Introduction\n\n\n\nOur grandmothers would be amazed at the massive choices modern women have available in bras. When you consider how far fashion has evolved in the last fifty years is it any wonder that bras have undergone a major transformation?\n\n\n\nWomen come in all shapes and sizes; that's why it's crucial that bras do too. Whether you are looking for comfort, sensuality, support, or appearance, this bra style breakdown guide will help you find a bra for any occasion, body shape and price bracket.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nTable Of ContentsIntroductionBra Selection TipsBra Style Breakdown Guide1. T-Shirt Bra2. Sports Bra3. Push Up Bra4. Padded Bra5. Non Padded Bra6. Strapless Bra7. Halter Bra8. Backless Bra9. Stick On Bra10. Bandeau Bra11. Long Line Bra12. Racer Back Bra13. Balconette (Demi) Bra14. Underwire Bra15. Front Opening Bra16. Wireless Bra17. Full Support Bra18. Maternity Bra19. Built-In Bra20. Seamless Bra21. Transparent Bra22. Cupless Bra23. Bralette24. Multiway Bra25. Minimiser Bra26. Post Surgery Bra27. Apex Bra28. Plunge BraConclusionTips and TricksKey Take-away's\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nBra Selection Tips\n\n\n\nYou need to be aware of the different styles available as well as understanding what you expect from each bra. For example, if you are looking for an understated effect to enhance every day clothing or leisurewear you might consider a T-shirt bra or wireless bra. \n\n\n\nAlternatively, if you are aiming to exaggerate your curves for maximum appeal, a padded bra or balconette could be your best choice. If you need support for physical activities or just to feel comfortable as you go about your day, a sports bra or full support bra might suit, or, if you are looking for a bra to wear with a revealing top you could choose either a backless, strapless, or plunge bra style. \n\n\n\nWhatever bra style you choose, making sure it fits well and suits the outfit you want to wear is crucial to making sure you feel happy in your own skin.\n\n\n\nBra Style Breakdown Guide\n\n\n\nTo help you find the best bra for a particular occasion or outfit, the bra style breakdown guide that follows will have you navigating your way around complicated lingerie shops in no time at all.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n1. T-Shirt Bra\n\n\n\nT-Shirt Bra available from John Lewis & Partners\n\n\n\nWhat it Does\n\n\n\nT-shirt bras only really came to the fore in the last twenty years when someone women began to ask for more from their outfits and felt aggrieved that other bras did not sit comfortable under a T-short or were overly noticeable. \n\n\n\nA T-shirt bra is designed to offer comfort and support but also to remain largely invisible so the main attraction to your outfit is your top rather than what is underneath. You may be forgiven for mixing up a T-shirt bra with an average padded bra as both have a bad of thicker material or sponge in the cup. \n\n\n\nThe difference is that a T-shirt bra uses padding to give you an even definition and added protection rather than to mold your breasts or enhance your cleavage. \n\n\n\nYou want a T-shirt to have crisp, clean lines and the padding in a T-shirt bra helps create that effect through building a protective layer that helps keep your bust in place and avoids the risk of revealing more than you hoped. \n\n\n\nWhen to Wear it\n\n\n\nYou need to wear a T-shirt bra when you are wearing a tight or clingy top and don't want any bra lines to spoil the overall look. \n\n\n\nObviously, T-shirt bras look great under a close fitting top but you might also choose this bra whenever you feel you need a little more protection under a top that could be semi-transparent. \n\n\n\nA T-shirt bra will offer a solid panel that can save your modesty in all situations.\n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nAny shape or size of breast looks good with a T-shirt bra.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n2. Sports Bra\n\n\n\nSports Bra available at John Lewis & Partners\n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nA sports bra gives you added protection and support which is great for keeping everything in place and comfortable when you are working out or completing any strenuous activity. \n\n\n\nThey are usually made of a Lycra mix with extra padding and sometimes underwire to make sure they stay in place and are able to hold everything in. Sometimes, a good sports bra will look larger than your average lace or lingerie as the straps at the back are solid and designed to withstand weight and the force of exercise. \n\n\n\nQuite often, gym bunnies will choose a sports bra that they can wear on their own if they are expecting to become very hot while training. Sports bras compress the breasts so that there is very little movement even if you are exercising vigorously. \n\n\n\nThis is important as too much breast movement can cause pain and even injury to the chest muscles which can lead to a being incapacitated for a time. \n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nYou need to wear a sports bra when you are looking for a little extra support, mainly because you planning on completing some physical activity or want to keep everything still in case you are expecting some irregular movement. \n\n\n\nFor example, a sports bra can be a great addition to a lively boat trip or visit to a theme park where your body could be thrown around enthusiastically on thrill rides or rough seas. \n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nThe best thing about sports