If you’re like me, the words ‘wide strap bras’ conjure up images of bulky support bras with wide straps that are anything but fashion forward. I wanted to put together a list of bras that defy this image and manage to be both supportive and stylish.
Why wide straps?
By now, you probably know that the band of a bra should be doing 80-90% of the supporting when it comes to wearing the bra. Straps are the second fiddle, and should generally only be doing 10-20% of the work.
Even with that smaller workload, poorly-designed straps can mean a world of pain. In addition to shoulder digging and back pain, small straps can also slip off the shoulders during the day, which is the last thing you need.
Bras with wide straps, or comfort strap bras help to distribute the weight of your breasts over a wider area, which puts less stress on any one part of your shoulder. Combined with being kicked in, a wider strap also has a bigger chance of staying on your shoulders throughout the day.
|Elila Wireless Full-Coverage Jacquard||Rosa Faia by Anita Twin Underwire Bra||Bali Women’s Satin Tracings Minimizer Underwire Bra||Glamorise Wonderwire Front Close Bra||Goddess Hannah Underwire Molded Side Support Bra||Vanity Fair Illumination Zoned In Bra|
|View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon|
|Empreinte Melody Plunge Convertible Bra||Ewa Michalak Bra FB Lilia||Comexim’s Emotion Biustonosz||Freya Women’s Hero Underwire Bra||Le Mystere Women’s Dream Tisha Bra||Ashley Stewart Soft Cup Butterfly Bra|
|View on Amazon||View on EM||View on Comexim||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on AS|
Pretty and Wirefree – Elila Jacquard Soft Cup
This full-coverage bra comes in a number of beautiful colors. The jacquard patterned fabric gives the bra a sweet femininity that’ll make you want to show it off. It offers a lot of coverage along the sides and back, and has a three-part cup for lots of support.
This bra gets my vote because in addition to this bra having wide straps, it also has an additional shoulder support pad that allows you to fully-adjust the strap and move the pad exactly where you need it to be.
Simple and Seamless – Anita Rosa Faia Twin Seamless Comfort Bra
Trust Anita to somehow produce a plain comfort bra with no embellishments and somehow elevate it. The good thing about this bra is that it’s got a wide strap that should be able to reach the apex of most shoulders. The bad part about it is that it is front-adjustable, making it a tricky fit if you are tall, have a long torso, or have breasts that sit lower on your frame.
The cut of this bra makes it a good option for FOB gals who can’t wear a molded-cup t-shirt bra, but are in search of a smooth look.
Minimize – Bali Women’s Satin Tracings Minimizer Underwire Bra
Just as I’ve come to associate Anita bras with sophisticated simplicity, I’ve come to associate Bali bras with excellent minimization. The Satin Tracings Minimizer bra boasts up to a 1 ¾” reduction in size—basically nearly two cup sizes.
If you remember from my minimizer bra article, there are a number of ways that bras minimize. One by holding the breasts firmly against the breast wall. The other involve either pushing the breasts toward each other or out to the sides, away from each other.
This bra does a combination of pushing your breasts together a bit and toward your chest wall.
The front of the straps are cushioned to this bra to make them comfy for your shoulders. However, this design, combined with the fact that the straps are generally short to begin with, means you don’t have a lot of wiggle room if you need adjustability.
Front Opening – Glamorise Women’s Full Figure Wonderwire Front Close Bra
Glamorise produces a number of bras that have comfort straps in lots of different styles, but this Wonderwire bra is one of their prettiest.
Like the Anita bra, it has comfort straps. However, the leotard band on the back of the bra comes up so high that this bra ends up having less adjustability than the Anita Twin Seamless.
The bra has fantastic side support though and Glamorise’s patented Wonderwire, which ensures that the wire doesn’t come into direct contact with your underboob. The front-close clasp and side support make it a great pick for someone with wide-set breasts.
Discontinued but divine – Goddess Women’s Hannah Underwire Molded Side Support Bra
If you’re a fan of Elomi and Goddess, then you’ve probably come to associate them with good side support. This bra is a departure from their usual 3 or 4 part cup style, as the majority of the cup is made of a single panel.
