How to Wear a Bralette Under Clothes

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Bralettes are everywhere. They’re in middle and high schools, in the workplace, and even on the red carpet. What is this undergarment that’s showing up everywhere? How can you jump on board the bralette bandwagon? I got you covered.

How to Wear a Bralette Under Clothes

If you don’t already know what is a bralette, you’re seriously missing out! While wearing this piece of lingerie is great, it can also be a bit intimidating, especially if you’re used to wearing a standard bra.

Graphic image with a series of drawings that shows how to properly wear bralettes under clothes

Maybe you still have your mom’s voice in the back of your head telling you to cover up. Maybe you’re still in school and are afraid of getting a dress code violation.

Maybe you want to appear modest and professional and don’t want to risk coming across as too casual or young. Bralettes are typically worn as statement pieces or fashionable accessories, so you generally want them to show.

There are a ton of ways bralettes can work under tops, dresses, and more—play around with some of the ideas I share until you find a fabulous outfit that fits your style!

Cast your fears aside because there’s a bralette for each season and situation, and I’m going to break a lot of those down below! 

Ways to Wear a Bralette Under Clothes

Kind of BralettePair a Bralette With
Cage braletteLow-cut top
Dark-colored braletteSheer shirt
Lace racerback braletteScoop-back tank top
Strappy braletteStrappy tank top
Lace braletteKnitted top
Lace braletteLow-back dress
Strappy braletteBackless dress
Lace braletteOversized sweater
Black or white braletteButton-up shirt
Strappy or halter braletteWide-neck top
Lace or knit braletteLace tops
Lace or embroidered braletteMesh top
Any style of braletteMuscle tee
Any style of braletteDeep V-neck top
Strappy braletteStrapless dress
Triangle or lace braletteSlip dress
Lace braletteSheer dress
Racerback or halter braletteOff-shoulder dresses or tops
Lace or knit braletteOne-shoulder tops or dresses
Lace braletteJean jacket
Halter braletteKimono top
Lace braletteDenim overalls
Longline braletteOversized blazer
Longline braletteSuits or co-ords
Triangle braletteCape
Basic seamless braletteVest
Strapless braletteHoodie
Lace braletteCardigan
Any style of braletteLeather jacket
Strappy braletteBomber jacket
Basic bralettePlaid shirt
Racerback braletteRomper
High neck braletteTube top
High neck braletteMatching set
Longline bralettePajama set
Longline bralettePuffer jacket
Strapless braletteCrop top
Lace or knit braletteSwimsuit cover-up

​1. Low-Cut Tops

Bralettes are a great alternative to a tank top or cami under a low-cut top. Stay covered and comfortable by choosing a pretty lace style that will peak out from a low neckline.

Go a little bolder with a caged bralette to remind yourself that your boobs don’t have to remain in a bra-shaped prison.

Depending on your bust size, you can wear bralettes without a bra. Or, pick the right bra for wearing under this thin material.

wearing a bralette under a shirt

​2. Sheer Shirts

It’s super trendy right now to rock a dark bralette under clothing, such as a sheer, light-colored shirt. This allows the bralette to be seen but still keeps you relatively covered.

Bralettes come in an assortment of colors from basic black to stylish purple, burgundy, and green tones. Play around with different combinations to show off your personality.

​3. Scoop Back Tanks

A lot of bralettes have their best features on the back. Some include sexy racerbacks made out of lace, delicate cutouts, or even those with complex and interesting straps.

Opt for a scoop-back tank top to let your bralette shine. If you’ve got longer hair, try putting it up or to the side to make the bralette a main focal point of your outfit.

​4. Spaghetti Straps

Strappy bralettes are taking over the market with their sexy, delicate patterns and interesting shapes. Mixing a strappy bralette with a strappy tank top can lead to endless geometric possibilities and a piece of wearable art that will make people stop and stare.

​5. Knitted Tops

Ah, the common dilemma of a knitted top: Do you just wear a bra under it and let it somewhat be seen, or do you fully cover up with an undershirt?

Now, you can meet in the middle with a preferably lacy bralette under your top! Choose one that’s the same color as the knitted top to have it blend in more, or mix it up with a complementary color.

back strappy bralette white

6. Low Cut Dress

A good bralette pays attention to the details. Try a lightly lined bralette under a low-cut dress or a lace-laden back with a backless dress for an easy date-night look.

A banded bralette under clothing can also be a fantastic alternative to a strapless bra. This is such a great outfit to wear during a photo shoot where you’ll be taking full body portraits.

