Racerback Bras

Racerback bra from Ana Ono worn by Kimmay of Hurray Kimmay
Kim "Kimmay" Cadlwell wears an Ana Ono bra with a mesh racerback. Becky Yee of Around Digital Media for Hurray Kimmay

Racerback bras have been in existence for many years, and are most commonly worn to hide bra straps when worn under a top or dress that has a racerback. In the past, only a true front closure, racerback style bra was available. In recent years, many bra and bra accessory options to wear with a racerback top have risen from both a functional and fashion need. Below you'll find all of the information you need to know about racerback bras, alternative bra styles, and who should wear this style. 

What is a racerback bra? 

A racerback bra is type of bra with a unique back band and straps that matches the cut of a racerback top. Typically the straps on this type of bra are cut or angled inward, perhaps attached by a piece of material, so as not to show underneath a racerback top or dress. Though it is sometimes referred to as a "razorback" bra, this is incorrect. 

Why should I wear a racerback bra?

The most common reason to wear a racerback bra is to hide straps underneath a racerback top - thus, the name. However, there are many other options, too! For one, traditional racerback bras are often fastened in the front, rather than the back of a bra. For women with mobility issues, a front closure bra may be easier to put on. Additionally, those with scoliosis or narrow shoulders may find that a racerback bra's straps are better placed and won't slip or slide down. Athletes often like racerback bras for the added security that they feel when the straps are criss crossed or racerback style. And finally, you may want to show off the back of your decorative racerback bra, or simply love the way racerback bras look or feel. 

Different kinds of racerback bras:

  1. Front Closure - A racerback bra with a front closure has a hook to fasten the bra around the band in the front, in between the cups. This kind of bra may have a lace, t-back, convertible, or plain back. The options are endless. Usually, because of the size of the fastener, it's a lower cut or plunge style in the front. One thing to consider when purchasing this style is that, unlike bras with three rows of hook and eyes, this kind only has one. That means as the bra stretches  or if you gain weight, it is not possible to adjust the band. 
  2. T-Back - A t-back bra is most commonly a front closure bra, but it may not always. This style has a much thinner back and straps, whose shape resemble a capital letter "T". 
  3. Convertible - A convertible bra is one with straps that can convert to different placements, making it ideal to function for many different styles of tops. Most commonly, a convertible bra's straps can be unhooked from where they attach to the back band, criss crossed, and attached on the opposite side of the band. This creates an "X" shape, which also serves the same purpose as a racerback bra. Another kind of convertible bra is that with a "j-hook" on the back of the straps. This hook and eye allow the straps to lay straight back, or stay fastened into an "X" shape without unhooking the straps from the bra band. You simply attach the straps to each other in the middle of your back. This kind of bra can be front or back closure, and the front of the straps may or may not be removable or adjustable as well. 
  4. T-shirt - Any of the above styles can also be a t-shirt bra. Because the first origin of racerback bra came from a functional purpose of not showing straps, it's common that the cups of this kind of bra will be smooth, in a neutral tone, and to not show through a t-shirt. Though there are fashion or lace style racerback bras, many are molded, or stretch cups. 
  5. Sports - As mentioned above, several sports bras are racerback style. This is mostly for functional reasons, as a racerback style bra can offer additional support in the front, and prevent slipping bra straps during a rigorous workout.
  6. Lace or decorative - Though racerback bras were initially designed to prevent a part of the bra from showing, they can sometimes have a pretty, decorative back, which is fashionable to show off. Many smooth cup fronts may have a lace or pretty back band or straps. In addition, racerback bras can be made of all lace. This is especially true of a bralette style that is put on over the head. 
  7. Accessories - There are many lingerie accessories that make turning a basic bra into a racerback bra possible. Bra strap convertors come in plastic or elastic.

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