A bra isn’t just a bra. Above all, the perfect bra will give your bust the proper support. As a plus, it will also make sure your clothes sit just as they’re supposed to and flatter your bust.
All breasts are unique, as are our preferences and needs. This is why the variety of bras and styles available is so large - and can often seem confusing. We’re here to guide you through the most common types of bras, so you can find the type that suits your needs.
It all begins with the right size
Before you start figuring out which type of bra you need, you need to know your size. Without the right size, even the best bra will be useless.
To find your bra size, you’ll need a measuring tape and a well-fitting bra. Measure yourself around your bust and just under the bust. Once you have found your measurements, you can use a size chart to find your size.
In our bra guide, we guide you through all the steps and show you where and how to measure yourself so you can use our bra size chart.
The four functions of your bra
Bras have different functions that all have an effect on which bra is the right one for you. If you’re at home relaxing, you probably don’t need a bra with a push-up effect, and if you’re wearing a cocktail dress with bare shoulders, you might want to go for a strapless bra. You can read more about the most common functions below.
Many bras have a metal underwire, which is sewn into the fabric at the bottom of each cup. The advantage with underwire bras is the extra support they provide, as well as the way they shape the bust. This makes them particularly ideal for larger busts.
There can also be times when a bra without an underwire is preferred. For example, if you’re planning on spending the day chilling out on the sofa, you’d probably rather avoid a metal underwire that can feel uncomfortable when you lie down.
Bra with straps
Straps can be a good thing to have on your bra due to the extra comfort and support they can provide. But sometimes a bra without straps – or a self-adhesive bra, as they’re also known – can be the ideal choice. For example, you might want to avoid having visible straps if you’re planning on wearing a dress or top with bare shoulders.
Even though the bra doesn’t have straps, there’s no need to worry about it not keeping your bust in place. Self-adhesive, strapless bras usually have underwire and tend to have a wider piece that goes all the way around the chest. This means that even ladies with fuller busts can wear strapless bras.
Bra with padding
Choosing a bra with or without padding is a matter of taste and depends on whether you want a bra that shapes the bust, and if so, how much. The padding itself can be made in a variety of materials and types, all of which are designed to shape the bust. Padded bras can sometimes feel slightly stiff due to the multiple layers that are there to provide shape.
If you want more volume, a push-up bra is the ideal choice. As the name suggests, push-up bras lift the bust and make your breasts look fuller. This is achieved with the help of padding in the form of cushions that sit at the bottom and sides of the cups. Push-up bras are most often worn by women with smaller busts, but some push-up bras have removable cushions, so women with larger breasts can also wear them without the lifting effect.
A bra for every occasion
If you have a basic bra, it may be the individual functions that determine whether the bra is suitable for your needs, but there are also types of bras that are designed to be suitable for specific situations or occasions. In addition to the functions mentioned above, the material, design and purpose have also been taken into account. Below you can read more about the most popular types.
Do you have a large bust and want to make it look slightly smaller? If so, go for a minimizer bra. This type of bra is designed to distribute the breast tissue evenly throughout the entire cup, visually reducing the size of your bust. At the same time, the minimizer bra is designed to provide maximum support and comfort for larger busts.
A soft, seamless bra can be the ideal choice if you need minimal support that isn’t too visible. This type of bra has either no or very little padding, which allows your bust to shape the bra rather than the other way around. There is no padding or underwire that might cause discomfort, making these bras really comfortable to wear – so comfortable that you can barely feel you’re wearing one at all.
When you’re active, a good sports bra is essential. It can be both irritating and painful if your bra doesn’t provide the optimal support while you exercise. Therefore, it’s also important to choose a sports bra with support specific to the activity you’re doing. If you’re heading to yoga or Pilates, you won’t need quite as much support as if you’re going for a run or working out at the gym.
What all sports bras have in common is a close fit and good support that allows you to move. They’re also made in sweat-wicking materials that let your skin breathe and get rid of any sweat.
When it comes to nursing bras, comfort is in focus. A bra shouldn’t get in the way when you’re breastfeeding – quite the opposite. It should be comfortable and make it easy for you to breastfeed your child wherever you are. This is why nursing bras are designed with cups that can easily be opened or removed.
In general, nursing bras are made without underwires and in a soft, stretchy material that adapts to the bust without feeling tight, achieving a high level of comfort.
Look after your bra
Whatever bra you wear, it’s important to take good care of it so you can use it again and again. Especially when it comes to washing and drying your bras, there are several things to pay attention to: materials, underwire, padding, etc.
If you need tips for how to best care for your bra, you can read more in our guide to washing bras.