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What Is a Bralette?

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The Difference Between a Bra and A Bralette

So, exactly what is a bralette? We're diving deep into answering the question for you. The bras we know and hate are most often viewed as the lingerie solution – they’ve got lace, underwires to shape your breasts, foam padding or foam power bras to push your breasts up, and let’s not forget the occasional tiny bow.

What bras lack, however, is multi-functional comfort. If bras were comfortable, we wouldn’t look forward to taking them off. They would take us from work to the gym to our couch with zero complaints about jabbing wires, tight bands and straps that keep slipping. This begs the question: Why is it that being comfortable and being cute seem mutually exclusive?

Thanks to the bralette, they’re not.

By definition, bralettes are lightweight, wire-free bras designed for comfort and function. They’re a relief to women who are tired of being poked and jabbed by underwires and the perfect first bra for teens. But how can you really spot the difference when browsing online bra companies? We’ve answered your top questions about bralettes to make finding your new favorite one as easy as possible – even when shopping online.

How Is a Bralette Different from A Bra?

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Bralettes are most often wireless and lack the thick foam padding some bras have – but there are also unlined bras and wire-free bras, so where does the line between bra and bralette really lie?

Bralettes are designed to shape you rather than force you into a shape that is not naturally you. Ads for bralettes are most often focused on being comfortable in your own skin rather than enhancing your natural shape.

Being that they’re designed to show your natural curves, they do tend to lack the support that many bras have. But without support, what’s the point, and why should you wear a garment that doesn’t lend the same amount of support?

We’re glad you asked.

What Is the Purpose of A Bralette?   

For women who wear a smaller bra size (think a small D cup and under), bralettes offer a level of functionality that many bras have yet to achieve. Most have no back clasp, wires or padding so they move with you much like a sports bra does, but with one added bonus: no compression. Wearing your new bralette will feel more like a gentle hug, secure but never uncomfortable.

Bralettes are not meant for high impact activities like running (unless you’re a card carrying member of the IBTC) but they work perfectly for low impact activities like yoga and weightlifting, and will remain comfortable throughout your longest days at work.

Who Should Wear a Bralette?

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The real answer is anyone can wear one. Bralette outfits have been having a moment as the latest body positive trend and we are here for it. But if you’re wondering how one will work best for you, here are a few examples:

If you are a member of the itty bitty titty committee, bralettes are your best friendThey’re the wireless bras designed FOR your small breasts, with no gaping cups or stiff foam padding.

If you’re in search of your first bra or are a mom looking for the best bra for teens, unpadded bralettes with nipple concealing petals are the ideal solution.

If you are in-between sizes, a bralette is most likely to fit better as they’re often made from stretchy materials like buttery-soft nylons.

Can a Bralette Replace a Bra?

Absa-freaking-lutely! In fact, the very first modern bra was made of two silk handkerchiefs and a pink ribbon. The best trends always come back around, and we think unpadded bralettes are here to stay. They're comfortable enough to sleep in and, when made from quality materials, they’re tough enough to get you through the longest days no matter what.

Okay, but Are Bralettes Good for You?

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Somewhere along the line, a rumor spread that if you don’t wear a bra, your boobs will sag. Ahem, marketing ploy, anyone? Bralettes are here to bust more than a few myths about bras – starting with the fact that there’s no evidence to support the claim that padded underwire bras prevent saggy boobs.

Unpadded bralettes are easy to move in, supportive without compression and – it’s worth mentioning again - comfortable enough to sleep in if that’s your jam. There’s no polyurethane foam, no underwires to poke you, and certainly no scratchy back clasps.

The purpose of a bralette is to support you throughout your day, not with underwires or padding or tight bands but with general comfort. What a concept, right? While browsing online bra stores for your new favorite bralette can feel like a maze, we’re here to help you find the perfect fit. Shop the Elli Bralette, and if you have any questions that we didn’t answer here, contact us.



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