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Does this sound familiar? You have an absolutely amazing party to go to and have finally located the perfect top in your closet (which is also clean and fits) after trying on outfits for an hour.
A miracle of its own! The only downside? It’s a halter, meaning this is a no bra straps showing kind of thing. Yet, no strapless bra in sight. Not one.
This conundrum brings on a multitude of questions, starting with, when was the last time you even bought a strapless bra? Maybe you have one, but have zero clue where it is. Did your sister “borrow” it and conveniently never return it? Is going sans bra even an option? You peer down at those 2 little perky assets you made and immediately respond with a hard “no.”
If you don’t want to try and make one your current bras into a strapless version, here is our vote for the best strapless bra you can buy (without breaking the bank!).
- Low center front with detachable stretch straps with back adjustment
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How to Make a Bra Strapless
So, going without a bra is an Armageddon you are not ready to unleash on the free world. Without enough time to go out and buy another boob prison like that best push-up bra with underwire, it’s time to get creative with the strappy bras you do own.
What are we saying, exactly? Grab a regular bra, and take another sip of your morning coffee. We’re going to walk you through 4 different methods for how to turn a bra into a strapless bra on the fly!
Method 1: Convertible Straps
This is going to be the quickest and easiest method for how to make a bra strapless. If you have convertible straps that can be removed from the back of your bra, this is a great method to try!
- 1Unhook both straps from the back of the bra and put your bra on. At this point, the band should be fastened and the straps should be dangling down from the front of your lingerie.
- Adjust your straps so they are the maximum length. You may end up adjusting them to be shorter later, but start with them as long as possible.
- Start with one strap (for the sake of this post, we’ll start with your left side strap). Wrap it around your ribcage on the left side and around your back until you get to where you would typically hook in your right bra strap.
- Hook your left bra strap into the right hook on the backside of your band until it’s secure, making sure it doesn’t slip.
- Now, repeat steps 3 and 4 with the opposite strap (in this case, the right strap).
- If needed, adjust your straps to be tighter if they are loose and dangling down. They can also double as a way to keep your bra fastened and secure.
Pros of this method: This is the simplest and quickest of the 4 options we’re sharing. It takes minutes to do, and it does not permanently alter your bra.
Also, it provides an additional layer of strength since your straps can be tightened against your body to help support the bra.
This also resolves the issue many women have with keeping strapless bras up and in place. The convertible straps, when fastened in this way, provides support actual strapless bras can’t offer.
Cons of this method: Not every bra in your stash has convertible straps that make this option possible. They’re a specific kind that requires a specific hook features in the bra and the straps to allow attaching and detaching.
Method 2: Hide the Straps
Hiding bra straps doesn’t necessarily turn your bra into a strapless bra forever, which is good if you don’t want to permanently alter your regular bra in any way. However, it makes any bra an alternative temporary strapless bra. Even though you’re still technically wearing a bra with straps, it won’t show on the outside so it looks strapless nevertheless.
This is one of many ways to keep bra straps from showing, but they’re most apt for clothes that have little to no coverage in the shoulders like spaghetti straps or off the shoulder tops.
- Grab a bra that fits you comfortably but can be fastened a little tighter. Since the straps will be off your shoulders, you’ll be relying on the band for the support
- Take the bra and put it on like you normally would, with the straps on your shoulders. Clasp it on the tightest notch to ensure the bra is snug and won’t move throughout the day.
- Slip the straps off your shoulders and adjust the length of each to be as short as possible.
- Tuck each strap into the side of your bra and into the cup, being careful to avoid a bumpy appearance.
- If the straps bulge or stick out (especially at the top of your cups), secure them with safety pins, fashion tape, or even masking or painters tape if you’re in a pinch.
Pros of this option: As we first mentioned, this is a simple option for quickly converting your standard bra into a temporary strapless wonder without cutting the straps. This is a solution to the cons of the previous method as it is doable even without removable straps.
It’s also going to be the quickest to do, so if time isn’t on your side, we recommend considering this way.
Cons of this option: Depending on the bra you select, you could be left with a slight bulge at the top of your cups where you folded the straps down, causing the cups to not sit flat against your chest. Additionally, if you’re wearing a tight outfit, there may be outlines of where you secured your bra straps under the band.
Method 3: Cut the Straps
If you’re a regular Martha Stewart when it comes to sewing and don’t mind permanently altering your lingerie, this DIY strapless bra option is for you! It’s recommended that you have a sewing machine to do this, though a good ol’ needle and thread will also do just fine.
- Choose a regular bra that fits you well, but that you don’t mind altering. You’ll be completely removing the straps from this, so keep that in mind when picking your bra.
- Lay the bra down on a flat surface. Using fabric scissors, carefully clip off the straps from the back and front of the bra. Try to cut as close to the seams as you can so you don’t have remnants of the straps left behind.
