If you’re tired of the rigid confines of traditional bras but still want a little extra support and coverage, then the bralette might just be for you! Welcome to the cute and comfortable world of bralettes. You may never want to leave.
The bralette is a trendy undergarment that has been making waves in the underwear and loungewear industries for the past several years. So, what exactly is a bralette? Let’s explore some of the specifics of this contemporary lingerie staple.
What’s the Reason for the Name Bralette?
Before we get into some of the nuances of this piece of lingerie, let’s just clarify what a bralette actually is. A bralette is what would happen if a bra and a crop top were to have a love child.
Your typical bralette will not have any underwire and probably won’t have structured cups like a push-up bra or a heavily lined bra. Because of this, the bralette offers a comfortable, relaxed fit that you just won’t find with regular bras. Some people boast that their bralettes are so comfortable that they choose to sleep in them.
Linguistically, the suffix “-ette” refers to something smaller or more petite. This makes perfect sense when it comes to this piece of clothing. The bralette truly is like a cuter, smaller version of its bra counterpart.
Are Bralettes Comfortable?
You might be wondering why someone would opt for a bralette instead of a traditional bra. Well, one of the main reasons is comfort. Unlike conventional bras that often feel restrictive, bralettes offer a softer, freer feel.
Bralettes are typically made with soft fabric, no underwire, and a pull-on style. Imagine a sports bra, but way prettier and without the compression. It’s a win-win!
Why Were Bralettes Invented?
Undergarments have a long, sordid history. The history of bras goes all the way back to the Middle Ages, and as you can imagine, they were considerably less comfortable back then. Historically, undergarments, bras in particular, were closely tied to the socioeconomic status of the women who wore them.
Corsets, girdles, and shaping devices were often reserved for women who were high upper class or even royalty. Perhaps back then, they thought that it really wasn’t necessary for scullery maids to have the perfect cleavage.
In the past, bras have never been the most comfortable item in the closet. However, it was thanks to metal shortages during World War I that women stopped wearing Victorian-style corsets.
Since the garment frames were made mostly of metal, women were encouraged to give up the corset in the name of patriotism. Around this same time, the bra as we know it today came onto the scene, freeing up much-needed wartime metals — and women’s bodies.
The bralette was initially conceived in the 1970s, which makes sense given the free love and bra-burning of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Still, the bralette didn’t gain popularity until recent years. (Thanks a lot, bombshells of the 1980s).
The new modern bralette is a sign of the times in which we live. Underwired, padded bras designed for the male gaze are starting to fall by the wayside. From declining profits to a new focus on inclusivity and body positivity, the goal is no longer to just look as perfect and sexy as possible.
Why Have Bralettes Become So Popular?
Most women now have a new priority when it comes to undergarments: comfort. Some credit the COVID-19 pandemic for an increasingly comfortable world, but women have been shifting their desires for years.
It’s easy to see the perks of a bralette over a traditional bra. Not only are they more comfortable, but they’re less expensive. In the past, bralettes were sort of designed with small-chested women in mind. They weren’t a reasonable choice for busty women. However, that has changed.
Bralettes have been created with a wide range of support and in a wide range of sizes. Previously, even the absence of an underwire was considered a choice only for women with smaller chests. This is no longer the case. Today, wireless comfort exists for women of all shapes and sizes.
It seems that a lot of the fashion trends of the 2020s revolve around choice, inclusivity, and individuality. Sure, trends come and go, and there is always something considered the fashionable choice of the moment. However, there is also a pervading sense that as long as you are being true to yourself, you’re doing the right thing, fashionably speaking.
With the bralette, there is a certain unspoken rebellion. Where we were once wearing strapless bras and trying to hide any visible strap we had, there are now pretty bralettes that are meant to be seen. In fact, for those who feel comfortable, it is not even really frowned upon anymore to style a bralette as a fashionable top under a cardigan or jacket.
For those of us who aren’t quite that comfortable, a bralette sticking out of the neckline of a low-cut tee shirt is just a touch risque and a fashion statement at the same time. No longer do we have to layer a tank top under everything. The bralette will do the trick!
When Would You Wear a Bralette?
Great question; I'm glad you asked. The short answer is everywhere! The more nuanced answer is it honestly depends.
Lounging is the most obvious choice. While some women like to go bra-free at home, for others, it’s not that simple. Maybe you live with roommates, and you don’t want to be quite so exposed.
Maybe your “roommates” are your children, and you’d rather be prepared for anything if need be. For some of us, that extra layer of security is just a little nice if a neighbor happens to ring the doorbell.
Don’t be afraid to wear your bralette out, either! As we said, it’s acceptable and even trendy to rock a bralette as a going-out top. If you’re not totally comfy with that (we get it), bralettes still provide enough support for a typical night out and can be a great accent to any outfit.
A bra like our cami bralette would be amazing if you are attending a restorative yoga class or a stretching session. It’s super cozy, has a cross-back style, and has a scoop neck with just the right cut. While maybe not for extensive exercise, bralettes can be used for meditation, yoga, and stretching classes.
Daily wear is the most common way that people wear bralettes nowadays. Again, the true compass of modern fashion leads us to wear what makes us happy and what is comfortable.
When Might You Not Wear a Bralette?
Like any piece of clothing, a bralette might not be for every single occasion. There are a few situations in which a bralette wouldn’t be your top choice:
- When Playing Sports: For most sports of athletic activities, you need more support than the typical bralette offers. Wear a real sports bra, especially when running.
- For a Special Occasion: On your wedding day, for example, you may want to wear a strapless dress or a halter dress. In this case, a specialty bra might be best!
- Anytime You Need Extra Support: While bralettes are more size-inclusive now, those with larger busts may still not be comfortable in a bralette for a 10-12 hour day or for a day that requires a lot of walking and moving.
A Few of Our Favorites:
Here are a few of our favorite bralettes from our collection:
This beauty is cozy and ultra-feminine. It comes in our custom Cloud fabric, which you won’t be able to get enough of.
Take the plunge! You know you want to. This bralette is the definition of subtle sexiness. With a super low neckline, adjustable straps, and just-right support, this adorable piece will become a staple in your intimate wardrobe.
We promise this one will become your new favorite scoop neck. It comes in a variety of colors, and even better? It comes in our butter-soft bamboo fabric. You’re gonna want to wear this one Every. Single. Day.
The bottom line? Bralettes are here to stay. In fact, they are ushering in an entirely new era of women’s fashion. An era in which women prioritize comfort without giving up sexiness and femininity.
The bralette is 100% the undergarment of this generation. If you’re looking for light to medium support, comfort that can’t be beat, and a bra you want to wear at home and on the go, the bralette is your next favorite pick.