If you’ve ever gone bra shopping, you already know there are a ton of different types of bras to choose from. But you might wonder not only what's the difference, but why does it matter? The fact is that there are so many various types of bras for a reason. The different bra styles have different functions, whether it be creating a fashionable aesthetic or providing superior comfort throughout the day.
Do you know the difference between a T-Shirt bra and a bralette? Not sure whether you should go for a wired or non-wired setup? This Nuudii guide featuring 16 of the most popular bra styles will help you not only learn to navigate the world of bras, but help you understand your options in order to make the best choice for your needs and style.
Underwired vs. Wireless Bras
Before we get into specific types of bras and which may be right for you, let’s look at the bigger picture. Bras typically fall under two categories: underwired and wireless. While the names of these seem self-explanatory, let’s look at what each means on a deeper level. Underwired bras feature wired cups, but the cups may or may not be cushioned. The underwires give the boobs a modest lift, making them appear perkier or providing a lift. This design is perfect for those who require a little more support. Don’t worry; we’ll go over specific types of underwired bras throughout this article.
A wireless bra is — you guessed it — a bra that doesn't have any wires! Wireless bras (also called non-wired, wire-free, or soft cup bras) all have one thing in common: they support your boobs without the need for underwires. Why would you pick a wireless bra? There are a variety of reasons why big-boobed ladies seek to expand their bra arsenal with non-wired versions (this list will discuss various types of bras without wires). Many enjoy the feeling of being wire-free, enjoying complete comfort — especially while sleeping (or, let’s be honest, binge-watching Netflix). Wireless options are also great for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or even recovering from surgery.
Wireless bras come in a variety of styles and designs. While they don't provide as much support as their underwired counterparts, they provide a comfortable fit and allow for natural form, ideal for those who don't like the feel of wearing wired bras. Wireless bras are a wonderful option if you don't require the amount of support that a wired bra provides. You can use these types of bras with just about everything, so it all boils down to your personal preferences. Some days you'll want to wear a bra with an underwire for more support, and other days you won't — it's entirely up to you!
16 Types of Bras For Any Style
Each lady, like her breasts, is one-of-a-kind. Some are rounder and more voluptuous, while others are smaller and perky. Thankfully, there are a variety of bra styles to fit any shape. Bra types and designs have seen many changes and evolutions since their inception, and there are now a plethora of options to choose from. There's something for every woman, featuring different bra styles that suit different sizes and shapes while designed to fit a woman's lifestyle! To help you narrow down your search, here are the different bra styles and names so you can find your perfect fit.
1. Nuudii System
When it comes to boobwear, you might automatically think of conventional types of bras, but what if there was something better and more comfortable? The Nuudii Tee System is shapeless, softly cradling and adhering to your natural shape while providing a moderate lift with soft and supple fabric. There’s a reason it’s called the “not a bra” bra, as it lets go of all the constraints of traditional bras. This unique system allows you to hardly feel it, yet feel like yourself in it.
Alternatively, you can free your shoulders and back using the Nuudii Halter System. Nuudii is shapeless and softly clings to your body. However, this is not a halter or bralette; it’s an option between wearing a bra and going braless that gives you a fresh look that will keep you comfy all day. When it comes to which type of bra is best, you can comfortably say none of them once you’ve tried Nuudii.
2. Balcony Bra
A balcony bra, also known as a balconette bra, is a popular daily design for women with large breasts because it provides excellent support and produces an elevated, rounded form that flatters various boob sizes and shapes. A balconette bra provides adequate coverage but less 'all-over' coverage than a full cup bra, making it ideal for wearing under a lower-cut neckline. Because the straps attach at the side of the cup rather than in the middle, they are a little broader. Balconette bras have a pin-up girl aspect and provide a slight lift that accentuates a woman's natural bust form while highlighting her cleavage. Because they emphasize the bust, balconette bras are ideal for those with rounder boobs and are an excellent all-arounder to have in your bra collection.
