Fact Checked

What is a Half-Cup Bra?

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen

A half-cup bra's cups offer less coverage than traditional bra cups, making the bra suitable for wearing with low-cut dresses, sweaters, and blouses. When wearing a half-cup bra, women will be able to to display more cleavage, and there is less risk of bra material peaking out from their garment's neckline. Also known as a demi-cup bra, this type of cup is incorporated into many different bra styles.

Many women are concerned about their undergarments being visible under their clothing. While a bra's color and construction have a huge impact on its visibility under a woman's apparel, the size of the cup also matters. Women who wear low cup or square necklines may find that the tops of their bra cups peek out from the neckline, creating a sloppy look. By creating a half-cup bra, manufacturers eliminate or at least reduce the problem of bra cup tops peeking out from clothing. The half-cup bra style can be used in a variety of bras, including push-up bras and t-shirt bras. The demi-cup can be particularly suited to the push-up bra, as it can doubly enhance the enlarging effect of the push-up bra and allow its wearer to show off more decolletage.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

Underwear companies make half-cup bras available as both a practical underwear choice as well as lingerie. Women should be sure to select a half-cup bra that meets their needs. While bras with a lot of lace or embroidery may look really nice on their own, they are better suited to bedroom wear than as a regular undergarment. Plain, seamless nude bras are better suited to being worn under clothing and helping women create the look they want.

The demi-cup may not be a good choice for very large-breasted women, as it may not provide the type of support and control that she needs. It is also extremely important that women who choose half-cup bras ensure that the bra fits properly. This is because a woman's breast tissue can easily spill over the top of a too-small half-cup bra, creating unattractive bulges right below her neckline. Women who are concerned about control and fit may want to look into a full-cup balconette bra, which has wide-set straps to provide a lot of neckline and chest space appropriate to low-cut necklines. Other options include 3/4-cup bras, which are less revealing than a half-cup but provide a bit more leeway than a full-cup bra.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


@umbra21 - Fitting is really important with half cup bras, as they don't have the forgiving fit of full cups.

First, you have to make sure the band is quite tight, since it is going to be taking most of the weight, particularly in a balconette bra.

Then, make sure the fabric and shape of the cup is the right kind. If you always get bulges, no matter what, you might need a slightly rounder cup shape, so the breast isn't being pressed by the top of the bra.

But, there are women who are too large for a half cup. I was too large myself for a while, but then I lost a bit of weight and found one that fits quite well. It just means I can have my choice of tops, without having to worry about having a bra that suits each one.

I always thought those half cup bra pictures of women were doctored, or carefully posed, but it is possible to get it to fit right!

Good luck!


I find it really difficult to use a half-cup bra. I have quite large breasts and even when I wear a half-cup bra in my size, or a couple sizes bigger than my usual size, I still get the overspill on the front. It's usually not a lot, and it doesn't feel like they are in danger of popping out, but it leaves a little bulge that doesn't look very nice under the fabric.

I find that they only work if the top is right on the edge of where the bra ends. That way, the bulge simply isn't noticeable. But, it's still there.

Mostly, what I try to do is match up nice, lacy full cup bras with outfits that suit having a little bit of lace peeking through.

Either that, or I don't wear low cut tops.

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Woman holding a book
      Woman holding a book