A Guide to Different Bra Styles

A Guide to Different Bra Styles

It's what underneath that counts – don't let anyone tell you otherwise. That's why you should trust the lingerie experts at Ann Summers to ensure you get the effect you want, every single time. Need to know your balcony from your plunge? Your demi from your quarter? We don't blame you for feeling a little confused. But you deserve to look and feel fierce – it's time to become a lingerie pro with the Ann Summers guide to different bra styles.

Before you shop, don't forget to get yourself measured. Our expert Bra Fit Guide can help with that, or head to your nearest Ann Summers and take advantage of our free in store expert Bra Fit service. You don't want to be wearing the wrong size now.

For the everyday...

First up in our bra style guide: the essentials. These are the bras you need for everyday wear, but that also make you look and feel sexy. Practical doesn't have to mean plain, and with these styles you can boost, smooth, create cleavage and conquer those tricky necklines. An everyday bra can range from clean lines to undeniably sexy with a range of cuts, materials and colours. From simple solutions to everyday sex appeal, we've got you covered.

Balcony (aka balconette) bras

Balcony bras have wider straps that lift from the bottom of the cup, just like a balcony... where did you think the name came from? This gives the boost you need to show off those assets. Looking for maximum lift or a fuller bust? This style is the one for you.

AS Style Tip...

Perfect for low cut-tops and dresses with straight (rather than plunging) necklines, balcony styles create uplift for a fuller, rounded look.

Step this way to shop balcony

Plunge bras

A plunge bra supports from the middle, and this results in an irresistible lift and a sexy cleavage. Padded and underwired plunge bras give a killer cleavage and extra lift. Want more? Of course you do. Triple Boost and Extreme Boost bras instantly give you bigger boobs and take your cleavage to the max.

AS Style Tip...

Perfect for low-cut tops and dresses. Want to wear a seriously low-cut dress? Look for deep-plunge or V-plunge bras, where the centre of the bra dips to stay out of sight, but still creates get a cleavage that'll knock ‘em dead.

Take the plunge and shop now

Padded t-shirt bras

Wearing a T-shirt doesn't mean you can't look and feel hot. T-shirt bras give a smooth and seamless finish, while padded ones also give you lift, support and a great deal of shape. All this without the raised detailing that would be visible under clothing.

AS Style Tip...

Perfect for fitted tops, shirts and dresses and, you know, T-shirts...

Going smooth? Shop T-shirt bras!

Multiway bras

Multiway bras are an essential in any girl's wardrobe. They feature moveable straps designed for maximum versatility. Unsightly straps can ruin the perfect outfit – not anymore!

AS Style Tip...

Perfect for awkward necklines – think halter neck and Bardot styles – where you want to create a seamless (and strapless) look. You can switch and reattach the straps to create your ideal look, and you'll still stay in place and get full support from day to night.

Go all the (multi) way here

Strapless bras

Natural shape and support without straps poking out and ruining your gorgeous outfit. They're perfect for occasion wear or summer outfits. All eyes will be on you, babe.

You don't want to be hitching it up all through your night out – which is why it's even more important to get a proper bra fitting. Don't worry, an expert at one of our stores can help you.

AS Style Tip...

Perfect for strapless tops, of course. Want a real boost without straps? Opt for a strapless bra with push-up padding.

Shop here – no straps attached

Non-wired bras

Soft and comfortable, non-wired bras give you a gentle lift, subtle support and naturally accentuate your curves, all without any wire whatsoever!

If you've got sensitive skin that gets easily irritated by materials or wires, this is the perfect bra style for you, honey. You've gotta be comfortable, after all.

AS Style Tip...

Perfect for going about your everyday – when you want to be comfy but sexy.

Shop here for wire freedom

Non-padded bras

When you're hot and curvaceous enough (lucky girl!), keep things simple with a non-padded bra. These underrated beauties keep you looking all natural while still providing support and comfort. And they're seriously sexy too.

AS Style Tip...

Perfect for when you feel like going all natural. We love your confidence, babe.

Hot and natural honeys, this way

For slipping into something a little sexier...

Next up, we crank-up the 'sexy' dial a bit more. Looking for something for a night out? These styles are designed to enhance your curves, turn heads and make you feel irresistable.

Push-up bras

The push-up bra does just what it says on the label – it pushes the breasts together and upwards for an irresistible cleavage and accentuating that sexy silhouette. For smaller breasts looking for a big boost, or if you just fancy flaunting what you've already got, the push-up bra is a key staple in any woman's lingerie drawer.

AS Style Tip...

Perfect for low-cut tops and when you want to turn a few heads. Also ideal for enhancing those gorgeous curves.

Push this button to shop

Longline bras

Gorgeously vintage in a throwback to retro times, longline bras extend further down your ribcage than other bras, and they help create a smooth line under your clothes both front and back.

AS Style Tip...

Perfect for figure-hugging tops and dresses when you want a smooth and sculpted shape that still looks sexy. Also great for the underwear as outerwear trend – wear under a sheer top or with a high-waisted skirt.

Don't wait long – shop now!

For the downright erotic...

And last, but certainly not least, in our bra styles guide, are the ones you've been waiting for...

Perfect the art of teasing with decadent styles and naughty detailing that leaves just the right amount to the imagination. Our erotic styles are perfect for a naughty night-in and provide undeniable seduction. Turn up the heat with the erotic quarter cup and peephole styles – perfect for date night, they won't be able to keep their hands off you.

Quarter cup bras

As you can probably tell from the name, Quarter Cup Bras feature cups that only cover the bottom quarter of the breasts, while the underband still offers support and lift for a cheeky boost.

Quarter Cups get top marks for sexiness. They provide a show of nipple but still with the irresistibility that can only be given by lingerie.

AS Style Tip...

Perfect for wearing with nipple tassels and treating him to an evening of lip-biting pleasure. Want to be daring? Wear for more support and lift than you'd get if you went bra free, but the gorgeous feeling of something incredibly sexy.

Shop here to blow his mind

Peephole Bras

Available in all sorts of designs – from semi-sheer lace to kinky strap-covered styles – peephole bras offer a tantalising glimpse of what's underneath that'll have them begging for more.

These racy styles hide and reveal at just the right moments for thrilling results.

AS Style Tip...

Perfect for pure seduction. Be a tease, trust us, they'll be eager to please.

Take a peep this way

Don't get your knickers in a twist...

Hopefully you're now feeling educated and excited. But hold on, something's missing. Now you've got the perfect bra, get the matching set (according to a study men prefer it!)

...you're not the kind of woman who does things by halves.

Read our knicker guide