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by Shaylie Foley July 14, 2018 8 min read

What is a Balconette Bra?

A balconette bra—also known as a balcony bra or a shelf bra—is a type of partial- coverage bra with cups that cover less of your bust than classic full-coverage bras do. Traditional balconette bras offer approximately half of the coverage that the cups of a full-coverage bra provide.

Balconette bras are designed to lift your bust and enhance your cleavage. These bras stay hidden under low-cut tops and dresses with necklines that would reveal the cups of full-coverage bra styles. Balconette styles also shape your breasts to create a smooth, natural-looking rounded finish for your bust. Most balconette bras feature light lined or padded cups for shaping.

The only concrete difference between balconette bras and classic bra styles is the amount of coverage their cups provide. However, the rounded, low-cup design of balconette bras give these styles a vintage-inspired, flirty and feminine finish that looks sexier and more luxurious than most other popular bra types. If you’re looking for a stylish, supportive bra style that can double as everyday underwear and sexy lingerie, start shopping for a balconette bra.

 

Who Should Wear a Balconette Bra?

Contrary to popular belief, balconette bras are not only for thin, small-busted women. Many women think that balconette bras can’t provide much support because their cups offer less coverage than the cups of classic full-coverage bra styles. The truth is that bra cups don’t actually offer much support, no matter how much coverage they provide. The main purpose of bra cups is to shape your breasts and give your bust a smooth, round look.

The band and straps of, and these parts of a balconette bra are just as supportive as those of a full-coverage bra. In fact, most balconette bras have built-in seamed cups, which offer even more support than classic bra styles. Therefore, curvier women with full busts can also benefit from these half-coverage bras.

When choosing a balconette bra, worry less about support and more about fit. If a balconette bra is not a good fit for your bust, you won’t be happy with how you look in it. A balconette bra that is too small for you will dig into your breast tissue and create an awkward, unsightly quad-boob effect that looks lumpy and unnatural under clothes. One that is too large for you will lead to obvious gaps between your breasts and your bra cups. It’s important to measure your breasts correctly and choose your bra carefully to make sure you end up with a balconette style that truly fits you well.

Balconette styles are also excellent bras for wide-set breasts. Their lifting effect pulls your breasts together to create natural-looking cleavage that can be difficult to achieve with other bra styles if your bust is wide set.

Anyone can pull off a balconette bra. These half-cup bras are extremely versatile. Regardless of your body type or the shape an size of your breasts, you can find a balconette bra style to fit and flatter your unique figure.

 

What is a Demi Bra?

In terms of coverage, a demi bra is somewhere in between a balconette bra and a full- coverage bra. The exact coverage that a demi bra provides depends on its individual brand and style. Generally, a demi bra’s cups cover approximately three-quarters of your breasts, which offers more coverage than the half cups of a balconette bra style.

Demi bras are a good option for women who want to avoid the bulk and visibility of full- coverage bras while getting more coverage and support than most balconette bras are able to offer.

However, the difference between a demi bra and a balconette bra can get confusing. Some balconette bra styles provide three-quarter coverage just like traditional demi bras. Other demi styles offer the half coverage that’s typical for balconette bras. The differences between demi and balconette styles are not an exact science and are often somewhat unclear.

Despite the technical differences between demi bras and balconette bras, many mainstream lingerie retailers use these labels interchangeably. Keep this in mind when you’re shopping for a new bra, especially if you’re shopping online and are unable to try on the bra before you buy it.

The bottom line is that the difference between balconette and demi bras is slim enough that most women don’t even notice when mainstream lingerie retailers advertise the two styles interchangeably. Be open-minded and experiment with both types of bras to find a style that fits and flatters you best.

 

Balconette Bra Styles

Many women think of balconette bras as a specific, individual bra style in and of themselves. On the contrary, ‘balconette bra’ is actually an umbrella term that encompasses countless different bra styles. All of these styles offer the lift and half coverage expected of balconette bras, but they differ slightly in fit and functionality to increase the versatility of the balconette bra style for women of all shapes and sizes.

You can find some of the current most popular, functional, and stylish balconette bra styles described in more detail in this post. No matter your body type, breast size, breast shape, or style preferences, you’re guaranteed to find a balconette bra that fits and flatters your unique frame. Use the style guide below to help you determine which balconette bra style is the most comfortable, functional, flattering style for you.

 

Longline Balconette Bra

Longline balconette bras are a vintage style that adds to the vintage-inspired, pin-up girl style of classic balconette bras. They double as comfortable everyday wear and sexy lingerie.

These bras simultaneously lift, slim and shape. Longline styles extend down to your waist or hips, gently slimming your middle to create a smooth look underneath clothes or without them. These bras are commonly worn with formal or bridal-wear because they are pretty and sexy but subtly slimming. Longline balconette bras also generally offer more support than other balconette styles because of their extra-wide band.

 

Plus Size Balconette Bra

Plus size balconette bras defy the misconception that balconette style only flatter thin women with breasts that are naturally small and perky. These bras usually feature extra support features—like wide padded straps, extra hook and eye closures, a wide band, molded sectioned cups, etc—that go above and beyond basic support expectations in order to offer enough security for curvy women with full busts.

