When you’re spending the majority of your time at home, both for work and play, sometimes the bra comes off midday or, it never goes on in the first place — your colleagues can’t really tell on the Zoom call, right? However, before you completely write off this item in your life, take a look at actor Gabrielle Union, whose leather bralette makes a strong case for you to wear one come spring. Union’s edgy bralette outfit fits right in with the larger trend of wearing this undergarment staple as outerwear, and credit for the style’s recent resurgence can be attributed to the Spring/Summer 2021 runways at shows like Celine, Tom Ford, Alberta Ferretti, Etro, and Versace.
On Feb. 22, Union posted a series of photos on Instagram of her modeling a Dion Lee black oversized blazer and trouser set. Underneath the blazer, instead of opting for a full-coverage shirt, Union revealed some skin with her leather bra-inspired top, also from the label. Thanks to the bralette, you could see the gold chain belt around her waist, which coordinated with the gold clip in the middle of her top. The look, composed by Union’s stylist Thomas Christos Kikis, was topped off with a black and gold Valentino handbag and square-toe mules from BY FAR. The Bring It On alum tagged the photo’s location as “Bad to the bone” and wrote “Light lift” for her caption to complete the whole cheeky vibe. And if Union’s sleek, all-black look gave you strong early ’00s vibes, your fashion instincts would be right on point.
Bra tops — especially when paired with low-rise pants as Union did — are not a wholly fresh fashion take. The skin-baring combo was initially pioneered by Black fashion icons during the Y2k era, and their styling efforts introduced the world to bralettes as blouses. Musician Aaliyah was notorious for wearing alluring bra tops paired with baggy pants, and her looks (as well as rapper Lil’ Kim and many others) led to a rise in popularity for the styling choice. Bra tops eventually made their way back under your clothes, but as shown in Union’s monochrome look, bras as tops are in the midst of a full fashion revival. Just take a look at the ensembles, too, from the Etro and Alberta Ferretti Spring/Summer 2021 runways.
The exciting trend is set to be everywhere come springtime and the styling options are limitless. Take a style cue from Union and pair your bralette with a blazer for a professional twist on the trend. You can also opt for glamour and snag an ornate beaded top to layer over a flowing dress or button-up shirt. To test-drive this daring trend, shop Union’s look and a selection of other bralettes, below.
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