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Beauty & Fashion

Undergarments and the Exposed Bra Trend: What’s Appropriate for Christian Teens?

What is the purpose of undergarments? Underwear is your private clothing worn under your main clothes. They include bras, panties and briefs, and there are multiple purposes for them:

  1. These items are worn against the skin and underneath your regular clothes. They keep outer garments from being soiled by bodily excretions.
  2. Underclothes also provide additional warmth in colder weather.
  3. They provide support. For example, if you have a large bust, then bras provide security by preventing uncomfortable and somewhat embarrassing movement.
  4. Underwear also provides modesty, by offering an extra layer to cover the private areas of the body.

These are the main functions of underwear. However, underwear has since evolved– ironically, many of its new uses defeat its original purpose.

As with everything, the devil has placed his mark even on underwear. These days, the majority of underwear is designed to be seen by others. They are designed to look “hot” and sexy, so women can feel sexy and ultimately cause men to lust over them.  Women can reveal their “sexy” undergarments in private, or they can show them peeking out of their clothing, either under transparent blouses or sticking out of fitted tops.

Because of this transition, it can be difficult to know what is actually appropriate for Christian teens when it comes to shopping for underwear. If you’re concerned and want to make sure the underclothes you choose are appropriate, ask yourself one question:

Who’s going to see them? (The answer should be “No one.”)

Then go on to select underwear that meets the four original purposes as listed above.

What’s appropriate is what’s necessary when selecting underwear. Modesty is always the key. Colors can be muted to match your skin color or the clothes you’ll be wearing over them.

When selecting undergarments, stay away from the following:

  1. Garments that enhance your physical self so as to look sexy. For example, a padded bra that enhances or pushes up the size of your bust is inappropriate.
  2. Sexy underwear is also inappropriate, because its intention is to make you feel sexy or cause men to be lustful. Both of these are not acceptable if your desire is to be a Christian girl who follows Christ.

This is not to say that you can’t buy pretty underwear. But it should be for your own purpose and no one else’s. Remember also that pretty does not mean “sexy.”

Whatever underwear you decide to choose, remember to cover it up. Your underwear is exactly that…your underwear. It should not be exposed for the world to see.

Ladies, what do you think about these guidelines?

*Note from Nicole* Exposing your bra is apparently “cool” right now, but it’s trashy and not classy. Girls be an example to the other girls at your school and don’t fall for this stupid trend! Have you seen other girls wearing (or not wearing) this look? I encourage you to tell the girl that she’s pretty and doesn’t need to show off her bra to show it!


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  1. VivianTopaz

    Posted by VivianTopaz on November 7, 2016 at 22:31

    What about for your wedding night? Would that be different because it’s with your husband?

  2. FefeMew

    Posted by FefeMew on August 4, 2016 at 16:33

    What if I have a shirt and said shirt shows ,my simple gray bra, when I lift my arms, or a different one is a modest sleeveless top with a super small section of sheer material on the back of my shoulders and no where else.

  3. GiGiStarflier

    Posted by GiGiStarflier on May 16, 2016 at 12:17

    Every time I see a bra, particularly the clasp, I can’t help cringing.

  4. Jewel Daisy

    Posted by Jewel Daisy on April 13, 2016 at 07:56

    U know I live in a country where pple are quick to judge u by what u wear, and a lot of pple are busy obeying rules and trying to b perfectionists in the religion thing so they say which clothes are allowed and which isn’t. This has scared so many youths away from Christianity.
    Let’s not try to lock God in a box. Be decent in whatever “awesomely – cool” clothes u wear. Underwears? If u like them plain fine, if u like them beautiful or let me use the word sexy fine, jst don’t use any as an excuse to be indecent.

  5. ParalyzedbytimeintheTARDIS

    Posted by ParalyzedbytimeintheTARDIS on April 9, 2016 at 15:44

    I don’t think padded bras are inappropriate at all. They’re generally really comfortable and provide extra support. Frankly, I think certain points suggested in this article are a bit over the top.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by jac on July 3, 2016 at 21:29

      I agree- push-up bras are the only ones that don’t show the outline of the cup through my shirt. 😛
      Also, I wear “sexy” underwear. Again, whatever fits, and doesn’t break the bank. No one is going to see it, so I don’t see the problem. If it’s on the clearance rack and in my size, I’m going to see if it fits. My drawer is full of red and black and purple lace bras, cause that was what was on sale.

