Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Let's go STRAPLESS (bras)

Guess what, ladies!  Spring is here, and strapless bras are the topic of choice, today.  When one breast is larger than the other, strapless bras can be a challenge to find, but there are ways around the struggle!  Let's talk about the ways these bras can make our wardrobe fabulous!

First we need to discuss what the strapless bra will do.  This bra will hold your "goodies" in place while allowing you to wear something that is either strapless or has straps that will not cover bra straps.  These bras can be a beast of a burden to hold in place sometimes, and an FYI for those who have never braved the bra sans straps: you WILL have to adjust yourself relatively often.  Strapless bras have come a long way since I first started wearing them in the early 2000s.  Now many bras come with a band of an almost sticky, rubber-like product inside them.  This is a glorious asset to a bra!  This will help prevent the bra from slipping down, but inevitably they all will a little.  If you're going for uber cleavage, or just holding them in place, there are options all across the board, but it will depend on your level of comfort, self-confidence, and your degree of asymmetry.

Let's start from the back of the bra and work our way forward.  Depending on how well endowed your larger breast is, the strapless bra you select may have three hooks on the back to hold the bra down.  It has been my experience that bras with three hooks have a significantly wider band on them (that goes around your rib cage to your back), and thus provide more support.  Please keep in mind that I'm a 36D, so the three hook bra may not be available for everyone.  As we've discussed before, keeping your bra tight to your body is crucial for holding your breasts in place.  Nobody wants wandering breasts or a wandering bra!  Don't just put your strapless bra on so that it fits around your ribs like a pair of jeans would fit (loose and relaxed); your bra needs to be tight on your ribs, but not so tight that you get "muffin top" or "back cleavage" when you wear it.  The wider the bra, the more support it's going to bring to your chest.  Again, wider bras tend to have three hooks in the back, but not always.  The biggest thing is to make sure that when you fasten those hooks, your bra is snug.

When we're talking about bras (strapless or not), I want to emphasize that QUALITY is important here.  Nothing can ruin your day like a bra falling apart at work.  Strapless bras almost demand to be of good quality, because you don't have anything (straps) to assist them.  (NOTE: I will discuss clear straps later in the post)  If your bra is made from a very stretchy fabric, poor quality fabric, or one that is very thin, this bra will likely fail you very quickly.  Strapless bras need to be durable, for the most part.  If the fabric "gives" too much, there will be no support and the bra will not hold shape, thus allowing your larger breast to pull the bra down, or tilt forward far more than your smaller breast.  I cannot stress enough how important fabric really is to the quality of the bra, and the the efficacy of disguising asymmetry.  You'll want to find a bra with rigid materials that are rather thick.  You'll, inevitably, end up paying more for a bra like this, but you'll get so much more use out of one good bra than you will ten cheap bras.

Padding is a must for me when it comes to bras, however, strapless bras can be a little different.  If your breasts aren't drastically different, you may be able to get away with a bra that is not padded, but apply padding to your smaller breast to even them out.  If your degree of asymmetry is fairly high, you may need a padded bra, and then pad to cover the difference.  I say this only because a padded bra tends to assist a little more with cleavage, and may provide more coverage.  If your degree of asymmetry is severe, you may want to buy a heavily padded bra, and try to get a full-coverage strapless bra so that only the upper part of your cleavage is visible.  This shows off some cleavage, but also leaves something for the imagination of the admirers.

As I've mentioned before, the part of the bra that connects the breast cups is so important.  This can absolutely change the way a bra sits on your body.  If you don't have a very high degree of asymmetry, you can get away with having a bra that has a very small piece of fabric connecting the two cups.  However, for myself, I cannot use those types of bras, as they show my asymmetry too much.  They allow my larger breast to lean more forward at an angle.  The analogy I use is to put both of your hands up in the air, with the tips of your thumbs touching.  Now lean you right hand as far forward as you can.  See how large that range of motion is?  Now hold both of your hands up again and make the tips of your thumbs AND the tips of your index fingers touch.  Now try to tilt your right hand forward.  Notice how much less of a range there is?  That's what we're going for!  Minimal range!  The larger the piece of fabric is that connects the cups, the less movement there will be, and the more support there will be!

Clear straps are always an option.  You can adjust them the exact same way you do your bras, and some will even go around your neck like a halter!  These can be a wonderful asset to ladies who want to wear a sexy halter top, but aren't comfortable with a strapless bra.  There are also clear straps that work by crossing around your back/ribs (like where the hooks in the back are) to provide added support at the top of the bra, but hiding it under your clothes.  I've never personally tried them, but the idea is absolutely fantastic!  Clear straps can be added to almost any strapless bra that will accept straps.  Many of the new bras that are purchased with straps are actually able to be worn as strapless bras by removing the straps.  Victoria's Secret makes MANY of their bras like this, now.  It's FANTASTIC!  For those of you who are comfortable in a bra you've found, and it has removable straps, you can substitute in the clear ones and be on your way in your stunning halter dress and big sunglasses!

Strapless bras can be so challenging, but with patience, good advice, and a good outlook, anyone (with or without asymmetry) can find a strapless bra!  So let's start dressing sexy, gals!  There's no need to let the asymmetry hold us back from being utterly fabulous!


  1. Most patients have some degree of breast asymmetry, although asymmetry of one or more cup sizes is less common. There are many options to correct the asymmetry you have described including enlarging the smaller breast only with an implant, enlarging both breasts with different size implants, and reducing the larger breast. Your board-certified plastic surgeon will explain your options, and help you decide on the procedure of choice for you.

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  3. Thanks very much for your post Danielle. As a lady with two cups difference between my left and right, it is so nice to read about other women who also have difference in breast sizes. This has had a serious effect on my self esteem through the years... but I really feel that surgery is a dangerous option for feeling better! Lots of love to all the assymetrical ladies out there, you are beautiful and lovable just as you are.

  4. Nice informative post! Strapless bras are ideal when wearing off shoulder, backless dresses and re-adjust bra again and again is easy in strapless. Thank you for this post!