3. Bandeau Bra
Out of all the styles of bras you can choose from, the bandeau may be the simplest. Bandeau bras are basically tiny tube tops that just cover your boobs. There are no straps, hooks, or cups; it's simply a piece of cloth that you pull on over your head. The majority of the bandeaus include pockets where you may put your pads if you prefer padding. This turns the bra into a padded or strapless padded bra, allowing it to be worn under body-hugging clothing without exposing the nipple if you're not quite ready to free the nipple just yet. Because bandeaus can be tricky and slip around easily, make sure you try them on to make sure they fit properly.
Bralettes are typically non-wired and provide less support than a standard bra, but there are also wired models that have the appearance of a bralette but provide the support that those with huge boobs seek. Most bralettes are "unstructured" in appearance, but they come in various forms, from non-wired to underwired and from cotton cropped versions to exquisite lace varieties. Bralettes come in a variety of styles, colors, and sizes, so you're sure to find one that suits you. Choose the right bralette for you based on whatever makes you feel confident and feels right for your girls.
5. Convertible Bra
Convertible bras, also known as multi-way bras, are available in a range of styles, including one-strap, two-strap, strapless, and cross-back. It includes detachable straps that may be connected to numerous holes on the front or rear to modify into various types of bra styles. You can't go wrong with a convertible bra if you have plans that demand a quick clothing change. Because the only difference is in the straps, they may be made in a variety of designs (demi cup, balconette, cushioned, and so on). Depending on the style, you can wear a convertible bra with just about everything and they provide nice versatility. If you want more comfortable braless options with the same versatility with straps, try a Nuudii.
6. Cupless Bra
Essentially, this type of bra belongs to the lingerie category and cupless bras are available in a variety of designs. Some have straps and are cupless, while others have a little cup with an underwire to show off the nipples. It's all a matter of personal taste between yourself and your partner. If you're looking for sexy lingerie options, cupless bras could be the way to go.
7. Front-Fastening Bra
Don't want to dislocate your shoulder working one of those tricky clasp systems? Front-fastening bras feature the clasp or hook between your boobs in the front, making them easy to put on and take off, and they typically have attractive back decorations. Front closing bras do exactly what they say, with either a single or a row of clasps. Some choose a front closure because they need a particular back design, such as a T-back or a transparent back strap, to wear with formal gowns and clothes. Others choose it simply for the convenience of fastening and unfastening in the front. Front closure bras come in various styles, ranging from casual sports bras to sexy push-up bras. This style is also ideal for women who need quick access for breastfeeding.
8. Maternity/Nursing Bra
A lot of changes happen in your body when you're pregnant, and your boobs will develop — sometimes faster than you anticipated. Being pregnant can lead to discomfort in many ways, so it's crucial to choose a bra that fits properly and is comfortable — whether you're wearing a conventional bra, a maternity bra, or a nursing bra. While some prefer to use an ordinary bra rather than a nursing bra (which is perfectly okay!), nursing bras are designed to make breastfeeding as simple as possible. They feature drop-down cups with clips or magnets or a cross-over front so you can easily feed your baby. Maternity bras are usually non-wired and contain more rows of hooks than conventional bras, allowing them to adjust to your changing form. They may also feature flexi-wires, which are softer and more flexible than regular wires and assist in creating more uplift and separation than non-wired styles. Maternity bras are built with a flexible material that expands with the pregnant woman's boobs and provides extra support throughout each stage of the process.
9. Padded Bra
Padded bras are designed with padded cups or pockets for inserting pads. When hiding exposed nipples is your primary concern, this design is ideal. It also gives your boobs more fullness and a rounder, fuller contour. Both underwired and non-wired padded bras are available, so choose the one that feels more comfortable for you and matches your lifestyle best. Padded bras with underwires provide a slight lift, while non-padded bras are ideal for everyday usage.
10. Plunge Bra
As the name suggests, plunge bras are ideal for wearing beneath plunging necklines because of their low center front and wider-set straps. Plunge bras provide less coverage (but no less support!) than traditional bras. A plunge bra is designed to showcase the girls under deep-necked apparel in an elegant way. Thanks to a deep center plunge and cups that cut out on the borders, they easily adapt to the shape of your breasts and keep them in place while you dance the night away. Because plunge bras go with so many outfits, you can wear them with anything that makes you feel bold or confident!
