How to Wear a Bralette – 15 Stylish, Trendy, and Timeless Ideas

wearing a bralette under a shirt

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? We’ve got you covered.

What's a Bralette?

​If you aren’t already familiar with a bralette, it’s basically 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 and, unlike your normal bras, are meant to be seen under your clothes.

Bralettes have been around since the 1920s but have recently made a comeback in the fashion world. 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!

​Why Wear a Bralette?

​A bralette is a great alternative to a normal bra for a couple of instances. A bralette is a great choice if you’re wearing something low-cut, sheer, or risqué and don’t want to spring for a specialty bra or wear nipple petals. A bralette can complement most outfits and serve as an accessory instead of a distraction.

A second reason to wear this is for its 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. 

How to Wear a Bralette Under Clothes

​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. 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 we share until you find an absolutely fabulous outfit that fits your personal style!

Cast your fears aside, because there’s a bralette for each of these situations, and we’re going to break that down below!

wearing a bralette under a shirt

​How to Wear a Bralette Under a Shirt

​We wear bras almost every day, so why not have a little fun with them? Wearing a bralette under your favorite top is an easy way to switch up an outfit and easily appear on trend.

​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.

​2. Sheer Shirts

It’s super trendy right now to wear a dark bralette under 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 lacy racerbacks, delicate cutouts, or 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 bralette! 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

How to Style a Bralette Under Dresses

​Bralettes aren’t just for casual wear at the beach or running around town. Certain styles can bring some class to a dressier outfit to spice up a date night or make you the envy of your friends during a night out.

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 can also be a fantastic alterative to a strapless bra.

7. Backless Dress

Have a backless dress you've been wanting to wear but can't find a good bra to pair with it? Try a bralette! 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. 

Tip: 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.

Wearing a Bralette Modestly

A bralette feels comfortable enough to be a “just around the house” garment, but they are too pretty to not be seen! Bralettes can easily be worn in public on the weekend or for a night out, but occasionally you may wonder about wearing a bralette modestly. Don’t save a bralette for a special occasion, because they can fit tons of situations without showing too much skin.

different colors and styles of bralettes

Wearing a Bralette to School

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 without getting dress coded at school? Keep a few things in mind:

  • Make sure the straps are wide enough: A common dress code violation is wearing skimpy straps. If you want to rock a bralette 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.
  • 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.  
  • 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. It may be an extra thing to carry, but it beats getting called to the principle’s office or sent home.

Wearing a Bralette to 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.

  • 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 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.
  • Replace a layer:  Wear a bralette 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).
  • 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!

8. Over Sized Sweaters

A safe way to wear this undergarment without it showing much is by wearing it under a comfy sweater. Let your over sized sweater hang off your shoulder, allowing the strap of your bralette to peek through. This is a modest and cute option for how to wear 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. Pick a black or white bralette for a subtle look, or if you want to add more "pop" into your outfit, choose a fun color. This is a great option for bustier women who want to wear buttoned shirts but have trouble buttoning the shirt all the way up!

Additional Ways to Wear Bralettes

​Some bralettes are just too pretty to be covered up at all. That high-necked, lacy, floral one? It’s just begging to be worn on its own! Many styles can be worn on their own—just be sure to buy one with lined cups so your nipples don’t show.

girl wearing bralette as a crop top

10. Crop Tops

A favorite of many is to sport a bralette like a crop top. Opt for a style with longer lines to be sure everything is covered. Longer lined styles are also great choices for bigger boobs! Avoid sheer and thin fabrics to reduce the risk of exposure when the sun comes out or the temperature cools down. 

11. High Waist Jeans and Skirts

​Pairing a bralette with high waisted shorts is a classic summer look. Relax by the beach or the pool, then switch to high waisted jeans or skirts and wedges for a casual night outfit perfect for going out to eat or grabbing a drink. This is also a great way to show off some midriff without feeling like your entire stomach is showing.

12. 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 with your jacket for a super cute and flirty look.

13. Accessory Replacements

If you're looking for how to wear a high neck bralette, this is a great way to do it. Because they fill up your entire neck-to-chest area, switch up an outfit by using a bralette instead of a necklace. Find a style with lace detailing or front straps for a trendy statement piece. 

14. 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 how to wear 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

15. Overalls

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

​How to Wear a Bralette for Plus Size

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

​Extra Support

​A lot of smaller bralettes can be really 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 are larger in the bust region and looking for how to wear a bralette without padding, consider wearing a bra as well. 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 really want to wear but you know you’ll need some additional support to make it comfortably through the day, try wearing a standard bra underneath! This way, you’ll still get the cuteness factor from the bralette and the support from your bra. 

Tip: ​If you do wear 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! 

strappy black bralette worn by a woman

​Final Tips for Wearing a Bralette

​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, now is a great time!

Comfort is key when wearing a bralette. 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 perferences.

​Conclusion

A bralette is a perfect way to show off your personality this summer. 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 own style as you stay comfy and cool for the season.


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