Tell your half cup from your balconette with our bra style guide

Even the Fashion Bust team get confused about the various bra styles out there, so it’s a good guess that many of you do too. We also have drawers bursting with different styles of lingerie for different outfits and occasions – our T-shirt bras are super comfy and an everyday favourite while and our plunge bras give us great cleavage with low cut tops. And then there’s everything in between. We give you the lowdown on the different bra styles  to help you decide which one your lingerie wardrobe needs next…


Gossard's Glossies Plunge Bra in black

Gossard’s Glossies Plunge Bra in black

Plunge bras have angled cups and are cut deep in the front, making them perfect for low cut tops and LBDs. This is really what they are designed for, and there are plunge bras in all sorts of styles from strapless to backless for maximum flexibility.  They tend not to be quite as supportive as some other styles, but plunge bras have an essential place in our lingerie wardrobes nonetheless. They’re also guaranteed to give us a cleavage we can be proud of!

For sheer simplicity and style we love Gossard’s plunge bra in its Glossies range.
Buy: Figleaves, £26

Push Up

Wonderbra's Full Effect Push Up bra

Wonderbra’s Full Effect Push Up bra

The push up bra needs no introduction; it does what it says on the tin. Similar to, and often combined with the plunge bra, push up bras generally have more padding and are designed to lift and shape the bust to give an enhanced cleavage.

A winner in this style is this Black ‘Full effect’  push up bra by the cleavage experts Wonderbra.
Buy: Debenhams, £29

Full cup

Charnos, Deco Lily Full Cup Bra

Charnos, Deco Lily Full Cup Bra

These fuller bras are ideal for women of sizes DD+ because they support the whole breast. Ok, so they won’t be ideal if you want to wear low cut tops, but they are perfect for wearing for long days in the office.

A Fashion Bust favourite is the Charnos Deco Lily Full Cup Bra, because it may be full cup, but it still manages to be super sexy!
Buy: Simply Yours, £30


Panache, Melody Balconette Bra

Panache, Melody Balconette Bra

This style gives you plunging shape but with more coverage and the cups sit straight across the breast. They also have wider set straps than other bra styles because of the way the cups sit. Perfect if you want a little cleavage but aren’t wearing a low cut top, balconettes also give a lovely rounded shape.

One of favourite balconette styles is this lacy black number by Panache, the Melody Balconette Bra.
Buy: Bravissimo, £26

Half cup

Chantelle Rive Gauche Half Cup Bra

Chantelle Rive Gauche Half Cup Bra

We’re always hard pressed to tell which bras are half cups and which are balconnettes, but the way to tell the difference is this: half cups are usually made for smaller breasts and come in the smaller sizes. The cups and wire sit half way up the breast, as the name suggests, and give small busts a lovely cleavage. Perfect for low cut tops and a little extra lift.

Try this half cup bra from one of our favourite brands, the Chantelle Rive Gauche Half Cup Bra.
Buy : John Lewis, £47


Freya's Deco Moulded Strapless Bra

Freya’s Deco Moulded Strapless Bra

Strapless bras are perfect solutions underwear, as they usually come with straps that can accompany a range of different styles of tops.
The best thing about strapless bras though is that there are an array of styles for large and small breasts, and everyone in between. And in this hot weather they are even more essential as we wear our strappy summer tops.

We particulary like Freya’s Deco Moulded Strapless Bra which does an amazing job of keeping big busts in place and supported without having to yank it up (we’ve all been there!).
Buy: Figleaves, £31

T-shirt bra

Wacoal's Embrace Lace T-Shirt Bra

Wacoal’s Embrace Lace T-Shirt Bra

T-shirt bras are designed to disappear under close-fitting clothing so you can have a seamless-looking outfit without any fuss. These bras are contoured to give the breasts a smooth look and usually feature lightweight moulded cups. These are our favourites for weekend wear because they’re comfy under our lounging T-shirts but they are also ideal for everyday office wear and are one of the nation’s favourite everyday styles.

Try this pretty and comfortable T-Shirt bra from Wacoal’s Embrace Lace range in nude or black.
Buy: John Lewis, £43

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