The Quest for the Perfect Strapless Bra

by Kirsty McAspurn

Hands up all of those ladies that have a strapless bra that a) fits perfectly, b) doesn’t fall down, and c) looks attractive.

The four of you that just put your hands up, the rest of us don’t like you any more (just kidding, we still love you really).

For most of us, finding the ultimate strapless bra is a nightmare. So many lovely clothes can be spoilt by a strap or the wrong shaped bra, and we’ve all bought them and then gone “ah, my bra doesn’t work with this top/dress“. So, to make the clothes look perfect, we go on the hunt for the perfect undergarments. And this is where we get stuck.

When looking for strapless bras for the shop, and for myself, I hate it. It’s the only style of bra I don’t like. I will wear bras in all shapes, and am very lucky that I suit most styles, but can I find a strapless bra? No I cannot.

Wonderbra Perfect Strapless Couture bra

Wonderbra Perfect Strapless Couture bra

I have a strapless bra in the shop for A-DD cups, which I think is beautiful. It is a lovely shape, has a little bit of pattern, some padding and is low at the front too. Nice wide side panels as well, which helps it stay up. Some of my friends swear by this strapless bra. However, although I often wear a 32DD, I find I spill out of this one all around the cup.

Okay, so if this style isn’t for me, I’ll try one that is higher in the middle. Fit is good, stays up okay, but it looks to me like my boobs are being squeezed from the top and bottom and unusually, they sag. Plus the wire comes up too high and rubs against the chest wall.

I tried one that I’ve heard lots of good reviews about in terms of fit and its ability to stay put, but being the same sort of design as the one I sell, I found the same problem. Even going up not one but two cup sizes higher I didn’t get that ultimate fit. And so I start to understand why so many women show their straps.

Boux Avenue padded bandeau bra

Boux Avenue padded bandeau bra

Strapless bras seem to fall under a few different designs:

The Uniboob – the bra that looks more like a bandeau and doesn’t give the breasts a complimentary and individual shape at all. It stays up, and is comfortable.

The Saggy Boob – the bra that has tight elastic at the top and a very flimsy material across the bra itself; the pressure from the top just seems to make the breasts flop in the cup. A good fit, but not always a good shape.

The My Boob Doesn’t Fill It – despite the bra wires sitting in all the right places, the structure of the bra is determined to stay up and ends up standing away from the breast itself, making you just as self-conscious that you are going to fall out as not wearing a bra in the first pace. However, it’s good for full breasts.

The Plunge – to get the structure and the shape on a plunge-style strapless bra, the cups have to curve towards the body. This can give a ‘double boob’ in strange places if you have a full chest, but is great if your breasts are fuller at the bottom than the top.

Fashion Forms U Plunge backless and strapless bra

Fashion Forms U Plunge backless and strapless bra

Basically, lots of different manufacturers strive in different ways to be able to find that ultimate fit. You know the one – where you can put your hands in the air and shake them like you just don’t care, can do cartwheels across the grass and you’ll still be sitting perfectly inside your bra, without any straps on show.

Because breasts come in many different shapes and sizes, bras need to as well. This means that although I have struggled with the strapless bras I have tried, that doesn’t mean that they are wrong. Just wrong for me. So when I find that all-illusive strapless bra that fits me, stays up, is pretty and (because it’s me) has matching bottoms, I think I shall shout it from the roof tops.

In the meantime, I hear all the cries from the women on the same plight as me, and hope that some day soon, we will all find our perfect strapless bra.

You might also like these tips for making a strapless bra more comfortable.

Have you found yours? What’s the best strapless bra you’ve tried?

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