Ah, the struggle that is the strapless bra. Perhaps one of the biggest love/hate relationships in the undergarment department, I myself have struggled incredibly with strapless bras, and I am sure you have too.
Finding a comfortable, well-fitting bra is difficult enough, let alone doing that with a bra that is missing its two biggest points of support. Whether you are extremely petite, busty and proud, or something in between, you have probably faced the challenge that is a strapless bra, and it’s a real downer.
To strapless, or not to strapless…
All you want to do is wear that cute, strapless dress, but you just end up having to fidget around with your bra all day just to keep it in place. Even if you do find the ever-elusive strapless bra that fits correctly and stays in place, you will most likely find that they are nowhere near as comfortable as a regular bra, and you’ll end up adjusting it all day anyway.
No matter how adorable that dress, shirt or romper is, I am always left wondering if it was even worth it by the end of the day, simply because strapless bras are the bane of my breasts. If it’s not going to offer proper support, what’s the point of even trying to wear it in the first place?
No need to suffer
While there is no way to completely and truly fix the problems that come along with strapless bras, the truth is that women truly will suffer for beauty’s sake, and we don’t always have to. There are ways to make strapless bras comfortable, or at least as comfortable as possible. You need to have these easy tips with you the next time you wear those cute strapless outfits. We deserve beauty and comfort!
To make your next strapless endeavor far more enjoyable, follow these simple tips. Luckily for us, finding the best strapless bra comes down to preference… Though sometimes a little give and take is involved, too. But before we consider compromise, let’s go over the standards we need to uphold in our searches.
Make sure your Bra fits correctly
This is a biggie. I’ve said it a million times, and I’ll say it a million time more. Just like any bra, you are going to be extremely uncomfortable if your bra doesn’t fit right. A rule that I use is to always have a strapless bra with you if you are going to be buying strapless clothing, because you want your clothing to fit your bra, not the other way around.
If you have to try to get a bigger bra just to fill out your dress, you are going to end up miserable, and the same goes if you are trying to fit into a smaller size.
Try to have a great go-to strapless bra before you pick out any strapless outfits, because things always end up fitting a little differently when you are wearing different types of bras. If you are caught without a strapless bra but you end up finding your dream dress, the rule I always use is to slip off the straps of the bra I’m wearing and see how it fits.
Is it now too small or too large to stay on? Judging on what size you’ll have to wear for your bra, you can decide what size you need for the clothes.
Splurge a Little
Strapless bras actually have a lot of production and design work that go into making them. This is because it’s extremely hard to create a bra that will be able to fit multiple different bust types and sizes. Making a strapless bra takes more work, machinery and creative design than most bras do, so be prepared to shell out the cash if you want a good fit, and be suspicious of the quality of the bra if the price is extremely low.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. What you pay for is what you get. And yes, it’s worth it to pay a little more for a perfectly fitting strapless bra. Quality is key. Feel the fabric, tug on the straps, try it on. Does it seem likely to hold up its end of the deal? Also, understand a particular store’s return policy. If you take it home and decide that you hate it, can you get your money back? Maybe exchanges only?
Try different styles
Just as there are many different types and bras that work for different types of breasts, it makes sense that there are different types of strapless bras that are going to work best for some women over others.
Sadly, there isn’t a whole lot of variation when it comes to strapless bra styles, there are tons of new and very different innovative bras that might help you out. Try them all! Ask your busty friends what styles and brands they prefer and why. Ask all the questions you can think of! People can be great resources.
At 32DDD, I am a bustier girl, so I love strapless bras that have a longer band. There are a lot of strapless bras emerging with bands that go on much longer than normal. This really provides much more support, which means I don’t have to worry about fixing it every two seconds.
Consider function over fashion
I get it, we all want our bras to be beautiful and sexy, even if we are the only ones who see them. However, when it comes to strapless bras, chose simplicity over intricate designs. Like I mentioned before, the design process and production of strapless bras can get extremely complicated.
Unless you are willing to shell out a sizable amount of money to attain a strapless bra that meets quality and fashion standards, you will be better to stick to a plain bra. Additionally, strapless bras have more of a chance at peeking up above clothing, so opting for a skin-toned, simple bra makes more sense.
