Popular Bra Trends of the Last 10 Years

Popular Bra Trends of the Last 10 Years

Over the last decade, several popular bra and lingerie trends emerged or returned  from the past. From the more modern demi cup bra to the rising popularity of the wireless bra, these trends have shaped what women have come to expect from their favorite bras. 

Before we dive into the most popular bra trends, let’s gain some context. 

Bras have been around for a long time — experts believe women have been wearing bras since about 2500 B.C. Of course, the materials and styles of these bras have evolved over time. A woman named Marie Tucek may have created the first “modern” bra. Mary Phelps Jacob later created a backless brassiere in 1913. 

How have bras changed since then, and which bra trends have seen a surge in popularity? 

The Rise of the Maternity Bra

One of the most distinctive bra trends, the maternity or nursing bra was first designed to prevent lactation leaks by Maidenform in 1934. Then, in 1943, the first patented nursing bra was created. 

In 1991, a woman named Mary Sanchez aided in further development of this bra style. Women were now able to buy nursing and maternity bras in a range of cup sizes, some with one-handed drop down cups for easy nursing. 


The Demi Cup Bra

There is little information available about when the demi cup made its debut. However, this style has become a linchpin in women’s fashion—and it’s not hard to see why. 

This bra style features lower cups than others, the top typically resting just 1 to 1.5 inches above the nipple. In fact, the word demi is French for “half.” 

Since demi cup bras show more cleavage than full-coverage bras, it’s a great option for smaller-chested women. It can give the illusion of fuller breasts, giving you the extra oomph you want. 

The Padded Cup Trend

As far as lingerie trends go, padded cup bras aren’t going anywhere. 

The first padded bras were made in 1947 by Frederick Mellinger. This style became very popular beginning in the 1960s. 

Padded cups provide extra support and increase your visible cleavage by lifting your breasts. That makes it perfect for small- and large-busted people alike. 


The Rise of Push-up Bra

The padded bra was such a hit that Frederick Mellinger came out with its cousin, the push-up bra, in 1948. 

Push-up bras are designed to give you extra cleavage and lift. Women of the time appreciated this style, and, really, we’ve never stopped loving it. 

In 1964, a Canadian designer named Louise Poirier created another popular version of the push-up bra through Wonderbra. 

Today, the push-up bra is one of the most popular bra trends, and one that doesn’t plan on leaving. 


The Low-cut Bra Trend

The 1964 Wonderbra mentioned above was also one of the first low-cut bras on the market. The low cut shows extra cleavage and is especially useful to wear beneath dresses or blouses with low-cut or plunging necklines. 

This bra style gained popularity in the 90s. Today, there are numerous styles and designs of this bra type available.


Wireless & Unstructured Bras

For most of history, bras were wireless. The first wired bras that gained popularity were those created by Mary Phelps Jacob in 1914.

Wired bras became popular for a number of reasons, including increased support. However, people have never stopped loving the wireless variety.  Especially pronounced during COVID, people in lockdown opted for their most comfortable clothing items—such as wireless bras and sweatpants. 

There’s a place for both wired and unwired bras in a woman’s top drawer. Bras with underwire are ideal for getting that extra support you need or keeping your breasts in place. Wireless or unstructured bras tend to be more comfortable and less restrictive. 

Popular styles of wireless and unstructured bras include bralettes and sports bras. 


Strappy/Bondage Bras

Strappy or bondage bras are another popular bra style of the past decade. These bras feature various details and components that give them a sexy and intimate feel, such as lace, ties, straps, harnesses, and corsetry. 

You can find strappy/bondage bras in a variety of materials, with leather and silk being popular options. 

While this style isn’t ideal for everyday wear, it’s a great addition to any lingerie collection. 


Body-inclusive Bras

More and more bra companies, such as Third Love, feature body-inclusive bra designs. This includes things such as the following: 

  • Plus-size bras
  • Bras for small busts
  • Custom bras

This fashion trend is taking the bra industry by storm, and Third Love is proud to be part of it. We offer a unique take on bra sizing by offering half-cup sizes. This makes it easier for you to find the perfect fit, no matter your body type or style preferences. 

We believe everyone deserves a bra that fits well, looks amazing, and increases confidence. 

Bra Trends by Size

So, which bra trends should you try? 

Certain styles of bra are better suited for larger or smaller breast sizes. Once you have a good understanding of your size — and your breast shape — you can make informed decisions when purchasing bras.

Learn which bra styles are best for which bust types. 

Bras for Larger Bust Sizes

If you have a larger bust, consider wearing one of these bra styles:

  • Balconette 
  • Strapless
  • Smoothing bras
  • Racerback

These styles offer ample support while still being comfortable and attractive. Smoothing bras, in particular, are ideal for larger-chested women who struggle with indentations beneath their clothing or want a more contoured appearance. They’re available in various styles.

Bras for Smaller Busts

If you have smaller breasts, the following bra types are sure to flatter:

  • Demi 
  • Push-up
  • Padded
  • Bralette 
  • Bandeau 

Demi, push-up, and padded bras tend to offer great support for smaller-chested women while also adding some oomph. Bralettes and bandeaus, on the other hand, are designed more with comfort in mind. 


Trendy ThirdLove Bras

No matter the style trend that speaks to you, ThirdLove has a bra for everybody (& every body). From demi to wireless, staple neutrals & bold lace, all of our bras are made with premium materials and luxe details to ensure you never miss out on a great boob day. 

Get up to speed on all the first layer trends by shopping our available styles & shades.