The balconette, or demi bra, creates rounded cleavage, hides under low-cut tops and can flatter a variety of breast shapes. Available in practical molded cup or delicate lacy styles, balconettes work for both everyday and special occasion wear.

The balconette has a shorter underwire and less modest cup. The word demi means half, and this is often considered a half-cup bra. The bra covers the the lower half of the breast, including the nipple and areola. The upper portion of the breast is exposed. The straps are set quite wide. For bustier women, the bra will create a very round breast shape.

Balconettes come in all different sizes — from petite to plus, there’s a balconette that will fit your body. Your bra should fit quite snugly in the band, and the wires shouldn’t poke or cut into your skin. If they do, change your size or try a different brand. Since the wires on a balconette bra are short, they work especially well for shorter women, or those with less space between their breasts and armpits.

Everyone’s breasts are different, but not every breast shape will find balconettes fit best. If you carry much of the weight of your breasts in the lower half of your breast, sometimes called a full-on-bottom shape, balconettes offer a lot of lift and can create cleavage. Balconettes also will give you a bit more lift if you’re no longer as young as you once were, bringing back the bustline you remember. If your bust is fuller on top, you may find balconettes with a bit of stretch, such as a stretch lace, along the top are more forgiving, or you might find they fit best if you go up a cup size.

Balconettes are versatile. Wide-set straps and low-cut cups mean they hide under all but the deepest necklines. They can also work very well for scoop neck or boat neck tops, since the sides of the straps won’t show. For professional wear, a molded cup balconette will provide modesty, while still letting you feel pretty.