A bralette can look like a bra and act like a bra, but at the end of the day, it’s not technically a bra. Sounds confusing? It’s not! Keep reading as we answer all of your questions, and tell you more about bralettes—the mysterious type of lingerie that lies somewhere between a bra and a tank top!
Bralettes have been around since the 1920’s, which was before the birth of wired bra! This begs the question, why have they been so unappreciated all this time? This trendy accessory (now closet necessity) has spent most of its existence outside of the limelight, while the wired bra has taken centre stage all these years.
We’ve done some digging to find out exactly what this new craze is all about, and why this gem has become a closet necessity.
What exactly is a bralette?
You may have heard the term bralette before. You might have even seen them popping up on Instagram and Pinterest posts as something you're interested in, but can't quite figure out what they are. And while they can look similar to a bra, bralettes are often more comfortable and versatile than bras. They come in different styles and colours, meaning there's bound to be one that suits your personal style. While they won't offer much support or coverage (though many models do have underwire), it's not uncommon for people who've been wearing bras their whole lives to switch over to wearing bralettes because of how soft and comfortable they are!
The difference between a regular bra and a bralette
Though it can be difficult to discern between the two at first, there are major differences between bras and bralettes. The main difference between a bra and a bralette, is that the bralette is free from underwire and padding. If you're wearing a bra, you should feel the weight of the fabric on your back and your band size should be adjusted for the best support. If you wear a bralette, you may not feel any weight from the fabric or have enough support to keep you from going up a cup size.
You'll also notice that many styles for bralettes will use stretchy materials like cotton and lace, which makes them perfect for women with sensitive skin. Bralettes are a great option if you want to look sexy without feeling like your breasts are being squeezed all day long. Not only is this type of underwear more comfortable than regular bras, but they also come in different styles that make them suitable for different occasions.
Some bralettes are designed for running errands, others for lounging around the house and still others to get a little dressed up! There's no such thing as one-size-fits-all when it comes to clothing - why should bras be any different?
How do you wear a bralette?
This really depends on how daring you are with your personal style. You can easily achieve a trendy look with the bralette by exposing it under trendy blazer — or even over the top of a t-shirt! On the other hand, you may be after a more conservative/comfortable approach. In which case, the bralette can still be for you!
As it doesn’t comprise any sort of padding or mould; they can be unpopular among the shy. If your concern is a poking appearance under your shirt — not to worry! You may just need some stick-on nipple covers.
If you don’t happen to have any lying around — it’d be worth forking out a very small amount of dough for a pack. You’ll be surprised how handy they can be, and cheap!
Do you wear a bra underneath a bralette?
The perk of the bralette is comfort, so it doesn’t make a world of sense to keep your regular bra underneath.
If maintaining your breast shape is keeping you from ditching the bra — we’ve already covered this! Just and old myth, ladies. So, let’s not sacrifice our comfort for and old wives’ tale.
If you’re blessed with a bigger set of hooters, have had a pregnancy or are just naturally undergoing the ageing process; it’s likely you won’t avoid sagging anyway. Also, as it mostly comes from such wonderful things — surely it isn’t so bad to live with our natural shape!
Still — if you feel comfortable wearing the bralette while keeping the security of your wired bra; everyone’s free to choose. After all, these are undergarments we’re talking about. No one must know what goes on behind the scenes.
The best bralettes for different body types
Women come in all shapes and sizes, so it's important to find a bralette that's the perfect fit for you. Some of the most popular styles are non-wire bras, strapless bras, bralettes with convertible straps, or even underwire t-shirt bras. We have gathered the best bralettes that you should take a look at!
Lacy Racerback Bralette
This type of bralette with extra lace along the bottom is a very universal style. While accentuating the smaller chest, the curvier of ladies are still kept from falling out underneath. This bralette will give you the ultimate comfort without sacrificing the sexiness of it.
Sporty Calvin Klein Bralette
Old faithful Calvin Klein has provided the goods. It’s not all lace and straps, the bralette can be your best friend in all its cotton glory, too. This one is more of an under-shirt bralette, focusing more on comfort than style. Though, I think we can all agree a set of Calvin’s are trendy in their own respect!
Deep V Padded Bralette
Larger-chested ladies, we know the bralettes can be daunting but there is hope in the right shape! This V-neck bralette does an amazing job at providing a supportive fit for larger breasts.
If you’re rocking a smaller chest and want to accentuate the girls with a trendy bralette; you can always go for the halter bralette. Even though this is wirefree bralette, it has padding which will give you support.
Cotton Everyday Bralette
This Women's Wirefree Cotton Bralette Set is made with cotton for ultimate comfort. It works great for larger top women, as well as for women with smaller breasts. The set consists of two bras at a great price.
Seamless V Neck Bralette
The Calvin Klein Seamless V Neck Bralette has removable pads and the fabric is made of polyester, nylon. It's perfect for everyday wear, whether it's worn under your clothes or as part of them. This seamless style provides ultimate comfort and support without any pinching, pulling or visible lines.
Bralettes and large breasts; friends or enemies?
If you're a smaller breasted woman with small frames, then a bralette will likely provide more support than your everyday bra. If you find yourself struggling to fill out the cups of an A-cup bra or need more support and coverage in the middle of your bra, then this is the type of garment for you. Even if you are larger breasted, a bralette can offer something different to wear when your bra might be feeling tight or too constricting.
This question seems to come up a lot among the bustier of ladies. As it should. Most women above a C cup would take one look at the dainty little bra and say “Nope”. The lack of underwire can be an issue in this case, but all hope is not lost. You just need to spend a little more time finding the right fit, and let the elastic support become your new best friend.
Will it provide the same amount of support as your padded, wired bra? Not quite. Will you feel braless? Absolutely not!
So, friends or enemies? We think besties!
Do bralettes cause sagging?
Okay, this myth needs to be put to bed. Wearing a wired bra all day and night does NOT prevent sagging. Like all the tissue in your body, your breasts are made up of collagen and elastin, which naturally breaks down as you age.
Sorry ladies, but no garment will stop this natural process! In fact, an overly supportive bra can increase the likelihood of sagging as they may weaken the supportive tissue! However if you are interested in bras that are specifically made for saggy breasts, take a look at our article here.
So, in the case of “bralettes vs bras”, it looks like “bralettes: 1, bras: 0”.
Pros and Cons of the bralette
Let’s summarise, shall we?
We’ll start with the cons — as there aren’t many! These being, the lesser amount of support and coverage. While it is possible to find a bralette with support for a heavier chest — it’s unlikely to be as supportive it’s underwired sister. This can leave the curvier of women feeling a little less than secure.
Then, there’s the exposure. As the bralette is made without padding or a mould; your breasts will remain closer to their natural shape. The (most commonly) laced material doesn’t provide much coverage for the nipple either, leaving you to find alternative coverage such as nipple covers.
Among the pros, comfort is clearly the main contender — the bralette recently made its way into our “10 Most Comfortable Bras Ever” list for good reason!
If you have the option of sitting down with or without an underwire digging into your ribs; which one would you choose? Surely the latter.
To make things even better, you can be a queen of comfort while rocking the latest trends. Be as creative as you like with the bralette. By adding this piece to your wardrobe, you immediately have a whole new set of outfits!
Not to mention, this dainty undergarment gives the smaller chest something to celebrate. Some ladies sporting the smaller cups tend to feel insecure about their less-then vivacious figure. The bralette is an excellent accessory to accentuate small breasts for an extra boost of confidence!
There you have it...
We hope that we answered your questions about the mysterious bralette. The best accessory is confidence. Happy braletting, gals!