- Take your now “strapless” bra to your sewing machine, and zig-zag stitch along the area where the straps were cut. This step will help keep the fabric from unraveling and will allow you to wash and wear as if you had bought it this way. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can do this with a needle and thread (though it will take longer).
- Throw away the straps, and pat yourself on the back for being so handy.
Tip: Since you’ve permanently altered your bra (and potentially lost some of the durability of it with the cuts you made), place your bra in a lingerie bag when it goes through the wash. This will help preserve and keep it in tact longer.
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Pros of this way: You accomplish many wins with this method! Saving money, being resourceful, and keeping one less used bra from being thrown into the trash when it can still be reused. With a simple 4-step process, you officially have a strapless bra that can be worn under multiple outfits!
Cons of this way: Your straps are permanently removed, making this a forever strap-free bra. It requires a thorough decision-making because once it’s done, it’s irreversible. If you don’t have a sewing machine, it will also be a bit more time consuming to sew.
Method 4: Sewing into Your Top
If you have a favorite shirt or dress you want to permanently modify to have a built in bra, then you’ll love the results you get here! When done, you’ll have a DIY strapless bra that is built into your shirt or tank top.
Like the third method, this way will alter your bra permanently and is going to put your sewing skills to the test! We’re going to break down how to sew your bra into your top that needs a strapless piece, so also be prepared to alter that shirt or dress.
Tip: You know that adorable little backless number you’ve been dying to wear but can never find the right bra for? This method will solve that problem!
- Pull out your sewing machine (or needle and thread) and a hearty glass of wine. This one takes some effort. Like the third method, find a bra you don’t mind permanently altering, because we’re about to start by removing the straps.
- Carefully cut off the straps that go over your shoulder, both in the front and the back (again, just like you did in the third method).
- Now take the bra and cut it on the sides, about an inch from the cups on either side. There should be a hard piece of boning on either side to keep the shape of the bra. At this point, you have 2 options: You can cut directly behind the boning to keep the stronger structure of the undergarment or choose to cut and remove the boning. If you have a larger chest or prefer more support, we recommend keeping the wiring in and cutting behind it (on the band).
- Lay out the bra on a flat surface, and you should now have just the two cups left with no straps or band. Pick out the top or dress you want to permanently attach the bra inside of. When selecting your article of clothing, it’s best to use one that has an inner layer of fabric so you can sew the bra directly to that. Otherwise, you’ll want to ensure you have thread that matches the color of the dress or shirt so it can blend in as best possible.
- This step is important! Try your top on with the bra cups positioned inside. Move the cups around until they are in the desired place, and then safety pin them to the top. It’s crucial you get this right, so you don’t end up with extremely lopsided boobs that make people turn their head in confusion as they walk by you!
- Carefully begin sewing the undergarment into the top. Start with one cup and work your way around to the other. If your top is thin and just has one layer of material, only sew the sides of the bra to the side seams of the top – this way, the thread will blend in.
We get it – committing to only one top with this method is a little scary. If you’re unsure about wanting to sew the cups into your top (or maybe you just want to test it out for a night to see if this something you want to permanently sew in), try attaching the bra with double sided fashion tape before you decide to commit fully!
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Pros of this choice: Once sewn in, that bra isn’t going anywhere. Because there’s no band, this way also takes any pressure or tension off your back, since your top is helping to keep the bra in place – it almost feels as if you’re braless!
Cons of this choice: If you have several tops you want a strapless for, cutting up multiple bras would become time consuming and pricey. Unlike the other 3 choices we shared, this one limits you to one main outfit option with the bra. The sewing aspect here can also be challenging, depending on the top you’re working with.
Strapless Bra Hack: Convert Your Sports Bra
If you prefer to keep your normal bras in tact, consider using one of the countless sports bras you have lying around in your sock drawer! With the strong elastic band that most have on the bottom, they can be perfect to convert into a strapless bra that actually stays up.
Besides, do you really need 15 different sports bras? Ask yourself, how many bras does one woman have to own, and then cut down from there by converting one.
To utilize this strapless bra hack, follow the steps outlined in Method 3 above to cut and remove the straps. From there, you’ll seal up the areas you cut with a little sewing magic, and voila! Your sports bra is now strap free.
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Tip: When selecting a sports bra, try to use one with thin straps. This will reduce the amount of cutting and sewing you need to do (rather than choosing a super strappy or racer back bra typically made for larger busted women).
So there you have it – 4 different ways on how to turn a regular bra into a strapless bra (and a bonus option using a sports bra). As you can tell, some take more effort and offer a more permanent solution than others. The best choice for you will have a lot to do with how much effort you are willing to put in to it, what your skill set is, and how open you are to altering your bra in a permanent way.
When attempting these hacks, make sure that you ultimately choose the one that makes you feel the most secure and confident. Happy hacking!