Note dedicated to Lore. I hope that now the bra styles will no longer be a mystery for you! :)
Bras are made in several styles, which are distinguished according to their design. The design is how the cup is sewn, and how the cups are attached to the straps.
Almost all of the designs are found as padded and soft bras. Soft bra is made of a single, sometimes double layer of a fabric. Whereas padded cups can be made of foam (of different thickness) or thermally molded fabric.
Beneath different bra styles are presented with representative pictures.
It is characterized by a cup cut from 3 parts. Strap is connected with the lower part of the cup. Balcony bras are usually quite built up, so provide good support. May lean out from deep necklines, but they often give a nice shape, so they are perfect for sweaters and blouses with lower neckline.
Plunge bra with is usually also cut form 3 parts, but the central gore is usually very low. Plunge bras push the breasts together to form maximum cleavage, so are suitable for deep necklines.
Plunge balcony or a low gore balcony
It is a design between a balcony and a plunge. Its central gore is too low for a balcony but it does not form a cleavage like a plunge. This style is often found in Freya bras.
It is hard to say from how many parts are full cups made, because there are full cups with 3 parts as well as with 4, and even those with seamless cups, where it is one piece of fabric. Typical full cup has the straps attached to the middle top of the cup. Full cup is probably the most covering bra.
Bras in this style are usually very low and cups have one or more vertical seams. Sometimes at the top of the cup there is an additional horizontal seam, making the cup more closed.
In this style only lower part of the bra cup is padded
This kind of bra is made from foam-like fabric which is heat-molded to form a cup. They do not have any seams on the cups, thus are not visible under clothing. They come in different designs, the most common are moulded plunges and full cups.
Strapless is usually a padded bra, although there are also those with soft cups. If they have straps, they are detachable so it can be a multi-way as well. To keep the bra on the bust the bra is lined with silicone or rubber strips or some other structural elements supporting the breasts are involved.
Multi-way bra can occur in a variety of designs, but usually as a plunge or a half cup. Detachable shoulder straps allow you to cross straps on the back or wear it as a halterneck. In case of most multi-ways the straps can be detached from the cups and from the band at the back.
Bras without wires come in different styles, both as a padded and soft bra.
In push up bra is the cup has an additional padding enhancing the bust and providing spectacular cleavage. The padding may be a removable or can be built in the cup. There are basically only padded push up bras.
Nursing bras are designed for women who are breastfeeding. They have clips at the top of the cup which are usually front snap cups allowing easy breastfeeding.
Sports bras are usually high cut and have full cups for better support and reduction of the breast bounce during sport activities. They are made from different (breathable) fabrics than non-sport bras.
The image source is linked below each picture.