Sexy and Stylish Retro Style Bras That Lift and Add Extra Volume to Your Bust
The balconette bra is a retro cut bra, sometimes known as a shelf bra. It’s a sweet little bra with pin up attitude with wide set straps and low cups to reveal more chest, shoulder and cleavage. These days they usually come with a bit of padding to boost your girls and give you a modern-retro look under your T shirts and sweaters, but a more natural look than a push up bra will give. The balconette bras will also hide better under most necklines than a traditional push up, supporting well but hiding the straps when you wear your favourite Rockabilly dress.
Later, we’ll show you how to properly fit yourself for US or UK sizing (yes, there’s a difference. Prepare to have your mind blown!) but first let’s look at the best balconette bras available for you!
Best Balconette Bras
- Rosme Women’s “Grand” Balconette Bra
- Rosme Womens Balconette Bra with Detachable Straps Collection “Anette”
- Curvy Kate Women’s Smoothie Balconette Bra
- Cleo Women’s Juna Balconnet Bra
- Panache Women’s Tango II Balconette Bra
- Cleo By Panache Women’s Maddie Molded Balconnet T-Shirt Bra
- Prima Donna Divine Lace Bra
- Betsey Johnson Women’s Starlet Lace Balconette Bra
- Rosme Women’s “Annija” Balconette Bra
- How do I care for my new balconette bras?
- Is it for EU, UK or US Size Standards?
Balconette Bras Buying Guide
Most women are wearing the wrong bra size, and don’t even know it. Those who might know it, don’t know where to start! We buy the same size over and over again out of habit. To help you find your correct bra size, you’ll need a soft measuring tape and a mirror.
- Measure your body all the way around just underneath your breasts. Make sure the measuring tape is snug and horizontal. Make sure your arms are down, and write down the number in inches. That’s your band size! If you land at an odd number, you will try bands that are one up or down. (If you are 33 inches around, you could be 32 or 34 band size.)
- To measure for the cup size, you’ll need to bend over so that your torso is parallel to the ground. Measure around your torso, so that the tape measure comes from around your back, circling your body to come together around all of the breast tissue. The tape measure should have the right level of tightness that will prevent it from moving easily but it should not press on the breast tissue. Take down this measurement.
- Calculate your cup size. Do this by taking your cup measurement and then subtracting the band measurement you took above from it. The difference will be your cup size. Proceed with choosing the suitable balconette bra size as follows using the cup size measurement you have taken:-
Less than 1 inch (2.5 cm) = AA
1 inch (2.5 cm) = A
2 inches (5 cm) = B
3 inches (7.5 cm) = C
4 inches (10 cm) = D
5 inches (12.5 cm) = DD
6 inches (15 cm) = DDD or E in UK size designation.
7 inches (18 cm) = DDDD or F in UK size designation.
8 inches (20.5 cm) = G/H or FF in UK size designation.
9 inches (23 cm) = I/J or G in UK size designation.
10 inches (25.5 cm) = J or GG in UK size designation
The UK cup sizing is used by most of the bra brands in the market. Shoppers in the US will see different cup size specifications but these have UK equivalents. If you are unsure about the size designation, you can read the product description or simply make inquiries so as to get the right fit.
- Don’t freak out when you find out you should have been wearing a 34DD, instead of that 38B you’ve been in all your life. Now, call all your friends to brag about your new size, and show them how to measure themselves properly!
How do I care for my new balconette bras?
There are a few key things you can do to make your balconette bras last longer.
- You’ll have noticed that most of these balconette bras stated that you should hand wash your bra only, and we stand by that. Get yourself some gentle detergent for lingerie, and a plastic tub. (one of those rectangle or square ones you might use to clean dishes in) You can put one or a few into the tub with a small amount of the lingerie detergent and cold water, as long as they are complimentary colours. Don’t put your black bra in the tub with a beige or white one. The dye will almost always run! Let your balconette bras soak for about 15 minutes, taking some time to gently swish then around, making sure that the clips are attached, so they don’t accidentally catch on any lace. After that soak and swish, you can rinse your bras out in cold water by letting them soak another 15 minutes, or gently running water over them for a few minutes. The best way to dry them is to lay them flat on a towel or a sweater dryer.
- Have at least 3 good balconette bras to rotate through, but preferably 6 or 7. Wearing the same bra everyday stretches the bra out faster, and you should never wear the same bra two days in a row. 3 to 7 bras will get you through a year comfortably, until it’s time to recheck your size (We recommend you check your sizing once a year, as our sizes change from time to time.)
- Store your balconette bras nicely! Don’t leave them mangled on the floor, hanging off the door knob, or folded up. The best way to store your bra is in its own drawer, stacked open and in a row with the rest of your bras. It helps it to keep its shape, so you don’t have to worry about the padding bunching up or losing shape.
Is it for EU, UK or US Size Standards?
Size is a major issue when purchasing balconette bras. We have gone out of our way to clearly illustrate how you can determine the size of your bust and choose the most suitable bras that will give you the perfect fit. Check above on how you can inter-convert between UK and US bra size designations.
What is the difference between push-up and demi balconette bras?
Demi blaconette bras will lift your breasts and also enhance it along your bust line so as to give you a more natural look. Demi bras are quite comfortable to wear on a daily basis. A push-up balconette bra, on the other hand, has demi cups as well as padding on the sides and the bottom of the cup. The padding inside the cup will push the breast upwards and inwards and it will create a fuller look with more cleavage. Push up bras will give you that edgy and dramatic look that is best flaunted during those special occasions.
Unsure on how to get the perfect fitting bra? Check out the bra fitting guide below to find out more.
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