The Search for the Best Strapless Bra

In the search for the ‘ultimate strapless’, I teamed up with fellow blogger Becky Mount to review the bras which claim to be the best on the market. With so many strapless bras available, as a 28FF and a 30G, we have tried to focus on ones which cater for a wider size-market, with big cup sizes and all the promises under the marketing sun.

As a 28FF, I found I was fairly limited with bras which made strapless bras in my size, finding not a single one much under 30 pounds. One brand in particular which seemed to cater generously for me was the UK champions Panache, who have multiple styles of strapless in catering for a 28+ back.

Panache Porcelain:

  • Available from D to G cup, 28-38 backs.
  • Just £14.95 (in chocolate brown) at Brastop
  • Available in nude, white and black for £26.00 from Bravissimo

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You can’t deny the support with this bra, but I couldn’t help but feel that more than supporting me as a strapless should I was just being pressed and squashed in like a bandage. As a girl who doesn’t have the most ample rack in the world, I don’t want my boobs to be minimised and bound down, however for bigger-busted girls this of course may be a plus. I am doubting that the plunge shape would be great for a bigger chest, however, and despite this being all-in-all a good bra, not one I would recommend when up against the Freya Deco or the other bras that Panache have to offer. One great thing about it is the multi-way function, have it halterneck, cross-back, standard straps or strapless!

This moulded plunging strapless bra is great for low cut party outfits. The smooth seam free shape keeps those lumps and bumps under wraps, whilst the low cut front means you can wear this bra with even more outfits.

  • Underwired moulded plunge bra
  • 3 hook fastening
  • Polyester polyamide elastane
  • Fully adjustable, detachable straps that can be worn multiway
  • Low cut centre front

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Panache Evie:

  • Available from D to H cup, 28-38 backs.
  • Available in nude, white and black for £25.00 from Bravissimo

I have been absolutely living in my Evie strapless. If you read my blog you may be aware of how much of a balconette fan I am which already puts the Evie in good stead with me. With strapless bras I feel like you need the extra surface area that a the balconette shape makes, with wires and cups that create great support and coverage for the bigger bust, all the better when you are lacking in straps. After asking a few girls on Twitter it is apparent that this bra isn’t for everyone, but would definitely be, for me, one to try. Washes and wears wonderfully and almost seamless effect. Again has a multi-way feature! Yay! Also available in the stunning bridal edition for £31.00 at Bravissimo.

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This simple design with foam filled cups gives great shape and a smooth line up to H cup and the cotton lining adds extra comfort! Now in a gorgeous versatile nude, which is perfect to wear under your favourite party tops and dresses.

  • Underwired lightly padded strapless
  • 3 hook fastening
  • Polyester cotton polyamide elastane
  • Fully adjustable, detachable fabric shoulder straps
  • Multi-way straps

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Freya Deco:

  • Available from D to GG cup, 28-38 backs.
  • Available in nude, white and black for £31.00 from Bravissimo

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A promising bra which (as Freya’s first strapless bra) has been eagerly-awaited by Freya fans and big-busted girls alike. For me it absolutely did not disappoint, and like Freya’s classic best-selling ‘Deco’ bra offers all the shape and support that a girl could ask for. The seamless moulded cups make this one a top-notch strapless, the light silicone in the inside seams prevents slippage and discomfort, and the genius engineering from Freya make this a top pick for me.

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A strapless bra that offers sensational cleavage and uplift? Yes, it’s true! Lots of Deco fans have been asking for this strapless version, so we hope you love it just as much.

  • Underwired moulded strapless bra
  • 2 hooks in D cup, 3 hooks DD-FF, 4 hooks G-GG
  • Polyester polyamide elastane
  • Fully adjustable, detachable shoulder straps
  • Multi-way shoulder straps

 

Ewa Michalak ‘Czarny Strapless’:

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A really low-cut strapless which would be perfect with a plunging neckline or strapless dress. Very comfortable and supportive with a hint of cleavage and gorgeous shape, however the cups are made from what can only be described as really firm polystyrene and this is a little off-putting especially in this colour and style as it looks and feels a tad cheap and plastic-y. The shape and support, however is unrivalled and this is still a great contender for an ultimate strapless bra, especially since sizes smaller than 30 are available on request.

