Already Prettypoll: The Visible Bra

Super-specific, I know, but I’m curious to hear your thoughts: I’ve come to love the look of cute bras showing through sheers, as well as a pretty strap peeking out from a neckline. I’ve even purchased a few fancy ones with the idea in mind that people other than myself and my husband will see them. (Or bits of them anyway.)

Why? Because I’ve loved the look on others. Because bras can gorgeous, and it really shouldn’t shock anyone to get a visible reminder that we wear them. Because it’s one of the few things that certain stylish French women do that really appeals to me.

How about you? Do you ever let your bra straps peek out intentionally? Do contrasting bras under sheer tops? Like the look on others, but take a pass yourself? Do tell!

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27 Responses to “Already Prettypoll: The Visible Bra”

  1. Serenity

    I hate the trend. I just can’t wrap my head around exposed underwear

  2. shriker_tam

    Nope, no visible bras for me. I don’t mind if my straps show on a casual outfit, but I don’t dress to show them off. Visible cups just looks naked to me. Lacy or decorated straps likewise look naked to me – it just looks so very underweary. Having my bra visible doesn’t embarrass me, but I rarely think it’s apropriate.

    I would however consider wearing a nice bikini under a sheer or semi-sheer top perfectly acceptable summer wear in a casual setting.


  3. Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen

    I used to be anti any visible bra until a few years ago. I have a very simple black molded cup bra, free of any adornment and a clean silhouette and the straps often peek out of my tee shirts I cut up at the neck. But my style in the past couple of years has become more relaxed so it fits. I’ve tried the same bra under sheer tops or a black bra under a white top and I feel
    too contrived, yet the peeking bra strap which I found totally inappropriate before now feels right for me with the right outfit. I think it’s like messy hair, a bare face with bold lips, wrinkly linen… it can really look great on anyone no matter their age or size but they have to have the right personality and personal style to carry it off and have it look casual and effortless instead of half naked.

  4. Gisele

    It’s not a professional look, but on the weekends I do sometimes like to let a bright strap peek out on the side of a wide neckline. Having almost no bosom, it’s as close as I can get to showing cleavage.

    Early this summer I was inspired by a woman wearing a black camisole under a semi-sheer white top, and that is a look I’ve worn at work. This also feels a little more sophisticated to me.

  5. Darlene

    I don’t do intentional sheers or straps, but if someone is going to catch a glimpse down my neckline, between my buttonholes, through my armholes, or underneath my tank top straps, I’d much rather they see something pretty than boring. I never used to think this way, but once I moved past molded cups to cut-and-sewn cups, the options for pretty bras for big busts expanded enormously, and now if I have a choice between pretty or basic, I’ll go for pretty–as long as both are equally comfortable, supporting and lifting.

    I was on a ferry this past Saturday admiring the summer dresses and tops on the other women. Since I write about bras on Hourglassy, I caught myself looking for the bras they wore underneath. Every one of them was wearing a basic beige or black bra. It was such a missed opportunity to complete their look! The bra was going to be visible no matter what. Why not make it pretty (or exotic or dramatic . . . anything other than pedestrian)?

  6. Monica H

    This is one fashion that I just can’t seem to get behind, it seems extremely tacky to me to show your underwear. It is sort of OK on the red carpet or the runway, but otherwise for me it is a total “No. Just no.” I know it is extremely common and I’m apparently in the minority, judging from the number of women I see wearing camis and tank tops with bras obviously meant to peek, but I won’t be caught dead doing this. The funny thing is I’m not even sure why, to me it seems better to go braless than show your bra, and I know many people find that tacky also. It just seems like you didn’t finish getting dressed or something, or that the “shirt” you’re wearing doesn’t qualify as a real shirt if it’s transparent.

    But by all means, if it works for you, go for it!

  7. diane

    Work, no. Rest of the time, yes. I will let pretty straps and neckline details show, especially the lacy bralettes that are becoming popular. The ones from Aerie are super great. A few from Target are good too. I like them with drapey knit shirts that have really wide necklines.

  8. poodletail

    Great question, Sal. I can’t wait to see the responses. Initially I was really puzzled by the contrasting bra under a sheer top, now I adore this look. I still don’t love intentionally showing the bra straps and will even pin mine in place to prevent this on a cut-in sleeveless top: it ruins the line.

  9. Cassie

    I love the look on others, but I average one day off a month and it’s not really appropriate at one of my workplaces, so I don’t feel like I can justify spending the money. I’d love an excuse to buy prettier bras!

  10. Andrea

    Nope. Stylish French women or not, it’s not a look I would ever intentionally do.

  11. stenvenywrites

    Visible underwear is inappropriate for many workplaces and I do not want to see any part of anyone else’s undergarments. There is personal and societal benefit to having some part of the female body *not* decorated enhanced and displayed for public consumption.

    I think that it’s the fact that no one else will see your lingerie which makes it so important that it be functional AND pretty. It is one way that women can take care of themselves and their bodies, not for the benefit of any other person (except possibly a significant other), but purely to express and celebrate their own worth and dignity. Wear lovely, sensuous things under your clothes, for YOUR pleasure and YOUR eyes only. YOU deserve to feel indulged in silk or lace or whatever else makes you feel womanly and sexual, and you are entitled to keep some part of yourself, to yourself.

