T-shirt bras are designed to look smooth and invisible, even under a thin cotton tee. Typically, T-shirt bras are seamless, as many have molded cups. Some may feature padding or built-in push-up technology, but by no means is that across the board; go for those if you’re looking for a little extra oomph. The molding, usually a thin layer of foam, is meant to create a perfectly rounded look. What’s more, this layer ensures there will be no nipple show-through.
Styling Tip: Since T-shirt bras look all but invisible thanks to the seamless construction, they’re ideal for pairing with form-fitting tops, clingy fabrics and sheer looks.
Featured Style: Idol Balcony T-shirt Bra by Freya
A strapless bra is exactly what it sounds like—a bra without straps. These bras differ because they often feature silicone or rubber trim for additional support and to prevent slipping. You can find a slew of strapless bras in longline styles, plunging cuts, push-ups, plus-size options and more.
If you wear a D cup bra or above, take extra care when finding the best strapless bra for your body type. Keep an eye out for more generous coverage and cuts, along with rave reviews from other full-busted women.
Styling Tip: It’s best to save your strapless finds for special occasions or when you specifically need the no-show design: think spaghetti straps, bare shoulders and asymmetrical necklines.
Featured Style: Red Carpet Strapless Bra by Wacoal
When you’re well endowed, it’s imperative to find bras that provide lift, coverage and comfort. While both molded and seamed cups work equally well for sizes DD and up, many women find they prefer the latter, as they’re ideal for shaping and support.
To make sure you’ve selected a bra of the right size, check the position of the band. It should be snug and lift the breasts until they’re about midway between your shoulders and elbows. Likewise, the underwire—often employed by larger-breasted women, but by no means required—should completely surround each breast without digging into them, and the cup’s seams should lay flat against each breast.
Styling Tip: Because there are so many different styles of bras for women in size DD and up, ensure that whichever you choose—minimizer, balconette, etc.—fits well so it will lay flat under clothing.
Featured Style: Madison Full Cup by Prima Donna
Racerbacks are as sporty as they sound, generally featuring a strap that comes up from the back center of the bra that splits into a V-, X- or Y-shape between the shoulder blades to cross over the shoulders on either side of the neck. If you often experience strap slippage, this is a great choice for you. Many sports bras are also are designed with a racerback shape to guarantee they stay in place during high impact activities.
Styling Tip: Before you decide on a racerback bra—especially if you have specific tops, blouses or dresses in mind—ensure that the shape is compatible with the clothing.
Featured Style: Chic Racerback Sports Bra by Onzie
The definition of comfort may vary from woman to woman depending on your breast size and personal preferences, but there are a few characteristics you can look for, especially if your idea of a comfortable bra is something you can Netflix and chill in.
Many comfortable bras, for example, are wire-free. However, keep in mind that the look is usually less lifted. Likewise, these styles may be seamless and often have non-molded cups.
Minimizer bras can reduce the look of your chest by up to two inches, providing a flattering silhouette for women with larger breasts, as the specially designed cups are made to redistribute the breast tissue.
These can be either seamed or seamless but always have underwire to provide the maximum lift.
Styling Tip: Despite what the name would suggest, minimizer bras are great for those who aren’t necessarily looking for a smaller size so much as a more streamlined shape, especially under turtleneck sweaters, button-down blouses and clingy shirts. Since the straps tend to be wider and the cups fuller, minimizer bras work best under clothing that covers a lot up top.
Featured Style: C Magnifique Minimizer Bra by Chantelle
If you’ve ever been curious about how to get rid of pesky back bulge, know that the issue may not be wearing the wrong size—the band should always be snug. Thanks to their seamless edges, wide wings and deeper sides, these bras smooth lumps, bumps and bulges into oblivion.
Styling Tip: Made for silky fabrics and curve-hugging clothes, smoothing bras are what to wear when there’s a little less left to the imagination.
Featured Style: Wonderwire Front-Close Bra by Glamorise
Sports bras differ from their everyday counterparts by providing the most support and comfort during all kinds of activities. That support is key to avoiding permanent stretching in the breasts’ connective tissue. Sports bras are usually made from performance fabrics that wick moisture, which prevents rubbing and chafing while you sweat.
Encapsulation-style sports bras support each breast individually and give a natural-looking shape. Compression styles, commonly the classic- pullover sports bras, press the breasts against your chest. Both stop their figure-eight trajectory while working out.
Styling Tip: Compression styles can be worn on their own as a top for a sporty-chic look. The bigger your breasts, the more you’ll benefit from encapsulation-style sports bras. Compression styles can be worn on their own as a top for a sporty-chic look.
Featured Style: Ultimate High Impact Underwire Sports Bra by Panache
Everyone’s definition of sexy may differ, but the good news is that there’s a slew of sexy styles to choose from that’ll flatter your figure. Take the sensual demi cup bra, which covers about half of each breast while simultaneously lifting them front and center for some serious cleavage.
There are also balconette styles, which show off the top half of the breasts and have a band at the bottom which pushes the chest up rather than towards the center—ideal for women with medium to larger breasts who want the demi-cup effect without added cleavage.
A plus-size bra, available in a wide array of styles, is one that’s specifically designed to fit and flatter fuller figures. Typically, you’ll find these bras have features like a wider bands, proportionally larger cups with more coverage, thicker comfort straps, and other design details that make the fit better and life easier.
Styling Tip: Remember that fit is about flattering the individual—whatever style looks and feels best is the right choice for you.
Featured Style: Keira Satin Side Support Bra by Goddess
A push-up bra should lift the breasts up and into the center of the chest to create cleavage, often aided by additional padding for a fuller look. Women with smaller breasts will appreciate the extra lift, as will women with asymmetrical breasts (so long as the padding is removable).
Whether made of soft cotton or sexy lace, the bralette is typically wire-free, with barely any padding. Triangular cups provide minimal lift and a natural look. They’re best for chilling at home or with outfits that require little support.
Styling Tip: The bralette is seriously in vogue at the moment. Try wearing one with a low-cut tank in a contrasting color for maximum impact.
Featured Style: Bra-Llelujah Bralette by SPANX
Now that you know what’s out there, it’s time to go shopping and treat yourself to some confidence-boosting new bra styles that cater to your body type.