors when choosing a bra, according to Elisabeth Dale, author of the book "The Bra Zone" and founder of The Breast Life blog. “It’s like picking out shoes for an outfit — sometimes you want flip-flops, sometimes you want high heels” she says. And having a variety of bra styles means you can dress your chest for the occasion. Here’s how...

This style goes by all three names and essentially performs the function of “disappearing” underneath knitted or clingy clothing so that straps and bumps don’t stick up through fabric. The cups always hold their shape, even when breasts aren’t in them, and are made on a mold of thicker materials that provide great nipple coverage — a common concern for many women. You can get this type of bra in a variety of options, including full coverage, plunge and strapless.

This is Lyla T-Shirt Bra by Lepel

Bras made with underwire that surround the base of the breast provide structure by keeping the breasts anchored to the chest. While some women love the supportive feel, others find it uncomfortable. If you fall in the former category, look for underwire that is double or triple-wrapped for more comfort. You can find underwire bras in plunge, balcony and full-coverage styles, as well as in nursing and post-mastectomy bras. You just have to shop around to find what works best for you.

Model wears Suzette by Charnos available up to a J Cup

Nothing beats a push-up bra if you want to lift the twins higher. “The most versatile style is one where the pads can be removed so you can bump up your cleavage when you want, but not have your boobs be the centre of attention when you don’t. This style is also a good solution for those with breast asymmetry — where one breast is bigger than the other (totally normal!) — or for those who’ve had lumpectomies, since you can wear padding in only one cup. Despite their reputation, push-up bras aren't so much about adding volume (though they do some of that, too) as they are about lifting boobs to a higher elevation.

The gorgeous Fiore range by Lepel. Images shown are Raspberry & Gold

“There’s a great deal of confusion between the balcony and demi bra styles, since many manufacturers call a demi a balcony and vice versa,” says Dale. They’re actually not the same type of bra. The balcony is a sexier version of a full-coverage bra, with the cup cut a bit smaller to show more of the top half of the breast.

The demi bra (or shelf bra, just to confuse matters still further!) goes even lower than the balcony, with some sitting completely under the breast leaving almost the whole thing uncovered. The demi style works well under lower, scoop neck outfits. It’s also a good choice for those with shallower breast tissue as it lifts each breast up without creating cleavage or creasing, explains Dale.

This is Matilda, a balcony bra from Lepel at Katys Boutique

“These are the hottest new trend!” says Dale of the bras that are made as a one-piece without clasps and have an unstructured style that can slip on over your head. Many bralettes are made of supportive stretch lace material with adjustable straps and bands and come in longline styles that extend further down the torso. They're comfortable enough to sleep in, but fashionable enough to be worn as sexy lingerie or even as layering inside a shirt or jacket. 

Our lovely model is wearing Sophia Triangle Bra by Lepel London

Strapless styles are usually chosen to accommodate skin-baring outfits and come in regular or longline versions, which may be called bustiers. However, there is a difference between convertible and strapless styles. Convertibles allow you to change up straps to crisscross or wear in other ways. You can choose to ditch the straps altogether, but it’s not constructed the same way as a true strapless bra. In other words: If you're looking for versatility, go for a convertible. If you only need a strapless, go for a specific style.

Since all the support of a strapless comes from around the band, you may want to go down a band size and up a cup size, advises Dale. “Strapless bras are tricky to fit because of differing cup construction — from plunge to full coverage — so if you need one for a particular outfit, bring it along when you shop so you can see how it looks over the bra,” she suggests.


Part of our Bridal Collection, this is Charlotte Strapless Bra


Lastly, here's a pro tip: Bras are made of delicate fabrics and elastics and should always be laundered by hand or placed in a lingerie bag and washed on the gentle cycle in cool water. Be sure to drip dry. Never, ever put your bras in the dryer — that will be shorten their lifespan.


This article was originally published on Aug. 29, 2016 on TODAY.com.

Samantha Miles
Samantha Miles


Lingerie Lover and Owner of Katys Boutique

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.