I have a master's degree in social work with a specialization in mental health. I enjoy writing on a wide variety of topics.
How to Find a Strapless Bra That Fits
If you've pretty much decided there is no strapless bra that actually works, you're not alone. I'd all but given up on my quest until I was absolutely forced back into the search because of a bridesmaid dress I had to wear. I'd pretty much dismissed the idea I could find one that I'd ever want to wear again. My goal was to get through the night without the girls popping out.
I researched, shopped, talked to friends, and asked every sales associate I could get to listen to me about my plight for the seemingly nonexistent best strapless bra. I even checked out quite a few bra specialty shops to rummage through their offerings. It took the most part of a weekend, but I must say I finally found one that works. In fact, not only did it do the job for the night of the wedding, but I've actually gone on to wear it a few more times! Go figure, right?
With a renewed attitude about these bras, I've gone on to purchase a few more. I wanted to find some everyday bras I could wear with halter tops and spaghetti straps, too. With a lot of shopping and research, I am going to list my top three.
Tips on Finding the Best Strapless Bra for You
Before I let you in on my awesome find, I want to share with you what I learned about strapless bras through my research, experience and talking to the so-called "experts". Let's talk about the undesirable traits of most strapless bras first.
- Most end up traveling down to your waist within about an hour of putting them on.
- Your breasts constantly pop out of the cups.
- You must continually make adjustments, excusing yourself to the ladies' room to have free access for the tug and pull routine.
- The underwire is so stiff and thick, you end up feeling like you've been caught in a wire fence.
- They fail the public bounce test.
- The proportions just never seem right, like there's no proper marriage between band and cup size . . . one or the other is always wrong and there's no adjusting the strapless bra successfully.
Okay, I think that about sums it up. So, now the question is how on earth to find one that has solved the above problems. Well, let me just say this: some of the issues are inherent in the bras themselves, but some are user errors. That's right, let's take a look at what YOU can fix.
- For crying out loud, find out what your actual bra size is! The majority of women are wearing the wrong size bra and don't even know it. So, learn how to determine your bra size!
- Strapless bras rely heavily on the bands, so you must make sure you're wearing the correct size. 80% of the support comes from the band.
- Some women try on convertible bras and don't bother taking OFF the straps to see how it works strapless. Just because it works well with the straps on, doesn't mean it's going to be able to properly load bear without them!
- Look for strapless bras that are convertible and have straps with versatility. You are gypping yourself if you don't seek out a convertible style. Look for ones with straps long enough to become halter bras and criss-cross bras as well as regular front strap bras. See the video on the right for a great demonstration on the convertible bras.
What to Look for
Perhaps the most important feature of a strapless bra is its ability to stay put. A regular bra has straps that prevent it from unwanted travel and migration. So, one without straps needs to have a slide-proof band since that will be the bra's anchor. What kind of band should you look for then?
- The band should have silicone or silicone strips to keep it from slipping. They make a HUGE difference... It's best to have the strips at the top and bottom of the band as well as inside the back wings. They're like having that no-slip mat in the bathtub! Don't worry about the silicone if you're getting a longline bra, however. The boning and extra hooks ensure it's not going anywhere.
- You want the band to be tight, even on the loosest setting. We're not talking so tight you're in pain, just comfortably tight. This will ensure you will have a tight enough fit after the band stretches out with wear and washings.
Strapless Bras for Different Figures
The strapless bra that's best suited for you will also depend upon your breast size. Larger breasted women will need more support than smaller breasted women. Of course this is also true with a standard bra, but even more important with a strapless one.
Recommendations for Large-Breasted Women
For women above a DD, you are going to need to bring out the big guns, ladies. As much as you'd like to only have two hooks on the band, it's just not going to offer you the support and staying power you require. You will also do best with an underwire. I know some can be uncomfortable, but hear me now... there are some underwire bras that are comfortable! Many women with extra-large breasts feel most comfortable in what's called a longline bra. It looks somewhat like a bustier and it comes all the way down to the midriff.
Because it's longer and often stitched with boning, it provides superior support without straps. These often have as many as 7 hooks in the back, giving the band the required anchor. The boning will help keep the breasts up, where they need to be. An added bonus of the longline bra is the abdominal support it supplies. It cinches in the waist, a highly desirable feature for those wanting to slim their abdomens and smooth their silhouettes. Some hook in the back, while others hook in the front. You can convert it into a bra with a low back, too. Comes in sizes 34-50, B-FF.
Recommendation: Goddess Lace Longline Bra 689
This bra has it all. It's convertible, it stays in place and it offers superior support with the wide band and boning. It has underwire cups, for extra support and to keep the girls up. It has boning on the sides of the cups for the absolute best support and lift. I'm telling you, this bra isn't going anywhere. Finally, a bra that can pass the public bounce test!
Standard Strapless Bra for Average to Large Breasts
Fantasie Smoothing Strapless Bra, Style 4530
So, here it is... my VERY FAVORITE strapless bra in the world! Available in bands sizes 30-42 and cup sizes B-G. Why do I love it? Let me count the ways:
- It's smooth under clothes, seamless and downright invisible.
- It's so comfortable, really it is. It's the first one I don't notice all day and night.
- The cups are contoured, so they shape and support your breasts nicely.
- As any great convertible bra should, the straps can turn it into a criss-cross, halter, and traditional bra.
- You can actually dance in this bra and feel perfectly comfortable and well-supported.
- The cups are full coverage, so there's no lumps going on at the top.
- The back wings have that highly coveted silicone so it won't slip around.
- Tip: The bras run a little big. I'd go down one band and cup size for the best fit.
Best for Smaller Breasts
Bali Concealers Convertible Strapless Bra 3427 (Available in Sizes 32B to 44DD)
No doubt about it, this Bali strapless is great for everyday wear. For the price, it's hard to go wrong. It has side boning in the cups, which are seamless, so it's great under camis and strapless tops. It has what they call "concealing petals" in the cups to hide the nipples, which is a huge perk if you're wearing thin, see-through tops. The convertible straps can be worn as a regular bra, criss-cross or halter. One of my favorite features is how it's tagless; it does a great job supporting and separating the breasts, the center gore is wide to keep the girls in line! The top of the wings are lined with silicone, as you now know is a desirable feature.
I do like this bra and I do wear it. However, I don't have the same confidence in it as I do with the Fantasie bra. It stays put fairly well, but I wouldn't want to go out for a wild night of dancing with it on. That said, I still recommend it for an economical, comfortable and quality everyday strapless, convertible bra. I think it's best suited for women with smaller breasts, however.