7. Backless Dress

Have a backless dress you’ve been wanting to use but can’t find a good bra to pair with it? Try a strappy bralette under your dress!

Sure, your back won’t be bare anymore, but it’s a great way to keep the girls covered and add a little flair to your backside.


Some bralettes are fancier than others, so be sure to keep that in mind when pairing one with your saucy red dress. Consider avoiding bralettes that look more like sports bras, and instead, look for styles that feature lots of lace, flirty lining, or carefully placed sheer fabrics.

8. Over Sized Sweaters

A safe way to wear this undergarment under clothes without it showing much is by wearing it under a comfy sweater. Let your oversized sweater hang off your shoulder, allowing the strap of your lace bralette to peek through.

This is a modest and cute option for wearing a bralette to school or to work!

9. Button Up Shirts

If you’re wearing a button up shirt, keep the top button undone and let your bralette modestly show under the shirt. Pick a black or white bralette for a subtle look, or if you want to add more “pop” to your outfit, choose a fun color.

This is a great option for bustier women who want to rock buttoned shirts but have trouble buttoning the shirt up!

10. Wide-Neck Tops

Wide neck tops are those with open enough necklines for an ample amount of skin to be on show. It’s an in-between piece of a t-shirt and an off-the-shoulder top.

Sometimes, it becomes a one-shoulder top as a sleeve falls down one side and exposes your shoulder and upper arm. This kind of top is highly versatile as you can adjust how it drapes over you and what part of the bralette is on display.

different colors and styles of bralettes

11. Lace Tops

Lace tops are a nice contrast against solid bralettes. While you may have a wide array of lace and knit bralettes, this gives the best opportunity to whip out those made with leather, suede, or other types of unconventional textiles.

12. Mesh Tops

Mesh tops can turn the daintiness of sheer tops, which are usually lace and knits, into something with a sporty vibe. Some of the most trendy mesh tops have a large print or number in front or at the back, and the horizontal stripes on the sleeves are common in varsity t-shirts.

Letting a delicate bralette peek from under this kind of top will give you a contrasting look that works.

13. Muscle Tees

Muscle tees or any tank top with an open side are tricky to style. You’ll be torn between risking a nip slip or committing a fashion faux pas which is having an exposed bra. This is why bralettes are made to solve these kinds of problems:

they’re meant to be seen. When you wear a bralette underneath muscle tees, you don’t have to worry about exposing yourself more than what you’re willing to or breaking unspoken fashion rules.

14. Deep V-Neck Tops

Have you ever noticed the huge difference when a pair of flats have pointed toes rather than the typical rounded shape of ballerina shoes? It’s the same with the neckline of shirts.

Low cut tops can showcase a nice bra but one with a deep V neckline can accentuate its beauty with a little bit of edginess.

15. Strapless Dresses

Years ago, everyone would instantly become fashion police when they see even a slight hint of exposed bra while you were wearing a strapless dress. Nowadays, it’s encouraged by doing so with a bralette.

The lack of sleeves or straps and the low neckline clear out plenty of space for bralette straps to take the spotlight.

16. Slip Dresses

Were slip dresses ever really only regarded as bedroom apparel? It’s almost a complete waste not to flaunt them outdoors for how beautiful they look.

Bralettes and slip dresses have equally ethereal qualities for their dainty materials and overall appearance. To pair them up without overdoing the daintiness is a talent, yet when achieved, serves such a look.

17. Sheer Dresses

Showing your underwear isn’t as frowned upon anymore. No, I’m not talking about bralettes, though it’s also true for that. I’m talking about your actual panties.

Red carpet looks from recent years have featured exposed lingerie like a teddy, covered only by a thin, sheer gown. Gowns may be a little too much for every day, but you can achieve the same look with sheer dresses.

You might have to think and rethink where you wear such a revealing outfit, but when the opportunity comes, grab it to showcase your bralette most daringly.

18. Off-the-Shoulder Tops or Dresses

Off-the-shoulder style tops provide little opportunity to tweak the outfit. The specific style of the top of the piece is so distinct that you can’t do more than pair it with different kinds of bottoms just to not repeat the outfit too often.

The bralette, once again, provides a solution by giving extra character to it where you wouldn’t think it couldn’t be made to look any different. The exposed straps make it look like it’s a completely different piece.

