What is...
a Half Cup Bra?

There are so many styles of bra available, from your everyday balcony bras to sassy plunges, and t-shirt bras or even full cup bras, but what about half cup bras? Read on to find out everything you need to know about what a half cup bra is, what they do, and who can wear one!

What is a half cup bra?

A half cup bra, sometimes referred to as a demi bra or shelf bra, is pretty much what it says in the name: a style of bra that has a shorter cup, coming up around the halfway point of your breasts.

They typically feature a straight or sweetheart neckline rather than the curved necklines seen on balcony and full cup bras, or V-shaped necklines like in plunge bras


What does a half cup bra do?

Half cup bras give amazing uplift and shape thanks to their clever design. As they come up shorter on your breasts, they often do not have the horizontal or angled top cup piece, and instead only have vertical cup seams that direct your breast tissue up and forwards. A half cup bra often gives what we like to call the ‘cakes-on-a-plate’ style cleavage, reminiscent of the shape you can get from corsets (Bridgerton vibes, anyone?!). This incredible uplift comes from the shape of the cups and those vertical seams pushing all your breast tissue up from the bottom to round off at the top of your breasts.

Thanks to their amazing uplift, they not only enhance your cleavage but they give great support too – ticking both the aesthetics and practicality boxes. As a half cup bra isn’t quite as low cut in the centre as a plunge bra, they can offer a more secure fit too as you have the same taller wires as seen in a balcony style, so no risk of spilling out at the centre gore!

You might come across a balcony style that looks like a half cup, such as Curvy Kate’s Boost Me Up balcony bra, which do the same things a half cup bra does. The trick is to look at the seams – if it has only vertical seams and no horizontal top cup section, then you’ll be looking at a balconette style that gives the same effect as a half cup bra.


"This bra gives you the boost you need to wear under low cut tops and dresses. IN LOVE! Thank you! So supportive too!"

Curvy Kate Boost Me Up Padded Balcony Bra

Who can wear a half cup bra?

If you’re looking for va-va-voom, uplift and support, then a half cup bra is for you! They are also great for wearing under square necklines as the shape of the cups sits neatly underneath without coming up as high as a typical balcony or full cup bra might do.

If you’re wondering what size you need to go for in a half cup bra, this depends on the look you’re going for and how full or firm your breasts are. If you’re looking for real uplift and oomph for special occasions, then sticking with your usual size might be worthwhile. If you find that you’re between sizes or have firm breasts or a lot of upper fullness, then you may prefer to go up a cup size. Likewise, if you want a style that offers a bit more day-to-day wearability, then a cup size up to increase the coverage is recommended.

What are the benefits of a half cup bra?

There are so many great features of half cup bras, but here’s a quick round-up to summarise:

  • Vertical seams in half cup bras give incredible uplift by pushing your breast tissue up from below
  • Half cup bras offer lower coverage while maintaining a secure fit at the centre front thanks to the taller wires
  • Perfect for wearing under square necklines where other bras may peek out over the edge
  • They’re great for giving a rounded, fuller shape to your breasts

So there we have it! A whistle-stop tour of all things half cup bras. We hope this was helpful for you and if you want to take a step into the world of cakes-on-a-plate cleavage, check out our collection of half cup bras for D+ cup sizes:

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