Not since Carrie Bradshaw have we seen such enthusiasm for showing off our undergarments.
Sex And The City fans will recall the hullabaloo around Carrie’s many gorgeous bras and her penchant for showing them off more on the street than behind closed doors.
Now, the humble bra has levelled-up to become black tie friendly, with A-listers showing off bedazzled undergarments on the red carpet.
While not a bra per se, the camp imitation of bra straps is a fascinating development in formalwear.
Perhaps this is what makes the 2023 exposed bra trend so peculiar—we’re not actually seeing bras, we’re seeing the illusion of part of a bra. Curious, indeed!
Scarlett wasn’t the only one on the French Riviera to show off a ‘bra look’ gown that week.
Euphoria and White Lotus actress Sydney Sweeney was photographed leaving Cannes’ Hotel Martinez in an ice blue Miu Miu gown with demi-bra cups revealing the upper half of an actual satin bra in a complementary hue.
Meanwhile, British supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley walked the Cannes red carpet in a white Fendi gown, with silver bra straps. Without this funky detail, the gown itself would have looked very ‘Old Hollywood’. However, the exposed bra suddenly makes it very ‘2023’.
Exposed bras have become a key identifier of Fendi’s Spring 2023 Couture collection, which featured a number of vintage-looking dresses with glittery, exposed bra designs.
Earlier this year, Zoe Saldana wore a satin and lace Fendi gown from the same collection to the Academy Awards. Like Huntington-Whiteley’s Cannes dress, Saldana’s ivory number also featured stand-out bra-look singlet straps.
While the ‘champagne carpet’ at the 2023 Oscars didn’t feature a lot of exposed bras, the Vanity Fair afterparty was absolutely full of them! (Although, these were markedly less “peek-a-boo” bras and more “hello, this is my super awesome bra”.)
Take Olivia Wilde‘s afterparty look. The actress-slash-director wore a one-armed white gown by Gabriela Hearst, which left her bust exposed apart from a leather bralette.
Florence Pugh similarly swapped her voluminous taffeta Oscars gown and hotpants for a voluminous taffeta coat with black trousers and a rosette bra (all by Valentino).
Whether an actual bra or a ‘bra illusion’, there’s no denying this is a focal point for red carpet designs this year.
Shop The Exposed Bra Trend
It was only a matter of time before this red carpet-approved trend trickled down into our everyday wardrobes and event wear.
From subtle exposed details to contrast pops, these are the best exposed bra pieces to shop now.
Elsie Dress, $718 at Nana Jacqueline
A vintage feel in a modern mini, the cowl neck on this statement dress can be adjusted to show as much or little of the gemstone-trimmed bralette—we vote much.
Melanie Top, $265 at Reformation
The perfect everday take on the exposed bra look, this cami brings a fun twist to your classic jeans-and-a-nice-top combo.
Paradiso Cinched Midi Dress, now $417 at Aje
With a fitted panelled bodice and bold floral print, this midi is a show-stopped for any event.
Nelle Knit Dress, $315 at Reformation
Timeless and elegant, the exposed bra detailing on this dress feels understated—ideal for those hesitant to adopt the trend.
Renzo Tube Top, $244 at miaou
Still obsessing over all things Y2K? This graphic mesh top with exposed bra is the top for you.