19. One-Shoulder Tops or Dresses

Many would probably agree that ever since then, the one-shoulder style seems to be reserved only for the most special and formal occasions. It instantly refines any outfit, whether it’s a dress or gown worn on its own or a blouse tucked into a separate skirt or pair of trousers.

If recent trends would have it, the one-shoulder has crossed the line to being casual. Some would even have a lowered side that exposes one bra cup.

It’s meant for your bralette to show more than just the straps. Those intricate knits, lace, or embroidery on your bralette cups will get their much-deserved public appearance.

20. Jean Jackets

Seamlessly transition your bralette from daywear to evening attire by adding a jean jacket on top of it as the temperature drops. This allows you to cover up a bit more while still showing off some skin!

Pair a lace bralette under your jacket for a super cute and flirty look.

21. Kimonos

Kimonos are lightweight and oftentimes made of sheer fabric, making them a perfect covering for your flirty bralette. Pair with jean cutoff shorts for a fun summertime look!

If you want to find a good option for a halter bralette, try it with this! Since your back will be covered by the kimono, you want the detail of the lingerie to be on the front, which is why a halter can be a great pick.

girl wearing a bralette under a kimono

22. Overalls

Remember those denim overalls you used to rock as a kid? Well, they’re back in style! Forget wearing a t-shirt underneath them, though. This makes wearing a lace bralette under clothes simple, because lace and denim pair perfectly together!

23. Oversized Blazers

Bralettes are probably considered inappropriate in the workplace, especially if you have strict corporate dress codes. Technically, they’re still underwear but a bralette is only inappropriate if you wear it on its own in the office.

Oversized blazers hide the fact that you’re just wearing what’s underwear underneath it, especially if it’s the type of bralette that looks like a crop top. With high-waisted pants, you can get away with wearing a bralette and even show a little bit of it through the unbuttoned blazer.

24. Suits or Co-ords

Co-ords are an effortless way to look put together when you don’t have the energy to think of your outfit in the morning. They’re usually the same blazer and trousers combo, but with matching prints and colors.

Since the top and bottom are figured out for you, you can just use a bralette as an inner layer, to conceal what cleavage needs to be covered on top of your blazer’s first button.

25. Cape

Don’t mistake a cape for a blazer, though I understand how easy it is to mix them up. A cape doesn’t have the long sleeves but they do have slits right where the arms are supposed to be, so your arms can still function without restriction from the fabric.

They cover up just as much as a blazer, so if you apply the same styling tricks, you might be able to make bralettes appropriate in the office without repeating the blazer and bralette combo.

26. Vest

A vest marries the airiness and convenience of a sleeveless top and the professional look of a blazer. There are two options to wear it open or buttoned in front but either way, it would still showcase a peek of your bralette’s details from the neckline to the band.

27. Hoodies

The daintiness of bralettes is emphasized when they’re paired up with contrasting clothes. That could mean either edgy, masculine, or oversized. Hoodies are not particularly edgy but they can look masculine and, for most women, the most oversized ones are the best.

Hoodies with a zipper in front can be styled so that the bralette is slightly visible. As a plus, it gives comfort and warmth to the wearer despite the lack of layers.

28. Cardigans

Cardigans are a girl’s best friend for those times of the year when temperatures keep changing throughout the day.

They give the same level of warmth and comfort as hoodies through their soft material, but their more girly appearance doesn’t break the dainty look when paired with a bralette.

29. Leather Jacket

Leather jackets are a wardrobe classic that can be intimidating to wear. Until the cold weather calls for it, some people would avoid it for the lack of styling skills to pull it off.

For transition periods like summer to fall or winter to spring, leather jackets can be paired with bralettes to combat the cold but not be layered up so much.

30. Bomber Jacket

Like mesh tops, bomber jackets are another piece that transforms the cute and dainty look of bralettes into sporty and active. Strappy bralettes and those with a huge lettering print on the band are the best matches for the bomber jacket because of the natural sporty vibe in them.

31. Plaid Shirts

Not quite a wardrobe essential but still can be a classic, the plaid shirt is a usual piece used to make anything look a lot more laidback and casual.

You can wear this as you would a button-down shirt but open on the front, so you can cover the skin bralette’s reveal. Another way to cover up with a plaid shirt is to tie it around your waist to cover your midriff.

32. Romper

Rompers have been a favorite among the fashion set for years now. The trend hasn’t quite died down yet and it might even turn the one-piece outfit into a classic.

Many rompers incorporate the style of tops that allow bralettes to be shown, like spaghetti straps, low or wide necklines, and open backs. Bralettes and rompers are equal parts stylish and convenient – the perfect combo fashionistas look for.

