Despite the diminutive nature of their name, bralettes can actually be worn on women of many sizes, different body shapes and all ages. It’s not just for twiggy teenagers. These lacy, comparatively flimsy and totally fashionable bust-wranglers look just as great on a 17 year-old as they do a 57 year-old. The key is knowing how to wear them.
Most of the time, you’ll see bralettes worn in shocking and even slightly risque styles by super thin, teenage or early 20-something models. Which may lead you to believe that, they are not something any self-respecting grown-up should attempt to shimmy into.
You couldn’t be more wrong.
Like many fashion trends, how bralettes are presented in fashion mags and on the runway is a hyperbolized version of how the trend can – and will – be adopted by the rest of the clothing-wearing world. You know, that section of the population that has jobs they want to keep without being fired for indecent exposure; that have parents they don’t want to shock into early graves.
For these people (i.e. the majority of us), we simply can’t style ourselves to be runway ready. We have to adjust these trends to fit our reality. Styling the bralette is no exception.
This sexy and chic piece of underwear is being featured over clothing, reminiscent of Madonna’s fashion trend of the 80’s, but much more sophisticated. Unlike a satin padded underwire bra, a lacy white bralette is more understated to begin with. It becomes part of your look, rather than a shocking centerpiece. It can be incorporated into everyday style – in some cases, even work wear.
How? Read on and find out.
How to Wear a Bralette: 5 Cool Ideas
1. Over a T-Shirt
OK, not your boyfriend’s big, baggy t-shirt, but a bralette does look incredible over a fitted women’s tee. The key is to choose a shirt with a high neckline, to balance out the plunging neckline of your bralette. If you find this look daunting, try going basic first: a plain white t-shirt and a black lace bralette. Simple, and chic. Put your hair in a bun, slip into a pair of your favorite skinny jeans and ballet flats, and you’ve got a look befitting a prima ballerina on her day off.
2) Under a Vest or Jacket
Vests are a great way to showcase a peep of a bold and beautiful bralette without showing the whole thing. A low-cut vest will allow a little of the bralette to peak out, and will offer an alluring juxtaposition to the thicker material of the vest. Picture it: a black leather vest with a lacy bralette. Or a faux-fur cream vest with a navy blue bralette. The idea is to play up the mixing of textures to create a totally inspo look.
Psst! Try wearing a bralette under a jean jacket for fun and polished style.
3) Combine with a Blouse
Here’s how you’re going to get away with wearing your bralette to the office: tactfully.
First, know that bralettes aren’t always bra length: some go down to just above your belly button. Wear your bralette over a blouse (that’s not sheer), and then add a blazer or vest for good measure. Button your blouse above the neckline of your bralette so you’re not showing too much skin. Presto: your bralette is simply an accent piece in a spectacularly layered look.
4) Under Knitwear
Big, comfy knitwear sweaters are in, and we love them. They’re sophisticated, classic and super comfortable. They’re also perfect for pairing with a bralette – especially super low-cut or shoulder-shrugging knitwear. This is where you can really see the versatility of a bralette in action: wear it under your favorite lightweight knitwear sweater and then tuck that sweater into a sleek pencil skirt. Or, wear that same bralette and sweater and pashmina with sweatpants or shorts when you’re just chilling with friends.
5) Under a Sheer Top
Whether you’re heading out on girl’s night or a hot date night, bralettes were made to wear under sheer tops. In their shorter or longer incarnations, they add an elegance to your look that a regular bra just won’t do. Your leopard print push up bra under a sheer red cap-sleeve blouse would look tacky. But a leopard print bralette under the same top manages to pull off tasteful. Again, it’s all about coverage, and material.
Something to keep in mind when wearing a bralette…
A bralette is your bra.
This is women’s fashion for all. You don’t wear a bra underneath it, even if you’re wearing your bralette on top of your clothes. This means bralettes are not always going to work with big busted women, since they don’t always provide the support you need to keep the girls in line. Not like a traditional bra. However, there are some that are more robust than others, and offer more than token support. The only way to know for sure is to try it out!