Most Breathable Bras & Underwear

With the weather getting hotter, it’s that time again to switch your undergarments and opt for something lighter and more breathable. In this article, you can find our list of breathable bras and underwear.  

At Understance, we offer a variety of lightly lined, unpadded bras and natural fiber underwear. You won’t have to compromise on comfort, support or style. Instead, you can look your best while feeling your best.  

Nile wears Shea in Cafe Au Lait, size 30DDD

Summer Bra Problems

Hotter weather brings its own bra struggles, like boob sweat and chafing (which can lead to rashes and potentially skin infections). 

 

That’s why wearing a breathable bra is so important. It keeps your breasts cool and keeps you feeling comfortable all day. 

For tips and tricks on how to deal with and soothe chafing, read this blog post. 

Summer Bra Problems

Hotter weather brings its own bra struggles, like boob sweat and chafing (which can lead to rashes and potentially skin infections).  

That’s why wearing a breathable bra is so important. It keeps your breasts cool and keeps you feeling comfortable all day. 

For tips and tricks on how to deal with and soothe chafing, read this blog post. 

Breathability

Breathability is about material. The breathability of a certain fabric depends on its fiber (natural is typically more breathable than synthetic) and structure (if it allows air/heat to travel through). 

The cotton lining of our Ivy bra

Natural fibers, like cotton, are very breathable. Our best seller, Ivy, has cotton cups, making it the perfect everyday summer bra.

With that said, cotton tends to hold onto moisture instead of letting it escape. So if you’re going to be playing sports and sweating a lot, a cotton bra may not be the best option.

For synthetic materials, breathability depends on the particular type of fabric and its weight. Most types of mesh tend to trap heat. Lace, on the other hand, is fairly breathable

Breathability

Breathability is about material. The breathability of a certain fabric depends on its fiber (natural is typically more breathable than synthetic) and structure (if it allows air/heat to travel through).  

Natural fibers, like cotton, are very breathable. Our best seller, Ivy, has cotton cups, making it the perfect everyday summer bra.  

With that said, cotton tends to hold onto moisture instead of letting it escape. So if you’re going to be playing sports and sweating a lot, a cotton bra may not be the best option.

The cotton lining of our Ivy bra

For synthetic materials, breathability depends on the particular type of fabric and its weight. 

Most types of mesh tend to trap heat. Lace, on the other hand, is fairly breathable

Our Most Breathable Bras

In general, unlined, lightly lined, and lightly padded bras are the most breathable. The less material there is, the less potential for the bra to hold onto heat. 

Since people have different breast shapes and sizes, the most breathable bra for one person may not be the most breathable bra for the next person.  

Caitlyn wears Berry in 30I

A gorgeous unpadded bra for small band, big cup

Yara FlexWire Unpadded Demi Lift Bra

  • Feels super light 
  • Works well for shorter torsos 
  • Suits bottom-full breasts (most of your breast tissue is below the nipple) 
  • Perfect for average or side-set breasts (because of its low gore)

Available sizes: 28-42 DD-J

If you’re more center-full, try Nora instead, which has a higher center gore to keep your breasts separate.

A gorgeous unpadded bra for small band, big cup

Yara FlexWire Unpadded Demi Lift Bra

  • Feels super light 
  • Works well for shorter torsos 
  • Suits bottom-full breasts (most of your breast tissue is below the nipple) 
  • Perfect for average or side-set breasts (because of its low gore)

Available sizes: 28-42 DD-J

Caitlyn wears Berry in 30I

If you’re more center-full, try Nora instead, which has a higher center gore to keep your breasts separate. 