 

Wonderbra ‘Ultimate Strapless’:

  • Available from A to F cup, 30-38 backs.
  • Available in nude, white and black for £34.00 and a lace-embossed version for £36.00 from Debenhams

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Last but not least I gave Wonderbra’s self-proclaimed ‘Ultimate Strapless’ a go, and I was pleasantly surprised. Despite not having the best experience with Wonderbras (they start at a 30 back – boo!) this one was tighter than the average 30 back and the 30F I found surprisingly wearable. As these bras are much more easy to come by than the others I tried, despite not being my personal favourite, would be definitely worth a try – and for once a product lives up to its hype – the hand-shape yet seamless moulded cups offer brilliant support – it literally feels like you are holding yourself in! Heard nothing but good about this bra and I would probably buy one myself if they made a 28FF and if I wasn’t so smitten with the Evie and the Deco.

Over two years in the making, and this ‘ultimate strapless’ bra by Wonderbra is guaranteed to revolutionise your strapless experience forever! Unlike other bras, the ‘ultimate strapless’ boasts built-in hand shaped structures to the cups, lifting and supporting the weight of the bust for an enviable Wonderbra cleavage.

  • Added silicone strips to the back band give the bra extra hold, ensuring long-lasting, non- slip support.
  • 85% of those trialed liked the product!
  • Non wired – The polycarbonate ‘hands’ do all the work!
  • Made from microfibre for a smooth look under clothes 49% polyester, 42% nylon, 9% elastane Hand wash

 

Becky: For me, finding a strapless bra is a lifelong mission, and by that I mean strapless bra able to keep my G’s in one place, that’s comfortable, and doesn’t involve me staying very very still. Realising I finally needed to get back to my quest, I ventured to the nearest department store with a decent sized lingerie department. Three measly bras later, I took myself and my camera into the changing room for an afternoon of jumping up and down, throwing myself around, and generally making a lot of suspicious noises. Staff of Debenhams, I’m sorry.

Gorgeous by Debenhams, plain strapless and ‘droplet’ strapless:

First up were two styles by Gorgeous at Debenhams – the black droplet embroidered and the black strapless. I soon discovered they’re the same bra, different detailing, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing; why should a strapless be a plain moulded cup? Just because it’s practical underwear doesn’t meant it has to be hideous!

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They were both very supportive, barely moving as I bounced about the changing room which is brilliant. The sizing was spot on, the back feeling a little snug but not uncomfortably so, and I could imagine myself wearing one of these all day. I do have two criticisms though. As is sadly expected, there aren’t many sizes on offer. Apart from that, I would have perhaps appreciated a bit more of an uplift, a bit of cleavage. Still, it’s a practical, comfortable, supportive bra, and ideal for dreaded strapless clothing, I’d just have liked a little more shape.

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Ultimo Strapless:

Personally, I’m not a fan of Ultimo products; I resent the blatant price discrimination and that aside I’ve not found a product that’s fitted quite right, despite lusting after some of the Miss Ultimo designs. That said, I was willing to put my previous prejudices aside in the quest for a strapless but sadly, yet again, Ultimo was not meant to be. Their Miracle Strapless Multiway bra seemed versatile and practical, yet I didn’t feel supported enough, perhaps the selling point for me, and after a few jumps around the changing room I had to hoick the bra back up and felt wearing it out would mean constant rearranging. Sorry Ultimo but you’ve yet to win me over.

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Wonderbra ‘Ultimate Strapless’:

Sadly, the closest available size for me is a 30F which I forced myself into but surprisingly I didn’t end up with a ridiculous cleavage you’d expect from a cup size too small. I felt supported, perhaps more so than I would in a 30G, and the bra didn’t budge as I actually threw myself around the changing room. A clear winner for me, the back size was a little snug, perhaps adding to the support, but I had undeniable support with a decent cleavage to boot. Success! I’m so tempted to buy the 30F but I should get a slap on the wrist for considering buying a bra in the wrong size. But honestly, the Ultimate Strapless is everything I want in a strapless – mega supportive and actually quite aesthetically pleasing (see the lace version). I have worn a cup size too small in a strapless before, mostly for peace of mind, but I’m not sure this is the best advice! Unfortunately the range of sizes isn’t great for both backs and cups which is frankly its only downfall. Wonderbra, please listen and change this!

