Bralette vs Bra – Differences and How to Choose

I bet you have noticed that bralettes are getting more and more popular these days, especially among young people. If you ask friends why they shift to the bralette, their answers may differ, but comfortable and stylish are definitely the main reasons. Today we will dig into this trend of bralette wearing and help you make a better choice and update your lingerie collections.

hsia bralette

Part 1: What is a bralette?

All things in the world are invented because of needs. As they say, demand is always the best motivation. The invention of the bralette is no exception. A woman named Mary Phelps Jacobs found out that she couldn't find a proper undergarment that would give the dresses she wore clean lines. They wore corsets at that time, but they were too bulky, not suited for those dresses made from thin and smooth materials. but she couldn't find what she wanted in the market. So she made one with the help of her maid. It was simple with the use of ribbons and a few handkerchiefs only. Yet it actually was the first bralette ever recorded. She patented her design in 1914.

Nowadays bralette has evolved into a more mature version. it comes in different fabrics, colors, and designs. As "lette" to end with the word bra, it suggests a feeling of small, petite, and cute as well. It is true that most objects that are small look cuter. Unlike bra give people a sense of intimacy, the bralette is more casual, relaxed, less formal. Women feel more comfortable talking about it and more inclined to show them in public. Visibility is not a problem here. Fashion elements such as floral or embroidered details, lace, and mesh added to it, making it more like outerwear like a crop-top than an undergarment.

hsia lace bralette

Comfort is another obvious advantage to the bralette. A bralette is not structured like a bra. It is wire-free and non-padded. It allows your breast to show the natural shapes and free you from all the restrictions of structured molded cups.  More or less, it reflects a more casual and relaxed lifestyle these days.

Part 2: What are the differences between a bra and a bralette?

Knowing the difference between a bra and a bralette gives us a clearer idea when it comes to choosing. Bras on one hand serve many purposes. It comes out as demi, push-up, balconette, strapless convertible bra, plunge bra, etc, which functional attributes simply can't be replaced by a bralette. Its calculated structured cups help carry the heavy breasts and resist the inevitable gravitational pull.

hsia unlined underwire bra

On the other hand, the bralette is a new way of life. We may not like the idea of one size for all, but we like the fact that bralette is an easy choice, with no bulky padding, no irritating wires, suit for most occasions. Although for curvy women with larger breasts, they don't provide much support.

We will admit that they are created to satisfy people's different needs.

hsia outfit match

2.1 The pros and cons of wearing a bralette

Let's summarize and make a list of the pros and cons of wearing a bralette.


  • Price. Since bralette is unstructured, with less coverage, wire-free, and non-padded, it saves a good deal of fabrics, hardwired material, and shortens the process of production. Less cost means a cheaper price on the market.

  • Washing. Hand washing an underwire padded bra every day can be pain-taking. With bralette, it is easier, throw them in a washing bag and let the machine do the cleaning.

  • Size. Unlike bra with 24-48 different sizes, most bralettes only have the basic S/M/L size, which makes it less tricky to determine size. It won't make a big deal if it is a bit smaller or bigger because the fabrics are more stretchy and flexible, and the cups are not restricted and firm.

  • Styles. Stylish bralettes keep us addicted and tempt us to buy more to match our outfits.

  • Comfort. Comfort is the main reason why we turn to the bralette. We need to give our breasts a rest from all the pretentiousness and restrictions. We are comfortable and confident to be ourselves and for our breasts to remain the appearance of their natural shapes.

  • Travel. Women like to go light when traveling. you don't want to spend too much time picking a bra amid a packed traveling schedule. Also, it feels a lot more comfortable with a light bra when you are forced to sit long hours on a plane or bus with limited space.

  • Period. The once-a-month period experience is painful for most of us. The swollen breasts are bigger than usual making the bras tighter and suffocating. It is better to put on a bralette to give them more space to stretch and breathe.

