Find the Perfect Strapless Bra

perfect strapless bra

If there’s one thing us women can agree on, it’s that strapless bras are the devil. I think the concept itself is genius- wearing a tank top or tube top with your bra straps showing is just tacky. However, I find that strapless bras are more of a pain than helpful “support”. For the past 10+ years that I’ve had boobs, I’ve gone through my fair share of strapless bras and I think I’ve finally found the magic secrets to finding one that gets the job done.

Assess your cup size

If you are an A cup, you can probably get away with wearing the cute bandeau styles that are everywhere now. They’ll give you enough coverage for most clothing and keep you comfortable. The fact that you can wear a comfortable strapless bra without cups and wires should make you thankful you have small boobs.

If you’re in the B cup range, you can get away with almost anything. I opt for a basic strapless bra with cups and just enough coverage. If you’re this size, you need something more than a simple bandeau, but you can avoid anything too structured.

C and D cups should focus on finding strapless bras that are made for larger cup sizes. You don’t want anything that has too-much push-up to avoid looking too risque. You want something with a good amount of coverage and definitely a lot of support. If you are larger than a D, check out specialty stores made for larger cup sizes- they have so many options to choose from.

strapless bras
Aerie Strapless Bra  /  Natori Strapless Bra  /  Panache ‘Evie’ Convertible Strapless Bra

 

Make sure that the bra fits correctly in the band size

I know “experts” might warn you against this, but for strapless bras I always go down a band size so that the band is extra tight. This prevents the bra from slipping and falling down every 5 minutes. No one wants to be that girl in the wedding party photos who is constantly pulling up her strapless bra because it keeps falling down. Another fix for this is to take the bra to a tailor and have them sew in snaps/fasteners on the band. This provides a tighter fit (the opposite of taking a bra to the tailor and adding an extender to make the band longer).

Try on the bra with a shirt over it

So many women and girls just try on the bras and don’t both to see what they look like underneath their clothing. I used to be guilty of this. I’d buy a bra only to get home and put a shirt on over it and realize it made my girls look pointy. Or that the lace accents on the bra totally showed through that white graduation dress. Oops. Strapless bras that have too much pushup will make the bottom half of your breast look flat, while the top part spills over- not a good look. Strapless bras that don’t plunge down deep enough will become a problem with you try to wear that V-neck top. So save yourself money and embarrassment and try on the bra with a few shirts before purchasing.

55 Comments

  1. I just learned that you want to make sure that the bra band fits on the largest hooks. I agree that you might have to go down a size than what you’re used to wearing, especially for something strapless. The reason you want it to fit like this is because over time the elastic in bras stretch out, so you will eventually have to use the middle and smallest hooks throughout the lifetime of the bra. Also, yes, definitely try bras on under a shirt! So important.

    1. It took me years to find a good one! I got mine at JC Penneys and they just stopped making it. So I’m going to have to find new ones once these ones get too worn out :

  2. Love the part about trying it on with a shirt over it. Sometimes the cutest bras look terrible under your shirt! And if you’re wearing a strapless bra chances are you are concerned about how the bra looks under clothing. Great point!

  3. LOVE this post! I hate having to find a strapless. I can’t stand bras ingeneral that give the cone look? It’s 2013, why are we still doing that?? Not cute. I need a new strapless. Of the 2 I have one is way to small and makes my girls look taped down, even though it’s my size, and the other, also my size, just has way too much pushup in it and gaps at the top. I can’t win!

  4. Getting a proper fitting is so key – great tip! I used to read that tip all the time and think “oh but mine does.” But when I had a fitting, I was way off. And the results look so much *ahem* better that it was totally worth the time.

  5. These are great tips! I don’t think I’ve ever really found the perfect strapless bra yet and have probably spent way too much trying too. (Never thought of just wearing a bandeau, but I probably could get away with it! hehe)

    1. It took me years to find the perfect one, and I just found out they don’t make it anymore! So I’ll have to begin the hunt next summer when this one wears out

  6. Great tips. Finding one that doesn’t leave bulges in your shirt and doesn’t fall down can be hard. I have that VS one thousand ways strapless bra which they don’t even sell anymore and I love it. My girls are small and it’s literally just padded material with an underwire-no actual cup-and it works well for me.

  7. I’d also suggest going to a bra speciality store if you’re a D+. Intimacy (myintimacy.com/) is so amazing at sizing you up without even busting (pun intended) out the measuring tape. For anyone who is DDD+ (ahem, like me) I’d suggest brands like Wacol, Fantasie, and Moving Comfort (for sports bras). Thanks for putting together such a great post, Rachel. It’s so important to be well fitted!

  8. It’s so funny to read this post today because last night, I literally threw out any idea of wearing a maxi dress I was going to wear because it would require me to wear a strapless bra! lol

  9. I so needed this….I have the hardest time finding a strapless bra that fits and doesn’t fall!!! LOL! Thanks for taking the time to write out the tips!!

  10. The Panache bra is truly life changing for D+ girls. I could finally wear strapless dresses and tops! I wear my usual size in it because the band I found is already a bit tighter than my regular bras and it has this kind of “no slip grip” inside. I highly recommend the fit experts at Nordstrom-incredibly knowledgeable and great selection for ALL sizes.

    1. I noticed when looking up some bras for this post that Nordstrom had a HUGE variety of options for bigger cup sizes- how awesome!

  11. Strapless bras are indeed the devil! I had the hardest time finding one that actually gave me some support and I don’t consider myself big chested! The only strapless bras I own are from VS because they actually stay up for a decent amount of time lol. I agree, I usually size down in the band and trying on a shirt with the bra is the best tip ever! It could look one way on and a complete disaster with a shirt over the top. Great post just in time for strapless summer dresses!

  12. I totally avoid strapless bras, I HATE them. I have a tiny rib cage with larger breasts (32 d/dd) and anything that fits my cups never stays up and typically comes with way too high on the side because I have to pull it up so it defeats the purpose of a strapless bra. I typically opt for the band-aid approach lol

    1. Oh boy! I wish I had that problem haha! I’m a very small rib cage too and it’s like they don’t make bras for us skinny people!

  13. Thank goodness you posted this! I just went over the weekend in search of a strapless bra and the woman there kept telling me to get my usual size. I kept saying how I felt it slipped down but she was so insistent that I left without purchasing anything. Now I know, go a size down!

  14. Great tips! I love that VS now has shirts in the dressing room for you to try on over your bras. Whoever came up with that idea was really smart!

  15. Not sure if the last comment posted lol….but anyways…I was saying I have such a hard time with strapless bras. I’m the girl at the wedding who is constantly pulling it up. So annoying. But I will definitely keep these tips in mind! Thanks for sharing girl!

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