Which bralettes are best?
If you can never manage to find a bra that’s comfortable enough to wear all day, it may be time to try a less conventional option. Bralettes are an excellent lightweight alternative to bras that make you feel like you’re not wearing anything at all, so they’re comfortable enough to sleep in.
Unlike traditional bras, bralettes don’t feature much padding and underwire. They still offer some support, though the exact amount depends on the design, what you plan to wear them for and the size of your breasts. If you’re searching for a high-quality, seamless bralette with excellent coverage, the Calvin Klein Invisibles Wirefree Triangle Bralette is the top option.
What to know before you buy a bralette
Bralette vs. bra
It’s essential to understand the differences between a bralette and a bra so you know if the former will suit your needs.
A bralette doesn’t have the same structure that a traditional bra does. Bras usually feature underwire and padding in the cups, which is why they can be uncomfortable to wear all day long. The lack of structure definitely makes a bralette more comfortable, but it also means that it doesn’t provide the same support that a conventional bra does. This can be an issue for large busts, so it’s important to look for a bralette with foam padding if you have large breasts.
Bralettes don’t have cup sizes like traditional bras, so you can’t just look for your usual bra size when shopping. Depending on the brand, most bralette sizes range from XXS or XS to 3X. These sizes do roughly correspond to traditional bust measurements, though.
- If you have a 30- to 32-inch bust, an XS bralette usually works.
- If you have a 34- to 36-inch bust, opt for a small bralette.
- If you have a 38- to 40-inch bust, choose a medium bralette.
- If you have a 42- to 44-inch bust, try a large bralette.
- If you have a 46- to 48-inch bust, a 1X bralette is usually a good fit.
- If you have a 50- to 52-inch bust, a 2X bralette can work well.
- If you have a 54- to 56-inch bust, look for a 3X bralette.
Keep in mind that bralette sizes are also affected by your cup size. In most cases, if you wear a C cup or larger, you’ll want a larger bralette than someone who wears an A or B cup. For example, if you wear a 40C bra, you’ll likely want a large bralette rather than a medium.
However, because sizing isn’t standard across all bralette brands, you should always consult the size guide for a particular bralette before choosing a size.
Bralettes are made of similar materials to those used for bras. You can find options made of cotton, nylon and lace, but most features blends that also contain Lycra or another stretchy fabric to provide a better fit. The best material for a bralette really depends on how you plan to use it, though, so keep that in mind when shopping.
All bralettes are not created equal, so it’s important to consider how you plan to wear your bralette when trying to find the right option.
- Fashion bralettes are designed to peek out from under clothing or be worn on their own. As such, they usually provide more coverage, with many resembling a camisole. However, most fashion bralettes have a cropped design, so their hem hits above your navel. You can find them in a variety of materials, including knits like crochet and macrame.
- Lounge bralettes are generally meant for wearing around the house or when running quick errands. They usually don’t have much padding and only feature a layer or two of fabric. A lounge bralette can work well for small breasts that don’t require much support. They can also work well for sleep for all bust sizes.
- Athletic bralettes are meant to be worn when working out or playing sports, so they’re similar to sports bras. They often feature fabrics with moisture-wicking properties to keep you cool and dry when active and usually feature some padding to provide support as you move. Some athletic bralettes can be worn on their own, while others are best worn under a T-shirt or tank top.
- Lingerie bralettes are usually lacy and feature plunging necklines to highlight your cleavage. They’re made of delicate fabrics like lace, silk or satin and are generally meant to be worn in the bedroom.
A bralette should be more comfortable than a conventional bra, so finding the right fit is crucial.
Because most of a bralette’s support comes from its band, it’s essential to choose a style with a band that sits flat over your ribcage and doesn’t ride up. You can check that the band isn’t too tight by raising your arms over your head. The bralette is too tight if the band rides up, so you should go up a size.
When it comes to a bralette’s cups, make sure that your breasts fit completely inside them. If your breasts spill over the cups, the bralette is too small. If there are gaps around the cups, opt for a smaller size.
Make sure that a bralette’s straps don’t dig or pinch into your shoulders either. If you have a larger bust, you may prefer a bralette with thicker straps so they don’t chafe your shoulders. At the same time, the straps shouldn’t be so loose that you can pull them more than an inch above your shoulders, though, or it won’t provide enough support.
What to look for in a quality bralette
You can find bralettes with a range of necklines to work under nearly all tops.
- Crew necklines have a rounded shape that covers a good portion of the chest. Bralettes with this neckline are usually ideal for wearing on their own.
- Scoop necklines are similar to crew necks, but they fall a little lower and have a U-shape that exposes the collarbone. Many lounge bralettes feature a scoop neckline.
- Halter necklines have straps that go around your neck, so your back is uncovered.
- Plunging necklines are extremely low to expose more cleavage. Because this neckline has a sexier look, you can find it on many lingerie bralettes.
Many bralettes don’t have any type of closure, so you simply pull them on and off over the head. However, some do feature closures similar to those on a traditional bra.
- Those with back clasps feature hooks that connect at the back with hook-and-eye closures.
- Those with front-clasp closures feature hooks that close in the front between the breasts.
- Hook-and-loop closures aren’t very common on bralettes, but they can be easier to fasten if you have pain or limited mobility in your hands.
How much you can expect to spend on a bralette
Most bralettes cost between $10 and $80. For basic cotton bralettes or those that don’t provide much support, you’ll usually pay between $10 and $25. Bralettes with enough support for larger busts or those with sexy lingerie or fashion elements generally range from $25 to $40. For sexy, elegant lingerie bralettes, though, you’ll likely spend $50 to $80.
Can I wear a bralette in place of a bra every day?
A. If you’re comfortable in a bralette, you can definitely wear it daily instead of a traditional bra. Bralettes typically work best for small to medium busts, though, because they usually don’t offer the most support. If you have larger breasts, you may want to save your bralettes for certain occasions rather than wear them every day.
Are bralettes dryer-safe?
A. Always check the care label on your bralettes to be sure, but most are made of materials that can break down when exposed to heat. It’s best to hang your bralettes up to dry.
What’s the best bralette to buy?
What you need to know: Featuring a simple design, this comfortable seamless bralette has all the style you’d expect from Calvin Klein and works well as an everyday bra.
What you’ll love: It features a lightweight fit that stays comfortable all day. Its triangular neckline works well under a range of tops without being visible. It features a lining to offer some modesty without feeling too bulky.
What you should consider: The bottom of the band can sometimes roll up. Some of the padding may be visible through clothing.
Top bralette for the money
What you need to know: This bralette offers a seamless design and thin straps that make you feel like you’re wearing nothing at all while also boasting an affordable price tag.
What you’ll love: It’s made of smooth, comfortable fabric and features a tag-free design, making it ideal for sensitive skin. The microfiber material is also highly breathable. It’s extremely easy to put on and take off.
What you should consider: Some buyers report the sizes are inaccurate. The removable cups can sometimes look lumpy under clothing too.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This high-quality bralette provides full coverage and maximum comfort, making it an excellent option for both daily wear and low-impact workouts.
What you’ll love: It features an extra-wide back strap, so it provides greater support than other bralettes. It offers a lightweight, breathable feel, thanks to its nylon/spandex blend. It comes in a large number of colors.
What you should consider: The cups’ seams can sometimes unravel after just a few washes.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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