The Carrie Bradshaw Bra Effect

We loved this article from Harper’s Bazaar so much we just had to repost it to share with you.

Doubtlessly you could trace exposed lingerie to the Victorians and the corset or other such ilk, but if we’re really talking showing your bra—during the day—for style, unabashedly, all roads lead to Carrie Bradshaw. Bradshaw either favored brightly hued multi-layer straps peeking out from a tank a la 90s ravers, or a full side bra in a blouson top. It’s not a look for everyone, but it could be argued that the fictional sex writer’s uninhibited way with showing it off infiltrated the style-conscious masses and anesthetized them to underwear as almost-outerwear—to say nothing of Madonna or Jean Paul Gautlier. That’s just underwear as outwear. Period. Same goes for bra tops and completely sheer shirts, another tale for another day.

If the freewheeling, shoe-loving single gal in New York was the style icon of the late aughts and early 2000s, then today it’s all about the fashion blogger. Taking cues from fashion internet stars and European blondes Elin Kling and Camille Charrière, the bra-revealing look now is quite demure—a bit of a lacy black underthing without padding or wires—no Miracles here—under a simple white blouse unbuttoned.


I took this look out for a test drive yesterday, with the help of a Cosabella bra, Rodebjer button down and J. Brand leather leggings. I started the morning at a photo shoot on location at a hip new bar downtown with an oft-photographed stylist. There were about 7 people on location and not one person told me to button it up. In fact, no one seemed to notice. I then came into the office, it’s a fashion office, the same rules don’t apply, shock-factor hardly registers (as in, do not try this in your average corporate American building if you want to stay out of HR’s grasp) and even my co-workers didn’t say a peep. Not even a wayward look. Like Kling and Cherie, my way of wearing the peek-a-boo bra did not contain a lot of, ahem, cleavage, which helps the somewhat sexy idea remain more understated.
After work, when I arrived at home, I took off my jacket and had a conversation with my husband, who also said nothing of my peek-a-boo lingerie. He did comment on the leather pants, but that’s beside the point. Maybe I dress more risqué than I would think? Maybe we’re all not as Puritan as the media would like to paint us to be? Maybe New Yorkers have far too high a tolerance for, well, everything? Maybe Carrie made it OK?

So, it would seem, a little bra apparently never offended anyone here, but I’ll keep my bra under wraps (or at least under cashmere for now) at work and save a game of show off for evening-only

Read more: Bras as Outerwear – Lingerie Dressing – Harper’s BAZAAR Magazine
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