Fashion Bralettes – Don’t Believe The Hype

Bras. Skivvies. Lovejugs. Intimates. Boob cups. A modern mystery to all women (and some men). Are they really essential? Will I ever find the right size? Why are they so expensive?

Well girls, that’s honestly the least of your worries once you’ve opened up the can of worms which is bralettes – or ‘fashion bras’. You know the ones I’m talking about. They’re often made of cheap lace, with thin straps and (let’s be honest,) they probably look much better than they feel.

Still unaware of what I’m talking about? Take a wander through Primark. You can now buy a cute lacey bra for as little as a fiver, but the question is are they safe to wear?

Courtesy of Primark via PRshots

Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to finding the ‘perfect’ fitting bra. We’re often told to wear our straps low, go for support over design and always opt for a sturdy back bridge. That said, the new fashion bra trend is railing against this age old advice.

If you’re anything over a cup size B, you’ll notice that these fashion bras don’t actually offer much in terms of support. Your boob will flop over the flimsy band and give that ‘Are you actually wearing a bra’ look – which isn’t so bad, but if you want that look surely you may as well go without! Your front bridge will ride down and buckle under the weight, meaning the back bridge rides up to compensate. If you manage to survive the day you’ll no doubt have some lovely indented red shoulders to show for it.

When I began researching for this piece, I came across a 2009 article from the Guardian (yes an article from 2009 on the first page of Google). “Not only are women’s breasts getting fuller, partly due to oestrogen-based hormone treatments such as the contraceptive Pill, but women are still sporting bras that simply don’t support… Bra-strap back syndrome causes pain in the neck, shoulder and arm and can lead to muscle wasting and weakness.

Dear God, somebody stop the breasts. They’re out of control and growing at unfathomable speeds.

Whilst the article sounds dramatic, we have actually seen an increase in the average bra size for women in the UK. According to the latest figures, the average woman is now a 34DD. Perhaps not the target market for flimsy lace bralettes, so how have they become so popular?

Tim Hutchful from the British Chiropractic Association said on the matter: “It really is quite shocking how many women still place how a bra looks over how much support it gives. Bras are like suspension bridges, you need a well-engineered bra so your shoulders don’t take all of the strain and end up doing all of the work, spreading the load is important. Bras that don’t fit will affect the shoulders and chest and will almost certainly cause back pain as you get older.”

He continued: “Back pain continues to rise in Britain and we want to educate people on the simple, everyday lifestyle changes people can make to prevent problems later in life. It is so important to make sure a bra gives you enough support as possible. Wearing the wrong size bra can lead to a number of problems including back pain, tingling in the arms, restricted breathing, abrasions, breast pain and poor posture.”

So is a bra going to kill you? Nah, probably not. But unless you want to live out the rest of your years in back pain I suggest you focus on finding what works for you, rather than rolling with the trends. Whilst I wouldn’t bin off the bralettes completely, it’s definitely worth considering the long-term effects of everyday wear. Yes, you will look cute in your next private snap but is it really worth it in the long run?

23 thoughts on “Fashion Bralettes – Don’t Believe The Hype

  1. I’ve seen these bralettes and i really don’t get the hype over them, saw them the other day when i was shopping

  2. I’m so glad you’ve posted about the issues with these fashion “bras” – I was worried it was going to be an article about “oh look how beautiful they are”… They might look alright on slimmer models with smaller frames (or mannequins that don’t ever move), but for me and I imagine many other women, it looks like my body has eaten a piece of floss! 🙁 plus they’re just not practical! xx

    1. Yeah, honestly I found it hard to even find a photo of anyone wearing one over a size B!
      Didn’t feel too comfortable taking a picture of myself but wanted to show how useless they were.
      Like you said – a piece of floss!

  3. I do love the look of them and bought a couple of my own. But to honest, I can’t wear them on a normal day at work. They constantly ride up and I feel like I’m going to pop out! They aren’t very supportive.

  4. I couldn’t be doing with one of these bras. I am the national average according to your post and I used to be a lot smaller , but since I have gain a bit of weight I find it a struggle to find cheap bras in my size

  5. I need to feel comfortable in my bra and certain that it provides support. If I tried one of these bralettes there would be the constant worry that it could travel in one direction while my boobs travelled in another. Not a look I’m aiming for.

  6. I’ve bought a few of these cute little bras over the years. While I love them, they’re not something I’ll put on if I need to have support all day. An evening out? Definitely!

  7. My mummy hasn’t worn a bra since March and has D cup. She can’t because of the lung surgery she’s had and it hurts too much. She misses having the support though!!

  8. I guess choosing the right bra for us depends really on the person wearing it. Some can go on very expensive bras yet they are not comfortable with it. For me it is the way I feel it and not about the name or price of it.

  9. I have small boobs so bralettes are ok for me but in reality I very rarely wear a bra. I find it more comfortable to be without one. It is a shame that they are targeting towards women that are bustier especially if it causes back pain! x

  10. Had to laugh at ‘bras are like suspension bridges’ hahah! Cringe alert can’t believe a DD is the average though that seems on the large side! I think personally I prefer shaping abilities over design. Give me a plain tshirt bra that gives a nice shape any day. I just wish someone would make decent maternity bras that have some shaping but without underwire and aren’t covered in god awful cutesy patterns!!

    Sarah |

  11. I don’t even wear a bra most of the time unless I’m wearing a thin or more fitted shirt. When I do, I’m smashed down in a high-impact sports bra.

    I’m sure they’re cute, but the cheap ones look like they would be incredibly itchy because of the cheap lace. I don’t have a large chest, so I MIGHT be able to get away with a bralette. But they seem so flimsy that my nipples would probably poke right through them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *