Choosing a Bra-Different Bra Types

As if finding the perfect-fitting bra isn't hard enough, you also need to choose the right bra style. Some styles work better with different fashions, and some work better on different body shapes. Here's a rundown of all the options.

Balconette and Demi (or Half) Cup Bras: While these are sexiest style of bras, they may not offer as much support for larger cup sizes. The balconette style features a low neckline that goes straight across the bust line and the cups are designed to push your bust upward, creating more cleavage. Demi or half cup bras generally have cups that end just above the nipple. Usually they're best for smaller cup sizes because there's less fabric and, in turn, less support.

Push-Up and Padded Bras: The bras you should turn to when you want to add an extra cup size or two to your bust line or to create extra cleavage for a special outfit or event. While padded bras add size with a pad covering the front of the breast, push-ups have padding on the side to move the breast inward and upward.

T-Shirt, Racer Back and Front-Fastening Bras: All of these bras offer some extra comfort. T-shirt bras are seamless and are designed to look smooth under tight-fitting clothing or (go figure) t-shirts. Racer back bras can be more comfortable for some, and they work well under many summer tank tops. As for front-fastening bras, some women prefer them simply because they're easier to clasp.

Full Cup and Minimizer Bras: These styles are good solutions for women with larger cup sizes. Full cup designs will cover the entire breast and therefore offer more support. Minimizer bras are designed to help you fit flawlessly in button-up tops and other fashions with ease, even if you have a larger cup size. As with the full cup bras, the minimizer bra cups cover the entire breast and give extra support and smoothing power.

Convertible, Backless and Strapless Bras: These styles are all designed to accommodate different clothing styles so your lingerie can go unnoticed. Strapless bras obviously don't have any straps, but convertible bras can change easily. Options include a regular style, strapless, halter neck or even one shoulder. It's a versatile option that can solve many fashion issues. Backless clothing styles can be tricky to find lingerie to match, but backless bras can work, either in a halter neck style or an adhesive bra that sticks to the skin only on the front of your body.

Maternity Bras and Nursing Bras: Yes, there is a bra for every time in your life. Maternity bras are designed to fit and give extra support as your breasts grow during pregnancy. They often don't have underwire. Nursing bras are a solution for breastfeeding moms: The cups can each be dropped down to feed without the mom having to remove the entire bra.

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