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What is a Balconette Bra and When Should I Wear One?

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Shopping for a new bra can be stressful enough, without having to figure out what type of bra you need. Let’s take a moment to break down what should be called a staple bra. This might make your shopping trip a little easier.   

What is a Balconette Bra

Consider this a sexier version of the full coverage bra. ​It is a must have in your arsenal due to its ability to really show off your cleavage, but in a tasteful way.

Sometimes also referred to as a shelf bra, the balconette bra differs slightly. The balconette bra is a half to three-quarter cup bra that boosts your breasts from below, giving a balcony look to your cleavage.

Woman in a lacey black balconette bra in front of a white stair case

​The Balcony Bra

This bra has been named for its balcony like shape since it works to support the bottom and sides of your breasts while leaving the top more open. This is often preferred for lower cut blouses and dresses

This bra does leave the top portion of your breasts exposed. However, it covers more than half to give you an all day support and comfort that is professional enough for work while also being sexy enough for later.

Height of the Cups

The cups are not as large as the full coverage bra but they still cover a good amount in comparison to other lower cut bras on the market. The typical balconette bra covers ​1/2 to ​2/3rds of the breast.

There are also more lingerie based balconette bras that have little to no cups, but these are not for general daily use. 

Strap Width

Balconette bras tend to have straps that are a little wider set. This means that the bra straps are meant to be closer to your armpits instead of going straight up the middle part of your shoulder. This design feature is to enhance the ability to show your cleavage in square cut blouses without worrying that the straps will show

These straps that can offer some additional width or padding are ideal for ladies who have broader shoulders. Not all balconette bras will offer wider straps. Most have them built in with extra padding much like a really good push up bra to help create a more comfortable bra that still gives off those alluring vibes. 

Cup Support

Since the cups are not fully covered, you may be wondering how this bra can offer a good amount of support, especially to more curvy women. This bra exceeds in support thanks to higher sides that cover around the bottom half of the breasts to help lift and hold them all day long. 

There can also be included padding that works to lift and shape inside of the cups. You may opt for a more natural unlined version as well. 

Woman in a white balconette bra sitting on her bed

When Should it be Worn?

Balconette bras are a cut above the standard T-shirt bra or Full Coverage Bra. They offer support, comfort, and can come in really cute or more seriously sexy lace covered designs. So when is the best time to wear them?

Everyday Work Wear

An unlined or smooth balconette bra is perfect to wear under your work attire. It offers all day comfort and support with the higher side bands and padded shoulder straps.

They also offer some great cleavage push on your breasts, so you’ll look your best in your professional outfits.

Due to being in a professional environment you may want to save any textured or embellished balconette bras for after 5pm. 

Running Errands

The point of this bra is to be supportive and comfortable while still being fun and sexy. So grabbing this one when you have places to go is always a great choice.

You can wear it under a sweater, t-shirt, tank top, or a simple dress. It’s versatile and ensures that you have the coverage you need while you don’t need to worry about it. 

Special Events

These bras really shine for dressing up. Since they leave almost the top quarter of the breast exposed this makes a balconette bra the perfect go-to for that little black dress as well as for posh events where you may have a little extra cleavage showing.

There are also strapless balconette bras available, so you can opt to leave the straps off of a halter or more shoulder exposing outfit. 

Woman wearing a laced black balconette bra

In your Lingerie Drawer

Even though it is lingerie, balconette bras are a staple in this attire too. Most bustiers are offered in a balconette bra fit as well as some cupless models. These bras still offer that same high side support and lift to make sure that you are looking your best.  

​Not to the Gym

This is one outing where we would caution you. A balconette bra, while comfortable and sexy, is not the best choice for working out. Instead you would want to invest in a quality sports bra that will work to hold down your chest while you are busy working out. 

Balconette Bras for Busty Women

These bras are great for any occasion. Are they a great option for you? Depending on your body type, balconette bras could not offer you the best support or comfortable fit they are well known for. 

Fit Features

Some of the key features of a balconette bra are:

  • ​Wide set straps
  • ​Partial cup coverage
  • ​Open cleavage top
  • High side straps

With these features and the general cleavage friendly fit, this bra is a popular choice among curvy women as well as ​​women with large busts who wear push up bras for d cups and higher.

The bra was built with support and comfort in mind. The breasts are evenly held and distributed while also g​iving full support and lift throughout the day

This bra is great for fuller breasts due to the rounded pin-up style body. However, if you have a lot of loose breast tissue, it may not give you the best fit and support. This bra needs a full cup to evenly lift and fit. 

Woman in a white balconette bra standing in front of a window

You may experience some discomfort with this bra if you have more narrow shoulders. This is due to the wide set straps potentially being too far apart and not fitting correctly. It may not always be the case. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to try one on for fit before you buy it. 

Conclusion

The balconette bra has proven to be a must have in your wardrobe, whether you opt for it daily or keep it on hand for more cleavage friendly days. It offers a high amount of support and general all day comfort while still managing to be sexy after the day is over.