Does such a thing as the best strapless bra exist? I can't count the number of times I've sworn them off after spending an embarrassing evening hoisting them up. But when you want to wear your favourite off-the-shoulder dress, what are the options? Now, you could just go braless, but if you're not exactly small-chested, this can pose a problem, not to mention it can leave you with quite the backache. So, thanks to the abundance of shoulder-baring tops, cami dresses and low-back options dropping in, I decided to go on a mission to find a decent strapless bra that fits well and stays put.
To help me, and you, find the best strapless bras and ensure they fit properly, I spoke to lingerie expert Eloise Rigby, who owns The Pantry Underwear shop in Islington, which caters to cups from A to K. She gave me a few helpful rules to stick to.
1. Go for one back size smaller than usual. Without shoulder straps, cups are only supported by the back strap, so this needs enough pull to keep the cups in place. To compensate, you'll (probably) need to go up a cup size.
2. Start on the loosest set of hooks. This will ensure the longest life from the bra, so you can move inwards as the back strap stretches.
3. To check if a size works, pop an arm behind your back, and use your thumb to pull the strap outwards. You should be able to pull it back only half an inch with resistance for a strapless bra.
4. You also want to make sure the cups aren't gaping at the top of the breast. And depending on the style of the central section of the bra, the wires that meet in the middle should be sitting flat.
Ready to shop strapless bras? Keep scrolling for the ones I've found with the best reviews.
Marks and Spencer Stick On Padded Balcony Strapless Bra (£25)
Standout review: "Stayed in place all day, but was told by a couple people I should have pushed things up a bit more, so could have tried to reposition it, but was worried it wouldn't stick so we'll if I did. So make sure you get it in a good position before taking the backing off the sticky pads would be my advice."
Marks and Spencer Lace Padded Bandeau Strapless Bra A-E (£20)
Standout review: "Without doubt one of the nicest strapless bras I have bought. Looks lovely and is comfortable. Lovely lace and so good I ordered two more...Also does what it says on the tin and keeps my D cups in place!!"
Marks and Spencer Lace Push Up Multiway Bra A-E (£25)
Standout review: "I bought this wanting a strapless and supportive black bra with a bit of padding. I have not had much success in buying what I wanted and that fit!! All this ended when this arrived through the post. Easy to remove the straps, comfortable to wear, supportive and looks good too. A real winner in my eyes."
Chantelle Irresistible Strapless Bra (£54)
Both Selfridges and Harrods say this Chantelle bra is one of the best selling, and it's easy to see why. It's low enough to wear with plunging tops. Plus, it's not lacy, so you'll be able to wear a variety of different tops with it for a seamless effect. Selfridges lingerie and fit expert Clare Basche says that when this line launched, it sold out within two weeks.
Next DD+ Non Pad Minimise Bandeau Bra (£45)
Standout review: "Finally, a minimiser bra that works & stays up. It’s opened up a whole new wardrobe of possibilities!"
John Lewis & Partners Ivy Seam Free Bandeau Bra, Black (£16)
Standout review: "I have a few of these now they are super comfortable. Some I have removed the padding so they offer a different option when wearing vest tops. Highly recommend much better than a strapless bra."
Wacoal Halo Lace Moulded Strapless Bra, Ivory (£36)
Standout review: "I have recently purchased this bra on the recommendation of my sister who is the same size as me and I love it, it fits like a glove and doesn't pinch or move, great that it also has straps which you can also cross over although I would prefer a little connector instead. I have just ordered another in white and decided to also purchase the matching knicker too."
Wacoal Red Carpet Strapless Underwired Bra (£45)
Standout review: "This holds up my ridiculously large breasts without ever slipping. Yes, it needs to be tight to do the job but it's only uncomfortable if you have to lay down while wearing it. Highly recommend this bra. The deep groves in my shoulders are finally pain-free!"
Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless Bra (£42)
Standout review: "I wore this on my wedding day and it held all day. Not once did I have to readjust and I'm a 36E!"
Iris & Lilly Strapless Bra (£13)
Standout review: "This is a very good basic strapless bra, perfect especially for the price. It seems well made with high quality fabric and stitching. The straps are easy to detach but perfectly functional when they are attached. The colour ‘palenude’ does not show through thinner white t shirts which is amazing. The back has 4 different size options to clasp so you can do it tighter or looser as preferred. I’ve also found this doesn’t show an outline of a bra through tighter shirts. The sizing is true to size (I’m a 32d and bought a 32d and it fits perfectly). Only thing is unlike some other strapless bras, this one does not have a rubber layer inside to help prevent slipping, however from wearing this for a few hours it does not seem to slip anyways."
Next DD+ Non Pad Minimise Bandeau Bra (£22)
Standout review: "Perfect strapless bra for larger boobs. I purchased this one for my 14 yr old 34E daughter, great support without looking too mature for her."
Next Motion Flex Bandeau (£16)
Standout review: "Great shape and support without the imposition of wires bought 3 in all one for me then two more for my daughters. Good item for part my capsule wardrobe."
Standout review: "This strapless bra fit as expected and I would say was true to size. It comes with removable straps so it can be worn in various fashion. It stays put and provides coverage and support. Lovely purchase and overall very happy."
Pour Moi Rebel Strapless Longline Bra (£22)
Standout review: "Gorgeous bra, well fitting, excellent quality..and great value!"
Calvin Klein Underwear Seductive Comfort Lace Multiway Bra (£42)
Standout review: "I've always struggled with strapless bras, I never feel like I have enough support. This bra is comfortable and provides a lot of support so you can dance the night away without the fear of popping out!"
Panache Evie Strapless Bra (£32)
Standout review: "Fits really well and is very supportive even without the straps. Does not slip down stays in place which is exactly what you need in a [strapless] bra."
John Lewis & Partners Winged Stick-On Bra (£25)
Standout review: "After 2 children and being maid of honour with a backless dress. Ive ordered every bra going and this one is perfect and the only one that gives incredible support and makes me feel a little more confident. Om a 32c and ordered a B. Im ordering more for sure."
Freya Cameo Underwired Strapless Bra (£42)
Standout review: "Really comfortable strapless bra, excellent price and great quality."
John Lewis & Partners U-Plunge Stick-On Bra (£28)
Standout review: "I was recommended this in branch so I hadn't read the online reviews before I purchased, which would have put me off. Unlike the previous reviewers I found it stuck really well - I made sure I wasn't wearing any moisturiser on my back as per instructions and had no problems. It held me in place under a low back dress which was what I bought it for! So overall really pleased."
Next up, these are the best bras, hands down.
This post was published at an earlier time and has been updated.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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