bras is that they are designed to suit any shapes or sizes and can be particularly helpful if you are large chested as they can help hold your breasts into a smooth silhouette. \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n3. Push Up Bra\n\n\n\nPush-up Bra available at Victoria's Secrets\n\n\n\nWhat it Does\n\n\n\nWith firm wiring and padded designed to fit beneath your breasts at an angle, a push-up bra is designed to augment the cleavage by directing breasts upwards and sometimes inwards by creating the impression of a deep cleavage. They are worn mostly when you are planning to wear a low cut top and looking for some extra shape. \n\n\n\nWhen to Wear It\n\n\n\nAs well as when wearing a low-cut top, Some people also like to wear a push-up bra to create definition if their top is particularly straight cut, or if they are wearing something that clings slightly and they want to create some shape. \n\n\n\nPush-up bras help set off a small waist or add balance if your outfit flares out at the bottom as they can help to draw the eye to the upper half of your torso. \n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nWhile women of all shapes and sizes can choose to wear a push-up bra, they are particularly helpful for people with small or medium sized breasts where a cleavage might otherwise be out of reach.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n4. Padded Bra\n\n\n\nPadded Bra available from John Lewis & Partners\n\n\n\nWhat it Does\n\n\n\nAs you've already seen, a variety of bra styles incorporate some sort of padding including push up bras and sports bras where the pads are designed for a specific purpose. \n\n\n\nGeneral padded bras are not designed to change your overall shape but the padding is created to offer a layer of protection and hide the contours of your chest when you are looking for a more streamlined effect. They are usually worn for their comfort and provide a little more stability as well as warmth.\n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nYou should choose a padded bra when you are wearing a top that is slightly fitted or clingy and you want to keep your outline looking smooth and crisp. \n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nPadded bras are ideal for ladies with smaller breasts who are looking for a little augmentation. Large breasted ladies might avoid a padded bra if they want to reduce their overall circumference but they can still be a great option if you are looking for comfort with some support.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n5. Non Padded Bra\n\n\n\nNon Padded Bra available at Harvey Nichols\n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nMany lingerie sets include bras which are neither padded nor lined, especially if the bra is made from lace or other fine material. They allow your breasts to fall at their natural shape though some support can be added through under wiring. \n\n\n\nThese can be shaped in any design with any combination of straps but their main feature is that they are light and follow the natural contour of your body. They can be sheer or made of thicker cotton or nylon.\n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nUnlined bras can be very comfortable to wear and could be an ideal choice for a long day at the office. They are not ideal for wearing when you plan to undertake any rigorous exercise as they offer limited support but will still give you some degree of hold. \n\n\n\nThey are perfect for hot weather when you want to allow your skin to breathe under light clothing.\n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nNon padded bras are suitable for any breast type but can be very helpful for those with a fuller bust who don't want to add any extra layers to their outline.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n6. Strapless Bra\n\n\n\nStrapless Bra available at Harvey Nichols\n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nA strapless bra is designed to offer full support without the use of straps that fit over your shoulders. They can be padded or unlined but they hold themselves up purely by their fasteners and the band beneath and behind the breasts. There is often silicone or rubber along the band to help these bras stay in place as you move and sometimes the cups are also molded for extra stability.\n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nStrapless bras are totally versatile and ideal if you are wearing a top that has flimsy straps which you don't want to overpower. The perfect solution to a strapless dress, these bras will give you all the support and protection of a standard bra while keeping your shoulder area completely clear. \n\n\n\nThey can also be worn if you have a top with an intricate neckline such as a halter top or a sweetheart neck which is cut particularly wide across the chest area.\n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nAny size or shape can be suitable to a strapless bra, although those with fuller breasts sometimes feel a little unsupported. Provided your strapless bra fits well, there is no reason for anyone to feel less than confident that their breasts will stay in place.