Bra Types for Body Types

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The human body may take on a wide variety of forms and sizes. That’s one thing that sets me apart from the others. By carefully curating your wardrobe, you can highlight your best features and minimize any flaws caused by your body type. This article discusses which bra styles work best with specific body shapes.

Bra Types for Body Types

There have been many different variations of the female body throughout the centuries. Accordingly, I have grouped them into the following categories: pear, apple, diamond, athletic, rectangle, hourglass, and inverted triangle. All women of any size may use these descriptions since they are specific to the torso, hips, shoulders, and thighs. Understanding your body type is the first step to looking your best.

Graphic illustration of various images that shows types of bras for different body types

This article aims to help you learn more about your body type to select the best bra that enhances your figure. When shopping for a bra, keep the following body types in mind:

Pear-Shaped Body

The pear body type has a noticeable, typically high waist and narrower shoulders and breasts compared to its wide hips. People with this body type generally have long necks, narrow shoulders, and arms. The padded, push-up, and balconette bras are all great options for boosting pear-shaped bodies.

If you want a dramatic lift, the only alternative is to wear a padded bra; if you want to seem more appealing, use a lace or designer bra. Wearing a balconette bra may help your breasts seem fuller and more attractive. The best balconette bras are also great for bottom-heavy breasts. If cleavage is your top objective, a push-up bra that gives you some lift is the way to go.

Lifting your breast will make your waist seem trimmer and your hips look narrower, and with the right pair of jeans that camouflages your pear-shaped body, they can give the illusion of a more proportionate figure overall. Be careful to wear a well-fitting, supportive bra if you have a pear-shaped body. The right bra with the right amount of detail, pattern, and design can help you achieve that well-balanced appearance.

Apple-Shaped Body

The apple body shape is often used to describe women with larger busts. Disproportionately large busts and shoulders characterize apple-shaped figures compared to their hips and waists. Underwired bras are more flattering and functional if you have a fuller bust and a broader shoulder area due to a larger waist.

A woman wearing a pink push-up bra and denim jeans standing near a white wall

For women with an apple shape, underwired bras are the best option since they provide both a subtle and supportive lift. If you have an apple shape, you should avoid wearing strapless bras, push-up bras, or padded bras since they accentuate your top-heavy appearance.

Women with this body type are recommended to have their breasts supported, reduced in size, and lifted slightly to define their waistline by jeans that conceal their apple-shaped bodies. Wearing a full-coverage minimizer bra may help prevent embarrassing cup leaks.

Diamond-Shaped Body

A lady who has a diamond body shape is slim across the hips, buttocks, and thighs. In this case, the shoulders are thin. The waist is noticeably larger and also has a rounded abdomen.

These women tend to have fuller busts and tummies. The waist is not well defined and is often broader than the hips, yet the hips and shoulders are proportional.

Plunge bras complement larger busts and look great with diamond body shapes. The vertical line created by the deep cut emphasizes the bust and shoulders and helps to create a sense of proportion throughout the body. They conceal any flaws while making the bust seem even better.

Athletic Shaped Body

People with athletic builds are sometimes described as having a “boyish figure”. What distinguishes this body type from others are the following features:

  • You have an athletic body shape if you have a few more curves than would be considered straight.
  • You also have an athletic body type if you are slender and not too curvy. 
  • Women with athletic body shapes have a good ratio of shoulder breadth to hip circumference. While the hips and shoulders are wider than your waist, the waist is not exaggerated, and the body is more slender.

Try a bustier, push-up bra, or both to draw attention to your bust. The halter, strapless, and racerback bra styles are often recommended bra types for this body type. Choose a more feminine, vibrant, and fanciful style if you want the illusion of greater volume.

A woman wearing a red push-up bra and black shorts is standing and holding the brown door

Rectangle Shaped Body

A rectangle is the simplest form to describe in terms of body type. Women who identify with this body type tend to have comparable widths across the shoulders, hips, and thighs. A rectangle’s shoulder, breast, and hip widths are the same.

Women of lower stature might be given the impression that they are even shorter and heavier if their body shape is more of a rectangle. Rectangles are defined by having a width equal to or greater than their shoulder, breast, and hip measurements. You are most likely a rectangle if your length, width, and height are the same.

With this body shape, choose the right push-up bras to accentuate your breast and draw attention to your shoulders and upper arms. A padded bra can accommodate most breast varieties in shape, support, and contouring. Emphasize your breasts and hips by increasing volume or wearing bold accessories rather than your waist. A halter top is a great choice because of the curves it gives the body the impression of fullness.

Hourglass-Shaped Body

The hourglass body is undoubtedly one of your many attractive shapes. A physique that is described as having about the equal chest and hip dimensions and a slightly smaller waist is called an hourglass body. The hourglass form is attractive because it has a slim waist and full breasts and hips in equal measure.

Your full breast will look lovely in whichever type of bra you choose. You may enhance your beauty with a good plunge bra, lace, or balconette bra. Some women with hourglass shapes use smaller-cupped bras to conceal their larger breasts. However, a full- or half-cup bra or a minimizer bra may make your bust seem smaller.

Balconette bras are flattering for women with hourglass figures, whereas plunge bras are more suited for those who want a lower neckline. If you have larger breasts, you shouldn’t wear a plunge bra beneath a polo neck or any other high neckline.

A woman in a black balconette bra and black leggings is walking up the stairs

What  bras to avoid if you have this body type:

  • Avoid push-ups and padded bras because they will bring unnecessary attention to your breasts.
  • Also, avoid strapless and triangle bras since they may not give enough support to your breasts.

Inverted Triangle Shaped Body

In terms of body type, an inverted triangle shape is a body form in which the upper part of the body is noticeably bigger than the lower. Like the apple, the hips and thighs are narrower than the breast and shoulders, making this another athletic body type. The broad shoulders, relatively flat buttocks, and hips characterize the inverted triangle form of the body.

To get an accurate measurement for this shape, you’ll need to add up the circumferences of your shoulders, chest, and hips. You have an inverted triangle body shape if your breast and hips are almost the same widths, and your waist is also a much lower figure.

The bra you wear depends more on your taste and desire to highlight or hide certain body parts. Since your upper body is rounder, you may wear bras without pads and larger cups. For a beautiful, fully supported appearance, choose a bra with a plunging neckline, lace, or a bralette.

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Finding the ideal bra may seem an overwhelming challenge with so many possibilities. Several criteria, like breast size, shape, and personal taste, may make it challenging to choose one. If the suitable shapes are determined, you’ll feel much more at peace in your body. Now that you know the various body shapes and bras consider shopping for new, more attractive bras.


Allena is the Founder and Editor of The Better Fit, a platform dedicated to empowering women with practical advice on bras and fitness, inspired by her own revelation of the widespread issue of incorrect bra sizing. Her expertise and tips have been recognized by major publications such as Cosmopolitan, Better Homes & Gardens, Insider, and NBC, making her a trusted voice in women's wellness and lifestyle.