Personal Style

The Bra Style Guide: Decoding the Most Popular Bra Types So You Don’t Have To

There are approximately forty gazillion bra styles out there (we should know, we carry them all). So how do you narrow down which bra types are the best for you? Here’s a cheat sheet. Ideally, you’ll have at least 6 bras in the mix—two nude, two black, and have fun with the rest—to get through the week. (Bras work hard, they’ve earned the next day off!)

Full Cup BraFULL CUP

Perfect for: the daily grind; average-to-full busts
Why we love it: complete, confident coverage that seriously supports a chest

DEMI CUPDemi Cup Bra

Perfect for: the daily grind; small-to-average busts

Why we love it: lower-cut balconette-style cups flatter those whose cups don’t runneth over


Perfect for: everyone, everywhere, every day

Why we love it: the T-shirt bra is the no-brainer of all bra styles—crazy comfy; smooth under clothes; comes in all sizes, shapes and shades

Plunge BraPLUNGE

Perfect for: work blouses or after-hours; going-out looks

Why we love it: The plunge bra has supportive sides to do the heavy lifting and give a slight push, while cups dip low in the middle to disappear under a V-neck or wrap dress—smart and sexy, always a winning combo

Push-Up BraPUSH-UP

Perfect for: whenever you need a boost

Why we love it: a little strategically placed foam, gel or air (yep, air) can make any size chest look va-va-va-voom-levels of voluptuous

Minimizer BraMINIMIZER

Perfect for: a big bust you’d rather downplay

Why we love it: the surgical-free answer to a breast reduction, these bras can visually take you down as much as two cup sizes. Clothes fit better and, most importantly, you feel better


Fill in your collection with unitaskers that mesh well with your life—things like sports bras, strapless bras, bras with convertible straps, a racerback or unlined bralettes.


There’s a whole universe of brilliantly-designed bra styles for nursing mamas, women who’ve undergone mastectomy, accessible front-close bras and every imaginable type of smoother. Whatever you need, know this: you’re not the only one.

Check out our Bra Glossary for even more on the different types of bras and their features.

By Brooke Glassberg

Brooke is the editor of this here blog. In a previous life, she was an editor at Good Housekeeping and O, The Oprah Magazine. Brooke has written for Glamour, Travel+Leisure, New York Magazine and more. She’s into concerts, travel and her exceptionally adorable daughter and husband.

26 replies on “The Bra Style Guide: Decoding the Most Popular Bra Types So You Don’t Have To”

Thank you, Bare Necessities for this amazing blog, especially the Bra Glossary! Looking forward to more entertaining and useful posts!

This is my 1st order from bare necessities, I Love the Bra I picked, hope it’s what I want. Thankyou Barbara Mcmurray

We hope you’ve found something you love, too, Barbara! And if not, reach out to our Bra Fit Experts at 877-728-9272 x4, or chat online. We’ll help you get it right!

Really glad you found it helpful! Give our Bra Fit Experts a shout at 877-728-9272 if there’s anything they can help with.

Hi! This is a great post and I’m glad I found it, i just wish I had found it when I had to redo my whole bra wardrobe, but I think I got most of it right. The only thing I still have a question on is that I am home on disability and therefore the regular work bra is very uncomfortable for me to wear all day at home. I’m usually in lounge ware because anything tight around my pelvic area causes pain, but as far as my bra, I just want something comfortable, but yet with enough support. What would you suggest? Thanks! 🙂

Hi Maureen! We’re here to support you. Give us a call at 877-728-9272 (select option 4) for a complimentary, personalized over-the-phone bra fitting and shopping assistance. We’d be delighted to help you complete your new bra wardrobe.

Hi, I am at a loss I can NOT find a bra. My band size is 44 and thru various measurings at different shops they come up with a D or DD cup-Problem is the fullness of my tiny breasts is at the bottom so I can’t EVEN imagine a D or DD -I had a lumpectomy on my left breast which of course has left a noticible divot on that breast-
I have had surgeries on my left shoulder so wearing anything with stiff,tight straps becomes unbearable after 6hours and my torso is Long I really LOVE All in One units but they don’t work now with the shoulder,extra long torso-I have been wearing sports bras and have tried so many different bras-so frustrated I even went to a strapless bra but of course the cups are too big and collapse at the top-HELP if you can!!

Hi Cherie! There’s a great bra out there for every body. At your convenience, call us at 877-728-9272 (select option 4) for a complimentary, personalized over-the-phone bra fitting and shopping assistance. We’ll help you get it right and find something you really like.

Hi Beth! We’d suggest the Leonisa Posture-Corrector Wire-Free Bra (try the 34C). Or feel free to call the Bra Fit Experts at 877-728-9272 for further assistance.

I have had a lumpectomy on my right breast. The bra store says that I am a 36DD but my left strap always
goes down and I have to pull it up. Can you help me?

Hi, Cristina. I’d really like to remeasure you: A falling strap is usually a good indicator that the band of your bra is too big. Give me a call at your convenience (877-728-9272, select option 4 and ask for Mette); I’d be more than happy to help!

Thanks for all this insightful information. ..Looking forward to Shopping for NEW BRAS THAT WILL ACCENTUATE WHAT I’M WORKING WITH AND FIT PROPERLY.

Our pleasure, Kelliann! Give us Bra Fit Experts a call if you need any assistance (877-728-9272).

82 years old, still active,measured 38DDDD, need comfortable everyday wear bra in colors

Hi, Alma! We’d be more than happy to suggest some comfy, colorful bras. Please give us a call at your convenience: 877-728-9272, x4. Looking forward to connecting.

If I wear a 34 G/DDDD and your site says the bra is from overseas, is it European or from somewhere else?
Want to order the correct size.
Lilyette bali enchantment bra, style 0434
Thank you for your reply, so I can order as soon as possible.
Nancy Barry

Hi Nancy, Lilyette is a US-sized brand, so you would want to order a 34G. Please don’t hesitate to contact a Bra Fit Expert at 877-728-9272 x4 if you need further assistance. Have a great weekend!

I’m looking for the Wacoal 38C the model no is 853148. Love this bra in nude. Do you still have it?

Hi Kat, we’d be happy to help! Give us Bra Fit Experts a call at 877-728-9272 (press 4) so we can help you find just what you’re looking for.

Hello. A My favorite Bra is a Warner. RB 2501A Size 36C. Do you still have this style?

Hi Karen! When I search by that number, no bra comes up; that may not be the style number. Do you know the name of the bra or see another style number on it? Feel free to give me a call at 877-728-9272 (select option 4 and ask for Mette) and we’ll try to find you what you’re looking for.

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