If you have a fuller bust, it’s important to choose a well-fitting plus size balconette bra. Large busts are more likely to develop the quad-boob effect in a too-small bra. Also, check for support features when shopping for a plus size balconette bra to make sure you end up with a style that offers the security you need for comfortable, all-day wear.

 

Sheer Balconette Bra

Sheer balconette bras are ultra-scandalous styles that are perfect for adding some excitement to your next sexy night in the bedroom. These see through bras are ultra- trendy and add interest to balconette styles that are already stylish and unique.

You don’t have to sacrifice on support or lift with a sheer balconette bra. Many see through balconette bras include all the same support features as traditional balconette styles, including underwire. Most styles that are completely see through are unlined, so they can’t offer very much shaping. However, if shaping is important to you, you can find some semi-sheer styles that feature see through panels as well as solid panels that are lined or padded.

 

Push Up Balconette Bra

With the exception of unlined and bralette styles, most balconette bras are lined or padded. Push up balconette bras go above and beyond with extra padding to maximize shaping and lift.

These push up styles include all-over padding along with extra, heavier padding at the bottom of the cups. Push up balconette styles are especially flattering for women with smaller or saggy breasts that need a little extra help achieving your desired level of lift and cleavage. When choosing a push up balconette style, make sure to find a bra that fits you very well to avoid quad-boob and ensure a comfortable, natural-looking finish.

 

Lace Balconette Bra

If you’re in the market for a sexier balconette style, go for a lace style. Lace balconette bras are usually designed as lingerie pieces, although many lace styles are suitable for everyday wear as well.

By nature, balconette bras look feminine and luxurious. Lace just adds an extra touch of flirty style to these sexy bras. There are countless lace balconette styles. Some feature a subtle lace overlay, while others are crafted completely from lace material. The possibilities are endless.

 

Balconette Bralette

While traditional balconette bras can fit and flatter almost any figure, most balconette bralettes are best-suited for women with naturally small, perky breasts that don’t require much lift or support.

Balconette bralettes are usually fairly flimsy, wireless, and unlined. They do not offer the same shaping and lifting benefits as more structured, supportive balconette styles. However, if you don’t require much support, shaping, or lifting, balconette bralettes are pretty, flirty, and feminine styles that effortlessly stay hidden under low-cut tops and dresses.

 

Padded Balconette Bra

Most balconette bras are lightly lined to shape your bust. Other balconette styles offer full padding that offers intense shaping and lift for your bust.

Padded balconette bras are different from push up styles in that they include uniform, all-over padding inside the cups. This even layer of padding creates a natural-looking

smooth, rounded shape. Padded balconette bras offer more intense shaping that is ideal for women with breasts that are not naturally full and round.

 

Underwire Balconette Bra

If you have a large bust that needs a lot of support, make sure that any balconette bra you choose includes underwire. Underwire balconette bras are much more supportive than wireless balconette styles. In addition to support, underwire helps balconette bras offer additional lift and security.

Almost every balconette bra style is available with underwire. You can find wired unlined, sheer, lace, longline, and swimwear styles. Even some balconette bralettes are wired. Never sacrifice on support when you don’t have to!

 

Unlined Balconette Bra

Unlined balconette bras are appealing because of their ultra-comfortable fit for all-day wear. These bras don’t feature any lining or padding in the cups, but many of them still include support features like underwire, padded straps, a wide band, etc. A well-made unlined balconette bra should provide as much support as a lined or padded style.

However, because they don’t include any padding to push up your breasts or hold them together, unlined balconette bras offer sightly less lift than lined balconette styles. They provide support and a subtle lift, but are ideal for women who aren’t looking for much lift and just want a comfortable bra to stay hidden under low-cut tops.

If you’re looking for an everyday bra style to pair with a low-cut top or dress that gently lifts your cleavage and supports your bust without adding any bulk, an unlined balconette bra is likely the best choice for you.

 

Balconette Swimsuit

Many swimsuit tops are available in balconette styles. Balconette swimsuits are ultra- sexy. They flatter your figure, enhance your cleavage, and draw attention to your bust. Plus, they’re unique and always stylish, so you won’t have to worry about buying a new bathing suit every summer to keep up with the swimwear trends.

Finding the right fit is key when it comes to balconette swimsuits. Avoid an embarrassing nip slip by choosing a well-fitting style with cups that offer enough coverage to keep you covered while tanning, swimming, or strolling along the shore.

Shaylie Foley
Shaylie Foley

Shaylie Foley is an author and a fashion expert at HauteFlair. She writes to inspire and educate readers on women's fashion and lifestyle topics. With over 6 years of writing experience, Shaylie brings a vast amount of knowledge, style, and skill to her work


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Size Chart

International Bra Cup Size Conversion Chart

USA      UK      EU
DD/E DD E
DDD/F E F
DDDD/G F G
H FF H
I G I
J GG J
K H
L HH
M J
N JJ
O K

 

CUP SIZES AA-D REMAIN THE SAME

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