Most Popular Bra Styles

By Linda the Bra Lady on July 21st, 2010

Semi-demi, merry widow, balconette… sometimes bra shopping can feel like a foreign language! Here’s my guide to some of the most popular types of bras.

T-Shirt Bra


This style is exactly what it sounds like – a bra with enough coverage and shaping to wear under a thin T-shirt without worries. A good T-shirt bra is the bread-and-butter of your bra wardrobe. You should have at least two molded or lined T-shirt bras in a color that is close to your skin tone.

Try this style: The Dream Tisha Lace Bra by Le Mystere is an updated version of one of our all time best-selling T-shirt bras

The Bra Vocab! A molded bra is a bra that has a thin foam lining to help it keep its shape. Many women think that a molded bra will make them look larger, but really it will lift the bust and create a rounder shape. A lined bra is a bra with an extra layer of fabric in the cup. This helps with shaping and prevents your nipples from showing.

Minimizer Bra


A minimizer bra is designed to make your chest look smaller by redistributing the breast tissue. This type of bra is great for tops that do not work well with larger breasts, such as button-down shirts.  Some women with larger cup sizes think they have to wear a minimizer, but a regular bra in the correct size will also be very flattering.

Try this style: The Wacoal Minimizer Bra can make your bust look up to two cup sizes smaller.

Soft Cup Bra


A soft cup bra has no underwires. This type of bra is great for women who cannot wear an underwire bra, and is also good for sleeping. Don’t confuse soft cup bras with stretch cup bras – which have soft fabric cups and may or may not have an underwire.

Try this style: Wacoal Everyday Soft Cup Bra is a customer favorite thanks to its extremely comfortable fit and support.

Bra Vocab! A bralette is a simple soft cup bra with no padding or hooks. This is a very comfortable bra style that is popular for women with small cup sizes.

Demi Cup Bras


A demi bra has cups that cover about half of the bust. Unlike plunge bras, a demi-cup bra is cut in a straight line across the cups instead of plunging in the center. This is a very sexy bra style with flattering uplift. I also like “semi-demi” bras – styles with a demi-cup shape but a little extra coverage.

Try this style: The Duet Timpa Lace Bra has a low demi-cup shape for A and B cups. Bigger cup sizes will love the semi-demi shape of the Chantelle New Essensia Bra.

Bra Vocab! A balconette bra, or balcony bra, has a little more coverage than a demi cup bra. You’ll often see this description on full-figure bras that show a little cleavage! Like demi-cup bras, balcony bras are cut straight across rather than plunging in the center, which offers more support.

Have another question about bra shopping? Feel free to email me and my bra fitting team for help! You can also call my bra fitting hotline at 1-888-262-4887.

Stay fabulous!