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Cheap Strapless Bras
Cheap Strapless Bras
Strapless bras are designed to be worn under tube tops, strapless cocktail dresses, and the like. The band on a cheap strapless bra should be wide, with two to four hook closures, to provide adequate support and stay securely in place.
Bra Band.The band is a critical yet often overlooked aspect of any bra, not just a cheap strapless bra, because it's the band -- not the straps -- that bears most of the weight. A flimsy or extremely stretchy band will only loosen over time and not provide a proper fit for very long, if at all. Generally the more hook closures a band has, the more support it provides. Full-busted women should aim for three or more hooks to get the support they need. Three of the bras on our list meet this benchmark: the Lilyette Tailored Strapless Minimizer Bra, with its four hooks, and the Playtex 18-Hour Original Comfort Strap bra and Moving Comfort Fiona sports bra, with three.
The Barely There Invisible Look Underwire, Maidenform The Dream Bra Push-Up Bra, and Carnival Seamless Push-Up Bra each have two hooks on the back. However, their slimmer bands don't generate any negative comments that we could find. The Elita Les Essentiels Crossover Cami has no hooks at all; you pull it over your head to get it on, and there's no way to adjust the back strap. Several women who have posted reviews of this bra at Her Room don't like the design.
A bra band should be wide enough to create a smooth, slim look underneath clothes. Skinny bands need to be fastened tightly to provide enough support, which can cause the band to cut into your skin and make your back look lumpy. One woman who posted a review at Kohl's notes that the band on the Barely There Invisible Look Underwire is wide enough to smooth her back better than the skinny band on a previous bra.
Bra Straps.Although the Lilyette Tailored Strapless Minimizer Bra is a cheap strapless bra, it does come with straps that can be worn in the traditional style or crisscrossed in the back. The purpose of bra straps is not to support the breasts but to balance out the weight between your shoulders and your back. Straps should lie flat against your chest and neither fall off nor cut into your shoulders. One woman who posted a review of the Lilyette bra at Kohl's notes that the straps stay in place even after many washings, unlike the straps on other bras she's owned.
Bra straps come in a variety of widths and configurations, but the two most common are camisole and leotard straps. Camisole straps are sewn into the band at right angles. This design works well for most bras, especially in larger sizes, because the band can accommodate as many hook closings as needed, offering more support and making the bra easily adjustable. Leotard straps are thicker than camisole straps and create a U shape in the back (similar to the back of a leotard).
Most consumers seem to like the leotard design of the Playtex 18-Hour Original Comfort Strap; one woman who posted a review at Freshpair points to it as a crucial aspect of the bra's comfortable fit. The Barely There Invisible Look Underwire and Maidenform The Dream Bra Push-Up bras are traditional camisole bras; however, the straps are convertible and can be crisscrossed in the back to accommodate certain shirts.
With sports bras, the strap design helps define the activity level the bra can accommodate, especially for women with larger cup sizes. In general, camisole straps are best for low-impact activities such as walking or weight training. Leotard straps, like those on the Moving Comfort Fiona Bra, are best for more vigorous activities such as hiking, and racer-back straps that cross in the back are designed for high-impact activities such as running and aerobics.
Don't Bother Cheap Bras
Elita Les Essentiels Crossover Cami
This cheap bra is the only one our list that can't be adjusted in any way. There's no back closure; you pull the bra over your head to put it on. Consumers seem put off by the sizing, saying the fit just isn't good and the band tends to be too tight, causing unsightly "back fat." Read more »
Carnival Seamless Push-Up Bra
We didn't find a lot of reviews of this budget bra, but those we did encounter were generally negative; even the positive comments nearly always come with caveats. Consumers report that the fit is wrong and the bra is just plain uncomfortable. Other women say they've had problems with the underwire popping out the side. Read more »
Carnival Seamless Push-Up Bra Review
Playtex 18-Hour Original Comfort Strap Bra Review
Barely There Invisible Look Underwire Review
Maidenform The Dream Bra Push-Up Bra Review
Lilyette Tailored Strapless Minimizer Bra Review
Moving Comfort Fiona Review
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