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What is a bralette?

Let's clear up the bralette confusion, once and for all!

Belle-Lingerie20 July 2023

What Is A Bralette?

Over the last few years, bralettes have become an increasingly popular fashion item. But, as with any trend, it can sometimes be hard to know how to take advantage of the hype for yourself, especially when the lines blur between different clothing categories.

Keep reading to learn more about bralettes and the role they could play in your wardrobe.


What are bralettes? 

Is it a bra? Is it a top? Actually, it’s both!

A bralette is a type of undergarment that has a more relaxed, unstructured format than a regular bra. They often boast a longline design, with some reaching as far as the bottom of the ribcage, which may go some way to explaining their popularity in the underwear as outerwear trend. They occupy a similar niche to ‘athleisure’ style sports bras, but while sports bras typically offer single-block designs of sweat-wicking fabric with thick straps, many bralettes offer something a little more delicate and stylish.

In actual fact, bralettes have become so popular that you can get them in pretty much any colour, fabric, and style you like, making them an incredibly versatile piece of clothing. With their decorative flairs and fashionable designs, they’re great for wearing under those tops where you can’t help but have the edges peep out - with a bralette, it looks intentional!  

But let’s not forget that a bralette isn’t just an undergarment - it’s a garment in its own right too. Wearing a bralette instead of a cropped top or a strappy vest can be an excellent fashion statement in the summer - and if you’re the type to get chilly easily, why not pair a bralette with an open shirt to show off your style?

Remember, a bralette can fulfill the function of a cropped top, but it doesn’t always work the other way around. Despite being more relaxed than a traditional bra, bralettes do also offer support. You might think of them as the midpoint between wearing a bra and not wearing a bra - the best of both worlds. With figure-hugging designs, bralettes offer more support than cropped tops, while being more appropriate for wearing as outerwear in public than most bras.


Are bralettes good for large breasts? 

One of the biggest attractions of bralettes is that they’re softer and less structured than a regular bra. In many cases, bralettes don’t feature an underwire, and lots of women praise how comfortable they are to wear as a result. However, if you have larger breasts, non-wired bras might not be the best choice for you. If this is the case, does that mean bralettes just aren’t right for you?

Of course not! First of all, it’s good to be aware that most bralettes are designed with breasts of all sizes in mind, so they often incorporate hidden support to help you feel comfortable when you wear them. If you’ve never tried a bralette before, we’d recommend it - we bet you’ll be surprised by the level of comfort and support these nifty undergarments can provide.  

Secondly, if it’s an underwired bra you’re after, don’t despair. Though it might sound like a bit of an oxymoron, there are plenty of underwired bralettes available on the market that offer increased support for larger breasts without compromising on comfort and style.


Are bralettes better than bras?

We could carry on forever going back and forth pointing out the pros and cons of bralettes versus bras - but don’t worry, we won’t. Whichever you prefer, it’s a personal choice that can be based on lots of different factors. Chances are, you’ll find it’s more about the individual garment than a sweeping preference for either bralettes or bras.

It’s also common to find that different types of bras are better suited for different things. You might prefer a balcony bra to wear under a dress on a night out, a T-shirt bra while you’re working in the office, and a bralette to wear while you’re relaxing at home. Either way, make sure you’re choosing bras that fit well and make you feel gorgeous all day long.

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