For many women, it’s the first thing they take off when they get home.
“First thing, before you even put on your shoes, you take the bra off,” said Lisa Muia, owner and founder of Just Lovelee Store.
It seems that nowadays more and more tops look like bras and more and more women don’t even wear them.
“Who likes to be tied up all day? Because that’s how it is,” Muia said.
Muia and other fashionistas say the pandemic has fueled a shift in how women shop for all kinds of clothes, including underwear.
“I think a lot of women in general were used to being at home without a bra,” Muia said.
While things like remote work and more time at home have allowed us to prioritize comfort, they haven’t made bras disappear. Instead, they contributed to the evolution of bras.
According to a NPD Group 2019 Reportsales of sports bras increased by 32%, while sales of bralettes and soft bras increased by 5%.
Whatever your preference, it can be difficult to find fashionable outfits that you can wear with a traditional bra.
“A lot of backless dresses are in, jumpsuits, rompers,” Muia said.
Muia, a mom from Cape Coral, launched her online store right after the pandemic.
“I knew shopping online was something I would have to do and I hated shopping online,” she said.
That’s why she’s teamed up with other local women, like fashion blogger and mom Maxine Bodetti.
“I preach this mom style, it’s not enough leggings and a t-shirt, you absolutely can wear a cute little summer dress,” Bodetti said.
Together they reach people all over Southwest Florida and around the world.
“We sell live a few days a week – Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday nights on Facebook, on TikTok, on our free app, also on our website,” Muia said.
To save you the hassle of returns, they try on the pieces for you by showing you the fits and fabrics.
“Like that, we thought it would be perfect for the 4th of July, it’s a little red crop top but it’s synced here in the middle and comes off the shoulders, perfect for a no-bra situation,” Muia said.
For many shoppers, showing more skin is all the rage.
“Nipples in general were considered a scandalous thing! But I think with the younger generations, they take ownership of who they are. I think they are not afraid to show a little nipple when they dress up,” Muia said.
It has become more than just a fashion statement. In 2012, “Free the Nipple” became more of a movement in the United States, a push for gender equality.
“For me, I think men can show nipples and they can be free and why can’t women?” Muia said.
Women have been breaking down barriers in the world of fashion over the past century, especially in the 1920s and 1960s, according to FGCU associate professor of history Dr Frances Davey.
“You see these times of liberation, where we see younger adults, in their early twenties, taking certain fashion trends and in a way turning them around, in a way challenging the status quo” , said Dr. Davey.
However, there is something for everyone and not everyone is ready to give it all up.
“I think the biggest complaint, for older women or women with large breasts, is that they need some sort of support and there are so many different tools out there these days. There’s like stickers and they lift you up, there’s all kinds of things women can do to get that look too and be able to wear backless dresses or tube tops, or crossover tops which are very popular right now,” Muia said. .
Another benefit is that more outfits come with options, like dresses that you can wear on or off the shoulder.
“So it’s something that really gives you the versatility to wear it in multiple ways,” Bodetti said.
Potentially the best hack of them all goes to one of the things NPD Group has identified as a bestseller – the bralette.
“They’re so trendy and they’re so pretty and lacy and you can wear them and show off your bra/bralette, through whatever outfit you’re wearing. I think it’s been a really big comeback and I think they are here to stay,” Muia said.
To shop brands like New England Floridian, created by Bodetti, and many more, you can find Just Lovelee Boutique on their website, app, or social media accounts.