  6. marisa145

    Posted by marisa145 on April 2, 2016 at 18:33

    All this trend looks like to me is they went outside and forgot to button their shirt up all the way.

  7. theteenfashionista

    Posted by theteenfashionista on April 1, 2016 at 10:09

    Yeah, well…TM Gauotte, please be careful what you say. Modesty is good and godly, and I’m not supporting exposed bras…But in one of your articles you said that “mid-thigh length shorts were the shortest that a Christian girl can go” along those lines. No one’s salvation depends on the clothing they wear, and thongs and push-up bras don’t make you unchristian. They are only pieces of clothing, It’s how you wear them that makes them bad or good. Again, modesty is good, but please don’t idolize it. Anyone.

    • MaryBean1

      Posted by MaryBean1 on May 17, 2016 at 12:07

      I agree.i wear push up bra’s but never have I exposed my skin in that area. i always wear a tank that covers and if it does sow i wear something on top to cover it. My shorts happen to be short but if my mom thinks they are to short she will say so

    • ParalyzedbytimeintheTARDIS

      Posted by ParalyzedbytimeintheTARDIS on April 9, 2016 at 15:37

      Amen, theteenfashionista!!!

  8. loveoutloud

    Posted by loveoutloud on May 22, 2014 at 19:55

    my one comment on these is that, if you count tanks/ camis to be underwear, those are the one item im ok with showing. Like, some of my favorite shirts were meant for the “exposed bra” trend, but I wear them with a plain, modest cut tank.

  9. WaitingForWhispers

    Posted by WaitingForWhispers on February 17, 2014 at 09:48

    My mother was really weirded out when she found out that I was buying thongs. I had to calmly explain to her my intentions. Let me just say, I’ve never had the intention of “looking sexy”. My reasons for buying them were purely functional. I run a lot, and do a lot of Pilates and yoga, and the underwear I usually wear (mostly boy shorts) ride up. It’s very uncomfortable, and kind of embarrassing, to have to stop running to adjust my underwear. It easiest to wear a thong and not have to worry about anything riding up. Once I explained it, she calmed down.

    • EmmaG7

      Posted by EmmaG7 on May 9, 2016 at 19:38

      Another thing, you can actually wear thongs with the intention of being modest. For example, panty lines. Let me clarify, leggings aren’t pants and shouldn’t be worn that way. That being said, sometimes panty lines are unavoidable.

  10. chicken_chick

    Posted by chicken_chick on February 8, 2014 at 15:26

    I just wish I didn’t have to hunt for bras without push up in stores these days! When I was younger, they were a few here and there, now I have to search forever just to find my size with no push up. If the padded underwear takes over I’m guna freak. My butt is just fine as it is, and so is everyone else’s. You should be happy with what God gave you, and the guy isn’t worth your time if he isn’t either!

    • nataliesophia

      Posted by nataliesophia on February 11, 2014 at 12:46

      Why do you hate pushups? They give the best support and come in adorable patterns. Give them a try!

      • loveoutloud

        Posted by loveoutloud on May 22, 2014 at 19:58

        I think it depeneds on what you like. if the support and comfort for you is what you need, go for it! but for me, Ill stick to sports bras for now. And maybe for her she wants something that is comfortable and doesnt make her show of her bust.

  11. chicken_chick

    Posted by chicken_chick on February 8, 2014 at 15:21

    I love the “you can buy pretty underwear”! I love buying pretty colored bras (lol) even though I’m not about to have anybody see them. I like matching my undergarments to my clothes too, just makes me feel in sync. 😛

  12. sarahodie

    Posted by sarahodie on February 7, 2014 at 18:27

    I totally agree.I had a friend who would wear 2-3 bras when she was going to be seeing her boyfriend….it disgusts me

  13. Busygirl996

    Posted by Busygirl996 on January 31, 2014 at 23:03

    I completely agree! 🙂

  14. Project Inspired

    Posted by JessicaLee163 on January 31, 2014 at 19:49

    I don’t think that there is anything wrong with wearing a padded bra; slightly push up bras fit me best. I don’t wear them to attract anyone; I wear them because they fit me the best. I also have some cute underwear; I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. As long as you’re not wearing these pieces with bad intentions and as long as you’re not exposing large amounts of your undergarments, these pieces are fine. You shouldn’t be ashamed of your body. However, I believe fully exposed underclothing is inappropriate and may cause your brothers in Christ to stumble.

