Are You Wearing the Right Bra? How to Wear 6 Popular Bra Styles

If you’re reading this, there’s a big chance you have to endure the agony that is bra shopping. Finding a bra that is comfortable and actually fits you is a challenge all in itself, but learning which bras are appropriate for which outfits is another task. It sounds tedious at first, but finding a bra that complements your outfit can make a huge difference in how you carry yourself and how your outfit looks. Below, we listed six popular styles and exactly when —  and how — you should wear them.

1. Demi bras

colorful bras hanging in lingerie store

Demi bras are perfect with T-shirts. | iStock.com/amnachphoto

Chances are most of the bras in your lingerie drawer are demi bras. By definition, a demi bra only covers half of your bust and offers a sexy, yet natural, look. Demi bras don’t have any excessive padding or a plunging silhouette, so they’re one of the most practical and frills-free options you can buy. So why not pair it with something equally effortless? According to Adore Me, this model looks great with your favorite T-shirt.

2. Plunge bras

Woman choosing bra

Plunge bras are for the more daring. | iStock.com/PhanuwatNandee

Anyone who’s looking to make a statement should invest in a plunge bra. Between the low center and light padding, plunge bras are perfect for flaunting what you got. But unlike push-up bras, this style is meant to give you optimal cleavage without looking too forced. Since you’re wearing a bra that’s made to stand out, go ahead and sport one of your low-cut tops or that trusty V-neck tee.

3. Full-cup bras

shopping for a bra

Full-cup bras offer maximum coverage. | iStock.com/Denis Raev

Usually worn by women with larger breasts, full-cup bras will give you maximum coverage and tons of support. Unlike demi bras, each cup here will cover each breasts so they’re really packed in there. While body type should be at the forefront here, there are some occasions where your full-cup bra will be especially handy. Gorgeautiful.com mentioned that this style would look great with a T-shirt and or knit top since there’ll be no unwanted creasing mid-bust, but we also think a full-cup bra would be nice when paired with an oversized button-down.

4. Strapless bra

colorful bras on hangers

Strapless bras can definitely come in handy. | iStock.com/zinchik

It should go without saying that strapless bras are best suited for sleeveless tops or pieces with tricky sleeves, but that doesn’t make them any easier to wear. Depending on your cup size and the quality of your bra, a strapless iteration can easily slip and leave you with a serious faux pas. Rest assured, dear reader: You have other options. While a mere slice of double-stick tape may work for some, others may find luck with strapless, adhesive cups — they offer support with minimal slippage. Or, you can pick up a strapless bra that has optional, detachable straps and create a back that best fits your outfit.

5. Bralettes

Two smiling women choosing underwear

Bralettes are very trendy right now. | iStock.com/JackF

When it comes to bra shopping, finding a bra that’s comfortable and stylish need not be mutually exclusive. Enter the bralette, which is made as a one-piece and has minimal structure. “These are the hottest new trend,” Elisabeth Dale, author of the The Bra Zone and founder of The Breast Life blog, told Today. Though bralettes are comfortable enough to wear to sleep, they’re usually made from dainty lace and should be shown off. So how should you wear a bralette? Layer it underneath a semi-sheer shirt or blazer for date night.

6. Balconette bras

woman considers a brassiere

Balconette bras are dramatic and sexy. | iStock.com/Denis Raev

Contrary to popular belief, balconette bras and demi bras are not the same thing. While they both only cover a portion of your breasts, balconette bras tend to have a more horizontal cut. Plus, The Bra Guide says you’ll get a more dramatic cleavage with a balconette. One caveat: Balconette bras are not as versatile as a demi-cup. This option will look sexy in the bedroom, but you can also wear it with a low-cut top or shirt with more feminine details like lace or ruffles.