Lounge Bra Guide:
Tips, Styles and More
Picture this: You just got home after a long day and the time has finally come for you to rip off your bra and change into your comfiest clothes. You are no longer constricted by wires, bra straps or anything with a button or zipper. It’s all about soft, stretchy fabrics that move impressively well no matter which way you position yourself in bed, on the couch or even in the car. It’s loungewear time, ladies.
While the idea of loungewear has evolved over time, the basic principles of this clothing category have remained constant. In general, women’s loungewear is defined by comfort over everything else. From fabric to cut and everything in between, quality loungewear is made to last through every nap, chill day, early morning road trip and last-minute grocery run. Though certain loungewear pieces like soft joggers, stretchy tees and seamless panties have been applauded as longtime loungewear favorites, the real hero in the loungewear fashion game is the glorious lounge bra.
Lounge bras are unlike anything else in the world of undergarments. They can turn even the most stubborn of bra haters into believers after a single wear. Plus, some of them can double as a stylish (and appropriately visible) alternative to many nicer-than-loungewear ensembles. Whether you’re a skeptic looking for more information or a seasoned lounge bra lover, this guide is for you. Here’s what you need to know about the lounge bra, plus styling tips and much more!
Laws of the Lounge Bra
When it comes to bras in general, there really are no rules. It’s up to you in most cases whether or not you even wear one at all! For some, a traditional bra with tightened straps, back hooks and underwire simply is not the best choice for their breasts (I'm talking to you, small-breasted gals!). However, we have to hand it to the “real bras” for supporting us over the years — because without it, we wouldn’t have the holy grail that is the lounge bra.
It’s important to know that the term “lounge bra” encompasses a few different styles and bra variations, though all of them share a few main characteristics. Lounge bras are identified by being super comfy. They are usually made with fabrics that stretch and move well, like cotton and microfiber. These leisure-approved bras rarely include unnecessary metal hooks, buttons or clasps and instead utilize stretchy fabric and elastic to give you support and a tighter fit where you need it (and not where you don’t).
The lounge bra umbrella covers a few different bra types, including bralettes, post-surgical bras and other styles that mostly skip the metal wires and maximize comfort. While they’re typically worn with casual outfits and athleisure ensembles, lounge bras have made their way into everyday wear for many. If you haven’t tried wearing a lounge bra before, then what are you waiting for? There are better bra days ahead.
Lounge Bra vs. Bralette
With its recent and widespread popularity, a cute and comfy bralette has become a wardrobe staple for a few reasons. Bralettes are a unique combination of stylish, supportive and fun. Their features match up with those of the lounge bra in the sense that they are typically made of soft, stretchy material and do not include excess wires or compression. A great bralette will give you just the right amount of coverage and support.
Bralettes are different from other lounge bras in a few ways as well. These fun bras are not designed to be hidden or camouflaged underneath clothing. Instead, they are meant to peek out from tank tops and flowy dresses, giving off flirty, girly vibes. Since bralettes are meant to be seen and noticed, they typically come in an array of seasonal colors and often include fun details like mesh, lace or other textures.
To recap, bralettes are a type of lounge bra, and a specific type at that. They are designed to be worn as part of an outfit, not just underneath one. While many lounge bras include added thickness or padding in some areas, you might notice that bralettes typically do not have this extra padding. Instead, many of them are geared towards style as opposed to coverage or support. For this reason, bralettes are generally better suited for ladies with smaller cup sizes because there is less to support. Don’t worry, though, because those of you with larger cup sizes can totally pull off the bralette look, too! Look for supportive bralettes with thicker straps and a firm fit around the waistband.
Level of Lounge
One thing to keep in mind when deciding on a lounge bra is your intended level of physical activity (if any). Know that lounge bras are an awesome addition to your underwear portfolio, but they are in no way meant to replace your sports bras entirely. Instead, they are meant for casual outfits and low-energy activities, even if that only entails walking to the mailbox and back.
Lounge bras are nestled into a special niche that previously lacked a fitting bra option. For example, if you are spending the afternoon at home in sweatpants or leggings and a t-shirt, there’s no reason why you need to wear a bra. However, it’s totally understandable that you might feel unprotected or slobbish without at least a little support to keep your boobs from moving in any and every direction (and even more understandable that you might not love the idea of putting on a real bra with your lounge outfit). Herein lies the perfect opportunity for a lounge bra!
You see, a lounge bra completes just about any lounge-based outfit, whether you stay at home or leave the house. Lounge bras are a great option for wellness activities like walking, stretching, yoga, meditation and so much more. You might also feel good wearing one of these around the house after work, with an athleisure outfit or even while traveling. Since they don’t give you as much support as a traditional bra or sports bra, it’s usually not a good idea to wear a lounge bra while running or doing HIIT workouts.
Styling a Lounge Bra
Now that you know when to wear a lounge bra, it’s time to talk about the best ways to style it! If you have a lounge bra you love but you’re not completely sure how to curate an outfit using one, there are a few guidelines you can follow to ensure you choose a stellar lounging ensemble every time!
The main goal of loungewear is to keep things comfy and practical. Having said that, it’s also an opportunity to show off your personal style and express yourself. Start your loungewear look with super soft panties and a great lounge bra. If you plan on keeping things super chill and comfortable (movie night, anyone?), then grab the best t-shirt bra you own and use it as a base for your outfit. From there, decide how many layers you want to add, whether it’s your favorite graphic t-shirt by itself or a soft cotton tank underneath a fleece pullover. The t-shirt bra will just feel like another thin layer underneath your shirt and won’t make you feel constricted. Add a pair of stretchy shorts or sweats and you’ve created an impeccably chill look.
For those looking to style a lounge bra as part of an out-of-the-house outfit, consider a bralette or your favorite style of wireless bra. Comfort is still a goal here, but it’s nice to know that a little more support is an option if it makes you more comfortable when going out. To make your loungewear outfit look even more put together without any added effort, go for a pair of fitted joggers or leggings on the bottom. For added style points, pair these with a bralette and a roomy tank top or off-the-shoulder shirt. If you’d rather keep things subtle and secure, go for the wireless bra option with a tee or sweater and finish things off with a baseball cap and comfy shoes. It’s the ultimate loungewear and errand-running uniform.
Live Your Best Lounge Life
Let’s all take a moment to be thankful for the gift that is the lounge bra. It’s the perfect addition to any Netflix watch party, rainy day at home or effortlessly chic look. Lounge bras not only provide all-over comfort and unmatched softness, but they also offer an extra dash of support underneath your other loungewear pieces. Lounge bras win the award for being a happy medium between wearing a regular bra and going braless, and believe us when we tell you it’s always nice to have options. Whether you go for a t-shirt bra, a bralette or a simple wireless bra, you can’t go wrong with a lounge bra.