Meet the Merchants Personal Style

Style and Function: The Bralette Fashion Trend

Krista Molinaro, our contemporary and luxury buyer, is just back from Market—one of four weeks a year she spends visiting vendor showrooms in NYC for a look at your underwear drawer’s future—with an exclusive spring preview.

So what lingerie look is she most excited about?


“Ready-to-wear fashion has been showing cutaway blouses, open backs, sheer tops and lower-cut sides, and plunging V-necks and wrap dresses are always in. That’s what’s making bralettes such a key piece going forward,” says Krista.

Which begs the question…

What is a bralette?

A bralette is a wire-free, stretch lace bra. A bralette can be with or without padding, and comes in inclusive sizes. “Thanks to the lace, it’s a romantic, feminine look,” Krista says. “The trend really came out of the Coachella festival-fashion scene. It’s cool and slightly hippie to let your bralette show. At first, women were wearing them without a top! Now, I’m noticing a lot of lace bandeaus and bralettes right there in the clothing department, not just with the lingerie.”

Of course, walking around in a strip of lace isn’t for most of us. As always, though, there’s a workable way to get in on the fun. What’s great is that bralettes veered from a marginal, slightly risqué look to a style absolutely anyone can pull off. They can even be office-appropriate. “It’s all about interesting detail: a surprising lace racerback, eyelash lace peeking out from a blouse, bras that are businesslike up front but a party in the back,” Krista says. “People don’t want to see your bra straps anymore. This is what you want to show.”

Why Krista loves bralettes:

1. They complete your look. Whether you’re flashing a band of lace or just a glimpse under a wrap dress, they’re a fresh fashion accessory.
2. They’re comfy. And that’s really the secret to feeling beautiful, is it not? They’re wire-free, and sizing is stress-free (XS to XL, or band size only or cup size only).
3. They’re versatile. Work to weekend, street to office. You can even wear them to bed.

Top 5 most popular bralette styles:

Eberjey Colette Racerback Lace Bra

b.tempt’d by Wacoal Lace Kiss Bralette

Hanky Panky Signature Lace Bralette

Cosabella Never Say Never Sweetie Bralette

Honeydew Intimates Carli Racerback Bralette

For small chests, there are padded bralettes with removable cups:

Cosabella Never Say Never Padded Sweetie Bralette 

Hanky Panky Signature Lace Padded Bralette 

For plus size bralettes, we love:

Cosabella Never Say Never Sweetie Bralette Plus Size

Cosabella Never Say Never Sweetie BraletteTo round out your bra wardrobe, Krista recommends picking a cheerful color that’s a guaranteed mood-booster (“Cosabella is pretty much the only colorful bra I own”), as well as a nude that matches your particular skin tone. Insider styling tip: If you have a larger chest, you can get in on the look without giving up support by layering a bralette right over a basic T-shirt or sports bra of the same silhouette, like this (see photo):

“As a 32DDD, I can’t go out without a bra, but I definitely don’t want to wear the same structured bra I wear to the office to run out for coffee on Saturday mornings,” says Krista. “A bralette over a T-shirt bra is what I reach for.”

Meet Krista

Work uniform: Jeans and a sweater. Some days I dress it up with heels.

Weekend look: I mostly run around in my gym gear. I love everything UnderArmour! My night look is usually skinny jeans, a cute top, and my Louboutins.

Body type: Hourglass.

All-time favorite bra: ChantelleVous et Moi Convertible T-Shirt Bra

Fashion icon: Kim Kardashian. I love her style.

Always splurge on: Makeup and a good handbag.

Personal mantra: “She believed she could so she did.” It’s one of my five tattoos.

Current obsession: Kickboxing.

Must-read mag: Shape.

Fun fact: I’m a part owner of thoroughbred racehorses. I’ve been around horses all my life and started riding when I was very young. Joe Franklin is one of our horses who just came back from running the Breeder’s Cup!

By Brooke Glassberg

Brooke is the editor of this here blog. In a previous life, she was an editor at Good Housekeeping and O, The Oprah Magazine. Brooke has written for Glamour, Travel+Leisure, New York Magazine and more. She’s into concerts, travel and her exceptionally adorable daughter and husband.

2 replies on “Style and Function: The Bralette Fashion Trend”

So, if you are busty and have to wear a lace bralette over your bra, whats the difference in wearing a lace camisole (like Hanky Panky) versus a bralette? I love this look and am considering trying the Cosabella Plus Size. I would never wear it alone, even over a bra but I like the look of a little bit of lace peeking out from my top.

A bralette is short; a lace camisole will cover your torso, too, if you prefer that look and feel. In the plus-size range, you may find more camisole options than bralettes, though Cosabella in plus size would be a great option for you, and we’ve heard many busty women find success with the Freya Fancies bralette. Check out the size charts as you go, as sizing varies widely from brand to brand. For further guidance, call a Bra Fit Expert at 877.728.9272. Good luck!

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