The fashion edit: Bringing the bra out of the closet!

How to pair the bra top with everything, from shorts to saris
Bra top not just sounds sexy, but can be as bold as you want it to be. Styling by Avneet Chadha. Art direction: Amit Malik; Styling assistant: Tanya Aggarwal ; Make-up and hair: Anuj Dogra; Model: Prabhjot(Shivamm Paathak)
Bra top not just sounds sexy, but can be as bold as you want it to be. Styling by Avneet Chadha. Art direction: Amit Malik; Styling assistant: Tanya Aggarwal ; Make-up and hair: Anuj Dogra; Model: Prabhjot(Shivamm Paathak)
Updated on Mar 07, 2020 10:59 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By

By definition, a bra top is a garment that looks like a brassiere, but is worn as outerwear. But the name itself makes it sound like it’s something for the bold and the beautiful.

“What rubbish!” says senior fashion designer Leena Singh. “Bra tops used to be worn by women in the form of choli blouses during the Mughal era!”

Of course it has evolved over the years and today, it’s being styled with everything from a pair of jeans to a sari and a wedding lehenga. The possibilities are endless, adds Leena.

According to designer Anju Modi, “It’s a sexy and stylish garment that looks good on anyone who is fit! Wear it to a party or when you are on a vacay in a place like Goa but you can’t wear it on a flight or in a train!” she cautions.

Here are eight ways to style the sassy garment, that sounds sexy, but can be as bold as you want it to be.

Pair ‘em with pants

Top & bra top, H&M; culottes, H&M; sandals, Bata (Shivamm Paathak)
Top & bra top, H&M; culottes, H&M; sandals, Bata (Shivamm Paathak)

This look ticks the neon, bra top box, leather and the high-waisted pants box and is super trendy for young women!

Wear this to: “A party or the night club,” says fashion designer Anupamaa Dayal and adds that since all these layers- cum-cinching demand a slender body, a boyish shape would be great to flaunt this look.

Pair it with: “Just military- style boots and go for simple accessories and make-up with red lips,” she adds.

Avoid: “A necklace or adding more colour. Steer clear of headgear and slinky shoes too,” she cautions.

Sashay with it in a sari

Bra top, Clovia; cape, Pankaj & Nidhi; sari, Dolly J; sandals, Ket Importa (Kin’s) (Shivamm Paathak )
Bra top, Clovia; cape, Pankaj & Nidhi; sari, Dolly J; sandals, Ket Importa (Kin’s) (Shivamm Paathak )

This Indian drape, a pre-stitched sari, gets a fresh modern twist with both the bra top and the jacket layered together as a blouse substitute.

Wear this to: “Any event that requires you to dress up or make a statement. It’s perfect for clubs, cocktails or a grown-up date night,” says celebrity stylist Rishi Raj.

Pair it with: “Open-toed, strappy high heels to up the sexy style of this look and a statement neckpiece will bring focus on to the bra top and jacket,” he adds.

Avoid: “Clunky and wedge heels or too much colour blocking and contrast to keep you look svelte,” suggests Rishi.

Style it with a skirt

Bra top, Clovia; blazer, Faballey; skirt , H&M (Shivamm Paathak)
Bra top, Clovia; blazer, Faballey; skirt , H&M (Shivamm Paathak)

Feminine, sensuous and stylish while still being super comfy, this look can easily become work-friendly and can transition beautifully into date or eveningwear too.

Wear this to: “Work. Button up the jacket and you’re ready to lead a meeting or carry it to a date – give a peek of the stylish lacy bra top and he’s all eyes!” says Rishi Raj.

Pair it with: “A slinky watch and strappy heels to keep the sexy corporate vibe going. Plus, you could team it up with a pair of marsala-hued brogues and add extra sass,” recommends Rishi.

Avoid: “Anything fake or plastic-looking as this look has a luxe yet playful vibe. So, keep your accessories real and organic and your make-up soft with a dash of a deep colour to balance it all out,” he says.

Keep it sporty with joggers

Bra-top, H&M; trousers, Lecoanet & Hemant (Shivamm Paathak)
Bra-top, H&M; trousers, Lecoanet & Hemant (Shivamm Paathak)

If your’re a fan of athleisure and active wear then this look – where a bra top is paired with a pair of joggers – can be used to make a sporty-chic style statement!

Wear this to: “A café where you are hanging out with friends,” suggests celebrity stylist Rick Roy.

Pair it with: “Bottomwear that’s loose. A sheer top in a contrasting hue can make it look pretty cool!” he says and adds that since it shows a lot of the midriff and a lot of people aren’t comfortable with it, so you can team it with something that covers the stomach.

Avoid: “Pairing bra tops with body hugging leggings unless you want to look like you’ve come straight out of a gym or going to one!” he cautions.

Dress it up

Bra top; dress and shrug Bloni; sandals, Bata (Shivamm Paathak)
Bra top; dress and shrug Bloni; sandals, Bata (Shivamm Paathak)

Style and functionality coalesce in this gown whose grandeur is elevated with a bra top and exaggerated sleeves, while oversized pockets add a hint of utility.

Wear this to: “The look is very appropriate for an anniversary celebration, a youngsters’ night or even a cocktail party,” says Shivan Bhatia from Shivan & Narresh.

Pair it with: “Statement studs and remember to keep the accessories very minimal with this look,” he says.

Avoid: “Over accessorisation and dark make-up with this look !” cautions Shivan.

Slay it with shorts

Top, H&M; bra top, Clovia; shorts, Lecoanet & Hemant; shoes, Max Fashion (Shivamm Paathak)
Top, H&M; bra top, Clovia; shorts, Lecoanet & Hemant; shoes, Max Fashion (Shivamm Paathak)

Teaming bra top with shorts and a sheer top is great way to blend glamour and comfort

Wear this to: “A mall. It’s perfect for mall hopping as well as for a for night out,” says fashion designer Jenjum Gadi.

Pair it with: “A transparent top or shirt. Wear it under the open jacket and with big boat neck line tops or dresses. Try to keep accessories minimal. Just one statement piece will do the trick!” he suggests.

Avoid: “Too much of skin show otherwise it

might end up looking like an undergarment. If you are just wearing bra top keep the bottom fully covered. Or, if you plan to show off your legs then try to pair the bra top with a jacket or transparent overlays,” advises Jenjum.

Layer it with a lehenga

Bra top, H&M; dupatta, Ikaya; lehanga skirt, Indya; ring and earrings, Zyra (Shivamm Paathak)
Bra top, H&M; dupatta, Ikaya; lehanga skirt, Indya; ring and earrings, Zyra (Shivamm Paathak)

Contrasting pieces can be put together to create a fusion Indo-Western look. This makes traditional dressing more contemporary.

Wear this to: “Any social occasion, depending on the style of the bra top. For instance, a corset can be worn for an evening out,” says designer Rocky S.

Pair it with: “Bomber jackets, blazers, or throw on a sheer top over it and concentrate on one aspect of accessorising. For example, if you opt for stack chains, then keep the rest of your look simple. A nice sling bag could be a good addition to the look too!” he adds.

Avoid: “Over layering your look. Remember, less is more,” says Rocky S.

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From HT Brunch, March 8, 2020

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Lubna Salim is the chief content producer with Brunch. A lifestyle journalist for seven years, she writes on fashion, food, travel and all things luxurious.

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