The first bra I bought that actually fit me came from a specialty store staffed exclusively by women over the age of 80, half an hour north of Chicago. My mom saw the store on an episode of Oprah and decided that my days of trying to squeeze my boobs into whatever cheap bra I bought at the mall were over. I looked unquestionably better, but all three of the new bras had straps that were at least 1.5 inches thick, were “nude,” but for white people, and stopped just short of my chin.
Given my fraught history with finding bras in my size, I never thought I’d live to see the day where I would have multiple supportive, affordable and cute strapless bras at my disposal. Thanks to MR market whiz Elizabeth Tamkin and the bounty of the internet, I tried on six different strapless bras in a 34F to find the best bra for the season of tube tops and off-the-shoulder dresses. I tested them for comfort, support and the ability to stand up to me dancing around to the wedding classic “Shout” for at least half of the song (I’m tired, leave me alone). I have to say they were all in the realm of surprisingly good, but two truly stood out as a dream come true for the bosomy and ebullient.
This one looks deceptively supportive. It’s huge, the cups are extra molded and there are a lot of hooks. It did shape and hold my boobs but was sadly pretty uncomfortable. It slipped down a bit and it felt like it was pulling the whole situation downwards, aiding gravity in its cruel quest. It did come with straps and I think it would make an okay strap-full bra.
Comfort: I was aware I was wearing a strapless bra the whole time, but there wasn’t too much uncomfortable digging.
Support: Again, good shaping but too much slippage.
“Shout” Test: Not too much jiggling, but it was sitting way lower on my carriage when I finished. Required two big hikes back up.
A basic wallet-friendly option, it was pretty comfortable and did an okay job. The cups themselves are lightly molded but there was a lot of jiggle when I walked, which I’m not a huge fan of. The band is stretchy and there was minimal digging. I wouldn’t recommend this for an active day, but if you’re going to a cookout or something where you’ll mostly be sitting, it gets the job done.
Comfort: Pretty comfortable! The cups don’t dig at the top and the band is forgettable, which is a good thing.
Support: Though things move more than I would like, the bra largely stayed in place. It was the one bra where I felt like I missed the straps.
“Shout” test: Oh boy. Too much bouncing. Do not recommend.
This one came with the straps on, which tbh, were a little hard to get off! Great news for a bra that you want to wear with straps, not so good news for me. Nice color, soft cups for those out there that don’t prefer a ton of molding. It didn’t do any push-up action, just gently cradled my boobs, a very chill bra situation. I think if you are a really sweaty person (which I am), things could get a little slippery, but it seems like a nice option for a casual afternoon of not wearing anything on your shoulders.
Comfort: There was some digging in the sides under the arms but it wasn’t the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced.
Support: When it comes to strapless bras, I am generally of the “more molding/padding the better” school, so I was a little worried about this one. But it didn’t look or feel noticeably unsupportive, so I guess it depends on your preference.
“Shout” Test: Things went surprisingly well! Not too much slippage but a little more bouncing around than I would have liked.
It looks like it’s not going to be supportive at all, but it shockingly is. It’s also very comfortable; there aren’t molded cups so your boobs just sort of hang out together in a sleeve. My silhouette wasn’t as defined as it was in any of the other ones, and the band doesn’t dip so it doesn’t work with as many necklines as the other options. If I were a bolder woman I might even wear this as a tube top. Warning: Your nipples WILL be visible. I repeat your nipples WILL be visible.
Comfort: Very, the lack of cups and individual underwire makes it a pretty snug and comfy situation.
Support: I wore it on my two-hour walk home and things didn’t look too droopy when I finally walked in the door.
“Shout” Test: More jiggling than the sculpted bras but not so much as to be painful or eye-catching. Wouldn’t be my top choice to dance around in but wasn’t a disaster.
It’s so pretty! I got the one in a delicate pink and it doesn’t have the medieval contraption look and vibe of most strapless bras for big boobs. There’s a sticky strip on the edges that is small and well-hidden and comes with regular straps and clear straps which is kind of genius (remember the heyday of clear bra-straps? what a time). Let me tell you, this is a great bra. Super comfortable, stays up well, no red marks. Withstands a medium-paced walk. Good for all your summer needs! Feels like the most special occasion-y of all the options, I almost felt bad about sweating in it.
Comfort: Pretty comfortable! Didn’t feel any digging or pinching.
Support: Verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry supportive. Felt comparable to a regular bra that I hadn’t really tightened the straps on recently.
“Shout” Test: No complaints here!
Believe me when I tell you this is the strapless bra of my dreams. I forgot I was wearing a strapless bra. I walked in it for two hours straight, got pretty sweaty and it only slipped like half an inch? But my boobs still looked good! I never thought my boobs and I would go on such a journey together. No super red lines when I took it off, which was surprising since it was so supportive. It’s very sleek looking but you can tell by looking at it that it means business. Gave me a sort of sculpted old school look, but didn’t go full pointy ’50s boobs. This is it, I’ve found the one.
Comfort: Pretty comfortable! You’re def locked and loaded but I never had to adjust for comfort or count down until I could take it off.
Support: Very supportive, I imagine it would need a subtle hike up at the end of a very long wedding or a day where you double your step count but overall, not bad. Would stand up to a night out and could definitely keep you supported a full day. You could maybe even run for the bus.
“Shout” test: I felt supported the entire time! There is a little over-the-cup bounce action given the lifting nature of the bra but whatever, life is for the living!
Do you have any faves? Do they hold up to you aggressively dancing to ‘Shout’??