Your Strapless Bras Can Actually Fit Well With The Easiest Tips & Tricks

Of all the lingerie out there, it's strapless bras that have a reputation for being problematic. Even if you try one on and think that it fits well at the moment, after a couple of hours of wear, there's a good chance you're pulling at it in all directions as the band and cups go totally rogue. Not only does this lead to physical discomfort, but the integrity of your outfit is also compromised. So much for smooth lines across the bust!

"The perfect strapless bra is certainly elusive: correctly fitted, functional, and comfortable all in one," lingerie buyer Sophia Fischbein tells Elle. In fact, dealing with ill-fitting bras seems more common than not. All you have to do is gather up a bunch of people who wear bras and more than a handful of them can probably share a story or two about a strapless bra that almost ruined (or actually did ruin) their night.

But maybe strapless bras don't have to be the nightmare to which we've become accustomed. Maybe, with the right tips and tricks, strapless bra-wearers of the world can finally get their due and actually enjoy how a strapless bra fits and looks. Miracles can happen, albeit rarely.

Don't get your usual size

First rule of strapless bra success? Go down a size in the band. Much like the right sports bra, your perfect strapless bra may be a different size than the one you usually buy. If you think about how bras are constructed, they're all about offering support and shape. If you take away not one, but two of those supporters (the straps), then the support that's left (the band) ends up doing all the work on its own. So, it better be strong enough to be up to the task. 

"Too many women are wearing a bra with a band that's one (or even two) sizes too big," bra expert Jenny Altman tells Real Simple. "That band gives the bra all of its support — especially with a strapless bra — so it's important that you wear the right size band. It should feel snug, but it should never hurt."

Contrary to what we tend to think about strapless bras, they should feel "comfortable," Alicia Miller, director of merchandising and fit specialist at lingerie maker Chantelle, tells Glamour. "A lot of times women think a strapless bra is going to be uncomfortable by design, but with the right fit, a stay-put and feel-good fit is possible," says Miller. That means no aches and pains or those unsightly red marks that straps and bands tend to leave.

Make sure it has the necessary features

Because strapless bras are an entirely different beast from bras with straps, they require extra features to not only stay in place, but work the way they're supposed to. "Some of the key elements you should look for when shopping for a strapless bra are: the right cup size, multiway straps, a no-slip grip, and comfortable boning on the sides," bra expert Ra'el Cohen tells Brides.

When it comes to no-slip grip, bras that have silicone in the cup are always a great idea — especially since it means you don't have to mess with attaching your own gripper strips. "Silicone is a great added feature to have in a strapless (as long as you don't have a skin allergy to silicone), since it sticks slightly to the skin and will hold everything in place," bra expert Jenny Altman tells Real Simple. 

"If your skin is sensitive to silicone, a 'long line' (an extended band) is great for added support since it builds up the lift of the band," she added. A long line can extend the underband down a couple of inches or all the way down to the hips. Even if you find a strapless bra with silicone, if you have larger breasts, then you can benefit from the added support of a longline bra, per Well + Good.

Be willing to splurge a bit

Strapless bras are constructed very differently than regular bras. Their goal is to supply the bust with a whole boatload of support with all those aforementioned extra features. So, naturally, they're going to be more expensive than regular bras — and that's something for which you should prepare. In other words, spending $10 on a strapless bra may seem like a deal, but once you wear it you may feel very differently.

When shopping for a strapless bra, you want to look at the fabric and the quality of the construction. As bra expert Ra'el Cohen tells Byrdie, if the cups lack support or the elastic doesn't have enough give or has too much, then keep looking. 

You also want to take your search to specialty stores, as opposed to department stores. While the latter are great for a bargain, the former are going to have higher quality bras, more sizes and styles, and, if you're lucky, staff that knows a thing or two about bras and how they should properly fit. This doesn't mean you need to go to La Perla and drop a few hundred dollars on a strapless bra, but it does mean to be wary of so-called deals.

Get fitted by a professional

The best tip for finding a strapless bra that fits and feels comfy? Get fitted by a professional. Granted, not all situations and schedules allow for this, but if you can do it, then it really is the biggest trick of the trade. "Much like pants, tops, and dresses, some [strapless bras] may look great on you, while others will seem less than flattering," stylist and fashion writer Samantha Sutton tells InStyle

"It will take a bit of trial and error to find a specific strapless design that suits you and your body," she added. Suttons also suggests that if you know what you'll be wearing over the bra — for example, if it's a special event — bringing the clothes that you'll be wearing with you. "The goal is for your bra to look smooth underneath your clothes, so if you notice any weird lumps and bumps, it probably isn't the right size or [style]," says Sutton.

According to a 2008 study published in Chiropractic & Osteopathy, as many as 80% of women wear the wrong size bra, with 70% wearing bras that are too small. So, yes, wearing an ill-fitting bra is really common, but it doesn't have to be. If bra wearers the world over collectively stopped making bra mistakes, we could actually love our bras, even the strapless ones, instead of gleefully ripping them from our bodies the second we get home. Now that will be a day worthy of celebration.