Let’s Talk About Unmentionables: The Lace Bras You’ll Definitely Feel Confident In
By Julia Wohlers, Brand of People Magazine
There’s a movement underway within the lingerie industry, a shift in perspective that’s changing how women shop for and wear their unmentionables. After decades of glamazon marketing imagery featuring a parade of unrealistic physiques and measurements (Angels, I’m looking at you), the self-image narrative is finally getting an overhaul across underwear.
Let’s be real: what percentage of the population actually has the body of a runway model, and how many women have spent years bullying themselves over their efforts to get it? Shouldn’t confidence in the inherent beauty of our figures be our guiding instinct?
Where traditional messaging around lace bras (and all lingerie) has pushed unattainable standards and emphasized the way others view women’s bodies and intimates, recent years have seen brands recognizing that women want to reclaim their choice of undergarments and dress for themselves instead.
Feeling confident in lingerie is no longer about squeezing into the size zero panties or hoisting our chests into uncomfortable pushup bras; it’s about comfort, functionality, and recognizing that you don’t have to compromise on feeling sensual and empowered to have those things. Opt for pieces that make you feel beautiful and glamorous in your own skin and that best serve the figure life has given you.
For one element that never fails to highlight natural beauty, look to lace in all its delicate detail. A piece of lingerie that fits just right with a gorgeous lace embellishment brings universally flattering texture and allure to your ensemble – even if you’re the only one who knows it’s there!
An overview of the most common types of lace
Lace hails from a more expansive world than you might think. Traditionally made from silk and linen, today much of the modern manufactured commercial lace we see is made from cotton or synthetic fibers to make it more affordable than silk (but equally pretty). To better understand what you’re looking at when you shop for lace bras and lingerie – and how to find it in super comfortable variations – here’s a quick overview of the most common varieties of lace.
Bobbin lace is created from a technique that uses pins to build intricate, complicated designs, while Chantilly lace, often seen in bridal wear, typically features floral patterns that appear to have shadows.
Raschel lace is a very affordable type made with a machine from synthetic fibers.
Scalloped lace is a particularly contemporary element that’s all about detail, featuring curved art deco edges that create a flattering line across the body.
Eyelash lace, seen just as often on elegant satin camisoles as on lingerie, is a decorative trim of very thin strands of lace that adds soft detail and visual interest to a piece.
Finally, we have lace appliqué, generally the most common type found on lingerie. It involves a lace-like motif crafted on top of netting, using a needle or bobbin, which creates the illusion of lace without the price tag.
Are lace bras comfortable?
Given the fact that most bras available on the market today use lace appliqués or delicate trim, there’s no reason why a lace bra shouldn’t be just as comfortable as a cotton one. Essentially, the lace element is applied to the outside or to the edges of the cup, which is lined on the inner surface with a soft textile. Lightly-lined bras are not padded and help provide gentle shaping; soft padded bras, on the other hand, can give your bust silhouette a slight boost and also guarantee nothing underneath will show through!
More ambitious lingerie pieces, like seductive bodysuits or bras and panties designed to leave little to the imagination, imply direct contact between lace and skin. But again, a well-made product using quality textiles will not create discomfort. When washing your lace separates, do keep in mind that it’s important to properly rinse them. Soap and softener can cling to the tiny holes in lace or become trapped in foam padding, and the material may become stiff from detergent residue.
The most popular lace lingerie to feel gorgeous in
Classic lace bras
The classic lace bra, whether in full coverage, standard, balconette or demi cups, will make you feel your best when it’s pretty on the outside and supportive underneath. Shades of burgundy and blush are feminine and flirty, while candy red lace bras tend to reappear annually as seasonal favorites during winter holidays. Basic neutrals like white, nude, black and gray never go out of style and serve different purposes, depending on how you plan to wear them. Nude lets you go invisible under sheer or thin tops, and white and gray can generally remain undetected as well.
Recent years have seen subtle bra visibility come into vogue; to test-drive this aesthetic, opt for a black bra under a white shirt, or let lace in a neutral color peer out from just below your neckline.
Trending lace bralettes
The bralette barreled onto the lingerie scene just a couple years ago and shoppers can’t get enough. Characterized by its less-structured form and relaxed aesthetic, comfortable lace bralettes are available with and without underwire, and in regular and plus sizes. They’re a step up from the lounge bra, offering more surface area for pretty lace than standard bra cups, and also double as underwear and outerwear.
Wear it under t-shirts in the place of a bra or bare it in public as an ultra-feminine crop-top adaptation, and don’t miss the chance to take advantage of bralette plus boyshort sets in coordinating colors and patterns for a complete look. (Who doesn’t love knowing their undies match, given the opportunity?)
Romantic longline lace bras
A longline bra, in essence, is a standard bra with a couple of extra inches extending below the cups, lending a retro look and extra support without all the heavy boning and corsetry of a bustier. Initially designed to create a smooth line under gowns (as well as excellent support under strapless dresses), the longline bra has evolved into hipper styles. Current iterations appear in a shorter, more romantic version that’s equally suitable for women who don’t necessarily need the additional support.
Today, longline lace bras make a fashion statement, often with dreamy accents like eyelash lace, luxe fabrics, contrasting bands and elaborate detailing for special occasions. For an extra pretty look, pair your lace longline with a matching bikini-cut bottom.
To underwire or not to underwire?
If you’re deliberating between a lace bra with underwire or a wire-free alternative, the choice is entirely up to you and the level of support you’re seeking. Underwire bras do provide more support, lift and shape, and are recommended for women with larger breasts who might require more support in their everyday bra. Some women, however, find wireless pieces to be the most comfortable bras and less restrictive; if lighter support works for your frame, this is a great alternative.
Feeling confident in your lingerie
Lingerie holds the power to imbue us with confidence, highlight our natural beauty and make us feel exquisitely put together, especially when we shop with our own preferences and needs in mind – not the size on the tag, and not self-imposed dictates that we must meet impossible standards or please others. To put it another way: every woman is worthy of lovely intimates that make her feel like a million bucks on her own terms and for her own sake.