Iconic Bras from Our Favorite Fashion Icons

Illustration of ThirdLove bras recommended for our favorite fashion icons

With updated attitudes around sexuality, bodies, and nudity, showing off your bra is not only accepted; it’s a fun way to add a little color and texture to any outfit.

While it seems like we’re seeing the exposed bra look everywhere, the trend has actually been around for decades, especially amongst fixtures of pop culture. Marilyn Monroe was filmed modeling more than one slinky robe and balconette bra. Many of Selena Quintanilla’s looks revolved around bejeweled bustiers. Who can forget Madonna’s iconic cone bra? And modern fashion icon Lady Gaga routinely wears full lingerie looks IRL.

Today, we’re taking inspiration from some of our favorite fashion icons to show how you can rock an exposed bra.

Illustration of ThirdLove's Matte and Shine Balconette Bra in light blue is our pick for Marilyn Monroe fans
Inspired by the Hollywood glam of Marilyn Monroe, the Matte and Shine Balconette Bra is our pick for a timeless look.

Marilyn Monroe

No star is more synonymous with timeless glam than Marilyn Monroe. Halter necklines, figure-hugging dresses, red lipstick – all quintessential Marilyn. But did you know she also put the balconette bra on the map in the 1950s when she modeled this iconic bra style?

Naturally, a balconette bra is the clear choice for conjuring a Marilyn moment. The low-cut cups and wider-set straps will give your boobs a subtle lift for a fit that’s pure Hollywood romance. If you’re looking to keep your bra under wraps, a balconette bra is an obvious choice for a scoop or square neckline. But we’re talking exposed bras here; go for a peekaboo effect by pairing your balconette with a lower-cut neckline for a look that turns the spotlight on your curves.

Shop the Matte and Shine Balconette Bra.


Illustration of ThirdLove's Lace Balconette Bra in Black is our pick for Carrie Bradshaw fans.
Equal parts sensual and sophisticated, the 24/7™ Lace Balconette Bra is our pick for Carrie Bradshaw fans.

Carrie Bradshaw

She may be a fictional character, but Carrie Bradshaw’s creative, risk-taking style has fully transcended the small screen. And while she’s usually known for her Manolos and nameplate necklaces, Carrie also had a knack for turning an exposed bra into a full-on sartorial moment. From tomboyish-fronts to more romantic, lacy bra styles, Carrie’s undergarments of choice typically skew more classic – a contrast to her more eclectic ensembles.

For a more subtle Carrie-inspired look, try exposing a black lace balconette under a white button-down or sheer blouse. Equal parts sensual and sophisticated, this low-key styling easily translates outside of the streets of Manhattan.

Shop the 24/7™ Lace Balconette Bra.


Illustration of ThirdLove's Modern Mesh Plunge Bra in Black is our pick for Lady Gaga
Our pick for Mother Monster, Lady Gaga, the Modern Mesh Plunge Bra in Charcoal.

Lady Gaga

Not one for subtlety, the boundary-pushing icon doesn’t just make her bra a part of her look; her bra is her look. Often seen paired standalone with denim cutoffs or sheer stockings, her bra-as-a-top looks are pretty tame compared to Mother Monster’s iconically out-there style.

If you’re inspired by Lady Gaga’s bold, experimental fashion choices, try styling a plunge bra under an unbuttoned blazer or flannel. Or if you’re feeling extra daring, go full Gaga and flaunt your bra sans top. Practical? Maybe not. But attention-grabbing? Absolutely.

Shop the Modern Mesh Plunge.

Whether you’re showing off your bra or keeping it under wraps, ThirdLove makes beautiful and comfortable bras that you can easily style on your terms. Regardless of your fashion preferences, we’ll make sure your bra is your favorite part of your outfit.