JA: Do not use deodorant, baby powder, lotion, or oil where the strapless bra touches your skin. You want the best friction between the bra and your skin to keep it in place. Those items actually cause the bra to slip, especially when there’s sweat involved.
RS: Is there a strapless bra you recommend for women with large busts?
JA: If you are large-busted, buy a strapless from a brand that specializes in large bust sizes (some favorites are Fantasie, Wacoal, Va Bien, andPanache). These brands are specially constructed to support D-cup sizes and larger.
To buy: Wacoal Red Carpet Convertible Strapless Bra (available in sizes 32 C to 38H, in three colors), $65; nordstrom.com.
RS: Are molded cups or bandeau-types better?
JA: This totally depends on the look you’re after. Bandeaus are great for coverage, but do not give you as much support or separation. It’s a more natural look. Molded styles, on the other hand, give you lift, support, and separation with built-in shape. Another consideration is style: Molded options are meant to be “invisible” and not to show, whereas a lace bandeau strapless can look great peeking out from the armhole or a low-cut neckline of summery tops and dresses.
RS: Ever heard of this trick? Does it work? Know any others?
JA: This “trick” means you are making up for a bra lacking in support—you’re wearing the wrong bra, the wrong size, or both if you need to wear a strap around your body. Buy the right bra in your right size and you will never need to do that. My biggest trick is to wear the right bra and scoop! Breast tissue continues around our sides, even to our backs. You want as much of that as possible pulled forward and into your bra. Not only will it make your bra fit better, it will reduce the appearance of any bulges under your clothes.
RS: Are there essential differences between a strapless bra and a regular bra (other than just not having straps)?
JA: Yes, the strapless bra band is built differently. The construction allows you to stay lifted and supported without the help of any straps. There are some women who actually love the support of a strapless so much, that these are the only bras they wear!
RS: What companies make the best strapless bras for tricky necklines (backless, plunge, etc.)?
JA: Fashion Forms makes the best “solutions” styles (like backless bras or stick-on cups), while the best actual bras with low backs or plunge fronts are Va Bien, Le Mystere, and Fine Lines.
To buy: Fine Lines Plunge 4-Way Convertible Shortline Bra (available in sizes 32A through 36E), $54; bloomingdales.com.
This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com
We’ve included affiliate links into this article. Click here to learn what those are.