I like my strapless bras to be discrete, especially if a top decides it isn’t cooperating for the day. The structured strapless options tend to be my favorite because they grip my body well and stay in place! Nothing worst than futzing with your bra all day and trying to bend it to your will (it won’t work, trust me).
When in doubt, go without
I know this is a hard concept for people to grasp, but you may find that you don’t actually need a bra all the time. Like I said, I am a bustier girl so I almost never leave the house without a bra. If I did, people would see a lot more of me than I want them too. However, I have found that there are some dresses that simply fit better without a bra. Some are even designed to be worn this way! in these cases, you should try them out and see what is comfortable and reasonable.
If you still aren’t comfortable without a bra, of course do what you are comfortable with. However, if you find a piece of strapless clothing that offers enough padding and support, then see if going without a bra is an option! I’m a huge advocate for trying new things. But always go with your gut feeling. If it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t right. Move on, there are plenty of products and available options out there. I know it may not seem like it sometimes.
The quest for the perfect strapless bra is always a difficult one, but hopefully now it will be a little easier, and you’ll be much more comfortable in your fave strapless outfit. Put in the time to do a little research, and to shop around and try things on. It’s an arduous process, I know. But hang in there!
My personal preferences
When shopping for a good bra, especially a strapless option, there’s one thing I like to keep in mind. Comfort and functionality. Remember, since there are no shoulder straps on a strapless bra (duh) all of the support is going to come from the band around the torso. A normal bra that fits well should have a tight fitting band, and so a strapless bra will have an even tighter band.
The build of the bra is extremely important, and if it feels like it’s made out of cheap thread and a tiny band, run away. Run away and don’t look back! The build of the bra is so important. Cheap imposters as usually easy enough to pick out, and don’t fall for their cheap prices. Do not forget; you get what you pay for.
Another note on build of the bra: Since the strap will generally be more snug than a regular bra, you may want to opt for a softer fabric. This way, chafing and rubbing are less likely to occur. Look for a thick bottom band, this is key to the support you are looking for.
Favorites to try
I found a nifty list of great examples of strapless bras for large breasts here. That page discusses many of the support issues we face. It goes on to mention how each bra is designed to deal with the particular problems at hand. Much of the searching for a favorite strapless comes down to preference. Thus, know that anyone’s preference may be much different from yours.
I would advise trying to purchase anything online, I like to see it before I believe it. The feel of the fabric is important. The elasticity of the straps and or band is critical to familiarize yourself with. Trying on a bra is something that everyone should do before making a purchase! If you’re lukewarm about a particular style or model, pass it up. If it’s not great now, it certainly won’t be your definition of great later.
Remember, you have to put up with this one undergarment for an entire day or evening. Reach over your head, across your body, etc. When you do this, does the bra require readjustment? When you stoop, bend, or twist, does it provide support and stay in place? Yes? And it’s comfortable?? Buy five and stock up while you can!
If all else fails
So if you absolutely can not find any reasonable strapless bra, you can always fall back on things like invisible straps and fashion tape. The fashion tape will help a bra that does the trick well enough, but needs a helping hand. I like to keep some invisible straps, just in case. When whatever top I want to wear doesn’t mesh well with my favorite strapless, I can swap in some clear straps and go on my merry way.
If you can’t cope with these two last resorts, you can also give a bustier a shot. They are unlikely to slip around, and give great support, at the cost of some range of motion. They are great at fitting up the torso, with no pinching!
Never forget this
Comfort is important, don’t torture yourself into a garment that will leave you miserable. That goes for both bras and clothing. Remember to always love you body, even if it doesn’t fit some silly arbitrary mold. Photoshop is a thing, and it’s very likely that any image you see in a catalogue or magazine is heavily doctored.
Not everything will fit you, hell, not 25% of anything will fit you. But you are not alone in your struggles, and remember that! Love you for you, and learn what works on your body, and what doesn’t. Continue to gather information and knowledge about what to look for in particular garments. For example, knowing how a standard bra should fit, or a strapless bra, etc.