By now you’ve heard of, and likely given a try to the lingerie style known as a bralette. It’s rising popularity over recent years (perhaps now at an all time high), has been driven by a rise in comfort culture and a more natural approach by women to their undergarments. Taking a look at the differences, benefits and when to wear each can help you navigate this style that seems like it has staying power.
What is the Difference Between Bralettes and Bras?
Seen as almost an opposite to a more traditional bra design which has the perception of being restrictive, would it surprise you to know the bra actually evolved from the bralette? So perhaps this trend is taking things full circle, bringing the bra back to its simpler origins.
Bralette vs Bra
The major differences lie in the structure, or lack thereof, in the design of a bra vs bralette. While the former typically leverages underwire and structured, padded and/or lined cups, the latter instead relies on soft cups for coverage at the cost of some shaping and support.
Wearing a Bralette
While bralettes may remind some of the training bras they wore in early puberty, the style has evolved greatly to deliver the desired comfort and aesthetics while supporting larger breasts. Bralettes can be worn casually with loungewear (or as the loungewear itself) and also with outfits where show through is acceptable or even desired.
Purpose of Bralettes
Most women seeking this style put comfort at the top of their list, though per above, may also be focused on fashion if using the bralette as the foundation of an outfit rather than simply an undergarment. As such, the design of a bralette becomes more important in some cases than other factors typically desired in a bra such as smoothing and stay put straps.
Benefits of Bralettes
The bralette has many benefits, whether worn fashion forward or for casual comfort. The True&Co bralette collection features styles for both situations, as well as for a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
Stylish & Trendy
No longer a fashion faux pas to show off what’s underneath some tops and dresses, the bralette embraces this visibility, even becoming the centerpiece of some outfits. Bralettes have evolved the lingerie category with what was once a trend becoming a lasting style statement.
Typical bralette construction is wirefree, often unlined and mostly seamless, with the goal of ultimate comfort. Further, soft fabrics like cotton and lace are the go-tos for most bralette designs.
Focus on Shape over Support
Since many bralette styles typically lack structure, the design focus tends to lean more towards shape vs support. Many women love the more natural look of a bralette rather than attempting to force breasts into the shape of a structured bra style. However, the True&Co lineup strives to offer comfort alongside ample amounts of both support and shaping. Details such as reinforced seaming and a wirefree channel that lifts up to one full inch mean sizes up to 42DDD can find a bralette that meets their needs.
When to Wear a Bralette
As we’ve mentioned, choosing a bralette is completely a point of personal preference, therefore there’s truly no wrong occasion to opt for this style if that’s what makes you most comfortable. Bralettes can easily go from loungewear by day to outfit centerpiece by night, and everything in between. Though if you are looking for a more polished look, a traditional bra still has many benefits.
Benefits of Bras
Love em or hate em, bras serve a purpose in most women’s wardrobes, that of carrying the weight of one's breasts to offset the gravitational pull that would otherwise affect one's back, muscles and spine. Traditional bras are made to achieve a particular shape and pair with certain clothing styles, hence the naming of styles such as t-shirt, plunge and balconette (made for wider neck tops). Some styles also serve specific purposes including sports bras meant to prevent injury during workouts and maternity/nursing bras meant for pregnancy and postpartum, especially if breastfeeding.
True&Co bras offer a wide range of options for more structured support, strap variations and effect on breast size, all with your comfort front and center.
More Structured Support
Bra construction can be a complex combination of materials and design features used to achieve a particular look and level of support. While the True Body Underwire T-shirt bra achieves a natural look with flexible underwire, the True Body Wirefree Push Up bra uses shaping pads to achieve a still natural lift. Smoothing True Body microfiber is the key to comfort for these two uniquely different but ultimately supportive styles.
More Strap Variations
Because of this structure, and the fact that a good bra should rely on the band for its foundational support, more strap variations are possible when designing a bra vs a bralette. In addition to convertible styles, including strapless, bra straps can also be thinner and offer the ability to adjust, which helps with stretching over the bra’s lifespan.
Ability to Increase / Decrease Breast Size
Another notable benefit of a more structured bra option is the ability to increase or decrease perceived breast size based on padding and coverage. Per above, our wirefree push up bra adds a bit of natural oomph to the lifting ability of our full lineup while styles like our Soft Lace Unlined Balconette bra and Madison Lace Ultimate Coverage Balconette bra provide generous coverage and smoothing support without adding volume for sizes up to 42DDD.
When to Wear a Bra
Once again, at True&Co, we want you to be you, and do you, for your maximum comfort. So the choice to wear a bra truly comes down to you feeling great in your skin, and choosing whichever style feels like a second skin. Bras may be your best bet for more formal events, or when trying to achieve a more tailored appearance, specifically when you want to avoid your straps showing.
While a bralette can easily be dressed up, a well made and properly fitting bra can also be comfortably casual, making the styles essentially interchangeable. Keep both in your underwear drawer and you’ll have options based on your day, mood or outfit.