An Introduction to the Bralette

The beauty of the bralette is that it’s lightweight, soft, and easy to wear — but best of all, it has no underwires. While many women find underwire bras necessary in their daily lives, abandoning them can bring about a sense of freedom and empowerment. Even if you can only wear a bralette on the weekends or lounging around the house, they are worth the investment.

Bralettes are nothing new. Soft cup lingerie was most popular in the 1920s, when the straight “Flapper” silhouette was the ideal figure. The delicate undergarments of this era were exquisite and crafted from handmade laces, fine silks with delicate straps, and an assortment of pastel hues. Often the bralette was worn with tap pants to complete the set. If you’re lucky, you can still find these sets for sale on Etsy or eBay.



Are you convinced of their appeal yet? Take a look at some of TLA’s favorite modern-day bralettes below.

Everyday Comfort

While these bralettes lack underwires, they still offer structure and support. Ideally, the bralette should have bra cups as opposed to soft fabric cups. Moulded cups are perfect for this style of bra and will offer modesty (if you prefer). The underbust frame should feel supportive. Look for styles that have a full underbust band (like the black Freya bra, shown below), as opposed to a narrow elasticated band only. The shoulder straps should be fully adjustable. The best fabric for this style is a soft cotton blend.

The Weekender

It’s Sunday. You’ve slept in and are now going out for breakfast. You’re feeling relaxed and carefree. This is the best occasion to abandon underwires and wear a bralette. This particular style does not need as much structure and support. You could try a print, a beautiful lace, or an interesting colour — anything to help you embrace your carefree self!

Cocktail Hour

Be inspired by the golden era of Hollywood, and bring back cocktail hour with some especially luxe lingerie for the occasion. The ideal bralette for your cocktail hour (real or imaginary) should be as fancy and luxurious as you desire. After all, what is life without a little glamour?

In the Boudoir

When considering a bralette for the bedroom, support and structure are not as important. However, fabrics should be luxurious. Lace, mesh, and bows are perfect for this type of bra. In addition, the boudoir bralette can have much narrower straps.

The Vintage Original

Why not buy the original if you can? Finding your size can be tricky, but keep an eye out on Etsy and eBay. Check online vintage stores, as they can occasionally carry lingerie pieces. Look for lingerie in good condition and check the measurements. Sizing tags from the 1920s and 1930s will not be relevant to sizing of today. Remember: vintage lingerie is much more delicate, so be careful and handwash.

What are your thoughts on bralettes? Do you enjoy wearing them everyday or are they an occasional bra?

Last Updated: December 22, 2016

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Kathryn Wellington
Kathryn Wellington

Kathryn is a lingerie and swimwear garment technician from Sydney, Australia. Lover of all things vintage and lacy.