Fashion Challenge: Let Your Bra Peek Through

Many of you will be wary of trying this challenge – but give it a shot! I promise it’s possible to make this trend look fierce, not frisky.

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Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City rocking the visible bra trend
Carrie Bradshaw rocking a visible bra in Sex and the City

This week’s Fashion Challenge is bound to be a bit controversial…

Many girls firmly believe that showing your bra in any way, shape, or form is a MAJOR fashion no-no. And they have a point: After all, nothing looks tackier than thick white bra straps blatantly exposed under a racerback tank top, or loose straps slipping down your arm. In most cases, the undergarments-shown-on-purpose look is just not a good idea–remember that horrible, trashy trend when girls pulled their thongs up over their pants? YUCK!

For the reasons above, I know many of you will be wary of trying this challenge–but please continue reading; I promise it’s possible to make this trend look fierce, not frisky. Are you ready to take on the challenge?

Tips and Tricks

  • Wear with confidence. Let others know your look is intentional by really owning it, and not fidgeting with anything you’re wearing–it’ll make others feel uncomfortable. Try matching the bra with your purse or shoes to further emphasize that this was no fashion mistake.
  • Keep (semi) covered! This look is better when the rest of your outfit is on the conservative side. We’re going for subtle sexy, not stripper sexy!
  • Try it out with sheer clothing. Do you have a sheer or lacy top that you’re dying to wear but don’t know how to pull off? Pair it with a bandeau bra, or one with plenty of coverage.
  • Consider the color and material. A lacy red bra under a slouchy white tank top sends out a much different vibe than a black bandeau, for example.
  • Use your best judgment. After all, you’re a classy and stylish CF reader–you know what works and what doesn’t. So you be the judge of whether an outfit is appropriate or not.

Outfits for Inspiration

With a Strapless Dress


Dress, Bra, Shoes, Bracelet, Earrings, Clutch

Let’s face it–strapless bras are NOT the most comfortable item in your closet. I’ve tried high end and low end ones, and let’s just say I’ve yet to encounter one that I would wear unless it was absolutely necessary.

If you find a bra that matches perfectly, I personally think wearing a regular bra with a strapless dress is fine. Notice on the above outfit how the material of the black bra is very similar to the material on the black dress. This is subtle, more comfortable, and most people won’t even realize the straps aren’t connected to your dress! Again, use your best judgment, and ask a few friends for their opinions if you’re unsure: Though this look is perfect for a night on the town, it’s not the best choice for a wedding or church.

Under a Loose Tank Top


Tank, Shoes, Bandeau, Necklace, Bracelet, Jeans

Most of you probably own a large selection of slouchy tank tops: These tanks are huge on most college campuses, usually worn to parties but also during the day. When I first started wearing these, I layered them over fitted tank tops. Although it looked nice, to me it sort of took away the look and feel of the tank’s intended breeziness, you know?

So if racerback bras aren’t your thing, try wearing a bandeau bra underneath these low-cut, loose tanks. These bras come in many price ranges, and are stretchy, often with cups built right in! I bought my favorite bandeau at Wet Seal for $5 a few months ago, and it has survived several long days and trips through the washing machine. Try a bandeau in a neon color if you’re feeling really adventurous.

Under a Sheer or Lacy Top


Top, Jeans, Bra, Ring, Shoes

Own a sheer or lacy top, but unsure how to wear it? A full-coverage bra can create a more fashion-forward look than a simple tank top. Notice how the bra pictured is lined on the outside with lace similar to the lace on the shirt–this makes the look seem deliberate, and would be very chic for a night out.

Once again, use your head with this look! I know girls who read CF have the brains and taste to know what fabrics and cuts will make this look foxy and not freaky. In general, I recommend sticking to loose-cut sheer shirts (anything too skin-tight can look trashy), matching the bra to the top, and, when in doubt, always asking your bff for her opinion.

