Bra styles explained

So many bras, so little time.

In reality, you'll rotate through only a handful of these bras, but we've laid them all out here so you can recognise what's what when you go bra shopping.


Balconette bras resemble a balcony shape that helps to provide shape and lift. The cups are cut smaller and expose the top part of the breasts.


Bandeau bras are strapless, wireless pullover style bras that cover your breasts with fabric and elastic bands, similar to tube tops. They offer less shape than strapless bras but do a better job at holding up.


Bralettes are wireless, unstructured bras. They are known for being very comfortable and offer lighter support than underwire bras.


Demi bras have cups that cover half of the bust, offering a little more coverage than a balconette style.

Front closure

Front closure bras have a clasp in the front of the bra where the bridge/centre gore sits. They are ideal for those who don’t like using a traditional hook-and-eye closure at the back.

Full coverage

Full coverage bras are designed to cover the breasts entirely. They are ideal for those looking for extra coverage in the cup area.


Maternity bras (different to nursing bras) are designed to be worn during and after pregnancy. They come with extra support with stretchy fabric to accommodate fluctuating breast sizes.


Minimiser bras are designed to make the bust less prominent. They cover the entire bust so there is no spillage from the cups


Multiway bras (aka. convertible bras) offers the freedom to adjust the shoulder straps in different ways to accommodate different outfits. Typically, the straps can be removed entirely.


Nursing bras have clips on the straps made to unfasten each cup. They are designed for use when breastfeeding.


Plunge bras have deep v-necklines that make it ideal to wear with low cut tops/dresses. The high apex (part of the bra where the straps join the cup) gives a triangle shape that helps provide added support.

Push up

Push-up bras provide a pronounced lift using angled cups and padding, pushing them inwards and upwards. It creates the appearance of a fuller bust.


Racerback bras have one central strap or two criss-crossing straps. They are designed to prevent slipping straps and to increase support.


Seamless bras are designed without any seams running through the cups and to provide a smooth look underneath clothing.


Sports bras are designed to minimize breast movement. There are different levels of support and compression (light, medium, and high impact) fit for different intensities of physical activity.


Strapless bras typically have hook-and-eye closures to provide adjustability and silicone/rubber lining to prevent the bras from slipping.


T-shirt bras typically have seamless, moulded cups that are designed to create smooth silhouettes under t-shirts.


Underwire bras have metal or plastic underwires that are sewn into the fabric under each cup. They are designed to provide shape and support. Underwire bras come in many styles, from balconette to t-shirt bras.


Wireless bras do not have any wire under the cups. They can be found in various styles. They are ideal for those looking for maximum comfort.