    • Julia3501

      Posted by Julia3501 on March 5, 2014 at 07:31

      I agree, slightly padded bras fit me better also. That’s the only reason I wear them. Honestly, the one I have doesn’t make me look any bustier, it’s just got extra support. I think that should be clarified.

  15. Kate111

    Posted by Kate111 on January 28, 2014 at 06:39

    Totally trashy and unclassy.. Eww. Imust say that I dislike how we have to use our bodies to get us noticed.. WHy not shine through your personality, and have people know you for who you are, not for your body?

  16. Lovely Mistakes

    Posted by Lovely Mistakes on January 15, 2014 at 18:43

    Good article 🙂

  17. Project Inspired

    Posted by inspiredbyGod on November 26, 2013 at 11:17

    I’m a Christian,I agree with wearing modest clothes and underwear.I think we all need a shop that sells these things.We can look attractive aswell as modest just follow what God says you wont go far wrong.Gods love is truth and he reveals his truth to me everyday.

  18. Grace Pierpont

    Posted by Grace Pierpont on August 7, 2013 at 09:34

    Wow, it is sooooooo disgusting!

  19. Project Inspired

    Posted by cherrypie01 on December 26, 2012 at 20:17

    i wear a padded bra all the time, but because i have a very large chest, and i need the extra support. its not to be sexy or attract attention, and i think thats the general rule. do it because you need it not becuase you wanna feel sexy.

  20. Project Inspired

    Posted by BlankCanvas-025 on November 21, 2012 at 21:54

    I like wearing what may be deemed as “sexy” underwear. No one sees it, with or without clothes over, but I know it’s there, and it makes me feel confident. Is there lace? yep. Does anyone benefit from it but me? nope. It’s not like if I don’t wear it, I’m insecure. It’s just that it makes me feel more “put together”, especially if I decided to dress up a bit more that day.

  21. Project Inspired

    Posted by rynn1995 on November 7, 2012 at 20:26

    I’m 5′ 3.5″ (5’4″ on a good day haha) and about 124 pounds, which my friends find hard to believe when I tell them. You see, I’m in marching band, and I love hiking, bicycling, kayaking, any outdoor sport really, and that, along with working outside, builds muscles. In any case, my mom got me these Jockey camisole bras in red, light blue, white, black, and beige. They are a bit of a push up, but they keep everything from moving around too much when I’m not wearing a sports bra, and they are comfortable.
    On pants, my mom, sisters, and aunts’ rule is: if you get a wedgie from wearing them, if you can’t run in them, and/or if you can see the panty line or the outline of a coin in your back pocket, they’re too tight.
    For shirts: if it looks like the seems will burst if you exhale, too tight.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by LuciTinuviel38 on April 23, 2016 at 13:51

      totally agree with everything you said! I’m just like you and the same size, just a few inches taller.

  22. Project Inspired

    Posted by nienie2196 on October 19, 2012 at 17:54

    It hurts to see that girls today are so scared to be liked with their personalities that they feel they need to show skin to be liked. :'( I wish it was “in” to be modest.

  23. Project Inspired

    Posted by itwillbeworthit on October 4, 2012 at 16:19

    Hi, I’m a Christian teenage girl. I agree with pretty much everything this article says, there’s WAY too many girls at my school showing off WAY too much. Although what I do have to question is how it asks “who’s going to see it?” no. I do not randomly go around showing off my bra, but being a swimmer, with a group of 30 other girls and only 3 stalls, its not guaranteed you can have that kind of privacy all the time. Please correct me if i’m wrong, but sometimes I do have to say, (and I’m not talking about “sexy” undergarments) but you kind of do have to look nice underneath, too.

    • tmgaouette

      Posted by tmgaouette on October 5, 2012 at 06:38

      @itwillbeworthit- Thank you for the question. It’s certainly fine to select undergarments that are pretty. I mention that near the end of the article. God bless.

  24. Project Inspired

    Posted by 333loves on July 29, 2012 at 00:53

    i wear see trough shirts with bandeaus underneath

  25. Project Inspired

    Posted by countrychic143 on June 28, 2012 at 11:35

    There called bandeaus and Deb sells sparkly sequined ones. Plus its 105+ degrees and im not wearin tshirts . Theyre comfy and you can wear something over them . Theyre not trashy

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by whatsupmac on August 5, 2012 at 15:37

      if you get a thick properly fitting bandeau that covers up your whole chest, no cleavage….i think they look great…:)
      also quite nice if you live in a desert where in 90 degrees everyday…

  26. R God is G8r

    Posted by R God is G8r on June 20, 2012 at 17:56

    Is it ok to buyy bras from victoria secrets?? I have bought them there but not pushup ones. Is that ok?