Ready to take the challenge? Be our model for the week!

Now that you’ve seen my tips for rocking this look, we want to see how YOU wear it! So send in a picture of you wearing an outfit that lets your bra peek out and we’ll update the post and feature you here!

To get featured on CF, just send your picture, your name, school, and a description of the outfit to contact AT collegefashion DOT net. We’ll post your outfit pictures here to give other readers some inspiration. 🙂

Can’t wait to see your looks!

What do you think?

How do you feel about visible bras? Do you think it’s a fashion faux pas? Do you ever wear a regular bra with strapless dresses? Do you rock bandeau bras? Let me know your thoughts on this look by leaving a comment!

35 thoughts on “Fashion Challenge: Let Your Bra Peek Through”

  1. I envy girls who can get away with a bandeau instead of a bra. I do, however, use them as sort of a bra cover under loose tank tops. If my straps show it doesn’t bother me, I just don’t like any other parts of my bra to show.. and the bandeau covers it all =]

  2. No, no, no. To me, showing your bra is NEVER acceptable. It’s called an undergarment for a reason – it should be under. This is classic bodily commodification.

  3. Love this post!!

    While I haven’t been brave enough to try this out in public, I’ve done this look for Movie Night in the apartment with the girls, and they were all fans-thanks CF!

  4. Love this trend 🙂
    In fact I’m glad that you use Carrie Bradshaw as an example, cuz she rocks this trend several times, in the series and in the movies.
    It’s a lovely and femenine trend, but you must be careful

    I love the post as always, kiss!!

  5. So great hearing all of your opinions!! Its great to know what girls our age like and dislike so we can better create a fashion forward outfit.

    Remember to be respectful to fellow CF readers when posting comments–we’re here to bounce ideas off one another through comments, not make our peers insecure 🙂

  6. The first outfit is definitely something I do in more casual-ish situations, since strapless bras are pretty terrible if you actually have a chest that needs decent support. For some people, going bra-less is NOT an option!

    Otherwise, since I’m fairly top-heavy I tend to proceed with caution for trends like these. I like the idea of bandeau tops, but I have yet to find one that doesn’t look completely terrible on me. In my experience they tend to work best if you’re a small-ish b-cup or lower in size. Also, slouchy tanks tends to just hang off my boobs in a way that makes me look like I’m wearing a tent or that I’m much bigger than I am.

  7. Shaina – I know how you feel about the bigger bust size. I know for a fact Faith 21 (Forever 21’s plus size line) carries a padded/cupped bandeau bra in hot pink or nude. Not much for colors but thought i’d share.

  8. Ooo I love this post/concept/challenge! What if your a bigger girl and (like most bra companies) my bras are mostly basic colors (nude, black, white) … is that still statement enough like Carrie and her leopard bra?

    I still love this idea though – think I might try the slouchy tank idea ohh… and I LOVE the shoes you guys find for your posts. Perfect!

  9. i agree with the last several posts. while the outfits might look good on paper (and granted, the first one does), this look is just so tacky. one of my professors put it well the other day…”trailor park chic”. i personally don’t care for any of the outfits…why would you wear a bra with a strapless dress? why not just go for a strapless bra? if the occasion is a fancy as that outfit makes it appear, you shouldn’t be caught dead with your bra straps out. i’ve seen people do the second look, but it just hasn’t been pulled off well. i think the ballet slippers make it look a little too amy winehouse. the third look would look a lot better if there was a blank tank top under there instead of the lacy bra. i saw a girl at a lady gaga concert that wore pretty much this same outfit, with a basic black tank top, and it looked fantastic.

  10. Ugh, I can’t get over thinking this trend is just trashy (along with cropped tops and sheer fabrics). :/ Cute outfits, I just can’t move past it.

  11. It’s perfect that you put “Carrie’s” picture up for this. I would be willing to try this trend out. I’ve seen a lot of other people pulling it off where I’m from actually…


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