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n7. Halter Bra\n\n\n\nHalter Bra available at Victoria's Secrets\n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nAs the name suggests, this bra has straps designed to meet at the back of the neck rather than traveling over the shoulder to meet the band at the back. Because of the angle of the straps at the top, they can create some pressure and push your breasts together a little which can help to create a little more cleavage. \n\n\n\nThe band meets in the back in the usual way, although some might be cut a little lower which can be helpful if you are wearing a backless top or dress cut well below your shoulder blades. \n\n\n\nSometimes, a halter bra will be tied rather than fastened at the back of the neck to allow for more versatility, although you need to tie the straps carefully to make sure everything stays in place. \n\n\n\nSome also include straps that crisscross at the back to create free shoulders but with the added security of a strap that meets the main band of the bra.\n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nIdeal with a backless or halter neck top, these bras will leave your shoulders free and can also look great under any top where the shoulder area is scooped out, such as a tank-top, vest, or racer back top. \n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nThere is no limit to the type of body shape that looks great in a halter bra, but ladies with larger busts might find they begin to feel some pressure at the back of the neck if worn for long hours.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n8. Backless Bra\n\n\n\nBackless Bra available at Harvey Nichols\n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nThese can come in all shapes and sizes and feature a variety of different designs to disguise the appearance of straps while leaving your back completely free so you can wear anything, including a backless dress. \n\n\n\nIn some cases, support is added beneath the band and the base of the bra itself might extend quite low into your torso, allowing the front to grow out of a rigid band around your midriff and extend into molded cups that do not require any straps to help stay in place. \n\n\n\nSilicone for extra stability is often added, as with a strapless bra, but the band at the back is usually much lower so you can wear a dress that is scooped quite low in the back. In some cases, there is no band at the back at all and the whole bra is designed to stay in place with adhesive.\n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nObviously, this is the first choice for any outfit where your back will be revealed, in particular a backless dress where the back is cut out, often right down to the waist. \n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nAny size or shape can wear a backless bra.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n9. Stick On Bra\n\n\n\nStick-on Bra available at John Lewis & Partners\n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nAs its name suggests, a stick on bra is designed to be held in place with adhesive and usually includes no straps at all, which is great if you are looking for total versatility without having to forego a bra altogether. \n\n\n\nThe cups are usually molded so that they cling to your body a little better, and they are usually made of fairly thin material or silicone which stays rigid and is light enough to require little adhesive. These can come as individual cups or as a block that fits over both breasts.\n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nSome dresses are so intricately cut that they leave absolutely nowhere to hide bra straps no matter how creatively designed. The only answer is a stick on bra as they cover your breasts without adding any material to your back, shoulders, or torso. \n\n\n\nThey are perfect for a slinky evening dress especially one made of sheer fabric that is virtually transparent or cut away in the back and shoulder area.\n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nStick on bras are best for ladies with smaller or medium sized breasts as they can only offer limited support due to their smaller designs. You also need to find an adhesive that works for you and might need to reapply if you are wearing for long periods of time. \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n10. Bandeau Bra\n\n\n\nBandeau Bra available at Victoria's Secret\n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nJust like a strapless bra, a bandeau is designed to fit around your back and over your breasts without adding any straps that come over your shoulders. \n\n\n\nThey are often shaped to cover your breasts and meet in the middle with a slightly puckered design, sometimes adorned with a gem or decoration. They may contain silicone or rubber inserts to help stick to your body but usually offer little in the way of molding or support as they are cut fairly straight.\n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nThese bras look great under a tube top or corset style top where your back and shoulders are completely exposed. They are a great choice if you are wearing a strapless top as they leave nothing to get in the way of your shoulders. Some bandeau bras can be worn as a top by themselves. They are very comfortable and can be worn for long periods without digging into your skin. \n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nThis bra is suitable for all breast types but offers little in the way of support so is often avoided by ladies with larger breasts.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n11. Long Line Bra\n\n\n\nLong Line Bra available at Victoria's Secrets\n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nA long line bra has a deep band which extends below your breasts, sometimes as far as your navel or even your waist. The extra band often contains panels which help distribute the weight. They have straps that go over the shoulder in the usual way. There are usually extra fastenings at the back to coincide with the length of the bra overall and they can offer great support to your breasts as well as pulling in your midriff area.