As the weather warms up there all of a sudden seems to be a ton of extra considerations when it comes to dressing comfortably. My main hot weather trouble used to be chub rub, but once I tracked down my perfect solution last year, another summer problem moved up the ranks to replace it. Namely: I want to wear strapless dresses but the vast majority of strapless bras are useless in larger sizes.
Through much trial and error over the past 12 months, I’m in a position to finally feel confident in recommending a strapless bra that actually works! Read on for the full lowdown on this gorgeous dress, my strapless picks of 2018, my best tips for plus size strapless living in the summer months, and the reveal of this superstar bra.
Strapless Picks for 2018
Firstly, I want to give you the low down on this gorgeous, ditsy floral number by the new-to-me brand Izabel London Curve. Available online from places like Simply Be, Tesco, Dorothy Perkins as well as their own website, the brand have a more mature vibe than I’d usually go for, but they do have some gorgeous vintage inspired prints on their summer dresses and maxi skirts.
This particular dress (yes, it’s yet another red dress and my wardrobe is full of them) has a shirred body and arms which is a feature I really like in summer dresses, it means it fits comfortably to your upper body without any fussy buttons or straps. It also has two splits at the front which really aren’t as annoying as I thought they’d be, in fact I found them less annoying than one split as the dress didn’t fly open as much, and – happily – they don’t go too high up the leg.
Size wise, this dress runs a little small; I sized up once to allow for boobs and I’m glad I did as it fit perfectly everywhere else too. It’s not quite as long as I’d like, but then these things never reach the ground on me unless i shop in the tall section so that is not a huge criticism.
Thank the heavens above for the Luxe by Curvy Kate! In the interests of full disclosure, I do feel a sense of loyalty to Curvy Kate after their v.excellent ‘Bra Whisperer’ kindly took the time to help me find my bra size after I struggled in ill-fitting bras for years. Knowing my bra size with one brand has absolutely made me stick with them, and now I’m a different back size it made scaling the sizing much easier.
I have seen so much hype about the Luxe – people literally doing cartwheels and on a trampoline whilst wearing it and it says up! – so it was only a matter of time before I got in on this. I bought my correct size, and the band does feel very tight, but this is to be expected the first few times you wear any new bra. It is certainly true of a strapless one because the band is wider and designed to be much more secure. PRO TIP: don’t wear a brand new, never worn strapless bra for a big event, get it in advance and wear it as much as you can in the run up so the band has time to settle.
Overall, I’m happy to report that I found the Luxe to be everything it claims. It didn’t slide or work it’s way down, my boobs didn’t start to spill over the cups; in fact I didn’t readjust it once all day and evening. It’s a total game changer.
Shop the Look
Summer Strapless Outfit Tips
Having said all of the above about my stellar strapless bra find, I think it’s important to point out that you don’t have to wear a bra if you’re more comfortable without – and that is one of the best tips for wearing strapless clothing that I can give you – especially in the summer when the extra layer can sometimes feel much too restrictive!
If you go braless and the boob sweat is getting you down, you can use special boob antiperspirant (or really just the regular stuff is fine), an anti-bacterial oil such as argan, or glycolic acid (but proceed carefully) under there to keep things a little less swampy.
Also, you can absolutely wear regular bras with strapless dresses and tops. I certainly do, particularly if I have a nice brightly coloured bra because bras cost wayyyyy too much money to keep them under wraps all the time, right?
Lastly, don’t stress about your boobs being lower than you’d like as no matter how they are engineered, bras with straps will always hold boobs slightly higher than strapless bras.
So, it looks like this summer my shoulders will be seeing a lot of the sunshine and I couldn’t be happier. Don’t forget, a strapless bra is not mandatory for bardot / off the shoulder necklines, but if you’re on the hunt for a lovely bra and a cute dress to wear it with then I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend both the Curvy Kate Luxe and this cute Izabel London Curve ditzy number.