11. Push-Up Bra
You can’t create a list of all type of bras without mentioning the famous push-up. A push-up bra delivers on its promise. It lifts and pushes your boobs together, emphasizing the cleavage and giving your girls a bit of a boost. Underwired cups are used in push-up bras for a subtle lift. They have angular padding that pushes the breasts upwards, which alters the contour and appearance of your boobs. We love boobs, and we know there's nothing wrong with showing them off. Because these types of bras are cleavage-enhancing, they’re typically worn with low-cut blouses and dresses.
12. Racerback Bra
Racerbacks designs are often seen in a variety of sports bras, but offer a cute strappy alternative in everyday bras as well. A central or crossing strap that crosses between the shoulder blades is the essence of the racerback bra shape. In other words, racerback bras feature a back design that looks a bit like a tank top. These look best with shirts that have a similar style in the back. It's an excellent choice for women who suffer from their bra straps falling down their shoulders, not to mention that they feel comfortable and light on the back. Racerback bras are fantastic for supporting and straightening the spine while staying stylish.
13. Sports Bras
If you’ve ever run down the stairs without a bra on, you know exactly how uncomfortable your girls can get bouncing around. Sports bras are meant to keep your boobs tight to your chest as you exercise, allowing for limited movement. They offer a larger back band, thicker straps, and more coverage than a typical bra to keep you comfy and provide more support while working out. This means the underband of a sports bra may feel a bit tighter than a regular bra, but it should still be comfortable enough to wear all day (if you want to!). Sports bra fabric has limited elasticity to eliminate jiggle, and some contain quick-drying fabric to wick perspiration away and, more importantly, keep you feeling cool while you work out.
The appropriate sports bra for you is determined by what you'll be doing while wearing it. There are alternatives for both high and low-impact sports, and like with any bra, what fits one person may not fit another. If you're trying on a sports bra to determine your size and want to be sure it's "the one," do the Jump Test. Jump around, wiggle a little, do some high knees or downward dogs, and make sure you feel comfortable and supported.
14. Stick-On Bra
A strapless bra with no cloth band is known as a stick-on adhesive bra and is best worn with backless or sheer-back clothing. They're simple to use; you simply place them on your boobs for covering and support (hence the name “stick-on”). You'll want this type of bra if you're wearing anything backless or with exposed shoulders, and want the coverage of a conventional bra. When you apply a stick-on bra on your boobs, bits of you become adhered to the adhesive. For stick-on bras designed to be worn more than once, it’s important to clean the cups after each use. There are also silicone stick-on bras without side wings available if you’re worried about your stick-on not sticking on all night.
15. Strapless Bra
If you’re looking through different types of bras to update your old, uncomfortable ones, you’re certain to stumble across the strapless variety. It can be difficult to find the right size with this particular bra type. However, it’s well worth finding your fit because this type of bra is great for strapless tops, halters, and much more. If you're not sure how to wear a strapless bra, they fit similarly to ordinary bras, so start with your usual bra size — if you're not sure whether your bra fits properly, see our sizing guide. A well-fitting strapless bra should be snug across the back to provide the support you want (and to keep your strapless bra from slipping down), but it should also be comfortable.
16. T-Shirt Bras
T-shirt bras typically work best with fitted clothing for a clean and sleek profile. When worn beneath body-hugging garments, it boasts smooth and seamless cups that don't leave an imprint. In other words, use a T-shirt bra when you want a smooth line under your clothes. When you inspect this specific type of bra, you'll see that the seams are intelligently created to give you a smooth appearance without the seams usually found in bras. T-shirt bras are a terrific alternative when you want a bra that won't show through your clothes. If you prefer cupless options and are looking for braless solutions for everyday wear, consider a Nuudii System for sleek comfort all day long.
Skip the Bra and Go Nuudii
There are many different types of bras on the market because your boobs deserve to be happy. At Nuudii, we believe in ultimate comfort and style for women everywhere. Our braless alternatives feature a formless cradle that conforms to your natural contour while providing a subtle lift with chic style. Nuudii prioritizes sustainability and adaptability in all of our products, and we’re unlike any other product on the market in terms of how it feels and fits. Embrace your shape and experience boob-freedom with Nuudii today!