\n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nA long line bra can be worn with almost any outfit and can look particularly good under a fitted top where you are looking for a slight corset effect. They can be very comfortable as they hug your body and distribute the weight of your breasts over a larger part of your back and rib cage which is perfect if you are wearing the bra from early morning to late at night.\n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nThese bras are particularly suited to large breasted ladies as they offer ultimate support and comfort in the way they distribute the weight over a large area of your torso. They can also be worn by ladies with smaller breasts.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n12. Racer Back Bra\n\n\n\nRacer Back Bra available at Harrods\n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nAs the name implies, a racer back bra has thick straps that feature a panel at the back which is cut away from the shoulder areas so it lies mostly against the spine and along the middle of your back. Many sports bras are cut in this way. \n\n\n\nThey can include padding and are usually one piece with no fastenings so you put them on like you would an ordinary top. They distribute the pressure over a large area and have wider straps than a standard bra which can help women who find their bra straps dig into their shoulders.\n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nDue its comfort, this is a bra you can wear night and day. Obviously, if you don't want it showing you need to select a top that follows the same shape and it is perfect for tops cut away at the shoulder or those cut in a racer back style. \n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nAll breast types can wear a racer back bra and it is particularly popular with ladies with large breasts who find the distribution of weight more comfortable.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n13. Balconette (Demi) Bra\n\n\n\nBalconette Bra available at Harvey Nichols\n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nThis bra doesn't cover the chest in its entirety but provides support at the breast area, leaving the uppermost part exposed. They are sometimes designed to push your breasts up to provide additional cleavage and the appearance of a fuller bust. Most of the support in this bra is derived from underwires or the band itself.\n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nA demi bra is a great choice if you are wearing a particularly low cut top and don't want the top of your bra to show above the fabric. They are also useful if you want to create the illusion of a curvier cleavage.\n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nThis bra is best suited to ladies with smaller or firmer breasts as it offers very little cup support.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n14. Underwire Bra\n\n\n\nUnderwired Bra available at Victoria's Secrets\n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nAn underwire bra contains metal or rigid plastic wiring that fits below each cup and helps your bra to support your breasts and maintain its overall shape. A variety of different bra types include underwiring. \n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nYou can wear an underwire bra whenever you want to count on maintaining support and shape without extra padding. You need to be very careful to choose the right size and look after this type of bra by washing it carefully or the metal wire can come through the fabric and dig into your skin. Some people find these bras uncomfortable to wear all day as the metal can start to cause pressure against the body.\n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nAll types can wear an underwire bra.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n15. Front Opening Bra\n\n\n\nFront Opening Bra available at Victoria's Secrets\n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nRather than fastening in the back like most bras, a front opening bra contains fasteners at the front, usually between the breasts. Other than that, it can include many of the features of different bra types such as padding, underwiring, and versatile straps.\n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nYou can wear a front opening bra at any time but they are particularly useful for anyone with limited mobility who struggles to reach behind their back to undo their fasteners. \n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nThis bra is suitable for all breast types.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n16. Wireless Bra\n\n\n\nWireless Bra available at Victoria's Secrets\n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nMany types of bra contains wires beneath the cup to maintain the shape, but those that don't fall under this category. It can include padded bras, sports bras, longline bras, or strapless bras. The main feature is that they avoid the use of wire which can mean the band beneath the breasts is reinforced with thicker material or panels.\n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nWireless bras are very comfortable since there is no metal at risk of digging into your skin and they are great choice if you want a bra you can wear all day and through to the night. Some ladies even sleep in a wireless bras. They can be recommended by doctors for those who have had surgery on their breasts, at least until their bodies have completely healed. \n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nAny breast type can wear a wireless bra.