  12. Courtney L.

    I don’t have a problem with the look, but I don’t like it for myself. I wear a hard-to-find size, so once I get a bra that fits me properly that I can afford, it’s usually not the kind of bra I want to show off. Also, since I have a large cup size, the straps don’t normally have that “delicate lingerie” look.

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen

      I was reading all the comments about lacy straps and pretty underthings and felt it would look so wrong and then realized it’s because I too am large busted. I’ve done it with a very cleaning bra with straight straps (many curve from the cup, this is a molded cup bra so the straps are more… Classic). I do think it’s different if you have a large bust, our straps aren’t delicate and it can look like a mistake. The “clean line bra” ( mine is from Fantasie) makes it possible to have a strap peek out for me ????

      • Courtney L.

        I’ll have to look into that. I do like Fantasie bras. They are very well made.

  13. oohlookasquirrel

    I love the look, but it would be inappropriate for many places I spend my time. Couldn’t wear it to work, and it would make me nervous to wear it to the grocery store or library or something. The closest I get is intentionally exposed bra straps. When I know people are going to see them, I make a point of wearing a bra with coordinating straps, so it looks intentional and not like a mistake. I love lingerie, but usually I hide it under clothes or just wear it around the house.

  14. Anamarie

    When I see women with visible bra straps, I always think they don’t know how to find bras to go with their tops. I can’t see wearing a visible bra in my daily life. I saw French women wearing them with sheer shirts in Paris – certain very high-fashion, super expensively dressed, IDGAF what anyone thinks kind of women. (They wore pastel bras with matching sheer shirts, or black bra/shirts, no contrasting that I saw.) Good for them, and they did it well, but I don’t know if the average woman could pull it off in mainstream society. I assume most people wear underwear, but I don’t want to see the tops of their thongs!

  15. Alecia Ramsay

    I think this is one of those things that only really works for the small-breasted. As a 34E, it just feels like Way Too Much to me. I am on the fence about visible straps – unless it’s very intentional, they look sloppy to me. The only version I don’t mind is black on black ( no idea why).

  16. kpriss

    sweet! Lingerie on my mind too! <3
    I think it's silly to try to hide the straps of a bra we obviously wear – au lieu I would definitely wear a lovely lace strap, a contrasting color strap… While lovely ladies out there go out of their way to dissimulate a bra, they'd better pay more attention to the way the bra actually fits.. That's where the real problem is!

  17. Sarah O

    I like the look of a visible bra on other people, but it’s not a style that fits my day-to-day-lifestyle. For example, I can’t wear a visible bra to work (I work in an elementary school), but it could be nice on an outfit for date night, at a late summer music festival, or on a night out with friends.

  18. Linda B

    I can’t get away with the exposed straps at work either (just not kosher in an elementary school) and I don’t seem to have the chutzpah to do it on the weekends–but I do like the look when I see it on others. I sort of want to be the cool older woman who can rock this look. Maybe I will try. . .

  19. Mia

    I haven’t done it yet, but I’ve had that Honeydew Intimates bralette with the lacy triangle back for just such an occasion. The problem for me, I think, is that I bought it in black, so when it’s showing under something, it still kind of looks like underwear? I might just need practice. I’d also like to try it with something brightly-colored, like maybe if I can find a turquoise or hot pink bralette to wear under a loose orange or green tank top; I think that would feel more intentional and fun to me.

  20. beate @ bahnwaerterhaeuschen

    i´m european (german to be correct) so i sport that look occasionally since i´m wearing a bra. and in the nineties it was almost a must in funky berlin! xxx

  21. Sonya

    I like the look, I’ve done it. OF COURSE it isn’t appropriate for the workplace unless you’re in fashion. There’s a time and place for everything but some visible bra straps or visible cups are nothing to clutch one’s pearls over.

  22. FashionableLena

    A big NO for me. Visible undergarments is one of my pet peeves. Looks sloppy and tacky.

  23. crtfly

    I don’t like it. I just think it looks sloppy, like wearing pj’s to class or to go grocery shopping, I especially don’t like a white bra under black sheers. This may sound contradictory, but I’d rather see a fancy bustier worn as outerwear, dispensing with the shirt altogether. To me, a bright colored and/or patterned bustier looks like the top part of a strapless dress or jumpsuit and not underwear at all.

  24. AmyGuth

    I used to really be a hard-ass about this and completely despise any undergarment showing, but I’ve come to like the look of a well-coordinated and pretty bra-strap peeking out of the right top. I think it’s a matter of making it look intentional and subtle.

  25. Rachel

    I have to say I don’t like the look of a bra showing under a sheer top. It’s just not aesthetically pleasing to me. I looked through your pinterest link to see if it would change my mind, but nope. 🙂 (I accidentally sported this look the other day, as my navy top was more sheer than I thought and I realized I could see my black bra through it. I was not impressed.)

    I don’t have an issue with bra straps showing a bit, but again, I don’t enjoy it as a deliberate look. Particularly when the back strap of a back closure bra shows. No matter how cute the bra, the hooks make it look silly to my eye.

    But, you know, that’s just my taste! I might not like it on myself or others, but people should wear what they like. They’re not dressing for me…