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As women, we all have our favorite, go-to padded bra, but there’s a lot of wisdom in the proverb variety is the spice of life.
By outfitting your lingerie drawer with various bra styles that are stylish, sexy, and comfortable, you can confidently strut through your days and add a little spice to your nights. But just how do you go about choosing the right selection of bra styles?
The best place to start is with a strong foundational knowledge of the different bra styles and their best uses. So, if you’re confused about a balconette bra versus a bandeaubra or a push-up bra versus an underwired bra, read on as we demystify the world of bra types.
Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of different bra styles, let’s take a moment to talk generally about brasserie construction and anatomy elements.1
Bras may have any or all of the following 4 basic elements:
One of the most popular bra styles, the classic underwired bra features a shoulder strap, a wired covered cup for each breast, and a clasp either in the front or back. This is your basic, supportive bra.
A bandeau—once called an apodesmos by female Greek athletes and sometimes called a tube bra today—is the simplest of undergarments. Lacking underwires, separate cups, straps, and even a clasp, this stretchy strip-of-fabric bra will be the least complicated in your lingerie drawer.
However, it could easily become your best bra for the following reasons:
Due to the bandeau’s lack of support, it’s important to mention that this bra style is best suited for those who typically wear A or B cups.
If every bandeau is strapless, is every strapless bra a bandeau? Nope! In fact, pretty much the only thing that a bandeau and a strapless bra have in common is that neither have straps.
A strapless bra is usually far more structured than a bandeau, with cups, a clasp, and even boning to give it shape, lift, and hold. Where a bandeau bra is great for a casual summer look, a strapless bra is what you’ll reach for to go under a sexy spaghetti-strap summer dress or a formal bare-shouldered look.
Many athletic or sports bras are racerback brastyle, meaning the separate front straps come together in the back to form a single strap. However, bra experts have begun to question whether this is a healthy cut since it puts extra pressure on the next and shoulder muscles during strenuous exercise.3
This doesn’t mean that a racerback style isn’t useful for pairing with a tank top or narrow-shouldered look for everyday wear. You may even already own a racerback if you have a convertible bra in your lingerie drawer—a bra that has straps which can be detached in back, allowing them to reattach in either a racerback or halter configuration.
A balcony bra (also called a balconette bra, depending on nothing more than your regional dialect) refers to a bra style that features a straight across profile along the cups. Like an underwire bra, these are popular and flattering on all breast tissue shapes.
Bralettes are quickly becoming the darling of the work-from-home bra world.4 This is because they don’t feature:
This makes a bralette the perfect comfy seamless bra to slip under a tee or buttondown top on a casual afternoon at home. They’re a great choice if your breasts are small and perky, but can leave you feeling a little low if your breasts tend to be on the larger or mature side.
Like a halter top, a halter bra is one that straps around the neck, leaving the mid-and-upper back completely exposed. This provides a sexy style, especially when paired with matching panties or when featuring a subtly stretchy textile like:
Whether you want your breasts high or your cut low, there is a right bra suited to your desire. Two bras that can accentuate your breasts in different but equally sensual ways are the plunge bra and the push-up bra.
Curious about what is a plunge bra? This bra Generally worn in combination with a dress or blouse featuring a deep v-cut or plunging neckline, a plunge bra has a minimal bridge and steeply angled cups.
Maximizing your breast size, a push-up bra utilizes padding and a strong framework to push your breasts upwards and together.
No matter what shape or combination of elements your bra type takes, your bras should always be well-fitting.5 Many women don’t know how to correctly size their bras and, thus, blame the bra type for any discomfort when it’s actually the fit that’s wrong.6
Whether you choose to wear a racerback bra maternity bra, sports braor any other bra on this list, making sure it fits correctly is the key to comfort. Getting a professional bra fitting at a lingerie shop is the absolute best way to know your size, but there are also steps you can take at home to ensure a well-fitting bra.
Knowing your breast type will also help you zero in on the best bras to add to your collection.7 This is because some bras are better suited for certain breast types.
Breast type basically refers to the shape of your breasts. Generally, experts talk about nine different categories of breast shape, although your breasts may actually fall between the lines of more than one type (so don’t get too hung up on this). The 9 basic categories include:
Adding different bra styles to your lingerie collection can likewise add a little spice, elegance, and glamor to your everyday. But when shopping for bras, understanding the various styles is only part of ensuring a sexy, comfy fit. Bra quality and construction can make a significant difference to both the look and feel of your bra.
At Gooseberry, all of our bras are designed to be as gorgeous as French architecture, but as comfortable as your reliable go-to. From balconettes to underwires, Gooseberry bras are hand dyed, cut, and sewn to order assuring you both unsurpassable quality and a comfortable, form-flattering fit. Curate your bra collection with Gooseberry today.