    • chicken_chick

      Posted by chicken_chick on February 8, 2014 at 15:31

      Of course! I’m wearing a pretty colordy one right now haha The point is just to keep it classy not trashy. My VS bras are the comfiest ones I’ve ever had so I’m definitely going back there next time. I just try not to look around.. 😐

    • dancing4Jesus

      Posted by dancing4Jesus on July 6, 2012 at 15:10

      yes, i love victoira secret bras. they feel better because there more put together thats why there expensive

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by countrychic143 on June 28, 2012 at 11:36

      Yes its ok. I wear their clothes all the time. I love them. Especially there pjs

  27. Project Inspired

    Posted by laxgirl3 on June 17, 2012 at 17:44

    Exuse Me! What are you “guys” wearing? That is so not exceptable for children to see. Like whats your probblem? Little kids look up to you not down to you. NOT EXCEPTABLE!!

  28. Project Inspired

    Posted by JessicaIsMyName on June 15, 2012 at 12:41

    i say we all boycott underwhere. its expensive and there’s really not a big need for bras or panties. im not joking i haven’t worn panties in like two months.

    • chicken_chick

      Posted by chicken_chick on February 8, 2014 at 15:32

      lol!! I’ve actually heard that wearing bras often makes you sag more.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by whatsupmac on August 5, 2012 at 15:35

      amen. often times bras will give a completely unrealistic look to ones chest. sorry guys…thats not what a girls chest actually looks like! up and together? more like a down and apart. the world has made a completely different image than whats real.

      • loveoutloud

        Posted by loveoutloud on May 22, 2014 at 20:04

        see, i were a style of sport bra that just holds you in tighter to your chest. No push up or together. Im more comfortable when i dont jiggle.

  29. Project Inspired

    Posted by samntuna on June 14, 2012 at 10:02

    So let me get this straight…it’s ok to wear pretty underwear (e.g lace and patterns) as long as nobody else sees it, right? Just me?

    • loveoutloud

      Posted by loveoutloud on May 22, 2014 at 20:05

      yeah. as long as you arent using to make guys “want” you, your good.

  30. Project Inspired

    Posted by Ginger_who_loves_Jesus on June 2, 2012 at 20:14

    Believe me, girlies, you can find non-padded bras that are totally adorable. I have a hot pink one that I wear with entirely covering solid shirts and I found one with a flower pattern on it(no lace whatsoever) and I wear that with a lot of things. Solids are really good because then you can wear them basically with everything.
    It’s good if you have good self-esteem, but you should put your esteem totally in God instead of saying, “Oh, I have to wear a pushup bra so I feel good”. You should know that God thinks you’re beautiful no matter what. It doesn’t matter what your friends or boys think.
    I honestly have never worn a pushup bra in my life, and I feel pretty good about it. If you are going to wear one, PLEASE, I beg you, PLEASE wear a shirt that covers your chest fully! Because then you could basically be saying to the world, “This is what I have to show you, so here it is”. But please wear shirts that cover your whole chest. If you have a shirt that doesn’t cover your whole chest, wear a tank top that’s not lacy underneath it! (Because I’ve heard from a survey from Christian teen guys at a website called the rebelution that lacy tank tops can look like lingerie to them).

  31. Project Inspired

    Posted by Joliela on June 1, 2012 at 22:11

    I think there is one thing that needs to be cleared up about this article–

    It is not immodest to where certain types of padded bras. Lightly padded bras are fine as long as they don’t make your chest look bigger than it is, they’re more comfortable and can keep you more modest than just fabric. The types of padded bras are ones that make your chest look bigger, you can usually tell which ones these are because there’s usually a bump at the bottom of the inside of the bra.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by ella.mckenzie.17 on August 18, 2012 at 21:45

      And then, of course, there’s lady gaga wearing the most revealing outfit of all of them.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by TheMouseLover on June 30, 2012 at 19:51

      i agree with you! I think it is more immodest to wear a bra that does not provide the proper support than to wear a padded one. If a bra is just fabric you can see the actual shape of the boobs and the nipples more, while with the right bra (In my opinion they should be lightly padded) it keeps the boobs up where they should be and there is less weird movement. 🙂

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by christine31 on June 7, 2012 at 21:39

      yes, agreed. i have a few that are lightly padded, but not a push-up, and they are comfy, but also there are non-padded ones too that are adorable.