Bra style guide

Whether you’re after comfort or cleavage, find the right shape to suit you with our easy bra style guide.

Balconette

A common bra style, available padded and non-padded.

Key features

  • Wide set straps
  • Horizontal neckline
  • Support from the base of the cup, lifting the breasts

Ideal for… Fuller or wider set breasts that need to be lifted and supported

Works well with… Low cut square necklines

If… You have slightly narrow shoulders, this style might not be the best for your shape. Try a plunge or full cup instead.


Plunge

Very popular style, mostly available in a padded version.

Key features

  • A shallow centre front helps create cleavage
  • Less covering than a full cup or balconette
  • Generally padded or moulded

Ideal for… Most women, but particularly those with narrow shoulders, shallow breasts or convex ribcage – as the centre front should be lower than other styles

Works well with… Clothing with a low ‘V’ neckline

If… You have large full breasts, a full cup bra might be more comfortable with a slightly deeper centre front


T-shirt

An essential everyday bra, usually without cup seams.

Key features

  • Creates a smooth and seamfree look
  • Moulded or padded cups helps to reduce nipple show through
  • Should be super comfortable for all day/everyday wear

Ideal for… Breasts where nipples face ‘east west’, or different sized breasts – removable padding helps even you out

Works well with… T-shirts or fitted clothing

If… You have a very full breast, moulded styles might dig in so opt for a non-padded version with a stretch top cup


Non-wired

A comfortable and supportive alternative sometimes known as a soft bra.

Key features

  • No wires, all the support comes from the fabrics, components and fit
  • Straps may sit narrower on the shoulders as this is where support is created

Ideal for… Small breasts that do not need wired support or very large breasts where wires may be uncomfortable

Works well with… Most clothing, particularly slightly higher necklines as most are available in full cup styles

If… You want maximum cleavage this is not the style for you


Strapless/Multiway

Will stay in place with the removal or repositioning of straps.

Key features

  • Strapless – Support created from the underband only
  • Multiway – Straps are able to be repositioned into a halter, cross back or one shoulder style
  • Most feature firmer elastic to help the bra stay in place
  • Slightly lower centre front to avoid showing

Ideal for… Most shapes, although larger breasts should look for stronger fabrics and firmer wires

Works well with… Evening wear or strapless tops

If… You want something super comfortable this might not be the style for you


Full cup

A fuller coverage bra style ideal for the larger cup.

Key features

  • Increased coverage and support
  • Slightly wider straps
  • Often available in lots of different fabrics and colours

Ideal for… Large breasts or breasts with shallow top cups and a fuller bottom cup

Works well with… Most clothing

If… You have small breasts this is quite a covering option, maybe try a half cup instead


Non-padded

A light bra with no padded or moulded cups. Often available in wired and non-wired versions.

Key features

  • Sheer cups
  • Lightweight and easy to wear

Ideal for… Most shapes

Works well with… Most clothing, although with tight fitting clothing there may be nipple show through

If… You want to avoid nipple show through opt for a t-shirt style instead


Bralette

A softer style, with stretch fabrics for a super comfortable fit.

Key features

  • Stretch fabrics
  • Lightweight and easy to wear
  • Often pull over the head without back fastening

Ideal for… Most shapes, but particularly smaller cups sizes

Works well with… Most clothing

If… You want firm support try an underwired bra support instead


Tori Shelton

As Figleaves' garment technologist, Tori is an expert at bra fittings for both lingerie and swimwear. Working with our buyers, she manages the product from fitting to production, ensuring quality, fit and materials are the best they can be.