The Way of the Strapless (Bra) for Frustrated Fashionistas

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Cosmopolitan once uploaded a photo so relatable for anyone with boobs. The photo read: “Wanna hear a joke? Strapless bra.”

Anyone who has worn (or even tried to wear) a strapless bra knows the joke. Strapless bras are supposed to be the saving grace of women who want to stay fashionable without their bra strap showing. They’re supposed to give you full freedom and comfort since there are no underwires. Plus, a strapless bra is supposed to give you fashion flexibility while offering support for your girls.

Emphasis on the word “supposed.”

As much as strapless backless bras and other types of these bras are fashion perks, they can be hard to master. If you don’t find an ideal bra or wear the bra wrong, you may end up with a nip slip (intentional nip slips are cool, but the accidental ones are not). Worse, you may keep pulling your bra up just to prevent fashion blunders.

Still, like anything else in life, there is hope. If your strapless bra failed you once (or more than a hundred times), you can still make it work. But before you can make that strapless push-up bra work wonders for you, there’s a couple of things to know.

How Should a Strapless Bra Fit?

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For a strapless bra to do its job sans straps, it should fit your chest snugly. Each breast must be cupped well and the cloth should tightly fit your body. When trying on a strapless bra, it’s normal for your usual size to feel tighter. This means the bra is doing a good job of staying up.

So start with your daily bra size and adjust along the way. Some ladies prefer to size-up while others stick with their usual sizes for maximum support. A rule of thumb: as long as you’re comfortable with the size, you’re fine.

Things to Look for in a Strapless Bra

So what if this is your first time shopping for a strapless bra? Or what if you’re looking for a strapless backless bra that suits your dress without increasing your risks for nip slips?

The first step to wearing a strapless bra well is buying the right bra. Refrain from shopping for any bra, even if it’s on sale.

When shopping for the right strapless bra, look for the following:

  • The right cup size. Strapless bras do a lot: stay put, stay comfortable, support you and look subtle under any outfit. The right cup size is important here. Ask for half-cup sizes, so you can find the perfect fit.
  • No-slip grip. Not all strapless bras have this feature, but if they do, you should buy that bra. A no-slip-grip avoids the constant shimmy dance you do when you’re trying to perfect your off-the-shoulder-look. Look for strapless bras that feature a good silicone elastic cup to prevent unwanted slipping.
  • Hooks on larger sizes. Larger breasts need more support, especially when the bra doesn’t have straps for stability. If you’re shopping for larger breast sizes, look for bras with more hooks and a wider band. This ensures a comfortable and supportive fit.
  • Multiway straps. For most ladies, their strapless bras just sit around and wait for a special occasion to make their comeback. If you want to wear them often, however, find a bra with detachable straps.
  • Comfortable boning on the sides. Boning keeps your bra’s structures. These inserts on the band are also necessary for support. Shop for a strapless bra with boning encased in quality padding.

Why Your Strapless Bra is Failing You

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So you’ve bought the right bra and yet your strapless bra keeps falling, failing you. Is there something wrong with you? Or is it the bra?

It could be either or both.

Consider the following strapless bra mistakes that result in unwanted fashion faux pas and nip slips.

  • The band is too narrow. As mentioned above, your band should fit your chest barrel. The larger your chest is, the wider the band. This ensures that your bra can support the weight of your gals. Ladies with especially large breasts may need to wear strapless shapewear bodysuits or bustiers to get more support.
  • The band is too loose. Another rule of thumb when shopping for strapless bras: always go down a band size (at least). Always wear a smaller size to compensate loss of support you get from straps. Essentially, you want your strapless bra that’s tight yet comfortable — otherwise, you won’t get the support you need. It may cause back rolls, but it’s either the rolls or you wear a bra without the support. If you want to reduce the appearance of back rolls, go for a bra with a wider band made from durable material.
  • You believed in convertible bras too much. In theory, convertible bras are great, but they don’t always function well, especially in the way you want them to. So might as well avoid them at all costs.
  • The bra is worn out. Bras have a lifespan of six months to one year when used regularly. The time is cut short if the bra is made from low-quality materials or you don’t wash it often. But these numbers are for bras with straps. Strapless bras work harder so they wear out faster. You probably don’t wear them as much as you would your regular bra, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to last forever. Even with proper maintenance and minimal use, your bra’s fibers will weaken over time. To maximize your strapless bra, make sure it fits you properly and wear it at the loosest band setting.
  • Your top or dress is weighing your bra down. Your strapless bra is putting up a valiant effort in holding up your breasts but your clothes are making the task difficult. If you’re wearing a dress or a strapless top, the garment should be fitted through the waist. This puts the weight of the garment on your hips instead of on your chest.
  • Your bra cup is leaving a visible ridge under your clothes. When this clothing disaster happens, there are two culprits: a cup that doesn’t fit or strapless bra material that is too thick. Spare yourself from this fashion faux pas by wearing a bra with an unlined cup. They are harder to spot under your clothes plus the lace creates a soft transition from the breast to the bra. If you’ve tried all of these and the ridge is still visible, stop blaming your bra. Your top may be too tight or is made from flimsy fabric.
  • You’re expecting much from your bra. Don’t expect your strapless bra to work in the same way as your strapped bras. They’re both bras but they’re still different. Best to work with what you have.

How to Wear a Strapless Bra Well

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You can still win the Game of Strapless Bras in many ways.

First, try a bra before you buy it. Ditch the online shopping and visit a physical store. Trying on a bra is ideal when buying a strapless bra. The size and fit of bras can vary from one brand to another so don’t take a risk by shopping online. Try a bra before you buy it.

When wearing your strapless bra, don’t hesitate to fill it in. Bra stuffing is a thing, ladies. Fit your bra and use a pad to fill the other side. You can also use adhesive fashion tapes to stick your bra to your skin. Stick the tape to your skin and attach your bra to hold it in place. Once you’ve done that, watch how your bra can suit your aesthetic (winter, autumn, spring or summer aesthetic!).

Also, proper care ensures that your strapless bra will fit you well. A good bra is a good investment, but it’s your responsibility to take care of your bras. If you’re going to wash your bra, don’t use the washing machine. Instead, wash them by hand. Dry the cups facing upwards and smooth out the dents to maintain the bra’s shape.

There’s never a bad time to rock your strapless bra. Strapless bras make wearing spaghetti strap dresses, racerback styles and off-the-shoulder tops effortless. Mix and match in peace. With the right strapless bra, you may forgo straps forever.

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