Close up of a chest wearing a lace bralette
What is a Bralette?

What is a Bralette?

Dana Donofree
4 min read

What is a Bralette? How to wear it and more.

Bralettes have made their way to the forefront of the wardrobe game. It wasn't too long ago that the only garment we utilized to hold our breasts was push-ups. But gone are the many days of having to either wear an uncomfortable bra with underwire or going au natural, thanks to the ever-versatile, stylish, and cozy bralette. Think, sports bra or shelf bra meets beautiful lace and style. 

Brief History of Bralettes

Caresse Crosby, aka Mary Phelps Jacobs, was the first patent recipient for the modern bra in 1914. She was sick of her massive corset, and her solution was essentially a bralette made out of handkerchiefs and a pink ribbon. The rest is history! It is trailblazing women that helped shape fashion, and believe it or not, may have been the first bralette ever!

Delilah soft cup longline pullover bralette with a lace trim, soft cups, mesh back, adjustable straps.

Shop Delilah Bralette

What is a Bralette? 

Bralettes are non-wired bras that generally don't come with any padding. They are sheer, breathable, and comfortable. They don't have clasps and slip on over your head. 

AnaOno has always made beautiful and comfortable bralettes, but they didn't  become trendy until 2016 (2 years after we launched the first ever bralette for breast cancer!) and have been a go-to undergarment ever since. They come in many different shapes and sizes and are designed to be both comfortable and casual.

What is the Purpose of a Bralette? 

Initially, the purpose of a bralette was to offer people with breasts an alternative to the push-up bra. Now, people wear bralettes as an accessory and a happy medium from a bra and going braless.

What is the Difference Between a Bra and Bralette?

Bras and bralettes are similar; however, few bralettes have underwire, which is a common trait in most bras. Bralettes are typically unlined and made of a comfortable and soft fabric. 

Bra vs. Bralette

Sure, we love a push-up bra that is as sexy as it is supportive, but not all of us are willing to endure the endeavor of wearing one equipped with thick underwire and uncomfortable seams for aesthetic purposes. While bralettes certainly aren't going to help your breasts defy gravity as the Wonderbra did in the 90s, you can be sure they'll be cozy in this lightly-lined and comfortable material.

Benefits of a Bra

While we love a good bralette (and better yet, going braless), there are still a few benefits to wearing a bra. Underwired bras offer a lot of support for people with large breasts. In addition, underwired bras give better lift and shape to your breasts. Otherwise, no fundamental research supports claiming that wearing a bra is better than wearing a bralette or going braless.

Benefits of a Bralette

Bralettes are less constrictive than bras, and many would argue that they're much more comfortable to wear. They don't contain underwire or other hard materials. It comes down to personal preference as to whether a bralette or bra is better for you! We also know that bralettes are so much more comfortable to sleep in than a push-up underwire bra or even a sports bra, imagine sleeping comfortably and beautifully in a dreamy soft bralette. 

Are Bralettes Meant to be Seen?

Whether someone can see your bralette outside of the privacy of your own home is totally up to you! For a casual look, we love pairing a bralette with a loose sweater or crop t-shirt. Dress a bralette up with the help of a button-down shirt. For example, our  Susan Wrap Front Lace Bra looks fabulous with a drapey button-up shirt.

Susan pocketed wrap front lace bralette with wireless cups, back closure and adjustable straps.

Shop Susan Bralette

Do Your Nipples Show Through Bralettes? 

Nipple concealing bralettes exist, as do bralettes with thicker lining and removable pads; however, do remember that society has sexualized nipples. It is truly no big deal if they show — like, at all. But if you wish to maintain a smooth appearance under your clothing, you can stock up on our modesty pads that are easy bra inserts and fit into the cup of our pocketed AnaOno collections. Speaking of nipples, check out the eight types of nipples you might have,  here

How to Wear a Bralette

Bralette Styles

Bralettes are incredibly versatile undergarments. Many bralettes are made to be seen even. Dress up a bralette with a pair of jeans and jacket or dress it down underneath an off-the-shoulder sweater. Spice up a summer outfit with a bralette and pair it with high-waisted shorts, or spice up your white t-shirt by putting a black lace bralette over it. If you're going on a night out, turn eyes by pairing a sheer shirt with a bralette underneath. It offers minimal coverage and a whole lot of sexy. The options are endless! 

Bralette Sizing

If you're a devout bra wearer, you're probably used to picking a bra based on your band and cup size — this is not the case with bralettes. While bralettes still abide by this sizing increment, they are labeled instead as Small to 2X Large. With that being said, each size coincides with your band and cup size, just like a bra does. Check out the AnaOno Size Guide to determine your best fit, and take our simple fit quiz and get your size in a minute or less!

Is it OK to Wear a Bralette in Public?

Yes, it is OK to wear a bralette in public! It's 2021, and wearing bralettes and even showcasing them in certain outfits is super fashion-forward. 

Are you ready to purchase your first (or next) bralette? Check out all of AnaOno’s amazing styles

Shop Bralettes

Did you love this article about bralettes? Do you want even more helpful tips and tricks when it comes to undergarments? Then be sure to check out these other helpful AnaOno articles that will help you navigate everything from underwear to t-shirt bras and more! 

Dana Donofree
Dana Donofree

Founder and CEO of AnaOno. After a diagnosis of breast cancer in her late 20’s, Dana took her own lived experience and fashion design background and (re)designed intimates for those that have undergone breast surgery. Dana’s story has been published around the world in outlets like New York Times, BBC, Huffington Post, The Today Show, and more.