33. Tube Tops

While tube tops can work on their own with a strapless bra if you want to alter the look slightly, find a high neck bralette to add below. Not only will this give a stylish twist to the standard tube top, but it will also give you a bit more coverage.

34. Matching Set

A matching set is much like co-ords – same print, design, colors, material, etc. – but they’re not limited to blazers and trousers. There are many variations of the matching set.

The good thing about them is you can tweak it so that you can have bralettes peek through the top or wear it by themselves with the bottom.

35. Pajama Set

You could tell I’m living in this century because pajama sets are not restricted to the bedroom only. Now, you can wear them outdoors and they’re just accepted as going-out clothes.

(Almost just like how men like to go out in just their boxers when going out in the neighborhood!) Bralettes will reinforce your comfort over style attitude with this outfit without fully disregarding the latter.

36. Furry or Puffer Jackets

Bralettes provide very little coverage to help you survive in the winter. That’s why they’re thriving in women’s closets during the other three seasons. However, puffer and furry jackets have enabled some women to wear bralettes even in the cold of winter.

If you’re someone who’s not easily affected by the cold, bralettes and these kinds of bulky jackets can let you embody your summer staples in freezing temperatures.

37. Crop Tops

Have a super cute crop top and are looking for something to place under it? Try a bralette! This undergarment can add a hint of additional color and style to your look, and they work perfectly below crop tops made of sheer, see-through material.

38. Swimsuit Coverups

Pairing a bralette with high-waisted shorts is a classic summer look, but I get how that can be a daunting outfit to flaunt out. Beach coverups are a lifesaver in these situations because you can wear your flimsiest bralette underneath.

Most are usually either sheer, perforated, or loosely knitted, so bralettes can still be slightly visible from underneath. This is a great way to show off some midriff without feeling like your entire stomach is showing.

An image of a girl wearing a bralette

Reasons to Wear Bralettes Below Clothing

Put simply, a bralette is a bra’s little sister. Bralettes have no wiring, no (or minimal) padding, and little to no lining which makes them lightweight, breathable, and unbelievably comfy.

They’re also super stylish with different designs and, unlike your normal bras, are meant to be seen under your clothes.

Bralettes have been around since the 1920s, but up until the mid-decade of the 2010s, I only knew them as mini bras for young girls who were still growing their breasts out.

However, they’ve recently made a comeback in the fashion world in the form of full-blown lingerie for adults as well.

If girls they’re used to hiding away their growing breasts and keeping them inside the full coverage of pre-teen t-shirts and tops, bralettes for adults are made to be visible and shown off from under the clothes.

They’re usually seen on younger women with small boobs, but an increase in interest means larger-breasted women can wear the style as well!

Wearing Bralettes in Public

A bralette feels comfortable enough to be a “just around the house” garment, but they are too pretty to not be seen! Bralettes under clothing can easily be worn in public on the weekend or for a night out.

Occasionally you may wonder about wearing a bralette under clothes modestly. Don’t save a bralette for a special occasion, because they can fit tons of situations without showing too much skin.

Tips for Wearing Bralettes to Bypass School Dress Codes

School dress codes can be tricky, but bralettes are so cute on young girls! They are called a bra’s little sister, after all. How can you (or your daughter, niece, sister, cousin, or granddaughter) wear a bralette under clothes without getting dress coded at school?

Keep a few things in mind:

  1. Make sure the straps are wide enough: A common dress code violation is wearing skimpy straps. If you want to rock a bralette under clothing to school, find a style with straps that meet code requirements (usually around 4 inches). Alternatively, wear a top over the bralette that is up to code and let the bralette just peak through.
  2. Avoid sheer fabrics: If modesty is the goal, it’s best not to choose a bralette that will show your nipples. Find a lined cup and choose a darker color to keep everything under wraps.
  3. Bring a backup: Some schools can be super picky about their dress codes, so it couldn’t hurt to bring a backup outfit on days you wear a bralette under clothing. It may be an extra thing to carry, but it beats getting called to the principal’s office or sent home.
Tips for Wearing Comfy Bralettes at Work

If you work in an office or another environment without a uniform you likely want a bra option that won’t be hurting you by the end of the day. There are ways to benefit from the comfort of a bralette while maintaining a professional appearance.

