There are few things I value as much as a trend that has longevity, and the cozy bra trend is just that. Straight off of the spring and summer runways, the bralette, in its various forms and silhouettes, is the newest step in our evolution of wearing underwear as outerwear. A Parisian novelty that's finally caught the eye of American fashion, the bralette will be a huge trend again this year and especially for spring/summer.
Akin to a bandeau or cropped camisoles, the bralette is a fresh take on selectively showing a bit of skin. Over the past few months, this trend has exploded, in part escalated by the coziness of working from home and the adoption from IT-girls. There are a bevy of beautiful bralettes in various silhouettes floating around, available from almost every designer or retailer one can imagine. So, prepare yourself for a year of exposed bra straps and glimpses of delicate lace details. You may think bralettes are out of your arena, but I promise after reading this article, you'll be adding to your cart quicker than you think.
To get started, I gathered 6 easy bralette looks that you can pull off effortlessly.
That Kind of Beach Trip
There is such ease and comfort to the bralette that just can't be achieved with a traditional underwire bra on vacation. For a beach trip equal parts enjoyable and stylish, a bralette is most definitely needed. It's the perfect transitional piece from the beach to lunch to dinner; the bikini aesthetic without the wet, after-hours bikini feel. Add a pair of heels to immediately elevate the look.
The Coolest Cool Girl
You can easily elevate the bralette by layering it over any neutral piece of clothing, like a crisp button-up or your favorite fitted tee. While the overall look gives off 90s IT-girl, the clean lines give it a modern, updated feel. This is a combination you can repeat over and over, especially in the cooler months.
Easy, Breezy, Hot Girl
If the early '00s are your vibes, a bandeau bralette is needed in your everyday wardrobe. Reminiscent of Ashanti and Toni Braxton, the bandeau bralette effortlessly gives any outfit that easy, breezy, summer vibe. Whether paired with a maxi skirt or long-lined shorts like Tenicka, you can't go wrong with this staple in your spring wardrobe.
Brunch or Nah?
The season of breezy and light fabrics is upon us, which also means brunches and girls' trips are on the horizon. Bralettes are the perfect top for sipping Rose for hours with your nearest and dearest. You can easily add a color-coordinated cardigan or long-line duster to complete the look.
That Not-So-Professional Slay
There's no need to say you're a boss when you look the part. For my ladies who like to turn heads, a bralette with tailored business pants is the only way to do business. Opt for a neutral top and statement trouser to create a beautiful flow and silhouette.
Working From Home-Ish
When you have a Zoom meeting in 10 minutes and you can't be bothered to put on a real bra, reach for the bralette. You can easily bear with an oversized button-up and high-waisted jeans for a complete WFH look.
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Featured image courtesy of Courtney Simpson/Instagram
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Courtney is a contributing writer, based in Puerto Rico by way of Tennessee. Interested in the intersection of fashion and culture, she has an affinity for fashion, empowerment, and really good tacos. Keep up with her on Instagram (@hautecourtxo).
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What Are Intrusive Thoughts & How Do We Manage Them?
TW: some depictions of intrusive thoughts may be disturbing for readers.
Have you ever caught your mind drifting off to entertain the most disturbing scenarios imaginable? Maybe you can’t stop thinking of all the ways a loved one could pass away or worrying that you left every candle lit in your apartment to which you’d return to a home in ruins. If distressing ruminations like these have crossed your mind, you may be experiencing an intrusive thought.
What Are Intrusive Thoughts?
Intrusive thoughts are unwanted or distressing thoughts, images, or impulses that pop into your mind without your control or consent. These thoughts can be repetitive, unsettling, or even violent in nature, and can cause anxiety and frustration for those who experience them.
“Generally they're unwanted thoughts that come up in our head that interrupt what we're doing or thinking, and can feel very foreign,” says Adia Gooden, PhD, licensed clinical psychologist and host of the Unconditionally Worthy podcast. “It’s any thought that intrudes or interrupts what you are doing. They can be distressing and upsetting for us because it feels like we are not in control of them, and they're coming up out of nowhere and aren’t in line with how you normally think.”
What Causes Intrusive Thoughts?
