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Bralettes have made their mark in fashion over the past few seasons, and the style isn’t losing momentum anytime soon.1 If fashion-month runways are any indication, you will see bralettes strutting solo when the weather warms up.2,3

That’s right. Now that these bralette beauties have gotten a glimpse of fame, they’re craving their rightful spotlight.

There are more ways than ever to include this previously low-key garment in your wardrobe rotation. And as we get closer to spring and summer and the opportunity to wear a bralette presents itself, you’re going to want to know how to style a bralette. Check out the best 7 ways to do it along with some other fun facts and style tips about this dainty fashion icon.

What Is a Bralette?

This versatile wardrobe piece is a combination of a traditional bra and a form-fitted top that extends to the top of the waist. Resembling a crop top or a camisole, the bralette blends fashion and practicality for a look that is modifiable to mood, personality, and occasion.

The bralette combines two well-known staples in a woman’s armoire:

  • The bra
  • The crop top

The Bra

So what’s the difference between a bralette vs bra? The bralette, of course, was dutifully inspired by the ever-famous bra. Here’s a bit of bra history that might make you appreciate these snug cups a little more.

Since first appearing in fourth-century Italian mosaics, history has depicted chest coverings in the form of a bandeau, whether for practicality or fashion. The word bra comes from the longer french word, brassière, meaning “upper arm.” The term is thought to have originally described the top part of a whale-bone camisole, covering the bust.4

The Crop Top

This minimalistic, versatile set of threads is found in wardrobes everywhere. Originally devised as a way to save fabric during WWII, this little top caught on and became a wardrobe essential paired with skirts and slacks, and under jackets for a more refined look.

Here are some more fun facts about the crop top:

  • In the 1960s–70s, the crop top became a statement of female empowerment—revealing theretofore forbidden skin, and hugging taboo curves.5
  • A variation of the crop top is the camisole. Commonly made from a silky material, this garment is worn primarily as an undershirt for warmth and to provide protection from itchy or harsh fabrics.
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Types of Bralettes

The way you style a bralette can be inspired by its design. As the bralette trend continues to grow, so does the versatility and variation in its styles. A few you may find in stores include:6

  1. Strappy
  2. Lacey
  3. Crocheted
  4. Embellished
  5. Racerback
  6. Halter
  7. Seamless
  8. One-shoulder
  9. Choker

Ways to Style Bralettes

Ready to evoke of-the-moment fashion with bralette tops and undergarments of every color and texture? Here are the top 7 ways to wear them in your wardrobe.

#1 The Beach Babe

If you’re headed on a beach vacation, or you’re lucky enough to live in a beach-year-round climate, style your sexy bralette for the sand and sun.

A brightly-colored crocheted bralette teamed with a sheer cover-up wrap and some silver metallic flip-flops complete the ideal beach bralette. Switch it out for a haltered bralette to unhook and sun your shoulders.

#2 The Gym Jam

Wear a strappy (or sporty, for more support) bralette with a pair of leggings or bike shorts for maximum confidence gains. Wear it alone or “accidentally showing” coupled with an unzipped heather-grey sweatshirt.

Maximize this gym meet-cute style by matching your bralette to your athletic shoes, socks, or scrunchie.

#3 The Toplette

Show off the crop-top potential of your bralette by wearing it as a top with a pair of flowy pants that accentuate your midsection. Wear a one-shoulder, halter, or choker-neck bralette with palazzo pants, or switch it up with a maxi skirt for a chic, sleeveless, boss-babe look.

You could also wear your sexy bralette over a white button-down shirt for an ultra-bold look.7 Try this combo with jeans and high-top sneakers.

#4 The Peekaboo

Let your delicate, lacey bralette show just slightly through a backless blouse or plunge v-neck tee. These are good options if you don’t want to expose too much skin or if you’re headed to an event where a bit more modesty is preferred.

Here are a few looks to try:8

  • Wear a hot pink or neon green bralette under a cream, white, or black top with leather pants and boots.
  • Flaunt a sexy black bralette under a sheer pullover, paired with dark denim puddle pants (or wide-leg, twisted-seam jeans) and toe-ring mules.

#5 The Lounge-Around

In recent years, athleisure attire and pajamas have become increasingly acceptable to wear in public. And we’re here for it. The bralette is a stunning alternative to make the lounge-casual look effortlessly cute.

Slip on a simple, cotton-blend bralette for stylish, supportive comfort, some drawstring Baby Yoda sweatpants, and—go for it—your fuzzy bear-claw slippers, too. Pair with a black hoodie and tuck in for hours of adorable comfort.

#6 The Business Not-So-Casual

If your workplace leans more into the casual dress code, a more modest bralette can be paired with a blazer and tailored trousers for a seriously powerful look. Just be sure that cute bralette covers enough skin to conform to your workplace’s requirements.

When it comes to more dressed-up bralette looks, try these, too:

  • Coordinate a contoured, pastel-colored bralette with a deep v-neck blazer—in a darker tone like navy blue, violet, or burgundy—and pleated tapered pants. Complete the ensemble with pointed-toed pumps.
  • Upgrade a plain or solid-colored shift dress with an embellished, strappy, or lacey bralette, letting the shoulder strap drop, or allowing the lace to pop up from the neckline.
  • Wear a long-silhouetted bralette with high-waisted pants, and drape a faux-alpaca pashmina around your shoulders. Perfect for a glitzy night out.

