“What kind of bra are you wearing?!”
When someone yelled this across a jam-packed room one Saturday night, my face undoubtedly turned the color of a ripe tomato. I hesitantly looked down, bracing myself for what was probably a wardrobe malfunction. To my relief, the onlooker had simply noticed the sort of mullet-inspired design of my bra: supportive and concealed in the front, lacy and bandeau-like in the back.
With summer fast approaching, going sleeveless is becoming a sartorial mandate. And unfortunately that means it’s time to reunite with your old frenemy: the strapless bra. Whether you’re a AA or closer to the end of the alphabet when it comes to bra size, the average strapless bra is a nuisance. Manually adjusting is an awkward public display of annoyance, and there never seems to be an adequate solution. Tightening the clasp makes painful red marks magically appear and going one size down only causes other problems. And please, do not even get me started on adhesive bras. Summer heat and sticky cutlet-looking lingerie just don't mix.
That’s where The Bra Lab comes in, offering the best (and only) strapless bra I’ll ever wear. You build your own bra, choosing from two styles: push up and contour. The cups are made from molds with underwire to provide that extra boost and hooks on both sides allow you to actually watch yourself strap in (no more behind-the-back coordination!).
Once you've chosen a shape, it's time to complete your bra with a back strap. The back strap completes the hook and eye closure on either side and comes in a variety of colors, fabrics, and designs. With these attachments, you can easily pull off a backless shirt or dress without a revealing clasp... it’s basically bra wizardry.
The mastermind behind all of this is The Bra Lab’s Gina Vericella Crevi. “We wanted to create a fun solution that was both fashionable and refined, but also highly functional and supportive,” she tells Real Simple. “We really thought about our design and wanted to eliminate the ugly clasp in the middle of your back ruining your outfit.”
This bra stays in place and is as wearable as it is sleek. And while I am far from the Sofia Vergara type, I find that there is no—er, spillover?—or awkward displacement, compared to most competitors’ products I’ve tried. Not to mention, they’re incredibly long-lasting and easy to wash.
If you’re looking to add even more pizzazz (and lift), The Bra Lab also sells straps. Each bra has two loops on each cup to hook in the strap of your choice, making it easy to wear when you don’t need strapless support.
Along with the many perks of purchasing this bra, you won’t find yourself crying into an empty wallet. Each pair of cups is $28 and the basic back strap is $18. Compared to the Victoria’s Secret Bombshell ($58) or Chantelle’s Vous et Moi ($78), that saves you up to $32 for extra comfort and durability. For now, the sizes available are A, B, C, D, DD, and DDD, but Vericella Crevi says larger sizing is “on the way!”