Charlotte wears Black (Eco) in 40H

A great non-bulky, lightly padded option

Ivy Full Coverage Underwire Bra

  • More secure and full-coverage 
  • Lightly lined with cotton cups (breathable and gentle) 
  • Lower side wires prevent digging! 
  • Made with our bendy and comfy FlexWire™

Available sizes: 30-44 C-J 

A great non-bulky, lightly padded option

Ivy Full Coverage Underwire Bra

  • More secure and full-coverage 
  • Lightly lined with cotton cups (breathable and gentle) 
  • Lower side wires prevent digging! 
  • Made with our bendy and comfy FlexWire™

Available sizes: 30-44 C-J

Charlotte wears Black (Eco) in 40H
Kennedy wears Black in 36H

Made with light-as-air spacer fabric

Spacer Air Shea FlexWire Molded Unlined Bra

  • Made with spacer fabric (a type of breathable foam) 
  • Unpadded and unlined 
  • Straps won’t slip off your shoulders 
  • Suits top-full breasts very well

Available sizes: 30-44 D-H

A new version of Shea with firmer straps for larger sizes is coming soon! 

Made with light-as-air spacer fabric

Spacer Air Shea FlexWire Molded Unlined Bra 

  • Made with spacer fabric (a type of breathable foam) 
  • Unpadded and unlined 
  • Straps won’t slip off your shoulders 
  • Suits top-full breasts very well

Available sizes: 30-44 D-H

Kennedy wears Black in 36H

A new version of Shea with firmer straps for larger sizes is coming soon!

Ailvi wears Shadow in 44DD

Also light-as-air, but full coverage

Spacer Air Quinn FlexWire Seamed Cup Unlined Bra

  • Also made with spacer fabric 
  • Separates and lifts your breasts 
  • Gives a slight minimizing effect (not actually compressive) 
  • Straps won’t slip off your shoulders

Available sizes: 34-48 D-J

A new version of Quinn with firmer straps for larger sizes is also coming soon!

Also light-as-air, but full coverage

Spacer Air Quinn FlexWire Seamed Cup Unlined Bra

  • Also made with spacer fabric 
  • Separates and lifts your breasts 
  • Gives a slight minimizing effect (not actually compressive) 
  • Straps won’t slip off your shoulders

Available sizes: 34-48 D-J

Ailvi wears Shadow in 44DD

A new version of Quinn with firmer straps for larger sizes is coming soon!

Alysea wears Foggy Blue in 30A

A light, unpadded bra for smaller cups

Chelsea FlexWire Unpadded Demi Bra

  • Feels light and freeing 
  • Gives slight, natural lift 
  • Perfect for shorter torsos 
  • Doesn’t gap on smaller busts

Available sizes: 28-42 A-D

A light, unpadded bra for smaller cups

Chelsea FlexWire Unpadded Demi Bra

  • Feels light and freeing 
  • Gives slight, natural lift 
  • Perfect for shorter torsos 
  • Doesn’t gap on smaller busts

Available sizes: 28-42 A-D

Alysea wears Foggy Blue in 30A

Our Most Breathable Underwear

Underwear that’s made with natural fibers is the most breathable.

If you’re specifically looking to eliminate thigh chafing, check out our bike shorts with longer inseams. 

All our underwear is made with a 100% cotton gusset. 

Tatiana wears our Bike Shorts 6” in Black, size L

For breathable all-day comfort

Pima Cotton Collection

  • Made with Pima cotton (breathable, soft, and doesn’t wear out easily) 
  • Lightly smooths your stomach
  • Leg opening doesn’t chafe or dig in 
  • Offered in shapes: Ultra High-Rise Brief, Ultra High-Rise Boyshorts, Mid-Rise Thong, Mid-Rise Brief

Available sizes: XS-XXXL

For breathable all-day comfort

Pima Cotton Collection

  • Made with Pima cotton (breathable, soft, and doesn’t wear out easily) 
  • Lightly smooths your stomach
  • Leg opening doesn’t chafe or dig in 
  • Offered in shapes: Ultra High-Rise Brief, Ultra High-Rise Boyshorts, Mid-Rise Thong, Mid-Rise Brief

Available sizes: XS-XXXL

Tatiana wears our Bike Shorts 6” in Black, size L
Kenzie wears our Mid-Rise Hipster in Navy, size XXXL

