So we're Sheridan and Kristin, two adult women with some pretty big boobs:
Like many other busty ladies, we've spent many, many years shying away from the dreaded strapless bra. Not only can they be unsupportive, but they can also be super uncomfortable.
But since so many clothes require strapless bras, we decided to do the impossible and actually try to find one that works.
For the sake of holiday-dress season, we tested three different strapless boob cages for a whole entire week:
1. We would each wear three different strapless bras.
2. We would wear each bra twice (and our favorite one a third time).
3. We would try to wear cute AF outfits that somehow masked the pain of not having any strap support.
Here we go!
Bra #1 was a black padded push-up bra:
Torrid Bra Outfit #1:
Kristin: Strapless bras are usually like doing a group project where two people have dropped out, and one person is left trying to cover the entire project's nipples. Off-the-shoulder shirts tend to ride a little low on me, but this bra was able to fly under the radar without flying so far under the radar that it crashed into the ocean of my waist.
Sheridan: I avoid spaghetti straps thanks to private-school brainwashing (apparently a teenager's shoulders are too scandalous), so I decided to really get out of my comfort zone and try one. The bra worked pretty well and I feel like my boobs were at the same "height" they're at with a normal bra. Usually I spend all day pulling up a strapless bra, but this one was like my imaginary relationship with Michael Fassbender — secure AF.
Torrid Bra Outfit #2:
Kristin: This dress requires perfectly melon-shaped boobs. So if you have shapeless pudding socks, this padded push-up Torrid bra helps a ton. Plus, I wore it to a work party where I made a lot of great choices, and the bra made sure I didn't to readjust myself in front of any co-workers, which is all anyone can ask, really.
Sheridan: I'd like to personally thank the bra gods for sending me a bra that doesn't stab me like I'm Julius Caesar surrounded by a bunch of salty senators on a certain March day. I call this look "rom-com chic." You know, 'cause the lead is a hot chick with a six-pack and wears perfectly baggy sweaters as if to say, "Oh, this? This is my postcoital house sweater that shows how down-to-earth I am."
Overall thoughts on the Torrid bra:
Kristin: This bra was the most comfortable, but with two small downsides: The band curls up a bit around the edges, which might make it look like you're smuggling Twizzlers under there. And because the underwires in the cups are a little too short, it causes the bra to fold over the tips of the wires in the front, and over time, the wires could poke through and pop your balloons. Grade: B+
Sheridan: You know when you're worried about going on a first date? Like, will they understand that I still order off the kids menu at some restaurants? But then the date is actually awesome? That was this bra! I was once worried, but I am now a believer that strapless bras can be comfortable. Grade: A
Bra #2 was a lacy number full of ALL the wires:
Elomi Bra Outfit #1:
Kristin: This bra is so bad it should be arrested. My dress is disguising the fact that this bra has a nonsensical horizontal wire in the middle of the cups, which is bending outwards and contorting my breasts into two cheaply upholstered frog mouths. So thanks, bra — my boobs look like discount muppets.
Sheridan: I usually wear this dress with a bathing suit when I'm on vacation because I like to remind everyone that I have a dark soul, even on the beach. Still love this dress, but am HATING this bra, which is making my boobs sag lower than Trump's approval ratings with African-Americans. I don't know what I did to deserve this pain. (Was it the cursing? FUCK YOU, BRA.)
Elomi Bra Outfit #2
Kristin: I had to leave a party early on this day because I was getting actual pressure sores, and because the horizontal wire was causing my boobs to bow into my armpits so much that it was constantly squeaking, and when your boobs start literally crying it’s time to go home.
Sheridan: I had to go to a party so I wanted to look cute, but it's hard to have fun when you're convinced your bra is trying to kill you. I never thought I would quote a Magic! song without a gun being pointed to my head, but things have gotten that bad that I need to say, "WHY YOU GOTTA BE SO RUDE?"
Overall thoughts on the Elomi bra:
Kristin: The 2016 Worst Bra in the World has many great standard features. The fabric has the exquisite itchiness of a drugstore Halloween costume. The cups are saggy, but the band is still tight enough to slowly slice you into people cheese. It doesn't so much give you quadboob as it does just install an entire loft apartment of boobs above your bra. Also, it’s the most expensive bra of the three. Bellissima! Grade: F
Sheridan: If this bra were a person, it would be that guy from Tinder who still wears Ed Hardy and brags about being "on the list" at clubs in Vegas. It pretty much has all the comfort of a spiked, steel tampon. Grade: F
Bra #3 was a simple padded bra:
Wacoal Bra Outfit #1:
Kristin: This bra really does it all: It lifts, separates, and doesn’t make your boobs feel like two unripe avocados trapped in a dumpster couch. I was actually adjusting the straps on this dress more than the bra itself.
Sheridan: I had to go to one of my BFF's birthday parties where she rented a moon bounce (quarter-life crises are real), and folks, my boobs weren't crying in pain afterwards. Sure, I had to pull it up a few times but the band fit my body like how I imagine a hug from Kate McKinnon would be: perfect.
Wacoal Bra Outfit #2:
Kristin: This shirt is backless, so when I'm wearing it, I usually don’t trust any of the devil’s slingshots I already own to not loudly announce themselves. But this bra kept itself hidden, without slipping down and becoming a really boring hula hoop.
Sheridan: I feel like Angelina Jolie in The Tourist. I mean, I didn't see the movie because I'm not a masochist, but from the trailers it seems like her character was really into sophisticated, ladylike outfits. As you can see, my boobs are big enough to use as floatation devices in the event of a water landing, but this bra does a decent job of keeping them higher than my belly button, which is really the goal here, people.
Overall thoughts on the Wacoal bra:
Kristin: I am going to give this Wacoal bra the highest compliment I have ever given a strapless bra: It does not feel like a strapless bra. Also, it maintains its tightness and shape after multiple wears, even in the face of overwhelming dance moves. Grade: A
Sheridan: I had to subtract some points because I had to pull it up quite a few times, but this bra ended up being the Michael Cera of bras — you wouldn't remember to invite them to your birthday party but then Seth Rogen brought them along and you know what, they're pretty cool and even crack some decent jokes. I'll invite you back, Michael Cera! Grade: B+
Kristin: The Wacoal Red Carpet Convertible Strapless Bra. This bra did all the normal Good Bra things (stayed up, supported my boobs, didn't cut me into Christmas cookies). But it was my favorite because the wires were long enough where I felt confident that I wouldn’t being spending one night in 2017 in a bathroom trying to fix this bra with a bandaid. Friends don’t let 2016 terrorize 2017.
Sheridan: The Torrid Push-Up Multi-Way Microfiber & Lace Bra. Just look at that smile! I think I was just truly happy to be so comfortable. I have met some sucky bras, so it was pretty dope to find one that treated my boobs with the respect they deserve. If you too have boobs the size of Justin Bieber's ego, then say yes to padding, which will help support their weight.
Kristin: Yes, it's possible! But next time I shop for a strapless bra, I will look for a band that doesn't get narrower the closer it is to the clasp, and that has at least four hooks at the clasp. Wider band = the weight of your boulders will be carried by a greater surface area = you don't have to excuse yourself from a party because your bra has decided to kill you in order to become you.
Sheridan: I don't think I have the luxury of completely casting off strapless bras, since someone will force me into a godforsaken strapless dress as a bridesmaid. The message of the world's worst Aesop's Fable is to find a bra that a) fits both cup-wise and band-wise and b) doesn't have unnecessary wiring. You've already had to deal with John Krasinski marrying Emily Blunt instead of you, so really you just owe it to yourself to not suffer anymore.