Between wireless and wired bras, front-closure and back-closure, minimizer and push up bras, there are countless bra options to choose from. Aside from these traditional bras, something else to consider when bra shopping is whether you want a lined vs unlined bra. There are unlined bra and lined bra options across a range of styles.

If you are asking yourself, 'do unlined bras work for me?', or are simply wondering what the difference is between an unlined bra vs lined bra, keep reading below. We'll go through everything you need to know about unlined and lined bras here.

Understanding Lined Bras

What are Lined Bras?

Lined bras are those that have an extra layer of padding in the cups. Lined bras are also known as padded bras for this reason. A lined bra can have a thin or thicker lining depending on the style. Lightly lined bras are those that have a thin layer of padding. A lined bra can be a wireless bra or underwire bra – the key characteristic here is the amount of lining or padding in the cups.

Like every bra style, there are some benefits and drawbacks about lined bra styles to consider:

Benefits of Lined Bras

  • Lined bras or lightly lined bras provide more bust support and shaping.

  • A lightly lined bra smooths and evens your silhouette.

  • Padded bras provide extra nipple coverage and modesty.

Drawbacks of Lined Bras

  • A lined bra may feel warm or bulky, especially in warmer temperatures.

  • A lined bra can be less breathable due to the lining or padding.

  • Lined styles are not ideal if you prefer the natural shape that wearing an unlined bra provides.

Understanding Unlined Bras

What are Unlined Bras?

Unlined bras are bras that have no padding in the cups. An unlined bra means that is has one thin layer of lining made of lace or fabric. An unlined bra highlights your natural shape with no added padding in the cups. Unlined bras are a great option for women searching for a bra to highlight their natural bust shape.

Benefits of Unlined Bras

  • An unlined bra is comfortable and lightweight with no extra padding.

  • Unlined bras accentuate your natural shape vs. lined bras that create a symmetric, rounded appearance.

  • Many women prefer to wear unlined bras in warmer weather as they tend to be more breathable.

Drawbacks of Unlined Bras

  • An unlined bra may offer less shaping and modesty.

  • An unlined bra is not ideal for women who want more nipple coverage.

Finding Your Perfect Match: Deciding Factors

Whether you prefer an unlined bra or lined bra is up to you. Unlined and lined bras both offer benefits and drawbacks. Here are a few things to consider when shopping deciding between lined and unlined bras:

Bust Size

If you have larger breasts, you may prefer to wear an unlined bra that has no extra padding in the cups, or a lightly lined bra. Unlined bras are a great option for larger breasts as they provide comfortable shaping and support without any extra fabric.

On the contrary, if you have smaller breasts you may prefer to accentuated look that a lined bra or padded bra provides. Regardless of whether you prefer unlined bras or lined bras, knowing your proper bra size is crucial when bra shopping. A bra that fits well is the most flattering bra, after all.

Desired Shape

A padded bra or lightly lined bra will create a more rounded bust shape. If you prefer a bra that offers more coverage and shaping, a lined bra is likely the best style for you. A lined bra that has extra padding, or even a push-up bra, will round out your bust shape and even help create more cleavage.

If you prefer to accentuate your natural silhouette, an unlined bra is the best option. An unlined bra accentuates your bust shape with no extra padding or fluff, and usually made of sheer fabric or thin lace.

Activity Level and Climate

If you live in a warmer climate, padded or lined bras may feel a bit too warm, especially if you are sensitive to heat. An unlined bra made of sheer fabric or lace is more breathable while still providing comfortable support. Unlined T-shirt bras are a great option for comfortable, breathable support.

There are also unlined bra styles made of moisture-wicking fabric for extra cooling comfort. Unlined sports bra styles are also great for warmer weather for this reason.

Personal Preference

As we've mentioned, it comes down to your personal preferences on what bra styles work best for you. Not every woman wants the limited coverage of an unlined bra, whereas some women do not like the extra padding in a lined bra. Maybe a lightly lined bra is the best option for you.


The best bra for you is ultimately one that fits well and makes you feel comfortable and confident. We recommend trying out both unlined and lined bras to find your perfect fit. Between unlined styles, lightly lined bras, and padded bras, there are a few factors to consider when finding the right bra for you.

About the Author

Maeve Gesualdi is a Fordham University alumna where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Fashion Studies. Based in New York City, Maeve is part of the marketing team at Glamorise. Maeve regularly interacts with customers via social media and product reviews, as well as with influencers and models. She is constantly getting feedback on our products as well as gaining a better understanding of what women in our category struggle with and/or look for when searching for a bra. Aside from writing, she is passionate about all things travel and fashion.

Related Posts:

Prev Previous page
5 Sports Bras for Size G Cup and Above
The Maternity Bra Buying Guide: When & How to Find the Perfect Fit
Next Next page
Back to Articles

Lift, Shape, and Support With Comfort and Style