How to (Intentionally) Show Off Your Bra
Some bras are too pretty to conceal under multiple layers of clothing. That could be why fashion has had an obsession with sheer fabrics, naked dresses and gossamer layers in the last few years. Instead of occasionally revealing a flirty bra to a special someone, the trend has inspired adventurous fashionistas to show off their bra collection as they would a new skirt or pair of tights.
When it comes to putting underthings on display, there are a few considerations to take into account. First and foremost, choosing the right occasion to reveal a bra is key. Unless someone is a Victoria’s Secret Angel, exposing a bra in the workplace isn’t going to fly — even if it’s just a hint of strap or a peek of lace cups.
The second thing to remember is that it needs to look intentional. People shouldn’t be questioning whether the look is a wardrobe malfunction. So if you’re going to show off your bra, or even part of one, do it with confidence.
Lastly, the outfit needs to have balance. A visible bra already has plenty of sex appeal so it needs to be tempered in some way to prevent it from looking like you just stepped out of a bedroom. Longer layers, tougher fabrics and contrasting accessories can add dimension to the look and balance the boudoir sentiment. Similarly, do not underestimate the power of hair and makeup in creating a chic finish.
Of course, the trend is the perfect opportunity to showcase the daintiest, most ornate bras in your collection. Especially important with Valentine’s Day coming and all. It’s unlikely anyone is going to show off their stretched-out, faded T-shirt bra. But don’t go so far in the opposite direction that you choose too sexy of a style. This isn’t the time to champion #FreeTheNipple.
With those key points in mind, take a look at some visual inspiration straight from the streets of how to reveal a bra outside the bedroom.
Play a little peekaboo by belting the blazer of your favorite black suit. That way onlookers only get glimpses of your bra. Work in a statement hat and black boots FTW.
Leave the laces on your lace-up shirt loose to show off your bra. Polish off the pairing with jeans, a leather blazer, a scarf and animal-printed boots.
Team an open-knit sweater with a black bra and a black miniskirt. We’ll leave the shoes up to you.
Layer a dickey-like turtleneck over your best bra that way you only expose the sides. Add in baggy pants and white boots to round out the look.
Balance out your bra by wearing a blouse with statement sleeves. Tuck the scene-stealing shirt into your long skirt and finish things off with black pumps.
Go nude by wearing a flesh-colored bra under a chain mail-esque top. White pants and black boots wrap things up nicely.
Pair your bra with a textured leather set. FYI: This look also works with bikini tops.
Don’t forget about bralettes. Simply slip on a lacy black version over your favorite red dress. Then cap off the look with ankle-strap pumps.
A cut-out sweater is a discreet way to flaunt your bra. Just make sure the bra matches your skin tone. Complete the outfit with a high-waisted black leather skirt and quilted shoes.
Baggy pants and jackets are trending. Luckily, a visible bra is the ideal way to rein in the look. Try to coordinate your bold bra with your boots.
A plunging neckline is a great way to (subtly) flaunt your bra. Red leather pants and black pumps perfectly punctuate the look.
Looking to draw more attention to your bra? Sport a sheer dress on top, but make sure you belt said dress to showcase the reveal. Match your belt to your footwear and you’re good to go.
Cover up slightly by rocking a mesh top over your bra. A cropped motorcycle jacket, pinstripe pants and pointy footwear enhance the bad girl vibe.
Extra layers distract from a lacy bra in the best way possible. Combine the bra with a partially open button-down, a dark blazer, a miniskirt and combat boots.
Cropped blazers call for flashy bras. Suit pants and sparkly shoes up the ante.
Complement a blue suit with a sheer turquoise top over a black bra. Black platform boots add even more drama.
This outfit is still flirty without being overt. The high-waisted, wide-leg trousers and longer blazer offset the sultriness of the bra. The bright colors and clashing prints keep any sexy tones in check.
Leave it to Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert to demonstrate how to wear some of the trickier fashion trends. She is almost entirely covered up in this all-red ensemble, but it has plenty of fire thanks to the sheer blouse and patent midi skirt. Notice how she's wearing a neutral bra as opposed to red? It presents a softer, more understated finish and it's just as sexy as any other color.
Sports bras deserve to be showcased just as much as diaphanous underthings. Play into the low-key vibe with overalls. Leave one strap unbuckled so the bra is more visible. White sneakers and an anorak knotted around the waist bring more athleisure vibes.
Take the visible bra trend into colder temperatures by wearing a brightly colored knit bra on top of a slim sweater. It's key to choose a lightweight pullover to reduce bulk. Similarly, a wireless bandeau bra works best because you don't have to worry about wonky underwires and cups. Mom jeans and delicate heeled sandals round out the lo-fi look.
One of the easiest ways to make a visible bra look intentional is to coordinate it with the rest of your ensemble. A monochromatic outfit would work, but having two colors adds more dimension. Here, the white jumpsuit is offset with the black bra, belt and boots. On colder days, drape a coat over your shoulders. It's a fashion girl-approved trick that works regardless of the season.
Not sure where to begin? Leave the slip alone and pair an unlined dress with a plain bra. Choose a frock with lots of detail so it's not just about the visible bra, it's about the entire lewk. Just remember to wear something that provides enough coverage on the bottom.
Give a ladylike tweed jacket and calf-length skirt some sex appeal by choosing a patent skirt and wear an unlined lace blouse and flirty bra underneath the jacket. Restrict the look to an all-black color palette to allow the different fabrics to be fully appreciated.