When it's time to wear your favorite strapless dress or rock a tube top, you might realize that you don't have the right bra for it. Every woman should own a strapless bra for these occasions. It's often tempting to buy the first one you see on the rack. However, wearers of strapless bras know how an ill-fitting one can result in a day or evening spent tugging it back into place. We've created this buying guide to help you find a strapless bra that will provide the support that you need. Our top pick is Cosabella Women's Never Say Never Flirtie Bandeau Bra, which weds style and function and comes in a wide range of colors.
Considerations when choosing strapless bras
Strapless bras have a bad reputation for sliding down and around and not staying put because of their lack of straps. The better your strapless bra fits, the better it'll stay in place. Retailers sell bras either in alphanumeric designations typical of regular bras -- from 32A to 42DD -- or in extra-small to large sizes. Some may just offer numerical band sizes.
Support is a key consideration when buying strapless bras, especially for larger bust sizes. If you need ample support, look for a strapless bra with a wide band (with at least three vertical clasps) and for underwire in the cups. While that might not be as comfortable as other styles of strapless bras, like the bandeau, these two features provide the most support.
Padding: Some strapless bras provide padding to add shape and lift to your bosom. Padding, especially "push-up" padding, will push your breasts up and closer together for more cleavage.
Anti-slip lining: To address the slipping issue, some strapless bras feature anti-slip silicone lining somewhere inside the cup or band. This helps keep the bra from sliding down during wear.
Optional straps: Convertible bras allow you to have a strapless option by employing detachable straps. These straps can also be arranged in different configurations to fit under a variety of tops. This is a smart option if you only wear strapless bras occasionally.
Style: Strapless bras also come in a variety of styles. Bandeau styles are a straight-across look, which some users even wear standalone. More classic cuts have a sweetheart neckline, so the bra will remain invisible if you're wearing a low-cut top or plunging neckline.
Color: Typically strapless bras come in neutral colors like nude, black, or white. If you're intentionally allowing your strapless bra to show, which some users prefer with bandeau styles, select a more vibrant color or lace material.
Strapless bra prices
Strapless bras range in price from $10 to upward of $100. You can find a good-fitting one between $20 to $40; however, if your bra size falls outside the normal range offered, expect to pay more.
Q. How do I care for my strapless bra?
A. Even if your strapless bra says machine washable, we recommend hand-washing it to prolong its life. Most strapless bras need to be hand-washed with gentle detergent, or with special detergent for lingerie, and then air-dried.
Q. How tight should the band of my strapless bra be?
A. Select a bra with as tight a band as possible, without causing pain, to ensure that your strapless bra doesn't slide down during your daily activities. Also, bands stretch out over time, so it's better to start too snug than just right.
Strapless bras we recommend
Best of the best: Cosabella Women's Never Say Never Flirtie Bandeau Bra
Our take: A lacy feminine bandeau-style bra in a rainbow of color options.
What we like: Comes in two dozen vibrant colors. Has a flirty look when peeking out under a tank or button-down. Comfortable and easy to take on and off.
What we dislike: Not ideal for low-cut tops if you want a no-show look.
Best bang for your buck: Carole Martin Strapless Comfort Wireless Bra
Our take: For less than $20, this wireless strapless bra is supremely comfortable.
What we like: No prodding or padding for a super comfortable fit. Silky smooth material. Fits B to D sizes, so it works for larger-busted women.
What we dislike: Coverage is a little thin if you're wearing sheer clothing.
Our take: From a popular name brand, this classic is perfect for the workplace or date night.
What we like: Sweetheart neck for no-show wear. Anti-silicone strips work to keep bra in place. Nude shades can be worn with thin clothing.
What we dislike: Doesn't "push up" as much as some users would prefer.
Ana Sanchez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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