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n17. Full Support Bra\n\n\n\nFull Support Bra available at John Lewis & Partners \n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nThese bras are designed to give you total confidence no matter how big or small your breasts may be. They usually come without additional padding or underwires and they rely on panels of fabric with quite thick straps to distribute the weight of your breasts evenly while keeping everything carefully in place. \n\n\n\nThey are often made of a variety of fabrics with some elasticated areas and can be adorned with lace over thicker panels of cotton or silk. Full support bras usually cover your breasts entirely and can have very thick bands and straps.\n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nAnyone can wear a full support bra at any time and they are suitable for light to moderate exercise. As the straps are quite wide, they may not be the best choice under a top with delicate straps but they can define your figure well which is great if you want to wear a clingy top provided it is not too revealing as these bras cover a large area.\n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nAnyone can wear these bras but they are particularly suited to ladies with large breasts due to the complete support they offer. They can also give some lift and add firmness where needed.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n18. Maternity Bra\n\n\n\nMaternity Bra available at Figleaves\n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nThese bras are designed for breast-feeding mothers and come with fastenings at the top of the cup which allow you to remove the panel which allows the baby to feed without the need to remove your bra entirely. \n\n\n\nThey can offer some support in the form of elasticated bands or underwiring and are usually lightly padded to provide extra comfort. Designed for comfort when sore breasts are common, they are usually made of light, breathable fabric such as cotton. \n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nThese bras can be worn at any time when breast feeding or after having a baby when your breasts are too store and enlarged to go back to your usual bra. Breasts change dramatically in size during and after pregnancy, so you may prefer to stay in your maternity bra for extra comfort. It is a good idea to measure your breasts again when you feel you have returned to your normal size, as the size and shape may have changed after giving birth.\n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nAny size or type of breast is suited to these bras, usually during and after pregnancy.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n19. Built-In Bra\n\n\n\nBuilt-in Bra available at Harrods\n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nMore like a top than a bra, a built-in bra features extra support in your clothing so you don't need to wear a bra underneath. Very often, this can be a vest top or tank top designed to be worn on the outside. The top part of the clothing might contain a band that is quite tight with cups that are molded and they can come both with and without straps. A camisole is an example of a built-in bra, where the bra extends into a top that reaches down to the waist.\n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nTops with built-in bras are a popular fashion choice and often form part of a sophisticated evening dress or wedding gown. A camisole-type built-in bra can be worn under clothing, especially when you want to avoid showing any skin through a patterned or see-through top or when you want to avoid a sheer top from clinging to your body.\n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nAny size or shape of breast is suited to a built-in bra, although they are most popular with ladies with smaller breasts.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n20. Seamless Bra\n\n\n\nSeamless Bra available at Harrods\n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nAs the name suggests, these bras are designed so they fit closely all around with no apparent seems or hems. They can come in all shapes and sizes.\n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nA seamless bra is perfect if you are planning to wear a close-fitting top and worried the seem might interfere with the fall of the fabric.\n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nThis type of bra is suitable for all shapes and sizes and is particularly suitable for ladies with full busts who don't want fabric to look clumpy.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n21. Transparent Bra\n\n\n\nTransparent Bra available at Agent Provocateur\n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nIf going without straps seems like a step too far, a transparent bra is the answer and should be a staple in every woman's wardrobe. The cups themselves can be made in any material, it is usually the straps that go over the shoulder that are transparent. These are made of a fine silicone or plastic which is almost impossible to see unless you are very close and know exactly what you are looking for. \n\n\n\nWith a transparent clip, these can also remain fully adjustable. In some cases, the cups themselves are also completely transparent and made of silicon or plastic. Alternatively, they could come in a nude colored fabric in keeping with creating the illusion of wearing no bra at all.