Certain trauma or stress can contribute to the development of intrusive thoughts, so having a challenging experience from the past or current life situations may trigger them to form. “An intrusive thought could come in the form of a flashback, image, or a thought about something that's happened to you,” Dr. Gooden tells xoNecole. “When it gets to the point where you feel like you can't function or make clear decisions, that's when intrusive thoughts become really challenging.”
While some of the 1 billion videos found under the #intrusivethoughts hashtag on TikTok would lead you to believe that these thoughts are nothing more than casual displays of our imagination going untamed. Intrusive thoughts are more than sticking your hand in a soap dispenser, wanting to cut all your hair off at 3 a.m., or having a random impulse to eat fake bread in public.
The Anxiety & Depression Association of America reports that approximately six million individuals, equating to roughly two percent of the American population, encounter intrusive thoughts. Intrusive thoughts are often linked with obsessive-compulsive disorders, but they can also manifest in individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, or anxiety.
Examples of Common Intrusive Thoughts
Because of the explicit nature of intrusive thoughts, they tend to cause shame and internal conflict in those who experience them. Although these thoughts can differ from person to person, these ideation can consist of:
- Violent or aggressive thoughts towards oneself or others, such as harming or killing someone;
- Sexual thoughts that are unwanted or inappropriate;
- Repetitive thoughts, such as a song or a phrase that keeps repeating in your mind;
- Contamination or germ-related thoughts or the fear of contamination and getting sick;
- Religious or blasphemous thoughts, such as questioning one's faith or having thoughts that go against religious beliefs;
- Doubts or uncertainty about one's own actions or decisions, such as fear of making a mistake or fear of not doing something right.
Intrusive Thoughts and OCD
That’s why Dr. Gooden encourages everyone to understand the difference between our fleeting thoughts and impulses and true, intrusive thoughts. “What level of distress does it cause and is it something you would never consider,” she says. “If you're finding that these thoughts are getting in the way of you living your life and that you're controlled by the thoughts, those are some signs that it would be good to get some support in navigating it.”
She also emphasizes the importance of understanding that while we may not always have control over our thoughts, we can control our behavior. “On TikTok, people are sort of blaming intrusive thoughts on their behavior, and our behavior is always a choice,” she says. “If we are in our right mind and we're not having a psychotic episode, our behavior is our choice — we are not obligated to follow any given thought that we have.”
Are Intrusive Thoughts Normal?
With intrusive thoughts, it’s natural to question whether these thoughts are “normal” to have. However, these thoughts are not meant to define who you are as a person but simply indicate that you have a functioning human mind with automated thoughts that you, or any of us, can’t control. These thoughts may come, but they don’t have to be acted upon, nor do they define who you are.
“I've worked with clients in the past who say, ‘Why am I thinking these things? What's wrong with me?’ But if you're not acting on the thought, then it's probably not a huge issue,” Dr. Gooden says. “If you are thinking a harmful thought towards yourself or someone else and you are making plans to act on that thought, then yes, we need to do something about it.”
How To Manage Intrusive Thoughts
If you are struggling with managing unwanted thoughts, Dr. Aida suggests taking these tips to help manage your mindset when they occur:
- "Recognize that it's a thought and thoughts are just thoughts. We often put a little bit too much weight on our thoughts, and that can create a lot of distress. But remember that thoughts are not facts."
- "Having a thought that's disturbing or upsetting doesn't make you a bad person, and it doesn't mean that you are suffering from a mental illness."
- "Sometimes the best thing you can do is say, 'Huh, that was an interesting thought. I'm going to let that go. That thought is not helpful for me right now."
- "Ask yourself: is this helpful? Is it helpful for me to buy into this thought and believe this thought? Asking that question can be really helpful because we are not at the mercy of our thoughts. If it's not helpful, you can let it go."
Intrusive thoughts can feel bizarre and foreign when they come up, but they aren't inherently "bad." Our minds can sometimes be filled with random and inappropriate thoughts, but that's what our stream of consciousness does: it thinks. Fortunately, we can release those thoughts at any moment; you don't have to follow through with them.
And ultimately, not every TikTok diagnosis is one that we should label ourselves with.
"It's important for people to acknowledge what they're experiencing but not run too quickly to diagnose themselves with some mental illness or disorder," Dr. Gooden advises. "It ends with confusion, and we miss the opportunity to understand the people who really do have that mental health challenge."
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