Bralettes have become ubiquitous in women’s fashion with more and more women opting for this style – a bra typically made with no underwire. Over the past decade, bralettes have become much more common for women to wear compared to traditional bras. Why has this undergarment become so popular? Read on for a brief history of the evolution of bras and why women are choosing the bralette as their only undergarment.
A Brief History of Bras
In most early civilizations, women did not wear a bra at all. All genders of people were bare-chested much of the time, with the exception of cold weather periods. When clothing was worn, women did not wear anything underneath and the clothes were less for support and more for keeping warm. In civilizations when bras were worn, women donned breast bands or strophium for support. These undergarments were made of one or two pieces of material and closely resembled modern-day bandeau bras.
The breast bands, however, fell out of fashion for a while as the material provided little support without straps to bear the weight burden. It is presumed that women resumed wearing nothing until corsets were introduced. Corsets used scaffolding materials to create a silhouette and were essentially the first bra. However, there is little documentation on women’s bra fashion between breast bands and the introduction of corsets.
Similar corset-style bras that framed ideal silhouettes trended into the 1960s. Briefly during this decade and the next was the bra-burning era where women either didn’t wear bras or opted for bralette-style undergarments. Following this brief period, more shapely bras entered fashion once again in the form of push-up bras and water bras were big.
These styles were less than comfortable and fashion in and of itself has been trending towards more comfort-forward styles, which is why the bralette has become much more popular today.
More Comfortable and Stylish Compared to Traditional Bras
Compared to traditional bras, bralettes have no underwire and are lightly lined. This style gives breasts a more natural appearance underneath clothes. Most of all, the undergarment is much more comfortable. There’s no underwire digging into the body. The light lining doesn’t feel heavy on the breast. Overall, they’re much more comfortable to wear all day long.
An unspoken rule of fashion is that it’s a no-no to show your bra. It should be covered adequately and appears unkempt when it’s showing. However, bralettes bust that myth and normalize showing bras. The style of a bralette typically has a strap that’s lacy or a more cotton-like material that has the appearance of an undershirt rather than a bra. Women let the strap of their bralette show and it’s become somewhat of a fashion statement and an integral piece of an outfit. A lacy bralette strap pairs nicely when worn with a tube top or off-the-shoulder dress. It’s giving women more freedom to wear whatever style of clothes they want while providing chest support without worrying about their “unsightly” bra showing.
When bralettes first came out, it was typically catered to women with smaller breasts, as it was assumed women with larger breasts required more support. However, fashion brands are introducing more inclusive sizing options and women of all breast sizes can enjoy the benefits of a comfortable bralette.
Wearing a Bralette as Tops
Since bralettes have a more fashionable appearance, many women are opting to wear them as a shirt. It’s become part of many trends to use a bralette as a top. Some women wear just a bralette with a pair of athleisure pants or they pair an oversized open flannel shirt over it. Bralettes are versatile in that way and women feel confident rocking their bralette as a top and look fashionable doing so.
Since the pandemic, fashion has leaned more towards comfortable looks and bralettes fit right in with that trend. That’s a big reason why bralettes are certainly having a moment right now. They’re super stylish, comfortable, and versatile for every closet. As with any trend, this one may fade away as quickly as it came. Get your fill of this comfortable look now while it’s still in fashion and stock up on gorgeous bralettes so you can keep it going as long as possible.