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One tried and tested favourite – although not a bra – is the Ballet Eternal Bustier. With the option to remove the straps, for so long it’s been my go-to strapless solution. I can’t praise this item enough; it’s absolutely beautiful, fits like a dream, and gives great support and definition. I know some people may be put off by the idea of a basque, but don’t over look them! They can be a great alternative to a strapless bra, which lets face it, is a volatile item at the best of times.

So, did we manage to choose a winner? Well… not exactly. Different bras will suit different people’s needs so it is hard to call a ‘once-an-for-all’ winner – however we both loved the Wonderbra, a bra that we felt almost deserved its title as the ‘ultimate strapless’ – but for me, the ones I would spend my hard-earned graft on would be either the Deco strapless or the Panache Evie – those I will be keeping!

Image credits: Promotional images by Bravissimo

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40 Comments

  1. I also loved the support of the wonderbra ultimate strapless, although as it is not available in a 28 back am yet to invest! It’s a shame as the band sticks out a little too much dues to it’s stiffness and would probably show under tighter outfits. More sizes please!

    • Thanks Sam, I think this is quite a common request for the Wonderbra big wigs, especially for 28 backs and F+ cups! Thanks for your comment x

  2. Very useful post :)
    I do not own any strapless bra (or better any bought after I was fitted) but really need one. I’ve tried Evie and, despite the fact that it felt secure and the fit was perfect, it’s too plain for my tastes and that was basically the reason I didn’t buy it (if they made other colors of the Evie bridal would be great, the lace it’s pretty but I don’t like white/ivory underwear…).
    I also tried Masquerade’s Tiffany and really liked it, it is very simple but the satin-like fabric gives it a very elegant look, the only problem is one common among Masquerade bras: the cups are not very deep, so depending on one’s breasts shape size may vary. I tried my regular 28F and the top of the inner part of the wires didn’t sit flat against the sternum, even though I felt good wearing it, and a bigger cup would probably solve the problem but they didn’t had 28FF in the store for me to try. Nevertheless it is now on my wish list :)
    The only shop here in Portugal that has a nice fitting service and bras for bigger cups and smaller backs doesn’t have Freya (problems with distribution I’ve been told, the bras have to stop in Paris before coming to Lisbon which makes them very expensive) so I never tried a Freya bra (have a big crush on Arabella black/cassis, too bad the backs are bigger than normal, it seems I would probably need a 26…), but after reading this I really want to try Deco, wish they made it with prints or something because, like Evie, it looks so boring -_-‘’
    As for the ultimate strapless, it really would deserve that title if it came in more sizes, loved the lace version.

    • Thanks for your comment – I’m not too fussy about how they look without clothes as for me a strapless is meant to be functional and they all tend to be a bit plain :/ but I definitely know what you mean – fingers crossed Freya will release a more decorative version soon! And yeah the Evie bridal is gorgeous but very very ‘bridal’ (surprise surprise) which is a bit off-putting if you are just buying for general use x

      • I’m one of those people that picks the underwear first and only then the clothes to go with it, I understand why they make them so plain, but I still don’t like it because wearing pretty lingerie makes me happy :) so I only buy what I really like ( love every bra I own) and would like to have a strapless that stood up to rest of the collection.
        Ihihih, very bridal indeed, I can imagine it on black or dark red, would make a very elegant set…

  3. Really helpful post, I’ve wanted a strapless bra for ages, but have always been put off by prices and tales of bad support.
    I have however heard great things about the Wonderbra. I’ll definitely be referencing this article when I go strapless bra shopping!

