What trend have some celebrities been trying out in time for the steamy summer season? Bra tops.
While the concept of lingerie as outerwear isn’t a new in Hollywood, the idea of taking a crop top to the next level is fresh and tantalizing — especially for everyday women who feel like taking a style risk.
READ: Inside the Stars' Lingerie Closets
“Zoe Saldana recently killed it with this look,” says Cecelia Myers, chief styling officer at online personal shopping service site CakeStyle. While promoting her new film, “Star Trek Into Darkness,” the 34-year-old actress showed off her curves in a crisp unbuttoned white shirt, revealing a matching lacy bra. While this trend can be tricky to pull off and requires plenty of confidence, Myers believes women can still make this look chic without baring all.
“I’ve had clients ask about crop tops, and I’ve suggested a sheer blouse over a cool, pattered top,” says Myers. “You get a peekaboo effect without going too far."
Some experts also advise getting properly fitted before swiping that credit card. “Make sure you have the appropriate cup size first,” says model and fashion expert Jaimie Hilfiger. “If you are so much of a woman on top that a bra top can’t handle you, chances are this is not for you."
Need some courage to rock this sexy, bedroom style? See how the stars are wearing bra tops below. We also asked several celebrity stylists to weigh in on how to take on this fashion challenge like a pro.
New York City-based stylist Sara Cooper warns that while bra tops are on trend now, this look isn’t for the timid. However, if you’re hesitant about showing skin but still want to flaunt those curves, you can still make the bra top sophisticated and age-appropriate. “I love a bra top under a pant suit,” says Cooper. “This shows just enough skin, but not too much. Layering a bra top with a blazer or leather jacket and slacks is another way to keep it classy.”
Dita Von Teese
When it comes to dressing up with a bra-inspired top, less is always more. “The key with a bra top is wearing a high waisted bottom with it that covers the navel,” says Shannon Davenport, fashion and media editor at trend forecasting site Stylesight. Davenport also says to keep things age-appropriate, avoid baring the belly-button.
One reason why the bra top is hot right now? “Women are drawn to bra tops because they emphasize a narrow part of your body,” says Myers. “Your rib cage is generally pretty lean. Ideally, I’d pair a crop top with a high-waisted skirt and show an inch, maybe two, of skin.”
One way to instantly make a bra top stylish for day or night is skipping basic black and adding bold hues instead. “Moving forward into summer you must do color,” emphasizes celebrity Anthony Henderson. “White, hot pink and neon green are all the rage. It will spruce up any look you may have in your wardrobe. It can also be the highlight of your outfit. Rock them tight and bright.”
Contrary to popular belief, bra tops aren’t actually, well, the real thing. “Yes, they are called bra tops, but they are not actually bras,” says Hilfiger. “They usually consist of more fabric and are longer than an actual bra.” Fortunately, several retail stores offer bra top in a variety of styles and even some lingerie boutiques are getting in on the trend. Make sure you look for one that offers enough support, just like actual lingerie.
Make sure you add one more thing to your look before heading out the door. “Layer, layer, layer!” says Davenport. “Throw a blazer or a sheer blouse over it so that it’s merely a peek-a-boo effect. Or if you feel like going for a longline or day bra, make sure that the rest of your look has coverage and reads demure rather than drastic.”