The bandeau bra is a great strapless bra that you should definitely have in your wardrobe. Like any strapless bra, the bandeau bra is a summer blessing allowing you to wear all of those cute summer tops and dresses without worrying about those unsightly bra straps sticking out. But there is so much more to the bandeau bra that most women don’t know about. If you think the bandeau bra is just the average strapless bra, or if you’re considering buying one for the first time but want more information, this guide to bandeau bras can give you everything you need.
The Bandeau Bra – Barely There Support and Coverage
The average strapless bra is simply that, a bra without straps. They fasten in the same way and are usually made of the same materials that the average bra is made of. However, bandeau bras are better described as a mix between a strapless bra and tube top.
They’re made of stretchable fabric and usually have no fasteners at all. Instead, they slip over your head just like a tube top. Some come with optional straps to make the bra more versatile, but some are sold as is. There usually aren’t any wires or seams to offer additional support, the tight, stretchy fabric is meant to give you all the support you need while also providing coverage. While some bandeau bras can come with padding, the classic design is the stretchy fabric.
The best part about bandeau bras is that they tend to come in fun patterns and colors. This is because a lot of women choose to wear bandeau bras under loose tank tops. When they do this the bandeau bras can be seen through the sides of the tank top creating a fun and sexy layered look that is great for backyard barbeques, nights out by the fire pit, or working out on hot days. With its close resemblance to a tube top, bandeau bras are one of the few bras that are easily accepted as clothing without appearing raunchy.
How to Choose a Bandeau Bra
If you’ve ever bought a strapless bra you know how much of a struggle it can be to find something that won’t be too tight but won’t constantly fall down. Bandeau bras can cause the same struggle but are a little more forgiving since there are no wires or padding to weight it down. Similarly, the stretchy nature of the fabric tends to help bandeau bras stay in place a little better than the average strapless bra.
That being said, without going out and trying on every different bandeau bra available, there are things that you should consider when shopping for one that can help you find the perfect fit. Of course, take your individual needs into account including your shape and bra size, your personal style, and how you plan to wear the bra when selecting one.
Think about the Fit
This is the most important part of bra shopping, in general. You want to find a bra that fits you perfectly so you don’t have to worry about picking it up or feeling like you’re being squeezed to death. Not only will you be more comfortable when wearing your proper size, you will look better, too.
Take the time to go to a professional and get properly measured. Top department stores and specialty lingerie shops have specialists who know how to professionally measure you to find the best fitting bra.
With a bandeau bra, it’s important to make sure that it fits snug but not tight. The band is the only thing that will give you support so it has to be snug enough to support your chest. To test this, experts say that you shouldn’t be able to fit more than two fingers under the band. As important as this is, you shouldn’t wear anything that cuts into your skin or causes circulation problems.
Similarly, the band of your bandeau bra shouldn’t ride up or roll. If you try on your bandeau bra and it rides up in the back, it is a sign that it’s too big. The bra should wrap straight around you and remain parallel to the floor. If it arches up toward your shoulder blades it’s a sign that it isn’t snug enough to remain in place. If you’re trying on a bandeau bra at a store, move around in the fitting room (jump up and down!) to see if the bra stays in place.
While most bandeau bras rely on the stretchable fabric alone to keep them in place, some might have silicone lining to hold the bra in place. Here, the silicone creates a no-slip grip against your skin. This works great but can be rendered useless as soon as you put lotion or deodorant on.
If you put one of those things on your skin where the silicone will be, they will work against the silicone and cause it to slip instead of grip. So while a lot of women have trouble with their bras because they’re wearing the wrong size, using lotion or deodorant with silicone grips can be a surprising problem, too.
Consider Coverage and Support
The goal of a bandeau bra is to cover your breasts and support them. There shouldn’t be any “spillage” in a properly fitting bandeau bra. Remember, there are no cups here so worrying about gaps between the breasts and the cups (a concern with normal strapless bras) isn’t the issue as much as spillage can be.
Here, if you’re wearing a bandeau bra that is too small for your breasts, they might spill out of the top or the sides in an unsightly manner. Don’t think that a bandeau bra is forgiving in that respect because there are no formed cups. Buy your proper size and make sure your breasts fit completely in the band for the best look and fit.
When trying on your bandeau bra getting all of your breast tissue to fit properly can be an issue especially with a demi bra. To combat this, put on your bra then lean forward so your chest is hanging. In that position, take your hands and adjust your breasts so that all of your breast tissue (especially those parts that spill out under your arms) falls forward into the bra. This will help eliminate spillage and help your chest look better.
Who Can Wear a Bandeau Bra
In general, bandeau bras are really geared toward women with small to average sized breasts. While women with larger breasts can find bandeau bras in their size, the lack of wires, seams, and similar forms of extra support might feel uncomfortable. The lack of cups and lining won’t shape your breasts in the same way that normal cups in a bra do. If you have a larger chest, a bandeau bra can make your breast tissue spread out too much despite your best efforts making them look squashed or deflated.
What to Wear with a Bandeau Bra
When you’re wearing a bandeau bra you’re free to wear anything you want. Thanks to the strapless design you can wear tube tops, halter tops, off-the-shoulder tops, and similar shirts. Spaghetti strapped dresses, baggy tank tops, and strapless jumpsuits are also great to wear with bandeau flirtie bras. Basically, bandeau bras allow you to wear more revealing clothes that normal bras would stick out with.
As stated earlier, a lot of women wear pretty patterned bandeau bras specifically so they can show them off. In these cases, you can layer your bandeau bra under a tank top or under an open sports jersey or even a dressy blazer in the same way you’d wear a tube top.
Caring for Your Bandeau Bra
Taking care of your bras is always important because they’re more delicate than other garments. Bandeau bras and strapless bras, in general, need even more care. These bras shouldn’t be washing in a washing machine, even if you’re using the delicate cycle. Instead, hand wash them and hang them out to dry. This will keep the fabric intact better and stop them from breaking down faster. Consider buying more than one of a style you like so you won’t have to wash it as often.
Bandeau bras provide you with the support and coverage you’re looking for while giving you the freedom to wear the sexy and comfortable clothes that you want. They’re available in a wide range of sizes and a variety of styles to fit your personal preferences and individual needs. Now that you know what to look for in a bandeau bra, consider picking a few to add to your wardrobe.