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The Ps and Qs of Strapless Bra Fit


As we saw on Friday’s Q&A, strapless bra fit is the most important factor in getting a good strapless bra. The best strapless bra in the world is worthless if it won’t fit properly, and if you get a bad fit in a strapless bra in particular, there’s not much you can do to improve it! So if you’re looking to buy a strapless bra, here’s what you need to know about strapless bra fit:

Strapless Bra Band Fit is Critical
The fit of the strapless bra band is the most critical component of finding the right strapless bra. In a normal bra, the band should provide 80% to 90% of the bra’s support. In a strapless bra, the band is the sole source of support, so it’s got to fit properly! Your strapless bra band should be snug on the loosest setting, so that as the bra stretches over multiple wears, you can simply wear the bra on the next setting. You shouldn’t be able to fit more than one or two fingers under the bra band, and if your strapless bra is sliding down, it’s because the band isn’t properly fitted. If the band doesn’t lie flat beneath your shoulder blades – if it rides up in the back – the band is too big.

Measure yourself using our “Getting Measured for a Bra” page – and keep in mind that the bra measuring process is different for European bra brands vs. American bra brands. Then, check out our Bra Cup Size Comparison to figure out your cup size. Getting properly measured is the core of fitting a strapless bra, so it’s where you have to start – even if you think you already know your bra size!

Find the Right Cup for You
Finding the right cup in your strapless bra is a little more difficult than simply measuring and knowing your cup size. Different bra brands, and even sometimes different styles within the brands, fit differently in the cup. Some bra brands, like Freya, feature wider underwires with a more gradual curve, so they’re great for breasts whose tissue is wider at the base. Unfortunately, if you’ve got a more narrow torso, the wider underwire may dig into your underarm or cause discomfort. Experiment with different brands until you find a cup whose fit works for you.

There’s also the division between the breasts to look for – some strapless bras have a wider center gore, while others have a center gore that’s closer together, so look for something that fits your body well.

When you try on your new strapless bra, bend forward and see what happens with the cups. Does the top of the bra gap away from your body? You might be wearing the wrong cup size, or you might need a different cup style or strapless bra design to work with your body. A properly-fitted strapless bra should fit snug against your body under the arms, along the top of the bra and in the center gore.

And of course, the strapless bra cups have to work with what you intend to wear, too! A high-cut, fuller-coverage strapless bra cup is great for women who want a bit more shaping, but if it’ll show over the top of your dress or shirt, it isn’t the right bra for you! Finding a balance between support, shaping and the cut of the bra cup may seem difficult, but it’s worthwhile to shop around and check out various strapless bra options to find the right fit for you.

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