A Straightforward Guide to the Best Strapless Bras That Actually Stay Put

With the help of experts and first-hand testers, we've brought you the best size-inclusive, no-slip bras for your summer wardrobe.

woman wearing strapless bra
(Image credit: Launchmetrics)

As many women know all too well, finding the best strapless bras can be a frustrating experience. I went through years of trial and error, tormented by faulty strapless bras that slipped down around my sides and caused awkward cup gapping. These bras were so aggravating that I avoided warm-weather pieces that required them all together, like tube tops and strapless summer dresses.

Nowadays, I have finally built a collection of strapless bras that I can rely on for all my wardrobe needs, and I’m here to help you do the same. I’ve consulted two leading experts in the bra industry—ThirdLove's co-founder Ra'el Cohen and Spanx’s Vice President of Innovation and Design Wendy Hanson—to discuss mastering the art of strapless bra shopping.

“First of all, understanding your breast shape and size is crucial,” says Cohen. “Less coverage tends to work best for petite frames while more coverage and wider hooks accommodate larger busts,” she adds. The bra connoisseur also tells me that bras lined with no-slip silicone strips offer the most reliable support.

As for which features to avoid, Hanson mentions that shoppers should steer clear of strapless bras with rigid cups and wires. “These types of bras lack the flexibility needed for a comfortable fit, and they can ultimately cause unwanted irritation,” she says.

Keep scrolling for more insightful tips from Cohen and Hanson and a cohesive edit of the best strapless bras on the market. The list ahead features a variety of bra brands that I've either tested for myself or extensively researched, so you can rest assured that these strapless bras will give you the support you need (pun fully intended).

The Best Strapless Bras for Women

Other Strapless Bras We Love

What To Look for in the Best Strapless Bras

  • Shape and Size

As Cohen mentioned, you should assess your bust size before embarking on your strapless bra-buying journey. If you lack confidence in your measuring skills, head to a local department store or lingerie boutique for a professional measurement. Once you’ve checked that off your list, you can begin to understand what type of cups and bands work best for your busts.

“Those with larger busts should prioritize snug strapless bras that offer more coverage,” says Cohen. In this case, opt for a bra with tall wings and deep cups. However, bras with larger surface areas should promote a supportive fit without being too heavy. “Thick padding can add unnecessary weight and pressure, so you’ll want to choose a lightweight style that is engineered to stay in place,” adds Hanson.

If your breasts are smaller, Cohen recommends strapless bras with “lightly padded foam cups that help to lift and shape.” Hanson also agrees, noting that this feature can “subtly enhance volume in a natural-looking way.”

  • No-Slip Lining

“A comfortable strapless bra should have a no-slip back strip made with silicone technology,” Hanson tells Marie Claire. She shares that shoppers should also consider a strapless bra featuring silicone inside its cups. “Silicone along the top of the cup can keep the bra securely in place,” she notes.

Although your strapless bra of choice should remain sturdy with the help of silicone, it shouldn’t poke at your skin. With this in mind, Hanson recommends avoiding “digging elastic trims” that can cause “significant discomfort.” Instead, go for a design with a smooth, dig-free lining that stays put without irritating your skin.

  • Adjustable Hooks

Unless you’re searching for a stretchy bandeau bra with a slip-on feature, your strapless bra should have more than one hook along the back closure. “This type of adaptable feature ensures a custom fit," explains Hanson. "Strapless bras without hooks can’t be tailored to fit your unique shape, leading to poor support.”

  • Breathable Fabrics:

“Seek out bras crafted from quick-drying, breathable fabrics for comfort, particularly as outdoor temperatures rise,” says Hanson. Strapless bras cut from fabrics like cotton, nylon, soft lace, and even mesh are typically your best bet.

Meet the Experts

 Ra'el Cohen
Ra'el Cohen

Ra'el is Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of lingerie company ThirdLove. She is recognized as a bra expert in the lingerie industry, contributing to articles across numerous consumer publications. She is also the designer of the cutting edge 24/7™ Collection and creative mind behind ThirdLove's Breast Shape Dictionary and the Fit Finder™ sizing quiz.

Wendy Hanson
Wendy Hanson

With over 20 years in apparel design and development, Wendy has a unique set of skills which marry design and technical expertise with consumer insight. She creates innovative products, all with brand DNA and consumer experience in mind.

Lauren Tappan
Fashion Editor

Lauren is the Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, where she writes trend reports, shopping pieces, and celebrity news stories. Prior to Marie Claire, Lauren worked for Harper’s Bazaar and ELLE as a freelance editor with a specific focus on seasonal styles and coveted products. She also worked for Town & Country, where she developed a robust portfolio of fashion roundups and designer profiles.

Lauren graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in journalism. While attending Penn, Lauren contributed to the university's fashion magazine, The Walk, while also interning for Philadelphia Style Magazine and EveryStylishGirl.

When she’s not exploring the world of fashion, you can find Lauren sharpening her skills as DJ, discovering new restaurants in New York City (she’s a foodie), and spending quality time with friends and family. Follow her along at @laurenktappan.