Home » Blog » Bra vs. bikini top, what’s the difference? Table of Contents What is a bra and what is a bikini top? A bra is a piece of clothing that women wear to support their breasts. Bras come in many different styles, including but not limited to: bras with underwire, bralettes, sports bras, and maternity bras. Bras are typically made from either cloth or lace and are often designed to be form-fitting. A bra is typically worn under clothing and can provide support, shape, and modesty. In some cases, a bra may also be worn as outerwear. A bikini top is a type of bra that women wear when they are going swimming, tanning or lounging at the beach or pool. Bikini tops come in many different styles, including but not limited to: bandeau bikini tops, triangle bikini tops, and halterneck bikini tops. Bikini tops are typically made from either nylong or polyester. The bikini top is designed to provide support and coverage while also being fashionable. Are bikini top the same as a bra? No, while they might appear to look the same, there are many differences between a bikini top and a bra. We initially touched on what a bikini and bra are in the first section of this post. Now we will continue to dive deeper into the similarities between a bikini and a bra as well as all the differences. What are the similarities between bras and bikini tops At a first glance, there might seem to be much in common between a bra and a bikini top. They are both pieces of clothing that covers womens breast one way or another. They both offer various degree of support, shaping and cover. However, that’s about as much as the two have in common. There is of course a major difference between the two that we will dive into next. Turtle Swimsuit $49 Select options Pink Striped Swimsuit $49 Select options Pineapple Swimsuit $49 Select options Blue Striped Swimsuits $49 Select options Bra vs bikini top, what are the differences? So, what is the difference between a bra and a bikini top? The main difference between a bra and bikini top is that a bikini is made to be in water while a bra is not. This might now sound like a big difference but as we’ll show, it’s a big deal and you don’t want to change one for the other. Swimming in salt or chorine water if very hard on whatever fabric you are wearing. That’s why bikinis are made from different materials than bras. Bikinis are made to withstand the harsh chemicals of a pool or the salt of the ocean, while a delicate bra is not. Both the bra and bikini top offers support. However, the need for support and fit is very different outside the water and in. A bikini is made to fit well both when wet and dry. Wearing a bra while in water will not be very comfortable and you can find yourself readjusting it constantly. When would you wear bra vs when would you wear a bikini top It’s not very complicated. You’ll wear a bra on all occasions except when going to the beach, pool, or ocean, then you’ll wear a bikini top. These are rarely interchangable and we do not recommend switching one for the other without a very good reason. Turtle Swimsuit $49 Select options Ducks – Father and Son $68 Select options Blue Striped Matching Couples Swimwear $77 Select options Blue Lagoon 2-Pack Swim Shorts $77 Select options When can you wear a bikini instead of a bra? Your bikini top is made for water activities, so feel free to wear it any time you want to go swimming, sunbathing, or just relax in a hot tub. You can also wear a bikini top as a bra alternative under certain types of clothing, like strappy tops and dresses. Just keep in mind that bikinis provide less support than bras, so they may not be the best choice if you’re looking for lift and shaping. Other times when wearing a bikini instead of a bra is totally acceptable: – When you’re at the beach or pool – While walking at the beach – When you’re playing sports Some use their bikini more often than others and it’s 100% upp to you when you want to wear it. Can you wear a bra instead of a bikini? We would not recommend that you wear a bra instead of a bikini since it will damage your delicate bra and probably won’t offer the fit you need when in the water. A bra is not made to get wet and it will not offer the same level of support as a bikini. Wearing a bra in water is also very uncomfortable and you’ll probably find yourself adjusting it all the time. The only true time we think it’s okay to wear a bra as a bikini is if you simply doesn’t have anything else to wear but a bra. Then it might be your best option other than skinny dipping. Tips: Here are our 7 other tips of what to wear if you don’t have a swimsuit Can you wear a sports bra as a bikini? A sports bra is actually very different from a normal bra. The sports bra is made for increased comfort when being active. A sports bra is made to keep your breast in place, avoid chafing and discomfort when playing sports. They will offer increased support, flexibility, and often more coverage than a normal bra. A sports bra can actually be a good bikini alternative (if you don’t have a bikini) since it’s made to be much more durable, made to be worn while active and offer more support and flexibility. Just be mindful that even for a more durable sports bra, it’s not made to be in salt or chlorine water. It will most likely fade faster than normal as well as lose elasticity faster if regularly used as a bikini top. Pineapple Matching Couples Swimwear $77 Select options Turtle Palm Swim Shorts $65 Select options Pink Striped Swimsuit $49 Select options Tropical 2-Pack Swim Shorts $77 Select options Should you wear a bra under your swimsuit? Swimsuits and bikinis is made to be worn without any undergarment. They offer the right flexability, support and comfort when being at the beach or pool club. Therefore, there should be no need to wear anything under a swimsuit. Avoid using these bras at the beach At this point we’ve concluded that bras and bikini tops might look the same but they are very different garment and are used differently. But we’ve also noted that this is a very personal topic and if you feel the need or simply want to wear your bra as a bikini it’s perfectly fine. As long as you are aware of the drawbacks. But are there any bras that should never be used as a bikini or at the beach in general. Yes, some bras should never be worn as a replacement for a bikini top. These bras should never be worn at the beach: Very delicate brasA see-through braAnything too revealing Sprinkles Swim Shorts $55 Select options Los Angeles Swim Shorts $70 Select options Ibiza 2-Pack Swim Shorts $77 Select options Tile $65 Select options In conclusion So, what’s the difference between a bikini top and bra? Mainly, a bikini top is made to be worn in water while a bra is not. Bikini tops are also made from different materials than bras – they need to withstand the harsh chemicals of a pool or the salt of the ocean, while delicate bras are not meant for that kind of wear. You’ll usually wear a bikini top when going to the beach, pool or ocean, whereas you’ll wear a bra on all other occasions. We don’t recommend wearing a bra as your go-to swimwear solution – it just won’t provide you with the same level of support and coverage that you get with a good bikini top. So, which do you prefer? FAQ about bra vs. bikini Bra vs bikini top, what are the differences? The main difference between a bra and a bikini top is that a bikini is made to be in the water while a bra is not. Can you are a bra on the beach? We would not recommend wearing a bra to the beach since a bra has very different characteristics from a bikini top or swimsuit. Is a bikini top the same as a bra? No, they are used differently and you should be aware of the drawbacks before you use them interchangeably. Can you wear a bra instead of a bikini? We would not recommend that you wear a bra instead of a bikini since it will damage your delicate bra and probably won’t offer the fit you need when in the water. Can you wear a sports bra as a bikini? A sports bra can actually be a good bikini alternative (if you don’t have a bikini). Because it’s made to be much more durable, made to be worn while active, and offer more support and flexibility.