We Deserve to Wear These Perfect Bralettes All the Time in 2018

I was once like you. I once wore bras every day. I was once held prisoner by underwire and padding. But now I am free.

Bralettes are, of course, not new; they’ve been on trend for a few years now, as well as looks centered around them peeking out. But for some reason I thought that bralettes couldn’t be for me, and maybe you did too. Until recently, when one of my friends inspired me to wear exclusively bralettes instead of bras — and I’ve never felt better about my boobs. I like bralettes because they’re light, they’re fashionable and they allow for a lot of freedom of movement and comfort. Also, if you travel a lot like I do, they’re way easier to pack than traditional bras. Plus, they’re usually way more affordable than regular bras. Back when I wore regular bras, I could barely buy a couple a year; the most I ever had at one time was five and one was my “special bra.” Now, I have twice that many bralettes. Tragically, bralettes won’t work for every outfit or every person, especially for those of us with a larger bust. For the times when you can rock a bralette, though, these options are the perfect place to start!


Plus Size Center-to-Masc Bralettes

The great thing about bralettes is the huge diversity in styles that they come in. For plus size folks like me, but more center or masc in style or gender than me, you can get the Fishnet Seamless Racerback Bralette, the Keyhole Longline Seamless Bralette, the Curvy Studio Women’s Sporty Cotton Bralette, the High-Neck Strappy Seamless Bralette, the Seemless Racerback Bralette or the Keyhole High-Neck Seamless Bralette. Again, these are plus size options, but they might not provide the support you need if you have larger boobs.


Straight Size Center-to-Masc Bralettes

If you’re not plus size, you’re probably more likely to find success, to be honest. You’ve got a ton of options. In a lot of ways, bralettes are like sports bras with more style and a little less function. I’d suggest the Honey Beige Women’s Seamless Bralette, the Super Soft Cotton Women’s Racerback Bralette, the Abercrombie and Fitch High Neck Bralette With Logo, the Seemless Racerback Bralette or the Calvin Klein Modern Cotton Logo Bralette.


You Could Honestly Wear These as a Top

These bralettes are super stylish — so stylish some might even say, that you could wear them without a shirt. Look how great these look! Some great velvet options include the Crushed Velvet Bralette and the Pieces Velvet Bralette. Or if velvet’s not your thing, I’d go with the Bralette with Ruffle Hem or the Serene Surroundings Lace Bralette. There are lots of options, and all of them are great!


Femme As Fuck

I love bralettes like this because they’re so cute and so sexy and so beautiful. Once I started buying them, I struggled to stop. I just want all the cute and pretty underwear in the world. It makes me feel so great about my body! Some options I like include the Long Line Racerback Lace BraletteLace Plunge BraletteHalter at Me Lace BraletteElegance Underneath Lace Bralette in BlackAnn Summer Wynne Bralette and the Monki Lace Cross Back Bralette.


Bralettes For Nerds

The only thing I like more than bralettes are nerds. For your comic book nerds, there’s the Captain America High Neck Bralette and the Spider-Man High Neck Bralette. Or, there’s this cute Star Wars High Neck Bralette for your sci-fi nerds and this cute Chonies Ghostie Logo Cropped Bralette for Ghostbusters fans or just fans of spooky stuff.


Look How Sexy These Are

Like I said, I love how sexy bralettes can be. Just look at these bralettes! I want them all! I want my girlfriends to wear them all! Check out the Marina Delicate Lace Tie Bralette, the New Look Lace and Strapping Bralette, the Lipsy Zanna Lace Bralette, the Eyelash Lace Crop Bralette and last, but not least, the Effie Lace Halter Bralette. 

Mey Valdivia Rude is a bisexual Latina trans woman living in Los Angeles. She's a writer, comic consultant and a trans activist. She's a bruja, a femme, a pop princess and she loves comic books, witches, dinosaurs and crying. She has a cat named Sawyer and a very successful twitter.

Mey has written 575 articles for us.

23 Comments

      • People make bras… with shaped cups? Is that a USA thing?

        (Judging from the disclaimer about bralettes not working for everyone, I’m assuming they wouldn’t get along with my H-cup breasts anyway, but if I’m wrong about this I’d like to know what I’m missing out on!)

        • I’m not from the USA, so, no.

          I suspect there’s some misunderstanding here concerning the word “shaped”. I’ve bought bras in at least three different countries in Western Europe and never come across a bra without a shaped cup. I’ve sewn bras using modern patterns and 1940s patterns. The cups have always been shaped. That is basically the only way they can receive a breast without lots of weird gaping (woven fabric) or uniboob (stretch fabric) going on. You can’t put a 3D object (breast) into something flat and expect it to be smooth or supportive.

          Shaping is done with anything from strategic seams to weird foam moulds. The reason women’s silhouettes look different in the 1950s and 2000s is partly because cups are shaped differently. A bullet bra consists of differently cut parts and placed seams than a contemporary t-shirt bra, so the cups are shaped differently.

