A Handy Guide to Bra Sizes


Here’s an (almost) comprehensive guide to bras, for when you don’t quite understand what people are talking about, and you’re wondering what kind of bra you should be wearing. All these styles can be combined into all sorts of amalgamates.

A Handy Guide to Bras

Full cup

This offers excellent coverage, second to only the sports bra. It’s usually comfortable and can be worn under anything that covers the majority of your chest. Can be found with or without an underwire, and commonly non-padded, but padded ones are often found as well.

Ideal for: Large busts, and when you need control and coverage.

Balconette

Cups the breasts from below, covering only half of the breasts. Commonly found with underwire, and can be padded or non-padded.

Ideal for: Necklines that expose the tops of the breasts.

Demi cup

A little more coverage than a balconette, but less than the full cup. It covers approximately ¾ of the breasts, and can be found in all sorts of styles.

Ideal for: Anything it fits other, and suits larger and smaller busts equally well.

Multiway/strapless

Also known as a convertible bra, this is basically a strapless bra that has little loops you can attach the straps to, in any way you want. Strapless, halter, crossover, single strap… Anything, really. It’s usually a balconette style bra.

Ideal for: Almost every single outfit you can wear. It’s like the Darwin of bras. It adapts to anything.

Plunge

This bra maximises cleavage, as the front ‘V’ reaches down to the bottom of your breasts. It often comes padded and with push up.

Ideal for: Low, V-cut tops, and when you need extra cleavage on show.

Padded

Bras that are padded have thick material lining the cup, not just a thin fabric. This allows them to hold their shape without breasts to fill them, and offers more shape and support. It’s also what prevents nipples from being seen through thin tops. Extreme extra padding is what creates a push up bra.

Ideal for: When you need shape and coverage.

T-shirt

Exactly as its name implies, this type of bra is designed to be worn under a t-shirt. It’s comfy, and usually lightly padded, in all sorts of styles. It’s v-neck allows it to be worn under most basic t-shirt styles, and most good ones mould to the shape of the body to provide a seamless look.

Ideal for: T-shirts

Non-wired

The underwire is the u-shaped wire underneath each cup of a bra, offering support and shape. Bras without a wire are usually considered ‘comfier’, unless the wearer is accustomed to wearing underwired bras.

Ideal for: Young girls with still developing breasts, as the wire in most bras can cause discomfort to them.

Bandeau

A strapless, non-padded, non-wired bra with almost no support. They’re often pretty, and look good when layered and visible under other shirts.

Sports

This bra gives the most support of all bras, as it should, to keep the breasts in place during exercise, to prevent ligament damage. Sports bras can be either compression or structured. Compression bras prevent movement by pressing the breasts into the chest. Structured ones look more like normal bras, with very full coverage and firm, padded cups that hold the breasts in their separate cups to prevent movement, and also prevent the ‘uniboob’ that a compression bra can cause.

Ideal for: Sports, obviously, but they’re so incredibly comfy you can wear them whenever.

Wonderbra

‘Wonderbra’ is a brand name. They became famous for their push-up bras, so much that their name is now synonymous with push-up bras. Push ups increase your bra size with lots of padding, usually built in to the bra, but sometimes removable through a little pocket.

Ideal for: Cleavage. Lots of cleavage.

Minimiser

Usually for women who have large busts, and sometimes pregnant/nursing mothers unused to the increasing size of their breasts (although unlike speciality maternity bras, they do not expand in size along with growing breasts). They are non-padded, usually underwired, and full cup. Their function is to minimise the size of the breasts.

Ideal for: Mostly large busts, but any women who wish to reduce the look of the breasts.

Happy bra shopping.


9|4
18|17

Join the discussion

0/2500

Submit

What Guys Said 17

  • If i was a girl i would probs pick sports and I don't know wht other

    0|0
    0|0
  • Most useless take ever

    1|0
    2|0
  • Well, I find this quite informative for me (• ◡•)

    0|0
    0|0
  • Holy girls batman so many bra's and styles , I really like it when my girl Hannah is wearing ethier multiway ones or bandeau ones because they both styles look so pretty but I know she wears sports ones a lot when she works due being a dance instructor.

    but I bet it's hard for you girls to choose !

    0|0
    0|0
  • Love the plunge. Winner right there.

    0|0
    0|0
  • Finally, now I can go to the store and buy a nice size. Thank you

    1|0
    0|0
  • Contrary to the other guys this will come in very handy to me as i am a crossdresser looking to expand his/her wardrobe. Very glad i found this link

    0|0
    0|0
  • Why did I click on this.

    2|0
    0|0
  • Thanks, I'm sure it will come handy one day.

    0|0
    0|0
  • Thank you this was extremely useful. :)

    2|0
    0|0
  • Thanks, this was both useful and informative.

    1|0
    0|0
  • Very informative. I didn't know there were so many types.

    1|0
    0|0
  • we only care about whats inside the bras... .

    4|3
    0|0
  • Thankfully as a guy, I don't have to know what to choose out of this stuff.

    1|2
    0|0
  • As a guy, I can't understand this except word "bra"

    0|1
    1|0
  • This was great. How can a guy not be fascinated by the wonderful diversity of bras? lol

    2|0
    0|0
  • Very great take and very educational. What's your favorite kind of bra?

    2|0
    0|0

What Girls Said 18

  • I LOVE sports bras ^^

    0|1
    0|0
  • # Team Itty Bitties

    2|1
    0|0
  • i like the balconette and demi

    0|0
    0|0
  • 10/10 great post

    0|0
    0|0
  • Loved the take! I learned so much but I'm still not sure what I buy😁 but hey it's whatever

    0|0
    0|0
  • Good take :)

    0|0
    0|0
  • Balconette, demi, plunge and sport bras are all I buy.

    0|0
    0|0
  • Balconette and demi are usually so gorgeous.

    I have mostly non-wired plunge and t-shirt bras though. I love the spanx bras, because they are so comfortable and easy to get on and off.

    0|0
    0|0
  • wired and full cup all the time, need good support on those tataas. lol

    0|1
    0|0
  • I have big breasts an was advised to only wear balconette or full bras cool take 😀👌

    0|0
    0|0
  • Plunge has always been my favourite. I've got big boobs and I find a padded plunge gives me enough support and keeps the girls together so I can actually wear clothes

    0|0
    0|0
  • Sports bra and non-wired ones have always been my fave. Thank you 😊 I'm sure it'll come in handy

    0|0
    0|0
  • seriously i feel like there is no need to know all of this cause most of the actually companies that make bra's have no idea what the different ones are called :/

    1|0
    0|0
  • I could only DREAM of being able to wear a bandeau!

    1|0
    0|0
  • T-shirt and balconette havr always been my favorite choices when buying pretty styles :)

    3|0
    0|0
  • Oh the joys of being a woman! :)

    0|0
    0|0
  • Super helpful! Thanks! :) Although I would add that non wired bras are good for smaller busted women, because personally I've never worn a bra with an underwire.

    1|0
    0|0
  • Great take. Now I know the names of these types of bras. :)

    0|0
    0|0
Loading...