In recent years, we’ve witnessed a shocking amount of risk-taking fashion trends. Celebs are wearing underwear in lieu of pants (s/o to Bella Hadid for pioneering the style). Granny panties and thongs are peeking out from waistbands. Everyone is freeing the nip on Instagram. And it seems the industry’s penchant for revealing outfits is unwavering because yet another sultry trend is blowing up right now: the exposed bra look. Yes, people are intentionally wearing outfits that highlight the spicy undergarment.
“An exposed bra is the perfect way to reveal a little [skin] while still keeping some mystery when dressing,” Petra Flannery, a celebrity stylist who works with Zoe Saldaña and Emma Stone, tells TZR. And if you think this may be just a summer fad, Flannery believes otherwise, as she predicts the style will continue to gain momentum throughout the fall. “It's a trend that likes to repeat — à la the nineties.”
Jennifer Aniston, for instance, was a fan of the look during her Friends days. One of her first bra-revealing moments was at the VH-1 Honors in 1995, a year after the hit series premiered. She arrived on the red carpet in a black outfit with her lacy brassiere showing. A few years later, the look was prominent on Sex and the City. Carrie, who always had her finger on the pulse of all things style, didn’t hesitate to wear clothes that revealed her lingerie. Throughout the series’ six season run, she’d let her delicate pieces show under a top or dress.
Thanks to Hollywood It girls this year, the brazen look has returned in full force. One early adopter was Saldaña, who tapped into the look at the 95th Academy Awards in March. Flannery, who styled the celeb, said her Fendi Couture number perfectly exemplified this revealing styling hack. “The dress had the perfect blend of femininity and modernity with lace insets adding dimension to the exposed bra,” the fashion expert shared, adding: “It nodded to the ‘90s when layered bras were very popular.”
Other celebs soon followed suit. For instance, turn your attention to the 76th Annual Cannes Film Festival red carpet in May, when stars like Scarlett Johansen and Sydney Sweeney took to the French Riviera in lingerie-baring numbers. Johansen kept it pared-back with a subtle built-in bra gown from Prada, whereas Sweeney went full speed ahead on the trend by wearing a Miu Miu slip atop her visible undergarment. And more recently, in June, Olivia Rodrigo, a fashion girl who never misses the style mark, co-signed the burgeoning trend by letting her shiny purple bra peek out from a black tank.
To help you navigate this trend IRL, copy the influencer-approved exposed bra looks ahead.
Swipe on your eyeliner and step into your heels because it’s Friday night, baby. And if you just entered your single girl era? Here’s an evening-out revenge outfit idea to consider: Wear a form-fitting bustier top over a black bra. Up the ante with flashy gold jewelry, and your scene-stealing outfit is complete.
Ease Into It
Not 100% comfortable with putting your bra on full display? Start with baby steps. For instance, try styling a lace dress with a sliver of your black bra showing. Amp up the outfit even more with funky white knee-high boots.
A denim top with a plunging neckline calls for playful lingerie like, say, a lace style. Then, add character to the look via a multi-print maxi skirt. This formula may sound over the top, but it surely packs a bold punch for your Instagram #OOTD.
Hit The Town
If today’s not the day for freeing the nips (again, baby steps!), you’ll need a garment to wear under your sheer dress. A black bra and underwear set will draw people’s eyes to your outfit while keeping you covered in all the right places.