It’s been over a year since Katie Holmes stepped out in her now-iconic Khaite cashmere bra and matching cardigan set. A photograph depicting the actress hailing a cab as her cardigan and strap fell from her shoulder subsequently went viral and put the underwear as outerwear trend back on the fashion map. Fast-forward to 2021 and the look’s influence remains palpable—particularly on the designer circuit.
Moda Operandi has reported a 30% increase in the popularity of bras for SS21 and found they were featured in 10% of all trunk shows (new collection previews and pre-sales), compared to 3% in the previous season. Essentially, it’s a look that’s only gaining momentum, and although it might not be considered a “mainstream” trend, it’s certainly one that’s providing hard to ignore, on both the high-end and high street shopping circuits.
The big question is, how does one style a bra top? “The easiest way to wear the trend is with the straps and the top of a bra visible under a dress, as seen at Victoria Beckham,” encourages editor Emma Spedding. “Or for those who are more experimental, try layering a statement bra over a shirt or shirt dress as seen at Simone Rocha.”
So while it does present the opportunity to show some skin, it’s refreshing to hear that this isn’t the only way to channel the look—especially after being largely confined to our homes in 2020, during which we’ve played it somewhat sartorially safe.
Scroll below to see the likes of Victoria Beckham, Acne, and Emilia Wickstead’s visions for the bra top trend, then proceed to shop our edit of the best tops out there.
This cute $30 version is a risk-free way to test-drive the trend. A matching cardigan is never a bad idea. This pastel purple color is so perfect for spring. Pretty in pink. This looks super cool with faux leather trousers. Don’t overlook the cable-knit detailing on this top. You had me at “Bomber Bra.” Bandeau bras are always a good choice. This baby blue color is so sweet. This colorful bra top really stands out. If you’re not feeling bold, this can easily be worn with a cardigan, jacket, or blazer. The fluffier the better. You might want to spring for the matching pants as well. Mixing a satin top with denim is so cool. A little shimmer is never a bad idea. I love the wide straps on this cute bra top.
Next up, 4 very specific colors trending at Zara, H&M, and Mango right now.
This post originally appeared on Who What Wear UK.
You can thank Katie Holmes.
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