Bralette 101: What are they and how do we wear ‘em?

Fit Tips by Sugar Candy - April 29, 2020
posh bralette - black

What is a bralette and how is it supposed to fit?

Let’s break this down into traditional and current versions of a bralette and the whole evolution of the lingerie industry and where the bralette sits today.

How is a bralette supposed to fit? How is my SugarCandy bralette supposed to fit? What’s the difference between a bralette and a bra?

Buckle up for the ride.

A bralette is born 

Let’s start at the beginning of the bralette’s life. The bralette originated when a smaller busted socialite wanted to wear a lacy bra under her clothes but didn’t need all the support of a regular bra. She didn’t want to wear:

  1. A training bra
  2. A regular bra 
  3. No bra at all

Hence the bralette was born. 

You know what they say, “Invention is the mother of necessity”.

A bralette is traditionally a lacy bra without padding, without wires and often without hook and eye closures.

We can also recall that bra wires were quite hard, fabrics were without lycra and closures of bras were more like that of corsetry rather than what we are currently blessed with. 

The bralette was originally very lacy, pretty and/ or sexy, but then underwear companies decided to also design a more simple and sometimes sporty version. More like undies for your boobs, thanks to the likes of Hanes, Calvin Klein and Bonds. 

lacy pretty sexy bralettes
via Murilo Bahia, Raphael Lovaski, & Taisiia Shestopal (Unsplash)

A bralette was originally for the smaller busted woman. These are also for the smaller busted woman as they don’t have the support of a regular bra. These are also like a midriff tank with undies elastic at the base.

small bust bralette
via Aiony Haust, Craventure Media, & Max Libertine (Unsplash)

Then there were crop tops. These have slightly more support than a bralette as they were requested by smaller busted women for doing sports. They didn’t want or need the support of a sports bra, nor could they find one in their size. Hence the crop top was born. 

crop tops
via Bruce Mars (Unsplash)

A bralette nowadays is everything from its past. For example, a bralette can have wires, padding and a hook and eye closure and is usually recognised as a bralette because it covers less of the bust, may be without lining and is less supportive than a regular bra. The combinations are endless really. 

blue bralette
via Atikh Bana (Unsplash)

Bralettes are usually a lot more comfortable than a regular bra, generally speaking, as they are more stretchy, less restrictive and less supportive. 

Bralettes are ok to be seen under your clothes or as a part of your ensemble. Unless you’re at Coachella where everything goes, or more recently Couchella, where yes, everything goes too—see what I did there?

via JoelValve, Renata Schaitza, & Martin López (Unsplash)

So basically a bralette is a bra. A crop top is also a bra. A bra is a bra too, except when it’s a bralette. A bra is not a bralette when you say it’s a bra. But only on Tuesdays. 

Bralette sizing

Traditional Sizing:

Traditionally these are S – L or could be XS – XL. The cup capacity is not recognised because they are only (traditionally) for the smaller busted gal, being A, B or C cup sized. 

Some slightly larger women also wanted the comfort and freedom of a bralette but couldn’t fit into them, so they started making them with band and cup sizes, just like regular bras. Oh the confusion. Is it a bra or is a bralette? 

What if you’re bigger than a D, DD or E cup. Well, that’s where we step in and have provided the fuller bust bra. This has support as well as separation, with all the comfort. We think we have ticked all the boxes of what you would want from a bra and a bralette all rolled into one magical product. 

SugarCandy Bralette Sizing:

The SugarCandy sizing is XS – 2XL, but accommodating for the F – H cup, so smaller girls need not apply. Sorry, not sorry. 

SugarCandy size chart
  • So if you are a 12F – then you’ll be a size Medium in SugarCandy Bralette.
  • If you are a size 16G – you will be an XL in Sugar Candy Bralette.

Learn more: How Bra Sizing Works

Each brand of bralette usually has their own size chart for you to refer to and cross check against your own size, so you’ll be buying the right size for you. 

Bralette fitting 

If you only want a bralette instead of a bra, you’re usually willing to sacrifice something that a bra would offer, such as support, separation or uplift, for the tradeoff for comfort, prettiness, sexiness or ability to show it off in public. 

bras, panties, crop top
via Fahad Waseem (Unsplash)

Traditionally, bralettes don’t have the depth in the cup of a regular bra, so they don’t go in between the breasts. This can cause a monoboob appearance, a generally flatter profile and if your breasts do happen to touch in the middle—hello boob sweat. 

The wires in a regular bra provide separation and lift for your breast. If these are not there, then the separation and lift of a bralette is usually not there either. Once again, this is a trade off for a prettier bra.

take down
via Chris Chow (Unsplash)

There’s a certain knack to putting a bra on but anyone can put on a t-shirt, and with that, the ease of wearing a bralette was discovered. 

The SugarCandy bralette is, as mentioned, for the fuller bust. So, if you’re fuller busted, then you’re already used to putting on a bra properly or at least attempting to wrestle your boobs into one. Follow these steps for a simple way of putting on your SugarCandy bra. 

  1. Put it on! Make sure that the band sits flat against your ribcage – and not on your tatas.
  2. Reach down into each cup and pull the inner sling up, so it supports and lifts your boobs.
  3. Then simply adjust the cups over your boobs and tighten your straps. 
  4. Feel free to jiggle. Go ahead, we don’t judge!

If you need more help or a visual, watch this video: 

Fitting Tips: 

For this bit, it will only be about SugarCandy. Here are some things that might go wrong when you’re putting your bralette on and how to fix them: 

1. Nipples are facing the wrong way – ie down:


  • Reach in and make sure the lower sling is sitting flat against your bust—this buddy has been dubbed the ‘platform’ sling, so make sure your breast is resting on it, like a balcony.
  • Tighten the band.
  • Reach in and make sure your nipples are facing the right way.
  • Stretch the cup up and over your boobs then tighten the straps.
  • If your straps are still too loose and not offering enough support, use the J-hook to cross them over.

2. Wrinkling in the cups


  • Sorry, but this may well be because you’re not big enough to accommodate the cups. Try a smaller size.
  • Tighten the straps and tighten the band.
  • Add some padding.

3. Monoboob

Solutions: Lean forward about 90 degrees. Whilst holding the centre of the bra with one hand, use your other hand to scoop and separate the other boob into the cup. Do the same on the other side, then adjust the straps.

4. I don’t want to take it off

Solutions: Sorry ladies, this is one problem we can’t fix.

Generally there are some rules around how to wear a bra. But when it comes to bralettes, just like the parameters around styling them, they tend to break the rules and come up with a few of their own. It’s your bralette, they’re your boobs, so wear them and your clothes however you like. 

wearing bralette
via Ian Liberry (Unsplash)

Disclaimer: SugarCandy does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.

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