There’s no doubt about it, bralettes are the hottest thing in lingerie right now. Even brands that were previously all about rigid support are beginning to add these soft, wireless bras to their collections. Clearly, women love them. But is a bralette right for you?
Wait, what is a bralette?
First, it helps to understand what a bralette is – and what it is not. Bralettes are still bras, just a specific style of one. They’re lighter, less structured, and importantly wire-free. That’s what separates a bralette from an unlined bra, which has no moulding or padding but is still underwired.
Some people think bralettes are ones with deep, lacy bands, but that’s a misconception. They can have longline bands but regular bras can too. In fact, bralettes are often where we’ll see the most narrow, delicate-looking bands of all. If you’re looking for a full-bust one though, you’re more likely to see a wide band because it bolsters the support. Bralettes aren’t designed to offer lots of lift, but a wider band does at least help to secure the garment in place.
What does a bralette not offer that a bra does?
As I’ve just mentioned, bralettes aren’t designed with oodles of support in mind. They won’t do much lifting, and they won’t do much moulding; if it’s a perky, rounded shape you want and that’s not what you have naturally, a bralette isn’t going to help you get there. And they won’t stop you ‘bouncing’ if you run to catch the bus either.
Many full bust bralettes have cups that are joined at the centre, which helps to prevent you falling out of it if you twist or bend over. However, the lack of fully-separated cups means your breasts won’t be held apart, like they would be in a wired bra. Instead, if they’re large, they could feel a bit ‘smooshed together’. On the plus side, this can lead to great cleavage!
So, why wear a bralette then?
A bralette won’t offer the same lift, shape and support as a regular bra, but there are still plenty of reasons to wear one! After all, if there weren’t, they wouldn’t be so popular. One of the top reasons many people turn to bralettes is for comfort – the softer structure and lack of rigid wiring means it’s less likely to rub or dig in.
And if the bralette doesn’t lift your breasts up super high, well, maybe you don’t mind that. Support isn’t a priority for everyone. If you’d prefer a more natural shape, a bralette can be a great middle-ground between traditional bras and going braless. They offer a relaxed fit, but also modesty. And by creating a barrier between your breasts and ribcage, they’ll ward off sweat when it’s hot outside too.
Finally, bralettes can also be considered a fashion accessory. Often designed with decorative straps or in beautiful lace, it’s fine to have a flash of bralette showing where having a regular bra visible may feel too exposed. Low-cut neckline? Show off that lacy centre-front – it’ll probably just look like a camisole being worn underneath!
Should I wear bras or bralettes?
Trick question. Who says you have to choose? Even if a bralette isn’t right for you as an everyday option, it could still be a fantastic choice in certain situations.
If your breasts feel tender during your period for example, maybe switching to bralettes for a few days can bring some relief. Or if you do love the comfort but aren’t keen on the shape, how about saving them for lazy weekends at home, or even wearing one as a sleep bra?
Some women try bralettes and love them so much, they rush out and replace all their wired bras. But for most, having a bralette in your lingerie drawer simply gives one more option – just like having a plunge, racer-back or strapless style does. I think a bralette makes a great wardrobe staple, but when it comes down to it, you should wear what’s most comfortable for you.
We Highly Recommend
Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.
Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.
If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.
Happy bra shopping!