The Rise of the Bralette

For decades, women wore bras with wires, padding and hook-and-eye closures as the standard of feminine beauty. But the rise of the bralette — a thin, soft style that eliminates all wires and often has no lining — has made the once-restrictive undergarment something to be celebrated.

Whether it’s worn under a blazer or thrown over a tank top, the soft, stretchy bralette is an everyday staple that offers a rare feeling of comfort and lightness. The bralette “makes the bra, a longtime instrument of bodily confinement and discomfort and oppression, into a site of self-expression and frivolity,” as one Slate colleague puts it. And it’s a perfect fit for many people, especially if they’re not into the cleavage-boosting uplift and shaping that comes with traditional bras.

While bralettes are great for most people, they do have some drawbacks. For starters, they don’t provide as much support as a regular bra, which can leave larger busts feeling a little less secure. Moreover, as they are made without a mould and padding, they don’t offer much in the way of nipple coverage, meaning that those with more voluptuous boobs may need to invest in some stick-on nipple covers.

That said, many lingerie brands have taken note of the popularity of the breezy piece and are making bralettes in more sizes than ever. From A to DD+, there’s an option for everyone who wants to enjoy the soft and flirty look. In fact, Cosabella recently launched a line that goes up to 3X (approximately a triple D) and has also collaborated with luxury plus-size e-tailer Eloquii on a collection of soft and delicate compression lace bamboo bralette

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