What Is a Bralette?
Firstly, a little lingo lowdown. A bralette is basically a completely unstructured bra. A typical bralette will be unlined, unpadded and wire-free. Usually made of lace, with an elastic band to hold it all together at the bottom. Now, you might be thinking - ‘that just sounds like a non-wired bra, what’s the difference?’ But bear with us. Even the non-wired bra’s you will typically find in shops will have some form of padding. Something a little more solid and supportive than a piece of lace. What we have with bralettes is something completely freeing – an unstructured bra that doesn’t retain a 3D shape when off the body. Bralettes are also designed to be worn more ‘obviously’ than your average bra. They have become a fashion statement in their own right and we are seeing more and more women showing off their bralettes with pride.
That all adds up to a big, scared gulp from me, as a woman with plus sized boobs. I don’t know about you.
The Positives of Bralettes
Well, one of the bigger pros for plus sized ladies is that most bralettes are made with less fabric than a traditional bra, which means they can be made for less and sold for less. That’s good news when plus sized bras tend to run you higher in the price department as well. They are also incredibly comfortable – you won’t find much like it without going full commando. If you’re still struggling to find a bra that fits comfortably, a bralette will give you that free, barely-know-you’re-wearing-it feeling. They are also incredibly stylish and can leave you feeling sexy and fashionable, no matter what you wear with them.
On a slightly less sexy note, they are great for the hotter months (particularly if you suffer from soggy bra’s from the dreaded ‘boob sweat’) and if you suffer from swollen breasts during PMS. For that reason, they’re also popular with pregnant women and nursing mums, because they are stretchy, easy to move around and will move around with you without causing all of that discomfort. They’re also great for post-surgery when you need to cover up comfortably.
And the Negatives
Of course, like everything in life, there are some negatives. The main one for us bigger ladies is that they are not designed to shape, lift or support your boobs in any way. They are a purely fashionable choice, with little to no practical use from that perspective. While that’s fine for those with smaller chests, the more well-endowed of us need a bit more support. So if you’re looking for something structured to support, round and smooth, a bralette might not be what you’re after.
You can also struggle to find them in the bigger sizes. Most mainstream bralettes that you can buy in the high street only cater for cup sizes A-C, so you have to do a bit of hunting to find one that will fit a bigger size. They are also not the best for coverage and shaping – which for some people is great! But if you need a bit more material under your arms and across your cleavage to feel truly covered, then you might be left a bit short here! They also aren’t all that adjustable – most bands are simply strips of elastic or lace fabric (depending on your style), with no room to adjust up or down. So if a large is just a tiny bit too small but the next size up swamps you, there is no flexibility in the sizing to allow you to extend or tighten them up.
But what all of this does signify is the beginning of a whole new body positivity movement – one that doesn’t focus on being the ‘eight shape’ everywhere, but instead focusses on feeling comfortable, free and sexy in your own, natural skin. At Elle Courbee, we’re currently looking to expand our range – and would love to know if you think plus sized bralettes should be included! Let us know by leaving a comment below, or getting in touch with us today.