What Is a Bralette and How do I Wear One?

Free People Sunrise to Sunset Bralette | Phoenix + Willow

We’ve seen the padded bra, the Wonder bra, the push up bra, the underwire bra…and now, here comes something to defy them all, the bralette.

What is a bralette? Well, in simple terms, it’s a bra that doesn’t have any underwire or padding. It is a stripped down version that offers minimal support and let’s you be you!

After getting used to the super padded, super structured, super lifted bras of recent times, you may be thinking, why would one wear a bralette? Well, a bralette has many uses and, more than that, it’s becoming popular due to the resurgence of vintage fashion.

Read on to find out more about the bralette and how you can add it to your wardrobe.

Why the Bralette?
Breast enlargement surgeries have been around since the 1960’s, but they really hit their stride in the 1990’s. Around that time, the obsession with breasts seemed to get bigger than ever (no pun intended).

Women who did not opt for breast surgery went for the next best thing, bras that pushed up, sculpted and enlarged. While these bras were great for producing a more voluptuous look without the need to go under the knife, they also were not the most comfortable thing in the world. Underwires dug into skin as padding pressed breasts to chin level.

The bralette has always been around. In fact, the earliest form of the bra which, came out in the 20’s and 30’s, were devoid of padding and underwire and therefore, considered bralettes. However, once the ‘Age of Breasts’ took over, they quietly waited in the wings waiting for the day when women would decide they were tired of bras that over-pressed and over-lifted.

Well, that day has arrived.

Today, women are saying goodbye to uncomfortable bras and hello to bralettes that offer increased flexibility and a more natural shape.

Free People Sunrise to Sunset Bralette | Phoenix + Willow

How to Wear the Bralette
Bralettes come in many shapes and forms, but today’s designers are incorporating a vintage appeal that comes with bringing us back to a simpler time. Therefore, many modern bralettes are detailed and elaborate with lacy attributes. This leaves women open to working the bralette into several fashionable looks including the following.

  • Festival Fashions: Heading out to the desert to catch a festival this summer? Bralettes are the height of festival fashion. Ones that offer more coverage can be worn on their own with a pair of Daisy Dukes or they can also be sported under a kimono for a great ‘peace mama’ vibe.
  • A Lacy Neckline: Bralettes are perfect for creating an ultra-feminine neckline. If you’re wearing a low-cut blouse, place a bralette underneath for a lacy peek-a-boo effect. Bralettes are also great for wearing under see-through clothing as they provide a lighter look than a bra.
  • Under a Jacket: If you are going out for a night on the town, bralettes can give you just the right amount of sex appeal. Try putting one under a blazer or leather jacket to add subtle sex appeal to your look.
    • Under a Rock Shirt: Love that ripped rock shirt look but not sure what to wear underneath to keep things from getting too revealing? A bralette is the perfect thing. The tomboy rocker look will complement the feminine appearance of the lingerie making a terrific overall style.
    • Vintage Lingerie: The lack of underwires and padding puts an emphasis on the natural shape providing a look that is effortlessly sexy. That’s why bralettes are often used in boudoir shoots, particularly ones that have a vintage flair. And they are sure to drive your partner crazy too!
    Free People Adella Bralette | Phoenix + Willow

    What to Know About Sizing

    Bralettes tend to have a simpler style than other types of bras. Therefore, you won’t need to think too much about cup and strap size. They usually come in sizes that range from XS to XXL and beyond.

    While some have adjustable clasps in the back, a lot of them stretch to accommodate different sizes. Most also have adjustable straps which help them size to fit.

    Can Large Breasted Girls Wear Bralettes?
    Absolutely! Bralettes come in all sizes so there is no reason why a larger breasted girl can't wear them. Some will offer more support than others so you may want to do some shopping to find one that’s right for you. If nothing else, they make supportive and attractive lounge wear that is terrific for when you want to get comfortable.

    Now that you know what a bralette is and how to wear one, how will you be incorporating it into this year’s style?