  • On other special occasions. Pregnancy, nursing, or surgery are all occasions where we need a bralette. comfortable, lightweight, with no extra press on the swollen breast tissues or the recovering scars.

hsia seamless bralette


  • Support. The lack of support is the most complained point about a bralette. for women with larger busts,  a bralette with little support is the least they need. the capability of support is what is the most desired quality in a bra. So if you have such concerns, just stick with the traditional supportive bras or find some specifically designed bralette-like substitute.

  • Coverage. Most bralettes have less coverage. women with fuller busts may have problems with side spillage in a bralette. Also, bralettes are usually non-padded, which means there is a good chance of nipple showing. for this concern, you can consider using cohesive nipple covers.

  • Size. Bralette has limited sizes. For those with less standard size like big on the cups, small on the band, or big on the band and small on the cup, the bralette sizing is a bit awkward. The cups may need a size down while the band may need a size up.

  • Adjustability. Many bralettes are designed with the perception of simplicity. They are easy to wear without excessive functional adornment. But on some occasions, when you desperately need to shorten your straps or bands, pull-over-head bralettes won't suffice. if you want to be able to adjust the bralette to a certain length or tightness, you better find those with hooks and eyes closures on the band and adjusters on the straps.

  • Shape. If you are not satisfied with the natural shape of the breast, you are afraid that they would appear saggy, wide-set, and wired-shaped, then you better avoid the bralette and seek a traditional molded bras that can offer you rounder and smoother shapes.

hsia different kinds of bras

2.2 Are bralettes better than bras?

We should keep in mind that neither one of them is created to replace the other. They are invented to suit different needs and occasions. Many would think bralettes are healthier than a traditional bra due to their disrestricted design. But bralette can also be a poor choice for some people. If the heavy breasts are not well supported, not only would they become saggier, but they are likely to cause back pain or neck pain in the long term.

We won't say which is the best. Good or bad is relatively speaking. On some occasions, it can be better surely, at other times, it can be worse. So be wise with your choices. Take size, occasions, preferences, and outfits into consideration.

hsia supportive bras

Part 3: How to choose a bra or a bralette?

As I mentioned above, you should take all the conditions, pros, and cons into consideration before you rush to a decision. Here I will introduce several bras and bralettes styles to give you some insight.

3.1 Best picks on bra

Hsia's stylish lace unlined underwired bras

With the summer season coming and the weather is heating up, you may want to avoid bulky bras and select those airy and lightweight ones. I would suggest you take Hsia's unlined lace underwired full coverage bras. It is as stylish and light as a bralette, but it is also full coverage and underwired. You would feel both comfortable and supported.

hsia supportive bra full coverage

Hsia's light molded basic everyday bras.

If simplicity and functions are the most important to you. Hsia's everyday molded bras are your best choices. They are made of top-level materials and very well made. The wires used are flexible yet firm, providing just the right amount of support. You won't regret owning one.

hsia molded bras

Hsia's cut-and-sewn cotton-padded bras.

This type of bra provides you with maximum comfort and support. The cups are three-parts constructed to better conform to your curves. Also, the cotton paddings are so soft and sweat-wicking. You would need this kind of cuddliness and secureness to get you through a tough day.

hsia lightly padded bra

3.2 Best picks on bralette

Hsia's triangled lace bralette.

A typical wire-free, non-padded bralette with triangle cups. Middle-size women can also try. The lace and mesh used are stretchy, yet firm. they can hold the breast of A-d cups with ease. Its floral details are also very appealing, making you feel pretty all day.

hsia triangle bralette

Hsia's seamless bralette with removable padding and adjustable straps.

I personally love them and have introduced Hsia's seamless bras to many of my friends. They are so soft like your second skin. You can wear them all day long without fighting the urge to take them off as you did with other unfitted bras. I strongly recommend it. Also, the removable padding, adjustable straps, and enhanced under-band are all the winning points. I bet you will fall in love as soon as you try it on.

hsia seamless super comfortable bra