Since innerwear became au courant in the 1990s (thank you, Calvin Klein!), the fashion set has become more open to wearing pieces that people least expect to be worn in public—like say, slip dresses and bras. One piece that’s been around is the bralette. Whether or not you’re into a little exposure, let your sartorial sensibilities indulge this bit of objective judgment: The bralette is pretty versatile. It can be worn alone or underneath a shirt or jacket. It could even be used as a subtle accent piece underneath sheer dresses for evening affairs (if appropriate, of course). It could be worn with shorts, joggers, mom jeans, and anything else, really. Think of it as a reliable item for when you want to add a sensuous or feminine touch.
Want to give it a chance? Check out these 10 best designer bralettes to shop now:
1. Alexander McQueen Satin Bralette
There are tons of bralette designs but the triangular shape is the safest. It looks more like fancy innerwear from the 20th century than your ordinary bra, and it’s even better when it comes in luxurious fabrics, like this satin one from Alexander McQueen. What’s so great about it is how the hem falls right near the ribcage, a very flattering length.
Ivory Satin Bralette, P65,141, ALEXANDER MCQUEEN, net-a-porter.com
2. Karl Lagerfeld Lace Bandeau Bralette
If you aren’t comfortable with revealing your chest too much, you can always go for higher necklines and chaste cuts, like this bandeau one from Karl Lagerfeld. What elevates this from drab to fab is the semi-sheer fabric, so you can get away with wearing this on casual days when you feel like keeping it subtle.
Lace Bandeau Bralette, $80 (approximately P3838), KARL LAGERFELD, farfetch.com
3. Dion Lee Density Bralette
Sure, bralettes make you feel pretty amazing, but if we’re being practical here, what happens on days when we end up food-binging? Especially when that salad during brunch was so good or the popcorn during that movie was so addictive. (Food is our other favorite F-word.) It’s a good thing there are longer designer bralettes that mimic tank tops, like this Dion Lee piece. Snug and cozy in stretchy fabric that will keep that food baby at bay.
Density Bralette, $139 (approximately P6669), DION LEE, farfetch.com
4. Khaite Eda Cashmere Bralette Top
For the finicky among us who aren’t into bralettes “because they look like bras,” fret not because there’s a range of designer bralettes that make use of more sophisticated fabrics. Lots of brands are using knitted fabrics like cashmere to make it feel more like intentional outerwear. This design from Khaite comes in neutrals that will look very sophisticated mixed with smart casual pieces.
Eda Cashmere Top, $540 (approximately P25,909), KHAITE, farfetch.com
5. Versace Trésor Bralette Top
If your style is eclectic and adventurous, why don’t you try a printed bralette? Versace prints are always bold, and they do seasonal prints like this sea-inspired one. It’s playful chantilly lace will elevate everything from pencil skirts, black trousers, or even white linen pants for when you actually head out to sea.
Trésor Pinstripe-print silk bralette top, $778 (approximately P37,328), VERSACE, farfetch.com
6. Dries Van Noten Halter Neck Bralette
Is your style laidback? Very chill Los Angeles type? Or are you the urban citizen who always talks of the beach and sunset picnics? If you’ve answered yes, then perhaps a playful designer bralette is for you. This knitted one from Dries Van Noten is fun but not severe with its multi-colored stripes and halter neckline. It’ll look great with jeans (for when you’re in the city) and an actual bikini bottom (for when you’re on vacation).
Nadia striped knitted halter neck bralette, P11,489, DRIES VAN NOTEN, net-a-porter.com
7. M Missoni Metallic Knitted Bralette
The beauty of longer designer bralettes is that you can get away with calling it a cropped top. This makes it easier to wear since you could match it with anything and not have to cover up to offset all the skin (if that’s something you would do). But that doesn’t make them boring! Case in point: This fabulous M Missoni bralette is slightly metallic, plus the ribbed effect adds visual dimension for an elevated look.
Metallic Printed Bralette, $275 (approximately P13,195), M MISSONI, farfetch.com
8. Gucci Underwired Halter Neck Bra
If you’re looking for a bralette on the provocative side that’s still posh, the best come in black and have unexpected, contemporary details. Lace? Too common! Look no further because this Gucci one has your name on it (if you’re willing to splurge, that is). Using underwire is ingenious after all and doesn’t make it look tacky—it gives it structure—plus, that crossover strap down the front gives a sexy, rock ‘n’ roll touch. So great with unbuttoned shirts!
Embroidered stretch-tulle underwired halterneck bra and briefs set, $958.84 (approximately P46,005), GUCCI, net-a-porter.com
9. Saint Laurent Buckle-Fastening Top
In case you haven’t noticed yet, you can layer lots of things with bralettes. It’ll challenge your creativity! Black or white bralettes may be the easiest ones to style, but something in leather? Even more possibilities. What’s nice about leather is the upscale treatment it’ll give your outfit. This leather goodie from Saint Laurent would look great with a (Le Smoking) suit jacket, a blazer, or on top of a buttondown.
Buckle-Fastening Top, $1782 (approximately P85,837), SAINT LAURENT, farfetch.com
10. Simone Rocha Crystal-Embellished Beaded Bralette
Sure, some designer bralettes amplify your look with styling tricks but some pieces just shine on their own. And they look ten times more impeccable when styled well. Give your everyday look a high fashion touch with this beaded stunner from Simone Rocha. It’s an intricate melange of crystals and paillettes, made functional with the adjustable straps in the back. Great for evening wear but hey, no one’s stopping you from wearing it during the day, too!
Crystal-embellished beaded bralette, P52,639, SIMONE ROCHA, net-a-porter.com
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