    • Thanks for your comment – I’ve found all this research into strapless bras really expanded my clothing choices, wonders of a good strapless bra have left me wearing strapless tops and dresses loads which has been great for summer, good luck in your search! x

  4. I just can’t justify buying it in a cup size too small, wah! Come on sizing…

    • Same with me! Really, really wish they produced a 28 back in the Wonderbra – i’d be keen to buy it if they stocked my size!!

      Kitty xo

      • Yeah, I agree Kitty.

        I do love Wonderbra, and always have, but it’d be nice to see their sizing expanded on. More back and cup sizes please!

  5. I tried the Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless a while ago now, and was super impressed with the engineering involved, it’s quite epic! However, due to the fact that it isn’t available in my size (30G), I didn’t buy one.

    I truly hope Wonderbra expand their size range (before Christmas would be nice-strapless party dresses ftw!) as I believe this may well be THE Ultimate Strapless bra…!

  6. Charlotte James

    I’m always wary with strapless bras as I’ve never been able to buy the “perfect fit”. I always seem to have to sacrifice either support or being able to breathe. Neither of which are good! I liked the Wonderbra but it would be amazing if other brands increased their size variety…being a 28/30 back, F+ cup is hard enough as it is without struggling to find affordable AND strapless friendly lingerie! This article was very helpful though :) I might be more tempted to have another try now!

    • Thanks for your comment, Charlotte! Good luck in your strapless search, fingers crossed maybe one day the Wonderbra size range will be expanded :) x

  7. Hi Cheryl!
    It’s meee :P
    So the blog is very cool and it is so nice to get some tips and advice!
    I ALWAYS struggle to find a bra that fits me, that’s comfortable and yet affordable!
    The only one I ever found was in a designer boutique in London and was £75… :( and so I do not own a single bra that fits me properly…
    I am a supposed 30 back and my perfect bra was a 30G, but I think I fit In some 30F cups…I find anything in a 32 back doesn’t last me very long as it soon becomes very loose…I haven’t tried on any 28 backs.
    So queen of bras, please help? xxx

    • Hey Cheryl, I’m guessing you went to Rigby and Peller? There is a wealth of online stores which offer 30G bras at an affordable price, some of the best are Brastop and Leia Lingerie (check out the outlet section) x

  8. Great post! I love the look of the Wonderbra ‘ultimate strapless’ – both the ones you guys tried. What a shame that they don’t do smaller back sizes; they really should, there’s a bigger market out there for it than they think.
    Cheryl, I also found the Panache Porcelain very minimising. I’ve had it for about 6 months..and it hasn’t left my drawer yet. I swear by my strapless Deco though :P x

  9. Ok, so I was inspired by this blog and went to Debenhams to try a few strapless bras on…Bit of a losing battle from the offset, as they only had one style in a 30G in stock…Hmmm…..

    Anyway, I had to try the 30F Ultimate Strapless Wonderbra, and was reminded at how supportive it really is. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make this in more sizes! I need one! I also tried the two Debenhams Gorgeous ones that Becky tested, but I wasn’t happy with the support. I wanted to try a deco but they only stock up to an F cup in a 30 back, and no 28 back whatsoever.

    So in my failed attempt, all I have to say is Wonderbra, please….

  10. Is it possible to see the Evie bra too? I’ve searched you’re blog, but I just can’t seam to find anything about it, more than that you like it. The Evie is one of the few in my size (28GG/H), and I really need a strapless bra, but I would appreciate some advice and comments about it first.

    • Yeah of course! Sorry it was initially missed and I’ve been so busy that I haven’t managed to rectify it! I will put the pic up asap, so sorry about that… might be in a few days as I am not currently home x

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  16. Struggling to find a great strapless bra for upcoming holiday and happened across your article. Just wanted to add cautionary note about the wonderbra, I brought one last year for my wedding, wore it to death (literally) after that, after a few washes (treated with the gentle care required!) the plastic hand things(?) snapped in both of the bra’s I’d purchased. Wouldn’t buy one again given the cost v length of time I got out of them… however, if the cost was lower – I’d run the risk! ;)

  17. Im 22 and am 28J/30HH I just want to have pretty bras the world seems to think that big busts are for the elderly the state of some the bras I Havel wear!!!!! Never trusted a strapless but I would love 1!!

