5 Types of Bras Every Woman Should Know

You wear a bra pretty much every day (It’s okay, I ditch them some weekends too), but how much do you know about the bras you wear? When you enter a lingerie store or shop online, are you overwhelmed by the options? As a busty woman, sometimes it can seem like there are both too many bras to choose from, and not enough that fit me. And that sucks! Luckily, the more you know about the types of bras available, the easier your search will be!

Sound good? Let’s get started!

1. Moulded Cup Bra

Deco Moulded Plunge Bra by Freya

Deco Moulded Plunge Bra by Freya

This bras is usually advertised as a t-shirt bra. It has smooth styrofoam cups that form a rigid shape. Moulded cup bras are crazy popular for two main reasons. First, the stiff cups block your nipples so you can wear a fitted shirt in a cold room with no fears. And Second, the super smooth molded styrofoam has no seams, so your bra is almost invisible under a shirt.

If a moulded cup bra fits, get it. They are super practical! However, many women can’t find molded cup bras that fit properly. This happens for a variety of reasons, but is mostly a problem for women with large busts, or whose breasts are no longer perky. Moulded cup bras are each a very specific shape, so only women with breasts that shape should wear that bra. Try on a variety of styles and brands to see which, if any, fit you really well. If you can’t find one, don’t worry. There is a whole world of bras beyond the molded cup! I guarantee that your boobies can find a happy home!

2. Spacer Bra

Rebecca Spacer Moulded Bra by Fantasie

Rebecca Spacer Moulded Bra by Fantasie

If you really want a moulded cup bra, but can’t find one that fits, then this is the bra for you! Instead of stiff foam cups, spacer bras are made of two thin layers of flexible foam with air in between. This provides the nipple protection and smooth fit of a moulded cup bra, but with a lot more flexibility. This is great for women whose breasts have begun to sag, either because of age or weight loss. I have also heard that spacer bras are refreshingly cool in the summertime, which sounds absolutely lovely!

While spacer bras are super awesome, they tend to be a little pricy, and can be hard to find. If there is a luxury or specialty lingerie store in your area, go befriend them immediately, you lucky gal! If there is not a specialty store in your area, then you may have to buy one online. Remember, if you are going to buy bras online, double check your bra size first! I highly suggest buying a bra in several sizes and then returning whichever ones you don’t want. It may seem like a waste of time and money, but I strongly believe that having a well-fitting bra is worth the hassle!

3. Seamed Bra or “Cut and Sew”

Andorra Full Cup Bra by Panache

Andorra Full Cup Bra by Panache

The name of this bra is a reference to how it is put together. There are several panels sewn together like a quilt to create the cup. This means that a seamed bra can be made in pretty much any shape. My favorite sports bra is a seamed, but so are many lacy bras available in large sizes. The variety of shapes and styles that can be made with the cut and sew technique means that the options are virtually limitless. The most exciting part is all the colors and patterns available! And to top it all off, they are super flexible, so pretty much everyone can wear them! No joke, when I first discovered seamed bras, I went on a little bra shopping binge because I was so excited!

However, there is a downside to the cut and sew bra. All those seams that make this bra super flexible, strong, and comfortable also mean that it is not very discrete. Some styles are better than others. Fabric can make a world of difference. But in the end, every cut and sew will be bumpy under your shirt. This is fine in many situations, but could cause some problems if you want to wear a fitted top. Just be aware, and keep a variety of bras in your drawer so you can wear the best bra for every outfit.

4. Unlined Underwire Bra

Minimizer Plus Underwire Bra by Berlie

Minimizer Plus Underwire Bra by Berlie

This is the most basic underwire bra you can buy. The cup is made of one piece of thin, but sturdy fabric, creating a pouch for the breast. These bras are usually both modest and comfortable, which is great for every-day wear! And the flexible cup design means that the cup fits to your breast, whatever their shape. If you can’t wear, or don’t want  to wear a moulded bra or a spacer bra, then this is the every day for you! This bra gets a lot of flack among younger busty women for being ugly, but you can find it in some pretty styles if you search. And frankly, this is the bra that has stood the test of time. ladies are still wearing it for a reason: it is the best option for combining support and comfort!

But of course, there is some sacrifice when you buy such a simple, comfortable bra. While there are no bumpy seams that will show under a tight shirt, there is also nothing blocking the nipples. This makes the unlined underwire bra less useful than a moulded bra. But it does fit a wider variety of women!

5. Soft Cup Bra

Active Medium Impact Sports Bra by Anita

Active Medium Impact Sports Bra by Anita

The most basic of all bras, the soft cup bra has no underwire, no molding, no complicated seams. This bra cannot provide as much support as an underwire bra, and it won’t stop your nipples from showing themselves, but damn it is comfortable! Many ladies wear soft cup bras because they don’t like underwire. (If this is you, you may have been wearing the wrong bra size. I highly suggest that you get a fitting at a specialty store) But some ladies would just rather let their breasts hang a little low than wear an underwire, and that is totally fine. In fact, I think that every woman should own at least one soft cup bra for the lazy days. Also, if you sleep in a bra, you should sleep in a soft cup bra. It will be much more comfortable than underwire, and more healthy too!



Each of these bras serve their own purpose. Most women will have two or three different types of bras in their drawer, and that is great! The goal is to make educated purchases based on an understanding of your own breasts. Good luck!

Let me know if you have any specific bra questions, and I will try to address them in a later post.

  1 comment for “5 Types of Bras Every Woman Should Know

  1. Amanda
    December 10, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Good info. I did not know that there were so many options. Keep it up!

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