Everything You Need to Know About a Racerback Bra

When you look through your intimates drawer, what do you find? If we had to guess, classic t-shirt bras and balconettes create a timeless silhouette for most of your wardrobe. Perhaps you own a sports bra or two for running or your regular yoga practice. With your athleticwear already claiming the classic crossed-back or “T-shaped” strap design, you can’t imagine needing another bra designated for movement or higher impact. This is when we tell you that a modern racerback bra is exactly what you need.

Read our guide to learn more about how the racerback bra design has evolved into a must-needed staple. Trust us when we say- this isn’t the kind of lingerie you’ll regret adding to the collection. 

What is a Racerback Bra? 

A racerback bra is designed with T or Y-shaped straps that avoid the outer shoulders and shoulder blades. Racerback bras clasp in the middle to the upper-middle section of a woman’s back or are a pullover style. The front can vary in style and amount of coverage. 

With endless colors and feminine additions like lace and bralette styles, it’s truly a garment that can transition from work to an evening out. Many women choose this style over traditional straps as they are able to effortlessly dress as if they never needed a bra in the first place! You can count on racerback straps to stay inconspicuous under most styles. 

When to Wear a Racerback Bra

Racerback bras have been- and still are- a staple of active women. However, as styles evolve, designers have realized that they are the perfect tool for providing maximum breast support while also hiding straps under your new sundress. 

Due to the larger band design, racerback bra styles are an excellent fit for larger-breasted women. As the crisscrossed straps re-distribute weight from the front, they apply a gentle “lift” that can be extremely flattering. Some women have reported that their breasts appear rounder and more full in their favorite racerback. 

Additionally, because of the crisscrossed, T-shaped, or Y-straps, most racerback bras or bralettes will require you to clasp them together in the front of your body rather than the back. This is helpful for those recovering from surgeries that inhibit their mobility, or for nursing mothers who need to be able to remove and clasp the garment with ease. 

For those most comfortable in a bralette style, racerback straps are incredibly popular. They allow a bralette to provide more lift than they may otherwise receive from the minimalist style. 

Pros of a Racerback Bra

When shopping for a new bra, you might consider the benefits of one style over another. While bra style is always a personal preference, there are some outspoken pros of the racerback style. 


Need more of an excuse to try out the style for yourself? Benefits of the racerback trend include: 

  • Freedom of movement
  • Extra support
  • Enhances posture 
  • Less back pain for larger-breasted women
  • A style that is adaptive to many different kinds of activities and outfits
  • A sleek design that easily hides under sleeveless shirts or pieces with a unique neckline or back cutouts

With Cosabella racerback bras and bralettes, you never have to worry about discomfort as a factor. You won’t find painful underwires or cheap material in any of our carefully made collections. 

Racerback Bra Styles

The best racerback bra for your body will be one that fits correctly and can be worn comfortably. With a bra as versatile as the racerback bra, you shouldn’t feel guilty if you end up with more than one in your dresser drawer. Continue reading to learn more about Cosabella’s racerback bras.

Bralette Style

A bralette is a wire-free, unstructured bra that adds light support and coverage. A racerback bralette can be worn as a crop-top or under the right jacket or blazer. Bralette options include: 

  • Lace racerback bralette (popular lingerie choice for nighttime lingerie)
  • Supportive racerback bralette
  • Extended and curvy bralette styles for those who need more coverage
  • Strappy or halter fronts to fit your wardrobe choices 

Most bralettes stretch into place- though maternity and post-surgical designs will include front closures for easy removal.

Padded Styles 

Some ladies appreciate a slight lift and padding in their bra preferences. Bralette padding can add slight coverage and support to your desired look. The Never Say Never Padded Racie Bralette boasts a beautiful floral pattern and innovative lace design. 

Woman wearing Never Say Never racerback bralette with v neckline.

This popular style has wide, non-adjustable straps that stretch with your body, and never dig into your shoulders.

Halter Racerback 

In a halter top, straps tend to loop closer around the neck in order to give a “bare” look to the shoulders. Cosabella halter top racerbacks include the Hallie Free People Curvy Halter Bralette.

Woman wearing Curvy Halter Bralette with adjustable straps.

Unlike many bralette styles, this Cosabella style from the collaboration with Free People includes an adjustable band. It is designed for fuller cup sizes that may require smaller bands. 

Extended and Curvy Bralette Styles

Extended and curvy styles require wider bands to support large breasts. With the right size, you will never have to worry about an uncomfortable evening or an unsightly wardrobe mishap. Extended and curvy bralette styles include the Cosabella Amore Adore Extended Racerback Bralette as well as the Never Say Never Curvy and Extended collection, available in solid colors and prints.

Racerback bralette for extended sizing, with plunge neckline and made of lace.

While extended-size garments are made for large band sizes, the Curvy line is intended for DD cups and up. These bralettes come in a pullover style and are extremely supportive. The non-sheer scalloped lace brings a delicate look to the lingerie. 

Petite Racerback Bras 

Petite sizes need extra considerations as to not overwhelm a small frame. The Never Say Never Petite Racie Racerback Bra is a lightly lined pullover style that provides just the right amount of lace for a smaller band and cup size. Cosabella petite sizing is designed to include shorter straps, shallower cups, and thinner bust bands.

Woman wearing Never Say Never racerback bralette with v neckline for petite frames.

Maternity and Post-Surgical 

For women in need of a maternity or post-surgical bra, they require a fit that prioritizes comfort, while continuing to acknowledge their femininity. Cosabella designs include the Never Say Never Maternity Girlie Bralette and the Never Say Never Post-Surgical Front Closure Bralette.

A maternity bra will need to include removable nursing straps for easy opening. Due to their size, they also may require additional coverage and back support. 

Pullover style bralette with clip on and off straps for nursing.

A post-surgical bralette is utilized after post-surgical reconstruction, mastectomy, and augmentation. This style requires a closure that is easily removable and comfortable during recovery. 

Front closure wireless bralette with racerback straps for post-surgical needs.

Treat Yourself 

As we transition out of a “work-from-home” mindset into the outside workforce, women require their intimates to provide both comfort and confidence. With that, a functional racerback bra is the next must-have staple for the modern woman. With many style options and colors available, it’s possible to find the right fit for any outfit, body, or activity level. 

Your lingerie is the most delicate part of your attire, and the first intimate decision of your day. For classic options with a modern fit, browse our beautiful lingerie collections today. Our artisan-made pieces highlight what women come to expect from Italian luxury.