          Bralettes tend to not have such shaping, even if there are individual breast covers (“cups”). Even the most basic shaping, a functional seam down the middle, is kind of borderline bra territory.

  1. HELLO EVERYONE I am delighted to report that the Old Navy longline lace bralette is goddamn wonderful and WORKS on my mushy Beanie Baby physique. I normally wear XL at Old Navy and 40C in normal bras (42B if I could ever find it) and I take an XL in the bralette. I started with black and went back for the grey.

    I can’t be bothered to post a picture from my phone but if you email megan dot stacey at gmail dot com I will send literally any of you a picture of my boobs in it.

    • We are size twins and this is useful information! Unfortunately I may be on the wrong continent to take advantage of it.

      I’m not always 100% sure of the difference between a masculine of centre bralet and a crop top, but I’ve always had good luck with Sloggi Sensual Fresh tops even though they are not technically plus size.

  2. I get so jealous of the bralettes.

    I’m trans and despite 2 years of HRT I’ve only gotten up to a small A cup. On a 38 inch band size that looks like I have no boobs at all. Which doesn’t do well for my passing.

    So to get me up to at least look like I have breasts I wear 38B with shaped cups, underwire, pushup, and then I still stuff my bra with pushup pads and despite all that…. There’s still gap in the cup. But at least it doesn’t show lines and looks like I have boobs under my shirt.

    So I’m very jealous of the easy throw on, comfortable cheaper option

    • i’m also a 38A and i really like the true&co true body bra (not the “lift,” the regular). it’s a really simple comfortable bralette but it has pads in it. makes me look at least half a cup bigger. (you might also be able to slide additional padding into it if you wanted, since the pads are removable)

      • My short waisted 36A self was just about to point that little fact out.

        Some of them have remove able pads with alot of give the cavity/fabric.

        Like you could transplant some of that hardcore Wonderbra jello-puddding thangs in some of the bralette ya just gotta check ’em out.
        It’s magic.

        Also uh I don’t know about the rest of the IBTC but sometime I just need a little something to keep the wee booblets warm. They’re just too small to fend for themselves in this cold, cold world.

  3. This is GREAT. I also had a similar revelation this year: if taking off a wired bra at the end of a work day is like getting out of prison, maybe I should not be wearing a prison?

    For fellow large-boobed ladies (although I don’t know what their international shipping is like) Bravissimo is amazing. I have the Freya Fancies bralette in black, and neon-blue (size M for 30-32 FF-G). It is comfortable and cute and just supportive enough. Not ready for free-boobin’ yet.

    Thanks for the round up Mey, now my wishlist is miles long!

  4. I read the Pieces Velvet Bralette as Pisces Velvet and felt soo validated for a sec, like FINALLY there is a bralette that gets my Pisces need for plush sensory comfort and dreamy romantic literally-soft femme vibes.

  5. Oh! If only, Mey!

    Like others here I’m a member the large and heavy bosom brigade. Not unlike a “windjammer” under full sail, so as much as I want to believe it’s not going to happen. Ah well, maybe in another life.

  6. I really like bralettes but the one problem I’ve seen is that because the straps usually meet towards the center in the back they sit much closer to your collarbone then regular bra straps. Meaning the straps are always showing for me in tons of shirts. Anyone else have this problem and/or know of bralettes that don’t do that?

  7. Thank you Mey! Fellow small-boobed enbies: do these work as a boob-containment device? I don’t usually bind because I love breathing (jk) and I have been unable to find a sports bra that is comfortable and doesn’t have extra tiddy inserts (because god forbid I do sports without being sexy!)

    I’d love to have something on hand that doesn’t feel like i’m wearing the bra from my teen years, is easy to hide under clothing, and will provide just enough compression when i need boob privacy (ie. stopping my puffy nips from poking through my shirt).

    Does anyone know if these will do the trick? Thank you!

    • I was also skeptic of binding since I get stress-related breathing issues anyway, and I looked long and hard for a decent sports-bra-thing that works for my body-dysphoric needs. I now use the “Adidas Women’s Techfit Bra” and I am quite happy with it. Also, it looks okay and comes in a bunch of colours and patterns. You can find it on Amazon or basically most other sports clothing retailers and it is not that expensive. There is also a similar product by Under Armour that on my body bound even more effectively, but I found the Adidas one more comfortable.
      Anyway, good luck in finding the right binding solution for your body!

  8. My good Sexy underwear and bras got to the point of “well at least they’re clean”. When what you have becomes utilitarian and no longer cute clean is all that counts. BUT then along came the bralette, way cute and holy s**t comfy.

    I don’t know where the bralette has been all my life but I am so glad I discovered them. My underthings have become cute and I feel sexy and good about my body once again.

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