We've all been there before: One week after the last time you should have done laundry, and there are officially no bras left. What's a gal to do? Is swimwear the real solution here? Can you wear a bikini top as a bra?
Well, it's complicated. OK, not that complicated — but there are a lot of factors to consider. It all depends on your particular bra needs, the type of bikini tops you have to choose from, and, of course, your personal preferences. After all, popular swimsuit styles today run from full-on padded underwire contraptions, to ultra-simple triangle tops. And that's not even considering the breasts in question — for their part, they can be anything from quite comfortably braless to "Oh my GOD, I need to double-up on sports bras."
When it comes to support vs. no support, the science of it is pretty wonky — a famous French study from 2013 argued that going braless actually increases breast elasticity, but it's still a subject that's largely up to debate. That said, the whole bikini-as-bra thing is up to you — especially, since there's no research out there to suggest it's bad for your breasts. If support is an issue for you personally, though, it's always possible to snag an ultra-supportive bathing suit to help keep everything where you want it.
Strappy Front T-Back, $45, Victorias Secret
There's also the whole question of personal style — are you wearing a bikini top for a bra, because for whatever reason you're in a lingerie-free pinch? Or are you doing it to make a fashion statement? What with the confluence of the current popular style of lingerie as outerwear, along with the trend-behemoth that is athleisurewear, it might just be the perfect time for bikini tops to become the next big accessory.
Gigi Hadid's been known to rock the whole long-line bralette look — so why not try it out in swimsuit form?
Ted Baker Cosmic Bloom Longline Padded Bikini Top, $83, ASOS
Or, you can always go with the futuristic cage-bra style that's becoming ever more popular:
Vitamin A Soleil Women's Mesh Strappy Wrap Halter Bikini Top, $40, Target
It's got potential as a future trend, but it hasn't quite hit yet — so for now, you might want to save your bikinis for bra emergencies. It couldn't hurt to have some extra-stylish swim tops on hand just in case, though, right?
Images: Courtesy Brands; Bustle