Lingerie as outerwear isn’t new news. Remember the iconic cone bra Madonna wore for her Blond Ambition tour way back in 1990? Bralettes started gaining popularity back in the 2010s and you should expect to see them everywhere this summer. They’ll be showing up under roomy jackets and see-through tops, or peeking out from under dresses with midriff cutouts, or even on their own. The big idea - Worn-To-Be-Seen. We’re breaking down the best ways to style a bralette in 2021.
What is a Bralette?
Bralettes are light-support bras that have no underwire, feature dainty straps, and are usually made for an easygoing look. They are commonly made of lace and plain stretch fabrics and come in a variety of patterns and vibrant colours, making them the perfect summer styling staple. This type of bra suits women with small and athletic breast shapes, especially girls with developing breasts, and can be quite the fashion statement for women with larger breasts looking to flaunt their natural curves. No matter your breast shape and size, bralettes are flattering and comfortable. Unlike standard bras with their hyper-specific alphanumeric sizing (eg. 12B, 14DD), bralettes tend to come in XS to XL.
Bralettes are innocent and liberating and you’d be silly not to have a few ready-to-go in your top drawer. Let us help break down this trend and equip you with the most versatile styles for every striking ensemble.
1.Bralette Over a T-shirt
The t-shirt and jeans look has been synonymous with effortless cool since the invention of James Dean. Add a touch of femininity to this androgynous style by layering a slinky bralette over a slim-fitted tee. Start with a high neck t-shirt such as a crew neck, as v-neck and scoop necks can distract away from the look. Then sprinkle on a sheer, lacy longline bralette like me by bendon Captivate Me Soft Cup Bra, and finish it off with a pair of high-waisted denim for ultimate chic.
The white shirt epitomises minimalist elegance and now, you can give it an edge with the clip of a clasp. The K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid) rule applies here. Opt for high contrast, for example, an understated buttoned shirt and a simple bralette like the Bendon Tara Soft Cup Bra. Button-up or button-down - the sky’s your limit.
Time to redefine thepower suit. Whether you’re rocking this look for a girls night out or a smoking hot date, you’ll feel empowered, look classy, and stop traffic. You can stick to black-on-black and pair a lacy bralette with a structural blazer or leather biker jacket. Or, find confidence with colour and try me by bendon Ultimate Stretch Crop Top Bra tactfully contrasted with complementary colours.
News Flash: We hear pink is one of the colours that dominated Spring/Summer 2022 Season Paris Fashion Week.
We get it, not everyone is comfortable with running around town in a skimpy bralette. So, why not test the waters with a cute sheer top first? Give a subtle hint of your lovely lingerie for an understated allure. Find more confidence with the added coverage to try a bralette style that shows off more cleavage, or choose a bralette that has an interesting crossover, doubled or simply cute and dainty straps to add a touch of geometric cool to your look.
Hot summer day? Style up your favourite singlet top, cutout tank or muscle tee with a touch of lace and colour. Think New York Central Park in the peak of Summer, this loungy yet cool and casual look can be created with a pair of jeans, shorts or skirt. Simply switch up your shoes from sneakers to heels to groove from day to night.
We will be the first to disagree with anyone who thinks overalls are frumpy! There’s so much creativity to inspire with this look. Whether it is colour blocking, cool straps contrasting or you’re looking for a fashionable way to flaunt your summer bod, you are the artist and the open back is your canvas. Most bralette styles will work here, try a sporty bralette for a more active vibe, a delicate strappy bralette to contrast with the utilitarian look of overalls.
Is this an 80s’ revival you ask? Yes, but even better. There’s something about the off-shoulder (or oops-shoulder?) look that’s casually alluring, especially when you pair a chunky knit with the lightness of a bralette. The slouchiness hums “I don’t care” but the bralette sings, “oh, but I do”. So, let your bralette do all the singing under that wide neck jumper or fine open knit.
The button-down shirt is the most timeless piece of clothing you’ll ever own and it comes in all the fabric, colours and shapes under the sun. What’s also great about it is that you can extend your wardrobe by “borrowing” your partner’s shirts, too. Try a classic white shirt dress with a lacy bralette like Bendon Tara White Bralette for smart-casual chic, or a loose linen shirt with a sporty bralette like the Lovable Intuition Soft Cup Bra for a more dressed-down look. Contrasting the sensuality of a soft bralette with a straight-cut or oversized shirt is key here.
Since we’ve got an 80s’ revival on the list, how could we resist addressing the 90s’! Bare midriffs will never go out of fashion as long as summer festivals live. Long-line bralettes are a fav with this fun look, and you can pair it with anything from high-waisted pants, shorts, mini, midi or maxi skirts. Try the bright and cheery Lovable Indigo Rain Long Line Bra in Sunshine or Camelia and live your best life on the dance floor.
What are matching sets? Our most immediate reference would be wearing denim-on-denim, aka the Canadian Tuxedo. Doesn’t have to stop here though, because this hot summer trend stretches far beyond denim. You’ll find matching sets in knitwear, prints, colour blocking or chunky lace and more. We’ll leave this one to your imagination, our best advice, as always, is to be comfortable, be confident, experiment and have fun.