#7 The Flirty Night Out

Try these looks for a dressy event, date night, or nightclubbing with friends:

  • A red bralette with sequins, tassels, fringe, or rhinestones teamed with a tuxedo jacket (or light bolero jacket), and palazzo pants will create maximum glamour. Complete the look with red square-toed pumps or cage sandals (depending on the weather) and diamond or crystal jewelry.
  • A black, lacey bralette paired with a fitted cashmere cardigan and a short, multi-tiered light-colored skirt will spark whimsy to fuel your spirit and give you the moveability to dance the night away. Add some ankle boots and chunky jewelry.
  • A strappy bralette with a lightweight jacket over a pencil skirt and black stilettos make a stunning silhouette for an elegant evening.

Other Noteworthy Bralette Trends

With so many different bralettes to work with, let’s get a glimpse of a few other elements that can influence your styling in 2023.

  • Captivating color – Smoky, muted shades will be added to the Barbie-inspired pinks of last season. Bubblegum shades aren’t going anywhere, but you will see slightly darker hues added to the mix.
  • Tantalizing textures – Mesh, sheer, and fringe-adorned styles will demand to be seen, as outer layers come off and bralettes become the focus of the look—rather than peering out from the shadows.
  • Comfortable lift – One of the bralette’s most appealing features is that it’s more comfortable than wearing a traditional everyday bra. Yet, the comfort factor has been known to compromise support. Today’s designs take comfort and support into account.

How to Find the Best Fit

Although bralette sizing doesn’t involve the complexity associated with traditional bra-sizing methods, it’s helpful to know your regular bra size and circumference in order to find a bralette that fits you snugly without being constrictive.

Here’s how to easily measure your bra size:

  1. Measure your bust (around the back, under your shoulder blades)
  2. Get your band size measurement (around the torso, top of the ribcage)
  3. Subtract the band size from the bust measurement to determine your cup size9

Sometimes, bralettes come in sizes that you’d see on a regular top, usually between XS to XL. If that’s the case, follow the sizing you’d normally select in a crop top or tank top.

To encourage a great fit no matter what shape or size the wearer, those who don’t fit into one particular sizing category may find a little consolation by following these guidelines:10

  • Layer a thinner, lacier bralette over a sturdier one to add support to the style
  • Look for bralettes with stretchy fabric, and size down for a tighter effect
  • Find a bralette with adjustable straps and tighten the straps for more support
  • Find a padded or wired bralette to deliver even more support to your bust

Today’s bralettes will give you a broad range of fabrics, padding, underwires, contour, and neckline height.11 In fact, nowadays, comfort is non-negotiable, and new design techniques cushion wiring so that it doesn’t chafe or poke holes in your flesh.

Shop Comfortable, Stylish Bralettes at Gooseberry

As you can see, bralettes know no bounds (except for the supportive ones on your body) when it comes to fashion statements. Worn peeking through your favorite tops or showing off all on their own, bralettes are built for any season or occasion.

To find the perfect bralette built for you, shop at Gooseberry.

From slip-on bralettes for lounging comfortably to lustful triangle styles for the summer sun, our collection of bralettes will take you wherever the day leads. And while you’re treating yourself, stock up on our premium intimates sleepwear, and swimwear to slip into your most stylish vacation season yet.


Sources:

  1. Who What Wear. 4 Pretty Lingerie Trends Everyone Will Want to Wear in 2023. https://www.whowhatwear.com/lingerie-trends-2023
  2. Vogue. According to the Runways, No Shirt, No Problem. https://www.vogue.com/slideshow/bra-tops-trend
  3. Nylon. The Latest Lingerie-inspired Runway Trend Is Wearing Bras as Shirts. https://www.nylon.com/fashion/bras-as-shirts-fashion-week-spring-2023
  4. The Atlantic. The First Bra Was Made of Handkerchiefs. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/11/the-first-bra-was-made-of-handkerchiefs/382283
  5. Fashion at Brown. The Secret Significance of Crop Tops. https://fashionatbrown.com/archive/2020/1/13/the-secret-significance-of-crop-tops
  6. OurFashionPassion. Top 10 Trendy Bralettes That You Should Know. https://ourfashionpassion.com/top-10-trendy-bralettes-that-you-should-know
  7. MasterClass. Bralette Outfit Styling Tips: 9 Bralette Outfit Ideas. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/bralette-outfit
  8. The New York Times. The Bralette Is Back. This Time Blouses Are Optional. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/31/fashion/bralettes-bras-no-underwire.html
  9. Good Housekeeping. How to Measure Your Bra Size at Home. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/clothing/bra-reviews/a29114502/how-to-measure-bra-size/
  10. Well+Good. Bralette Sizes Are Limited—Here’s How to Get the Perfect Fit, According to Lingerie Experts. https://www.wellandgood.com/bralette-sizes-fit
  11. Cosmopolitan. 15 Best Bralettes That Are Comfy and So Cute. https://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/g28689965/top-bralettes
  12. Woman & Home. Bras vs bralettes: Which style is most comfortable, and which is best for your boobs? https://www.womanandhome.com/fashion/bras-vs-bralettes-which-style-is-best-384934

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