The bralette — demure, delicate, and effortless. They’ve been coming into style aesthetically, but there’s also plenty of comfort-based reasons to let them slip into your wardrobe. Women are tired of wearing the classic underwire bras that push, pinch and confine breasts in an unnatural and uncomfortable way. But how can you pull off the light lingerie look if you need a bra that’s actually supportive? Does a supportive bralette actually exist?
WHAT IS A BRALETTE?
First, the difference between a bralette and your regular old bra: a bralette is a lightweight bra that has no wires or molded cups. With the lack of these features, women have built up many misconceptions about these garments. You might look at a bralette and think they are totally impractical. But the truth of the matter is, they can be just as supportive and practical as your classic bra. A bra doesn’t need underwire or molded cups to give you a supportive fit — there’s plenty of other features to look for. It’s all about finding the right bralette.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A SUPPORTIVE BRALETTE
The right bralette will include support and fit details that you love about your bra, but feel a bit more natural, comfortable, and relaxed. Click through to read 5 essential design characteristics to look for to make sure your bralette is supportive and comfortable:
SUPPORTIVE BRALETTES: WHAT TO LOOK FOR
1. BAND-CUP SIZING
Instead of going for a bralette that comes in the standard shirt sizes (XS/S/M/L/XL, etc) — opt for a bralette that sizes by your band and cup measurements. Since bras have a specific volumetric fit, picking a bralette with general sizing can lead to straps falling, gaping and an all round ill-fitting look. A bralette that has band cup sizing will guarantee an improved, customized fit, because it will account for your particular shape and fit snugly in the right places.
Pictured: Sabina wears the Luxe Lohla Bra in Black, $59 at www.uyesurana.com. Also pictured: New Moon Silk Necklace Bra in Black, $38 at www.uyesurana.com; New Moon Adjustable Silk Choker, $27 at www.uyesurana.com; Moondrop Adjustable Lariat Necklace in Rose Quartz, $22 at www.uyesurana.com; and Triangle High-Waist Panty in Black, $56 at www.uyesurana.com.
2. SIDE SEAM ELASTIC
If one of your top reasons for converting to bralettes is your disdain for underwire bras, a bralette with a side seam elastic is the perfect alternative for you. The side seam elastic is a piece of elastic inserted into the side of a bra cup where the underwire would normally be. It keeps your breasts in place and provides a lift for a nice shapely, sag-free look without the discomfort of an underwire.
3. A LITTLE BIT OF BONING
To find a supportive bralette, absolutely check to see if the bra has boning. Boning is a piece of steel or plastic that is incorporated into a vertical seam of a bra to provide more support and body contouring. This will give your bralette the structure and shape you’ve been looking for. We love the Claire Lace Wrap-around Bralette because the combination of silk cups, sideseam elastic ++ side boning gives amazing support without sacrificing style.
Pictured: Claire Lace Wrap-around Bralette in Black/Flora Silk, $92 at www.uyesurana.com. Also pictured: Superstretch Lace Choker, $12 at www.uyesurana.com; and Mara Lace Showoff Thong in Black/Flora Silk, $48 at www.uyesurana.com.
4. adjustable straps & hook back
Adjustable straps and a hook back are essential components to look out for in any bra. They allow you to accommodate your unique shoulder and chest measurements to assure a personal, comfortable fit. Bras naturally lose elasticity over time and stretch with repeated exposure to your body’s natural heat and shape — adjustable features ensure you’ll get a snug, supportive fit even with months to years of wear.
Pictured: Lohla wears the Claire Lace Wrap-around Bralette in White/Flora Silk, $92 at www.uyesurana.com.
5. EXTRA-WIDE UNDERBUST ELASTIC
Many wirefree bras will have a stretchy band of elastic that runs across the front of the bra under the cups. This band will provide added support and lift to give your chest the boost you need. Keep your eye out for this feature if lift is your priority in a bra. We love how the Luxe Eyelash Bra uses an extra-wide elastic band for additional lift, and makes it a decorative feature by wrapping it in luxe, hand-gathered silk.