The Great White Debate: What to Wear Under White

By Linda the Bra Lady on August 15th, 2011

For years, women have been wearing white bra and panty sets. Think back to your first bra. Was it white? Most likely! White is the classic underwear color. But, take a look around my gigantic stock room and among the thousands of bras, it’s hard to find many in white. Why is that? Most companies, and my savvy customers, have caught on that nude is the new neutral. Though it may not always be necessary to wear a nude colored bra, it’s especially important when wearing white clothing. With Summer upon us, I’ve noticed a lot of women wearing the wrong color under their lighter clothing. This one’s for you!

If not white, then what?

You may be sitting there, thinking “but I’ve  always worn white under white! So did my Mom, my Grandma…”. And you’re not alone. At least once a day in the shop, I hear women ask for a white bra. When I ask them, “Why do you wear white?”, they almost always respond “well, I have some white tee-shirts, and tops that I wear. I don’t want my bra to show.” BUZZ! Wrong answer, ladies. Believe it or not, white actually clashes with your skin tone and shows through white. If this is the look you’re going for, great! But in most cases, especially here in the United States (style preferences are quite different abroad), the goal was originally to hide the bra. Wearing a color that is as close to your skin tone as possible will be far more invisible than white.

Different Nudes for Different Women

So now you know, nude under white. But what if the “nude” you buy in the store, isn’t the same as your skin tone? Remember, the key here is “as close to your skin tone as possible”. That being said, there are lots of different skin tones out there. Take a look at the photo to the left. Each of these women should find a different color nude that’s best for them.  To the left, the model has very fair skin. The light nude color in a bra like the Panache Porcelain Molded bra would be light enough to match her skin and would not show through her white top. Her friend in the middle has a much darker skin tone. Though she could still get some use out of  the light nude color, the chocolate color of this Simone Perele Andora bra would be far more invisible under light colored tops on her ebony skin. And to the right, the toffee color of this Chantelle Icone Spacer Convertible bra is just dark enough but not too dark. It will blend in perfectly with her complexion.  Not every company offers every bra in every color- but finding a great basic style in a color most like your own skin will help you achieve a clean, invisible look under white clothing.

What about underwear?

The same rule applies for white pants.  Have you ever walked down the street and caught a glimpse of someone’s panties through her pants? Not cute! White pants can be very chic, but white panties showing through are a fashion don’t. Be sure to browse through the multitude of nude colored panties out there to find one that’s right for your skin tone. As an added precaution, stock up on some totally seamless panties in nude, as well. One of my favorite styles is the Commando Girl Short. It’s available in three different nude colors and is completely invisible under tight clothes- no seams, no worry!

When to wear white

Don’t panic! It’s still OK to wear white. It’s just important to know that nude is more neutral when wearing white. White is now considered a “fashion color”. If you love the look of white bras, if you are wearing a printed or colorful blouse, or if you like the bra peek out or show a bit, then go for it! Remember, it’s all about feeling and looking your best. Personally, I think wearing the right size is always the most important part of feeling great. Then, go for the style that makes you feel spectacular.

Have a fabulous day!





  1. […] best to stock up on nudes and neutrals to keep clothes looking their best. (Read my post on finding your perfect nude). But the winter months and the layers of darker clothing that come with it, are the perfect season […]

  2. […] the most use. The most useful bras tend to be a neutral color.  And since I know you’re not wearing white under white, let’s just assume you’re wearing nude. Believe me, I know how important it is to have […]

  3. […] but that is only when “nude” is in relation to someone’s skin tone. An article about how nude bras are less visible under white shirts, for example, merely refers to a bra that blends with your skin tone. Being able to find a bra that […]