Bras vs Bralettes

Bras vs Bralettes

16th Feb 2018

When it comes to lingerie and bras, the styles and fashion options are endless. Bralettes and soft cup bras, despite being stocked in every major lingerie retailer forever, have recently burst into the limelight, bringing with them a wealth of body positivity and new fashion. But does that mean we should ditch the traditional underwired bra in favour of this fashion forward - and comfier - alternative? Or is it more complicated than that?


We recently published our Anatomy Of A Bra article that discusses how bras are traditionally designed to support busts and help posture with stiff cups, underwire, straps and hooks.

The perfect situation for bras

Bras are great for protecting your chest and back from excess strain and can help smooth out your figure. They are an essential in every woman’s wardrobe and have been used for well over 100 years in their modern form. When a bra is properly fitted, the band carries 80% of the weight of the chest and the shoulders carry the remainder. Bras help:

Show off cleavage:

Enhance the figure:

Prevent pain by providing support:

When should you opt for a bralette over a bra?

Low cut or difficult clothing

Sometimes, a bra just isn’t sexy enough to be seen underneath that low cut top or backless dress. This is where bralettes shine - they are made to be seen, with great, fun designs and fabrics to match any attire.

When running errands or having a day at home

Bras are generally stiffer than bralettes, so for a casual, relaxed day, the support may be too much.

Bralette and Soft Cup Bra

We’ve talked a lot about what a bralette is in our article Bras For Any Outfit, but to recap, a bralette is a non moulded, non-wired bra that has thin or lacy straps and can provide support for all cup sizes. It’s the underwired bra’s baby sister, usually made from lacy, stretch fabric. They are so fashionable that they can often be worn as outerwear.

A bralette is made to be seen, and the style is becoming a popular choice for women who wear more complicated clothing like strapless or backless garments.

Contrary to popular thought, women with fuller busts can still wear bralettes! They’ve evolved past the flimsy lace band that was popular in the late 2000s into a more supportive garment, perfect for any shape and any body type. Bralettes with cup shapes are popular choices for bigger bust sizes as they still provide some support for the back and shoulders.

The perfect situation for bralettes

Bralettes are perfect for any situation where your bra might be exposed. Whether it’s a...

flirty neckline:

a holey sweater:

a crop top:

or a crisp white shirt:

...there are so many styles out there that you’re sure to find a style for every occasion, colour, shape or cut.

When should you opt for a bra over a bralette?


Bralettes aren’t for every occasion. When you’re in need of extra support and love, you should absolutely opt for an undergarment built for support like an underwired bra.


If you’re looking for cleavage, a bralette is probably not your friend. DeBra’s stocks hundreds of push up bras that will help you get the best cleavage.

So, Bra vs Bralette. Who wins?

We hate to sound cliché, but both have their merits! With traditional bras becoming more fashion forward and bralettes filling the gap between braless and heavy scaffolding, we really believe that you should have both sitting in your lingerie drawer. For more information on how to store and take care of your bra, check out our article on bra care.

We like to compare bras to shoes. Pumps aren’t the best choice when your feet hurt and it’s raining, just like underwired bras may not be the best choice under a halterneck. It’s all about dressing for your body and your comfort. Bralettes can be the perfect addition to any wardrobe, along with your favourite underwires.

We’re coming into a new era of casual and complete body positivity, where women are embracing their body shapes without the restriction of traditional scaffolding and wires.

Have you opted for a bralette over a bra recently? Let us know what you think!

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