I'm going to say it: Strapless bras are annoying. For a long time, I owned just one because the journey to find a second bra, one that won't leave bruises (true story—a certain bra was excessively tight despite being my usual 32A) or slide off when I jump up and down (a test I came up with on my own), seemed too hard a task. But, I could only sustain myself on one strapless bra for so long before it, too, gave up on me. With this in mind, I decided the only way to find a worthy new strapless bra was to test out a variety of popular styles. But how selfish would it be to search only for the best bra for myself? Instead, I called in reinforcements.
To ensure a (somewhat) representative sample, I invited women with different boob shapes and sizes, ranging from an A to a DD, to test out a few bras for us. (Editor's note: We struggled to find bra options for our testers that came in all sizes, especially for larger chests; this is a problem the industry, as a whole, is trying to address.) Every woman tried on at least six different bra brands and did the lift, wiggle, and adjustment test for each design. Ultimately, three bras were crowned the favorites—LIVELY, Calvin Klein, and ThirdLove—based on factors including style and fit. Even better was the fact that in each case, two women with different bra sizes ended up liking the same style, proving its wearability.
Instead of blindly shopping for your next strapless bra—as I would have done in the past—start with the three options, below. I'm confident you'll find a winner.
The Best No-Underwire Strapless Bra: LIVELY
This strapless underwire bra sits on your skin without sliding down—and without leaving annoying band marks. It comes in several shades, like umber and warm oak, to match a range of skin tones and looks great styled under a sweater or white T-shirt.
Why it's great for a size 36DD:
"It's hard to find a strapless bra that is both comfy and gives my breasts a certain lift, but this one did both. The bra doesn't have an underwire, but still stays in place and is very soft." —Eileen
Why it's great for a size 34A:
"I have trouble finding a bra that stays up because of my small chest. This one stayed put. It doesn’t even feel like you’re wearing a bra because there is no underwire to dig into your skin." —Mediha
- Has no wires.
- Comes in five different colors.
- Is lightly-lined with foam padding.
LIVELY The No-Wire Strapless, $35 SHOP IT
The Best Push-Up Strapless Bra: Calvin Klein
This isn't your extreme, grow-two-boob-sizes bulky push-up bra. The undergarment has slightly more padding than the average strapless bra, but still looks smooth and forms comfortably to your body shape. The lace band of the simple black- or beige-colored bra adds an extra eye-catching detail.
Why it's great for a size 32A:
"I don't usually wear strapless bras because they just fall off, but this one has gel on the bands that helps it stick to my skin, so I love it. The bra is also really padded, which I like for my small chest." —Cindy
Why it's great for a size 32D:
"I love the shape of my boobs in the bra—it gives them a nice lift. I love the lace detailing on it, too, and the bra feels comfortable." —Anna
- Features built-in push-up pads.
- Comes with convertible straps.
- Has seamless cups for wearing under thin tops.
Calvin Klein Strapless Push-Up Bra, $44 SHOP IT
The Best Underwire Strapless Bra: ThirdLove
This is your quintessential strapless bra featuring underwire, a silicone-lined band, and removable straps. The undergarment has nylon-coated nickel-free wires and is made from a soft micro jersey fabric. Long story short: If you're a classic kind of gal, this is for you.
Why it's great for a size 32C:
"I like the silicon sticky rubber band because it keeps the bra in place. There's no crazy push up effect and the bra is super comfortable." —Ania
Why it's great for a size 34C:
"Sometimes when I wear a strapless bra, it looks weird from the side, but this one actually kept my breasts nice and round. I also liked the sticky silicone on the band." —Ronja
- Features silicone at top and bottom edge of the bra.
- Comes in sizes AA to I and full- and half-cup sizes.
- Comes with two sets of removable straps that can be worn five ways.
ThirdLove 24/7 Classic Strapless Bra, $68 SHOP IT
For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.