One of the most talked about topics this year has by far been female activism. Streets and squares all around the globe transformed into a sea of pink hats, filled with women marching for female equality and solidarity. We’ve seen ‘Free the nipple’ movements and ‘I’m not asking for it’ signs at SlutWalks over the years, but in 2017, the marches were clearly sparked by the newly appointed US President and his questionable rhetoric about women and minorities.
Over the years, women have taken to the streets many times to demand their voices be heard, and they’ve done so dressed in pieces that resonated with their cause. The outfits and looks of the suffragettes and activists marching throughout the centuries have been nothing less than iconic and revolutionary. French suffragettes in the late 1700s used gold as their staple color to enforce their right to vote, whereas in the early 1900s American suffragettes wore white as their uniform. The color white was a statement against prejudice and social norms, at the time when women marching in the streets were considered shameful and ridiculous.
In the late ’60s, however, an incredible piece of clothing got some hate: The bra. A group of female activists threw bras and garters into a bin and lit it on fire during a protest as a sign of liberation from any constraining and “socially imposed” garment. Point taken girls, in the ’60s it was not considered proper to be seen in public sans bra.
Cut to 2017, and the bra has become a talking point again. And it helps that bra design and comfort have evolved above and beyond, making bras not to be used solely for their function, but also to make a style statement, express your sexuality unapologetically, and embrace your body in its natural form without inhibitions.
No longer just an undergarment, the evolving trends have given way to bralettes that are purposefully worn to be shown, not hidden. From string backs and lace inserts to bold pieces that conceal just your nips, there’s a bra(lette) for every powerful lady in the crowd.
Here are our five bra-bralette hybrid favourites and cues on how we’d style them for a power look:
Christies Bra, £139
Wear this satin lace piece under a V-neck jacket for the third date to do sexy in a classy manner.
Cosabella Never Say Never Sweetie Bralette, £39.38
With its intricate Italian nude lace, this bra is perfect to wear under a sheer blouse for some feminine peek-a-boo action.
Ivy Park Sports Bra, £27.26
The epitome of girl power in 2017, channel your inner Queen B with Beyoncé’s Ivy Park sports bra. The colour and style are both fierce, just like their maker. We’d pair this with sheer paneled leggings, with or without a bomber jacket.
KissKill Bond Zip Back Bra, £87.08
For the girls who cannot be tamed, stay wild with the KissKill zip back bra that’s got bold lines reminiscent of a dominatrix. Wear this under a tube dress, off the shoulder top, or plunge neckline to show off the choker neck and zipper detail.
Else Petunia Triangle Longline Bra, £40.89
Wear your favorite pair of high-waist jeans with an open denim shirt, and complete the look with this lace bra underneath for a casual and effortlessly sexy vibe.