For light and gentle smoothing

Soft Contour 2.0 Collection

  • Made with modal (natural, breathable, and cool to the touch) 
  • Smooths out lines and unevenness (lightly compressive) 
  • New no-roll design 
  • Offered in shapes: High-Rise Bike Shorts 4”, High-Rise Bike Shorts 7”, High-Rise Brief, High-Rise Thong, Mid-Rise Hipster

Available sizes: XS-4XL

For light and gentle smoothing

Soft Contour 2.0 Collection

  • Made with modal (natural, breathable, and cool to the touch) 
  • Smooths out lines and unevenness (lightly compressive) 
  • New no-roll design 
  • Offered in shapes: High-Rise Bike Shorts 4”, High-Rise Bike Shorts 7”, High-Rise Brief, High-Rise Thong, Mid-Rise Hipster

Available sizes: XS-4XL

Kenzie wears our Mid-Rise Hipster in Navy, size XXXL

To see all our breathable summer essentials, click here! 

Thank you for reading this blog about our most breathable bras and underwear. If you need help looking for the perfect summer bra, book a virtual fitting. It’s a one-on-one Zoom session with one of our fit specialists.  

If you have any questions, drop them down below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the most breathable bra fabric?

The breathability of a certain fabric depends on its fiber (natural is more breathable than synthetic) and its structure (if it allows heat and air to flow though). Natural fabrics, such as cotton, are the most breathable.  

If you’re looking for something that’s a little thicker, but still breathable and not bulky, check out spacer fabric. It’s in between a foam and a fabric and is specifically created for air to travel through. Here is our collection of spacer bras. 

2. What is the best bra to wear in hot weather?

It’s best to wear an unlined or lightly lined bra compared to a padded bra. If you’re going to wear a padded bra for more nipple coverage, opt for one with thinner padding than thicker padding (heavier padding will make you sweat more).  

A lace bra can also be a good option because lace has holes through which heat and air can flow through.  

It’s worth noting that in larger cup sizes sometimes, glue is used to melt two pieces of fabric (ex. lace on the outside, mesh on the inside) together. This ends up making the bra less breathable because everything is sealed. (There are no longer any holes.) 

If you’re prone to sweating a lot, we recommend finding a bra that’s moisture-wicking.

3. Are cotton or microfiber bras better?

Cotton lined bras are best when it’s hot out because cotton is super breathable.  

As for bras with microfiber lining, it really depends on the type of microfiber used. Microfibers labelled “quick-dry” can be a great option to prevent sweat stains.  

Although as a rule, synthetic microfibers have a warm hand feel compared to natural alternatives (cotton has a neutral hand feel).

4. What bra should I wear under white T-shirts?

Wear a T-shirt bra in a colour that’s closest to your skin tone. However, when in doubt, wear a warmer-toned bra instead of a cooler-toned one.   

There’s some truth to red being a stand-in nude tone. Darker pinks, burgundy, even a deep purple can be invisible under white, for various skin tones. But make sure to stay away from bright white – it’s one of the least invisible colours under white. 

T-shirt bras are made with molded cups and have no darts, seams, or expressive details that poke through clothing. They can be quite difficult to find though for folks with larger breasts. Learn about why and see a list of good alternatives here. (Some in that blog post like Shea are perfect for the summer weather.) 

5. What type of underwear is most breathable?

Underwear that’s made of natural fibers (cotton, modal, etc.) are the most breathable. On a tier list, cotton would be at the top with modal as a close second. Also, a 100% cotton gusset allows for your most intimate parts to breathe. 

6. What underwear should I wear in hot weather?

When it’s hot, you should be wearing breathable underwear (ideally made of natural fibers like cotton and modal). If you’re sweating a lot, quick-dry synthetic underwear is a great choice too. In general, synthetics dry faster than natural materials. 

If you’re primarily worried about chafing, long bike shorts made of breathable material may be your best option since the longer inseam eliminates skin-on-skin rubbing and the fabric lets your body breathe.

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