The Best Color Bra To Wear Under White Is Not White (Or Nude)

If you wear brassieres, then you know that there's a lot of things that come along with them. For starters, there are downsides that come with wearing an ill-fitting bra, which 80% of women do according to research published in Chiropractic & Manual Therapies. There are also some less serious inconveniences involved, especially when it comes to deciding what to wear under white shirts and dresses. Most of us who wear bras grow up following one or two schools of thoughts: There's of course, the logic that a white bra under the white shirt is best because, well, basic math, right? But then there is also the nude tone concept, where you rock a bra as close to your skin color as possible, because it's supposed to appear invisible. Again, makes sense, but it's not as if there's a bra made for every precise color of skin, so that's not exactly right either. So what is the best color to wear under white? Red. Yes, you read that correctly. 

Thanks to the internet, people have come up with what is being deemed the 'red bra hack.' As TikToker Madison Anne revealed in her video, "Red is considered to be a universal nude under white," adding that magenta or a brick red can also do the trick. Madison Anne went on to explain that the reason for this is because "your brain subconsciously blocks out, like, the blood vessels under our skin, like, the red tones under our skin. So by wearing something red underneath light, it blends in with our skin and our brain just blocks it out." While that's one take on it, that's not the only reason why red under white might be your new go-to solution. 

How it works

No matter how light or dark our skin is, we all have blood pumping through our veins and arteries. It might be a strange concept, but matching our bra to the hues of our blood creates a seamless appearance. "Skin has red undertones, so red bras often blend fairly well under a white shirt," style expert Adrienne Coleon Gaskell tells Bare Necessities. But it also comes down to how the color red and light work together.

"The trick of the red bra under a white top is a style trick French women have been doing for years now and is a great way to spice up your classic white tee or blouse when you want both invisibility and sexiness," bra expert and marketing coordinator of French lingerie company Empreinte Josie-Ann Le Diouron explains to USA Today. "The red fabric actually absorbs the light in a way that makes it blend with the color of the skin underneath."

According to ColorVisit, red is very close to the middle of the light spectrum, meaning it can't be labeled light or dark, and is actually regarded as both at the same time. It's this happy middle that gives red its ability to be neutral under white, especially when it comes to skin tones.

What to know

Although this is a hack that works for many, there's a caveat: You need to match your red to your skin color. In other words, true red isn't going to work for someone who is very light or very dark; that sort of red works best for someone whose skin tone is somewhat in the middle.

"If something is too dark or too light, you can really see it," color expert and professor at Fashion Institute of Technology Jada Schumacher tells The New York Times. "People who have darker skin tones could use a burgundy or darker wine [bra] color. For someone who is medium toned, like me, a middle-range, true red works. And people who are lighter will need a less strong color with more lightness in it."

 Of course, red under sheer white isn't going to work and the texture of the bra is also going to play a role in its visibility, as well. But those two things aside, red bras works. It's just a matter of rolling into La Perla, or wherever you purchase your lingerie, and trying on every shade of red under a white shirt to see which is the best for your skin tone. Eventually you'll find your match and it will feel like you hit the lotto when you do.