Let’s face it; at some point in time, we’ve all been in that situation where our current bras don’t work with our newest ensemble. When it comes to strapless dresses, this is an easy mistake to make. You’re so caught up in the excitement of making the purchase that you probably didn’t even think about the fact that your most flattering bras have straps that will be showing! But don’t panic, because it is surprisingly easy to alter your bra to fit your strapless dress!
Is a temporary strapless bra right for me?
When it comes to finding the right bra for your new dress, it can be a stressful process to try to find one that will fit snugly and discreetly. If you’re going out to buy a new bra just for this one outfit, it has to be perfect, right?
Unfortunately, the ‘perfect’ item is troublesome to find—if not impossible—in any aspect of life, let alone in clothing, where all our body shapes are unique and different. This variation can make finding a bra that supports you where it should while also being strapless and having a low strap that won’t show over your dress’ hemline a seemingly unrealistic task.
A DIY temporary strapless bra from regular bras comes into its own in this scenario. By customising your existing bras, you can create the perfect piece of clothing to go with your dress. Best of all, it is practically free—because honestly, after splashing out on that gorgeous new frock, do you really want to be spending even more on an almost-perfect bra?
There is also the added benefit of taking the pressure off of your shoulders. Wearing a bra for the whole day can cause a reasonable degree of rubbing and discomfort, so being able to go about your day without straps would be lovely. Removing said straps with the use of our temporary tips would go a long way to helping you here, although an alternative is also to get bra pads.
They may not be a long term fix, and fiddling about too much with your bra could cause sores and discomfort for you. So, how do you make a DIY strapless bra from the comfort of your own home?
Creating a DIY strapless bra by sewing
It may not be quite as fashionable a skill as it once was, but the ability to sew effectively will allow you to create many DIY fashion accessories throughout your life (or repair a fashion disaster, as the case may be). When it comes to the perfect temporary strapless bra, the skill truly demonstrates its usefulness.
Fashion author Jené Luciani once pointed out that “if you need the strapless for a special occasion, then you can cut the straps off of your bra and sew the bra right into the dress.” This drastic change may seem a waste of a perfectly good bra, but remember that once you’ve mastered the skill of sewing, you can remove it and then resew it into any dress—strapless or otherwise—that you’d like. This serious change takes the DIY strapless bra from regular bra to a whole new level, but, of course, you will lose the strapped bra in the process, and it can be a time-consuming way of turning a strapped bra into a strapless one. If you’re in a hurry, you’ll probably need to try something else.
How to change a convertible bra into a strapless bra
When it comes to transforming your convertible bra into a temporary strapless bra, it really couldn’t be much easier. In terms of the fit of the resulting bra conversion, this method will usually give the best results as it relies not only on the back band but also on the support provided by the adjusted straps, meaning it will stay in place much more reliably.
To change your convertible bra into a strapless one, first, unclip the straps on your bra and extend them to their maximum. It may help if you put the bra on as a size guide. Next, wrap the strap around your ribcage and your back until it hooks onto where the opposite strap would be. Repeat this for the second strap, and voila—a much more secure, temporary strapless bra!
If you don’t have a convertible bra in your wardrobe, it may well be worth the time spent looking for one. Convertible bras aren’t much more expensive than the standard style, and clearly, the dual-purpose nature could quite possibly come in useful someday!
Quick DIY strapless bra—an essential bra hack
The quickest DIY strapless bra is an old hack but probably one of the favourites, even to this day. If you find yourself needing a last minute solution—perhaps you’ve just stepped out of the door and realised you put the strapped bra on without thinking—you can always use the simple trick of slipping the straps down and tucking them into the cups of your bra. When you do this, be careful to ensure that you shorten the straps as much as possible and that you don't leave a resulting bumpy appearance to your bra.
This quick fix isn’t the most comfortable of life hacks; however, it is an adequate way to temporarily hide those pesky straps for an impromptu photo shoot (admit it, this is a regular occurrence nowadays)!
Keeping your DIY temporary strapless bra up
When it comes to strapless bras, one of the biggest reasons that they aren’t used as a day-to-day piece of lingerie over strapped bras is that they are, honestly, quite uncomfortable to wear. Unlike strapped ones, strapless bras are held only by their back band, which can often make them feel like they are falling off. So, before you do anything, here are a few tips which you should consider before you alter your bra to fit your strapless dress:
- Always take note of the material that the unmodified bra is made out of. For strength and support once you have made it strapless, you want it to have a silicone lining around the cups (which helps the bra to ‘adhere’ to your skin; elastic bands and underwriting to support your bust comfortably; and the bra should always higher quality and new in general to ensure that it stays strong and shapely.
- Ensure that the bra which you intend to modify is a snug fit when worn with straps. If the bra doesn’t sit flush against your skin when wearing it normally, it’s going to flop right off as soon as you remove the straps and leave a gaping hole between your bust and the bra itself. Not a good look. On that note, if you’re going out shopping for a new strapless bra and don’t want to modify your current ones, always measure yourself first with a measuring tape to ensure that you get the right size and cup for you. If you’ve got a smaller bust—A or B cup—it might be worth considering getting a bandeau bra instead. These don’t have cups, but they offer a much more snug fit and won’t gape like other cupped bras will. Equally, if you’ve got an especially large bust size (D or DD cup), a bustier will help to support your breasts without slippages.
- Before taking out the scissors and making changes, always try your chosen bra on with your new dress to ensure that, once you’ve edited it into a strapless dress, it will work well. Depending upon the hemline and the arms of the dress, parts of your bra can show. Don’t let this happen; it’s better to play it safe than sorry, and once those straps are off, they aren’t going back on—not as securely as before, anyway.
- Invest in some double-sided tape and keep it in your bag, wherever you go. This little life hack is excellent for both converted and standard strapless bras. If you find that the cup is gaping away from your chest, applying a small amount of double sided tape on the inside of the cup, so that it sticks to your skin, will keep everything sitting as it should! Again, this should never be considered a long term solution—remember, that tape has to come off at some point—but in an emergency, it will do a good job and hold everything where it is supposed to be.
As an alternative for a strapless bra, a stick on bra or even nipple covers can provide an adequate solution. They offer support and push up, but if you’re desperate and have found that strapless bras just aren’t right for you, they could provide a solution. No matter which option you go for in the end, though, the main thing is to ensure that you are comfortable wearing your bra. Where possible, always try to plan in advance and if you decide to alter your strapped bra, that’s great, but make sure you know what you’re doing and that your plan will work.