\n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nA transparent bra is the perfect accompaniment to a a strapless top or dress as you keep all the support without compromising the outfit. You can wear it with anything you like.\n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nAnyone can wear a transparent regardless of their breast type, although the straps tend to be thinner than those offering maximum support so this bra is best suited to ladies who need less support.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n22. Cupless Bra\n\n\n\nCupless Bra available from Victoria's Secrets\n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nWorn primarily for their appearance rather than functionality, a cupless bra behaves in most ways like a standard bra in that it has straps over the shoulders and a clear band around the torso, only there is little to no fabric in the cups themselves. Some are left completely cupless to expose the full breast while others have some delicate fabric which covers part of the breast while revealing the rest. \n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nThis bra is usually worn as part of a lingerie set designed to be worn as a novelty rather than as genuine underwear.\n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nAny size or shape can wear this bra.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n23. Bralette\n\n\n\nBralette available at Harrods\n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nA little like a hybrid between a bra and a top, a bralette is a sort of bra top that has more material than a standard bra, usually extending below the breasts towards the navel with a wider band across the back. \n\n\n\nThey can be worn on their own. Some bralettes are shaped around the breasts while others remain quite straight like a vest. The straps are usually quite thin and there is nothing to provide support or additional structure.\n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nThese can be worn as tops on their own or can be worn under any type of clothing. They are very comfortable since there are no molded cups, padding, or wires.\n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nBralettes are best suited to ladies with smaller busts as they do not provide very much support.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n24. Multiway Bra\n\n\n\nMultiway Bra available at Harvey Nichols\n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nA multiway or combination bra is one that can be adjusted to be worn in different ways. There will often be molding or wiring to keep the shape of the bust while the straps can be altered to offer a crisscross, halter neck or even strapless alternative. Sometimes, the straps can be removed and replaced with a different set for another combination.\n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nThis bra is probably one of the best in terms of value for money as it is so versatile you can wear it with practically anything in your wardrobe. It is also a great option if you are looking to travel light.\n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nAny shape or size can wear this bra, although it will offer less support in certain options.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n25. Minimiser Bra\n\n\n\nMinimiser Bra available at Marks & Spencer\n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nA minimiser bra is designed to make full breasts appear smaller with reinforced panels designed to either redistribute or squeeze in the breasts to create a slimmer outline and a firmer appearance. Their straps look similar to a standard bra but they usually have full cups and can have fairly thick bands.\n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nYou can wear a minimiser bra at any time you want your breasts to look smaller or firmer and they can be great under clingy or tight tops. Due to their resistance, they can be quite tight and may become uncomfortable after they have been worn all day.\n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nMinimiser bras are designed for ladies with fuller busts who want to look smaller. They are not suitable for those with small breasts.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n26. Post Surgery Bra\n\n\n\nPost Surgery Bra available from John Lewis & Partners\n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nThis type of bra is specifically designed to help women heal after any form of breast surgery, whether for medical or cosmetic purposes. It is made of very soft fabric to protect the skin as it heals and is often a large panel which might include padding or gentle compression to keep everything very still as you heal.\n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nYou can wear this bra full time following surgery to keep you safe as your body recovers and to avoid clothing from causing uncomfortable friction or pressure. \n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nA post surgery bra is suitable for all breast types. Different shapes and styles are available according to your needs.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n27. Apex Bra\n\n\n\nApex Bra available at Harvey Nichols\n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nThe term refers to the V shape created where the cups meet and a bra with a defined or high apex can be quite low between the breasts while each cup rises at a sharp angle to meet the shoulder straps. \n\n\n\nThey can be made of any kind of fabric and help to give each breast a separate definition, without allowing too much cleavage to escape. The top of the cups look a little like triangles as they meet the straps quite far above the breasts.