The Secret Only a Strapless Bra Can Reveal

July 24, 2013

By Tomima Edmark

Think you know your true bra size? There’s only one foolproof way to find out, and it might surprise you to hear it involves the much-maligned strapless bra. Sound a bit counter intuitive, especially given the prevalence of strapless fashion disasters? Here’s why it makes perfect sense.

Strapless bras are sized in the same way as all other bra styles. Some ladies make the mistake of believing they need to go down a band size to prevent a strapless bra from slipping and sliding. The fact is your strapless bra size should be exactly the same size as your best-fitting regular bras. That takes a lot of the guesswork out of strapless bra shopping and also reveals whether you’re actually wearing the correct bra size to begin with. The reason is simple. Bra straps aren’t supposed to shoulder the bulk of the weight – that’s the band’s job.

Try my advice and choose a strapless bra based on your regular band measurement. If you catch yourself incessantly pulling at the sides to keep it in place, you’ve likely discovered your band measurement isn’t what you previously thought. That goes for all of your bras. I suggest going down one band size. Conversely, you’ll need to increase your cup size when you decrease the size of the band in order to maintain the same cup volume as before.

Le Mystere, Simone Perele, Wacoal

Once you’ve determined your true bra size, you should turn an eye towards a bra’s construction. Well-made strapless bras feature a suspension design and underwiring with a spring-like capability. While at rest, the cups appear vertically narrow. When the bra is put on and secured in the back, the underwires splay and grab around the breasts. You’ll notice a good strapless bra has underwiring that’s taller in the center and on the sides expressly for this purpose.


via Sweet Nothings NYC

Women with DD+ size cups, in particular, will appreciate the added support this type of underwiring provides. For these ladies, there should also be boning incorporated into the seam lines. Silicone grippers are yet another necessity. To start searching, see the strapless bras voted best of 2013 by thousands of average and full-figure women representing a broad range of ages.



In my next blog for Lingerie Briefs, we’ll focus on shapewear dos and don’ts with special tips for petite and tall ladies.

Many thanks to Ellen Lewis and the team at Lingerie Briefs for the invitation to lend my voice to their discussion of all things lingerie. I look forward to sharing insights on behalf of  and hearing from our readers.

  1. Larissa Wednesday - 24 / 07 / 2013 Reply
    I'm allergic to silicone gripper elastic. Are there any good full-busted strapless bras without it? Is it possible?
    • Tomima Edmark Wednesday - 24 / 07 / 2013 Reply
      Hello Larissa – thank you for reading my post, and thank you for your question. IF you’re having a reaction to the gripper elastic, you must have very sensitive skin. Unfortunately, every strapless bra on the market that I’m aware of includes some type of gripper material to help keep it up and in place. You did not tell me your bra size, but my suggestion would be for you to consider a longline strapless bra. This many-times-overlooked bra style has a stronger and longer band for terrific support and stay-put power. Plus, it has the added benefit of giving you torso shaping. At HerRoom, our long-time best-seller in this longline category is the Goddess GD689 . This would be my suggestion for you. Good luck! - Tomima
  2. Larissa Wednesday - 24 / 07 / 2013 Reply
    Hi Tomima, thank you for your response! I can assure you that it's a reaction to the silicone gripper. I get red welts and even blistering (!) exactly where the gripper coating is, and it happens with thigh highs, strapless bras, and even cycling shorts and strapless dresses with that kind of elastic. Regular lingerie-type brushed elastics are no problem. I wear a 34DDD/E/F depending on the brand/style. I'll definitely give that Goddess bra a shot next time I have a special occasion! Thank you so much for your recommendation!


A Lingerie Insider


A Lingerie Insider
In 1999, Tomima Edmark realized there was a gap in the options women had to buy lingerie; our choices were department store, lingerie boutique or mail order. Why shouldn’t we have the same ease buying bras that we had for, say, tee shirts or music? An entrepreneur with a series of unconventional successes, Tomima turned to the internet and HerRoom was born. Over the years, she has fine-tuned the business to offer women high quality, good design, comfort, fit, and value. Tomima hasn’t relied on instinct alone. Using an exhaustive approach to learn the industry, she has picked the brains of designers, manufacturers, and consumers to offer women the best possible products, services, and buying tips. For Tomima, HerRoom isn’t just about shopping for sexy lingerie. She wants women to find the styles and sizes that fit them best—for all body types and tastes.