Sydney Sweeney and Scarlett Johansson are the latest celebs to jump on the exposed bra trend

By Jennifer Raymont

Published May 28, 2023 at 09:15 AM

Reading time: 2 minutes

At the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, we ushered in the year of the exposed bra, with both Sydney Sweeney and Scarlett Johansson (almost) jumping out of their frocks and onto the throwback fashion trend.

Euphoria actress Sweeney opted for a Miu Miu silk slip dress to skip out of her hotel to the Cannes red carpet. Oh, how the other half live. Fashion fanatics were quick to admire the 25-year-old’s powder blue bra poking out from behind her gown. Along with her tousled locks and minimal makeup, the exposed bra comes together for an effortless look.

 

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A post shared by Sydney Sweeney (@sydney_sweeney)

 

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A post shared by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (@rosieholics)

As trend forecasters would say, once is a fluke, twice is a coincidence, and thrice is a trend. Sweeney wasn’t alone in her lingerie look, being swiftly joined by Johansson as well as Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Johansson wore a block-coloured Prada in the form of a pink strapless gown with a white bra beaming proudly over, while Huntington-Whitely chose a silver sequin bra. Good things really do come in threes.

 

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A post shared by Scarlett Johansson (@_scarlett_johansson._)

As fast as fans were to praise Johansson’s bra-baring look, they were also quick to hate. Attending a Cannes afterparty, just days later, the Black Widow actress’ bright pink bra could be seen under her green racerback dress. Social media blamed her stylist for the mishap, but how is it different to her earlier red carpet look?

 

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A post shared by Scarlett Johansson (@_scarlett_johansson._)

Exposed underwear is a trend that, much like thongs, peeks in and out of fashion constantly—it is by no means new, but rather something that has come hand in hand with the Y2K resurgence. Low-rise trousers inherently have more give for a whale tail moment and camis love a bra strap. It’s an intentionally unintentional fashion mishap, you know?

Cannes is not the first time that our favourite celebrities have dressed up their nether regions. Nepo baby Hailey Bieber sported a built-in whale tail at the Met Gala in 2019, quickly followed by Sweeney’s Euphoria co-star, Alexa Demie, at their show’s premiere.

https://www.tiktok.com/@offtrend.hq/video/7237165984287657243

Underwear as outerwear has had several iterations over the years. Vivienne Westwood’s emblematic vintage corsets are now selling for thousands online and supermodels Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner have often taken to scrapping trousers altogether to run errands in their pants.

Julia Fox, as usual, took it one step further by wearing a melted glass top, and not much else.

As the trend circulates in and out of fashion, so do the social stigmas surrounding women’s bodies. Strapless bras, nipple pasties and seamless pants were at one point in the 2010s an unspoken compulsory item. God forbid people find out women wear underwear and have nipples…

Living in fear of your bra making a cameo at school was sadly a part of growing up. Spaghetti straps were banned and plain options were encouraged to avoid your hot pink training bra showing through your white shirt. These rules and regulations stem from the misogynistic sexualisation of young girls who got to school to learn things, not be made to feel uncomfortable by their male peers, or worse, teachers.

Now we’re in the 2020s, nip slips are part and parcel of gen Z women empowering themselves by celebrating and showing off their bodies, yet Instagram still refuses not to censor them. It seems, as a society, no one can settle on whether we’re going to shame women for their bodies or celebrate them.

Taking into consideration the underwear as outerwear trend’s fluctuating trajectory over the years, it’s likely the exposed bra won’t have longevity, unfortunately. While it lasts, however, we will definitely be embracing our trusty bras rather than buying new underwear for every outfit. Who knew bras would support our financial needs in a cost of living crisis as much as they support our boobs, huh?

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