\n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nAn apex bra can be perfect if you have a low cut top or one with a plunging neckline as they keep the breasts apart allowing you to reveal more flesh in the cleavage area. There is still a good deal of fabric at the top of the cups, which some people are happy to show although others might prefer to wear tops with a definite V shaped neck, like a V-necked sweater, as it follows the lines of the bra.\n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nAnyone can wear an apex bra and they are particularly suited to those with fuller breasts as they provide reasonably strong support.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n28. Plunge Bra\n\n\n\nPlunge Bra available at Victoria's Secrets\n\n\n\nWhat It Does\n\n\n\nA plunge bra is cut very low between the breasts and can come either with or without straps. There is often padding beneath the cups to provide support and shape while the band of the bra can also be quite low to allow for a deeper cut or plunge between the breasts. They sometimes provide lift as well which helps to accentuate the cleavage.\n\n\n\nWhen To Wear It\n\n\n\nThese bras are designed with one purpose: to be worn with tops or clothes that have plunging necklines, particularly those that are particularly low cut. They can be very comfortable and could be a good alternative to a strapless bra if you want to create the effect of a fuller cleavage.\n\n\n\nBreast Type\n\n\n\nPlunge bras are available for ladies of all types of breast shape. They can be particularly effective at lifting breasts where needed.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nConclusion\n\n\n\nI was surprised to discover when writing this bra style breakdown guide that there are such a plethora of bra styles on offer. There is certainly something to suit ladies of any shape who want to wear any kind of fashion.\n\n\n\nWhile there is no need for everyone to purchase every kind of bra available, most women will have a growing wardrobe of bras to supplement a clutch of firm favorites that they can count on for comfort and style. \n\n\n\nWhatever kind of bra you choose, it is always important to look after them carefully by washing and drying according to the manufacturer's recommendations and using only the delicate cycle if you must wash them in a machine. With good care and regular washing, you should be able to ensure that your bras last a very long time. \n\n\n\nAs well as the shape of your bra, the choice of material is also important. Many women love the feel of lace or silk as it makes them feel a little special and is soft enough to wear or all day without discomfort. There are also some beautiful colors and designs that mean choosing your bra is as interesting as any other part of your wardrobe, not something our great-grandmothers might have felt!\n\n\n\nTips and Tricks\n\n\n\nOne of the main things to keep in mind is that our bodies change shape more often than we realize, and our breasts are often the first places to show these changes. Checking your bras fit comfortably is crucial for the longevity of the bra as well as their appearance and your own health and comfort. \n\n\n\nIf your breasts begin to spill out above or below the cup, or if you are having trouble getting the band to sit straight, it could be that your bra no longer fits and should probably be replaced. Provided you keep this in mind, the world is pretty much your oyster when it comes to bra shopping.\n\n\n\nWomen have never enjoyed such variety and freedom as we are afforded today, so make the most of it and relish choosing a beautiful, luxurious bra that you will love. You know you deserve it.\n\n\n\nKey Take-away's\n\n\n\nOne of the best things about bras today is their versatility. Even if your outfit is completely backless, there are a variety of different options that offer full support without compromising on your outfit; different styles incorporate straps that remain completely invisible even when you wear the most revealing of tops. \n\n\n\nA well-fitting bra can make all the difference by complementing your curves to ensure you always look your best and it is important to choose a bra that creates the right effect for your look as well as making the most of your natural body shape. \n\n\n\nA designer outfit or a tailored top will only look its best if you enhance the look with a bra that helps to enhance your curves. A favorite bra can also make you feel alluring and womanly no matter what you wear on top: it is the best way to boost your confidence and help you feel ready to take on anything that comes your way.\n\n\n\nAs well accentuating your body shape and making sure you feel your best, the right bra that fits properly also carries many health benefits. Many women are unwittingly wearing bras that don't fit correctly. \n\n\n\nDifferent manufacturers size their products slightly more generously than others so it is not enough to select your normal bra size when you try something new. \n\n\n\nOur bodies regularly change shape, both as the result of diet and lifestyle changes and due to changing how much we exercise which is why it is important that we regularly measure ourselves. \n\n\n\nBetter still, arrange to be measured by an expert in any good lingerie shop or department store. Even then, bear in mind that different types of bras fit differently so it is worth trying on a range of different sizes to find the perfect match.