    I can’t be be only one Out there!!!!!

  18. I really appreciated having someone posting about fully cup strapless bras. Sadly, in my corner of the world, East coast US, finding a store that carries more than an E (DDD) cup is almost impossible unless I go to a specialty store and with my limited budget, it’s impossible to do. Because of this I have not purchased a strapless bra since I grew out of a DD cup in my teens and just assumed I would never be able to wear something that required a strapless bra. Suffice it to say, though I have managed to find Freya, Panache, Curvy Kate, and Fantasie online and they have been lifesavers in getting me G cup bras that fit, are supportive and look sexy but I have yet to try any of the strapless offered by either company. Mostly because my only option is to order online, try on and then mail it back or exchange for another size if it doesn’t fit properly. I’ve tried to get professionally fitted but I’ve found most stores that offer that would give me a bigger band size to force me into smaller cups and I’ve just ended up with uncomfortable bras. Why the US doesn’t have more stores and brands that make, let alone carry larger cups sizes I don’t know. I am certain I spent years wearing a too large band to fit into smaller cups for years, and when I found the right size it was revolutionary. I wanted to laugh with joy and curse the companies that limited me to too lose bands and too small cups that had me constantly shifting and adjusting and getting used to the fact that I was so big that my breasts would just have to be mashed together unless I lost weight and possibly underwent surgery. Getting those reviews from women who know what large breasted women need in a strapless bra is a great relief. Sadly Wonderbra does not sell that size outside of the UK. (which I totally don’t get, both the US and Canadian branches do not go above an E (DDD)) But I look forward to investing in the Freya and Panache versions. What I would really love though is a long line version that will allow for lower backs on dresses as well but it’s a hopeful start. Take care and again thank you for posting this blog.

  19. Thanks so much for posting these pictures and the information about these bras. I have been looking for plus sized bras preferably strapless, for an event I have coming up in the fall. I had no idea that I could actually find a strapless one in my size. Thanks so much for sharing this great and useful information!

  20. I just wanted to give anyone who’s thinking of trying the Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless a heads-up. I’ve had mine for a few months and have worn it every so often for an evening. Yesterday was the first time I’ve worn it for a full 14 hours and when I removed it I found a line of very raised, very hard blisters down my ribcage on each side where the cup meets the back, which are preventing me from wearing any kind of bra at the moment. I went to the doctor who advised me that I’m probably suffering an allergic reaction to the gel strips, and a quick online search shows that I’m not the only person who’s encountered this with the Ultimate Strapless. I don’t consider myself to have sensitive skin, the only allergic reaction I’ve ever experienced was to face paint when I was 3 and I’ve never had this problem with any other strapless bra before. I’ve emailed Wonderbra to ask exactly what the silicone strips contain.

    So if you have allergies/sensitive skin I would perhaps steer clear of this bra, and even if you aren’t aware of any such things you may find out on wearing it that you in fact do suffer from some sort of allergy!

    • Hi. I bought the same bra and had severe blisters on my back and sides
      I know for a fact I’m not allergic to the silicon it’s definitely something not right about the bra
      I’m complaining as it’s just not right.

  21. Thanks for doing this, i found it very useful!
    I’m in need of a strapless bra as I’m in a show and my costume dictates it! xD
    There’s going to be a lot of dancing too, so it needs to keep me strapped in :P
    38Gs can be hard to come by in normal bras never mind strapless ones, but hopefully i’ll find something. Is there a best colour to buy do you think?

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  25. I have two Wonderbra strapless bras- and they are the best for me yet- although I could really do with one band smaller and one cup bigger- but they don’t exist in 30H- boo! So I had to sister size into a 32G but this means the band is a little loose even on the tightest hook and this creates a roll of fat right under the band, so I have to wear something to smooth everything out whenever I wear it- bit of a pain to say the least!
    Every other strapless I’ve tried just squishes my girls in and makes them look like they’re growing out of my armpits! Not a good look! All I need is for Wonderbra to make bigger cup sizes and I’ll be a very happy bunny!

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