Strap In (Or Don't): Convertible and Strapless Bras for Every Body

Strap In (Or Don't): Convertible and Strapless Bras for Every Body

You know when you're wearing super-high stilettos and someone asks, "oh, are those comfortable?" No, absolutely not. They're might be comfortable for what they are, but cozy little Ugg boots they are not.

Strapless bras are like this. You're never going to adore your strapless bra, but you can absolutely feel neutrally about it! You might even come to like it a little bit! At minimum, you can find one you aren't tugging at all the time. It takes some trial and error to get the right one, but it's worth it; finding the right convertible bra gives you a whole new wardrobe. You can wear a cute little halter dress! You can pick whatever top you want for your best friend's baby shower! You can rock one of those sleeveless turtlenecks that cuts way in at the shoulders! It gives you options.

But what are you even looking for? Let's define some terms.

First, you've got a convertible bra. This is your Swiss army knife. This is almost always a low-gore, molded cup style with some little loops at front and back where you can add or subtract one or both straps. Some also come with a long elastic band extender so you can fasten your band way, way low on your waist for backless options. These adjustments mean that this isn't going to be your best-fitting piece, but the adaptability makes it a must-have. You'll still get plenty of lift, shape, and separation with the right convertible bra.

Next, you have a classic strapless bra. Some come with removable straps, but many don't. If you have one that fits well, you don't really need them. This is likewise a molded cup style, but the actual shape runs the gamut. At Underpinnings, we have high gore, low gore, two hook, five hook, you name it. With very few exceptions, we have a strapless bra in most sizes. If you're super lucky, your favorite brand makes your favorite T-shirt bra style in a strapless model. If this is you, congrats! Go buy a lottery ticket.

Strapless bra MELODY Black

Last, we have bustiers. These are like a bra, but the "band" goes all the way to your lower rib cage or waist. Bustiers aren't great solutions for strapless bras; they're mostly meant to be fun, sexy lingerie rather than a supportive solution garment. Longline styles and bustiers are pretty hard to really, truly fit, so they're an option of last resort. People often come in and ask for one but once we find a better-fitting strapless piece, they can see how much easier (and comfier) that path will be.

Nearly all strapless and convertible styles are going to be a T-shirt, molded cup model. While this almost always means you're sacrificing a super-precise fit, in this case, it's worth it. Without the structure of a strap, a cut-and-sew style would roll down unless you glued it to your breast which sounds...really unpleasant, but do you. The molded up keeps it from folding in on itself and also gives a little more containment without elasticized toplines on the cups.

Most strapless and convertible styles come in a few shades of nude (usually fair, medium, and deep) and black. They'll mostly be smooth or have a little bit of lace for decoration. The less-practical bustier will come in nearly any color or fabric; the sky's the limit.

Almost all strapless pieces have an underwire; in a cut-and-sew style you can get shape from a variety of seams, but with the molded up, you'll get the dreaded uniboob without that wire. With a great strapless, you shouldn't feel the wire.

Strapless bras often have a greater number of hooks in the back because that band is the only thing holding the whole thing up. Some of our clients (and fitters) choose to go down a band size for a little extra support and security; you want to feel really "in" your strapless bra.

When it comes to strapless and convertible styles sizing overall tends to be a little different for strapless bras, so it's best to book a fitting and try one on to make sure you're getting something that really works. Once you find something, though, look out! You're a new person. You're tearing it up on the dance floor at your cousin's wedding, you're bouncing around at the club, you're jumping up and down and screaming at Churchill Downs, you're doing a cartwheel in a tube top just because you can.

Why are we telling you this now? Well, it's mid-March, my friend, and it's about to be strapless season. Weddings, graduations, sundress season, prom, and the Derby are all upon us. Right now, we have our full size range of strapless bras, but don't wait to come get a fitting, especially if you have struggled to find a bra that fits in the past. We still have time to order something you'll love and get you out the door feeling confident in your outfit!

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