  1. Choose subtle colors: Despite all the cute colors of bralettes, a hot pink bra showing under a white button-up probably isn’t the best look for a business meeting. Choose a subtle color and match it to what you’re wearing for a polished look. For instance, a bit of black lace under a black dress can look cute and clean.
  2. Replace a layer: Wear a bralette under clothing instead of a cami or tank top under a lower-cut blouse or button-up. Just be sure enough skin is covered that you don’t appear to be wearing a crop top (unless your employer allows that kind of thing).
  3. Opt for Comfort: Bralettes are so stylish, but they don’t always have to be seen. Try one under a normal outfit for a comfy, wire-free bra alternative. No one will know the difference!

Wearing a Bralette on a Night Out

A bralette under clothing is a great alternative to a normal bra for a couple of instances. In the past (especially for smaller breasts), it was common to look for the best push-up bra for an A cup to wear for a night out on the town.

With bralettes now in the picture, that’s changed. A bralette is a great choice under clothes if you’re wearing something low-cut, sheer, or risqué and don’t want to spring for a specialty bra or use nipple petals.

A bralette under clothes can complement most outfits and serve as an accessory instead of a distraction. A second reason to wear bralettes under clothing is for their comfortability.

Many styles are suited for all-day wear and still look gorgeous. You may even feel like you’re going braless (and who doesn’t want to feel like that?).

Don’t worry, the compliments you receive will remind you that you aren’t exposed and your girls are safely hidden, especially when you’re staying out late.

Plus Size Tips for Wearing Bralettes Under Outfits

While bralette styles favor smaller-breasted women, it’s a myth that women with bigger boobs can’t use bralettes under clothes. It may be a bit harder to find a good bralette for C cups and above, but it’s possible once you know what to look for!

Find Bralettes with Extra Support

A lot of smaller bralettes can be unsupportive on larger boobs. Try finding a bralette that has molded cups or a bit of lining for extra support.

Strappy backs and classic hook-and-eye closures can also be helpful, rather than just a thin, elastic band. Many bralettes do not use normal, numerical sizing (like 38DD).

Instead, most brands opt for sizing that ranges from extra-small to extra-large. Try shopping online for more traditional sizing to avoid an unsupportive bra that does nothing for your assets.

Consider Wearing a Normal Bra Underneath

If you want to use bralettes without padding, consider looking for a great push-up bra for large breasts to put on underneath! While bralettes are typically worn in place of a bra, that doesn’t mean you can’t wear the two together!

If there’s a thin, unsupportive bralette that you want to wear but you know you’ll need some additional support to make it comfortable through the day, there’s nothing wrong with pairing a bra and bralette together.

This way, you’ll still get the cuteness factor from the bralette and the support from your bra.


​If you do pair a bralette and bra together, try pairing ones that have the same colored (or complementary colored) straps. This way, your outfit will still look planned out!

A girl modeling a bralette

Final Tips for Bralettes Under Clothes

Bralettes have been around for nearly a century. They’ll probably continue to stick around as a fashionable addition to any ensemble. If you haven’t yet tried out a bralette under clothing, now is a great time!

Comfort is key when wearing a bralette under clothes. Try on several different types until you find one that is both supportive and cozy. Don’t be afraid to look online!

With so many shapes, cuts, and colors, bralettes lend themselves to endless outfit possibilities. Don’t feel like you have to wear whatever is trending online or popular on Pinterest. Instead, play around until you find a bralette outfit that fits your preferences.

Related Questions

What Is the Point of Wearing Bralettes Under Clothes?

Bralettes are designed to offer coverage while having less fabric and structure than traditional bras. They also come in various styles to give more options for fabrics and straps.

How Do You Wear a Bralette Without Padding?

You can use nipple covers or boob tape if you need to wear a bralette without padding. It’s similar to wearing a normal unlined bra.

How Are Bralettes Supposed to Fit Under Clothes?

A bralette should feel snug yet not unbearably tight under clothes. It should stretch and recover as your body moves.

What Is a Bralette and ALL the Situations to Wear One


A bralette under your clothes is a perfect way to show off your personality all year round. Whether you want to be modest or flirty, feminine or sporty or exposed or covered, there is more than likely a bralette for you. Rock your style as you stay comfy!


Allena is the Founder and Editor of The Better Fit, a platform dedicated to empowering women with practical advice on bras and fitness, inspired by her own revelation of the widespread issue of incorrect bra sizing. Her expertise and tips have been recognized by major publications such as Cosmopolitan, Better Homes & Gardens, Insider, and NBC, making her a trusted voice in women's wellness and lifestyle.