Another notable aspect of this bra is the lower gore. The gore falls somewhere in between the typically high gores that Elomi and Goddess bras have, and the gores on their plunge bras, making it a happy medium for anyone who might have issue with the usual height of Goddess gores.
Goddess generally produces wide strap bras, however Hannah goes one step further. This bra too, features a padded shoulder strap combined with a back adjustable strap.
Bra on a budget – Vanity Fair Women’s Illumination Zoned In Support Full Figure Underwire Bra
The worst thing about this bra is that it only goes up to a DD, but on the flipside, that makes it a good ally for plus size women with smaller cup sizes. This bra has solid construction, with wide bra straps that are padded at the front of the bra made of some really comfortable fabric. The straps are back adjustable.
Its bandless design in the front and corded center panel make it a possible option for wide-set breasts, along with its side support sling. If I were going to nitpick, I’d say that I wish the side panels came up higher. Given the fact that you can almost always find this bra on sale, if it fits, it would make a great bra for everyday wear.
Gorgeous Lace – Empreinte Melody Plunge Convertible Bra
It’s not often that you see a beautiful, seamless, unpadded lace bra, so I rejoiced when I came across this one. The lace is thick enough that if your nipples aren’t too prominent, they actually won’t show, a fact which should allay one of the biggest fears when it comes to donning a bra with an unlined cup.
The material bra has a really light feeling to it, which is much-appreciated because this bra truly is full coverage.
The straps are the same as most of the bras on this list—rigid, cushy fabric on the front portion, and back adjustable. The straps are also convertible, should you want to wear this under a racerback top or want more center pull.
Beauty and brawn – Ewa Michalak’s FB Lilia
Ewa Michalak is who you turn to when you want a beautiful bra with immediate projection, and the FB Lilia is no exception.
This bra has excellent side support devoted to keeping your breasts front and center. The four-part cup does well to give breasts a beautiful, rounded look, making this bra an absolute marvel for large-busted women who have gotten used to expecting a certain degree of pointiness when it comes to supportive seamed bras.
Although the lace at the top of the bra will mean the bra is less gappy than it would be with rigid fabric, those of us who are FOB may still find that this bra gaps a bit.
Bra for the bedroom – Comexim’s Emotion Biustonosz
This isn’t the sturdiest bra on the list, but this is easily the sexiest thick strap bra that I have come across.
The Emotion Biustonosz ambitiously uses a lace panel that extends from the underbust of each cup
and over the shoulder, giving it an integral role in shaping the breast.
But for a strappy horizontal detail on the cup, the bra is totally sheer, and leaves nothing to the imagination (in the best way possible). The strap is back adjustable, of course.
Supportive plunge – Freya Women’s Hero Underwire Side Support Bra
One of my favorite purchases last year is by far the Freya Women’s Hero bra. As a fan of unlined bras, I always love it when I can find a bra with sheer, breathable material that is also sturdy.
The stronger fabric on the sides of the bra help to provide good side support without detracting from the beauty of the material on this bra.
As a Plain Jane, I like the little silver accents and bows on this bra that add femininity without making me feel like the bra has too much going on.
Celebrity Endorsement – Le Mystere Women’s Dream Tisha Bra
Normally I couldn’t care less what a celeb has to say about a product. However, when it comes to Oprah and bras, I definitely pay attention.
The Dream Tisha bra can definitely give Anita’s Twin Seamless a run for its money when it comes to a well-engineered, simple bra.
This bra has it all, from a unique design meant to keep the cups invisible under clothing, to wide wings to keep things controlled, to straps that get wider with size. In addition to increasing width, F, G, and H cups also get padding for our troubles.
This bra will likely be a hard sell for women with busts that are center full, simply because there’s not a whole lot of separation between cups. That said, this is the sort of bra that could work well for women with wide-set breasts who may find it hard to achieve a cleavage look.
Gel Straps – Ashley Stewart’s Soft Cup Butterfly Bra
If you’re plus size and full figured, this is a bra line you have to look into if you’re looking for comfortable straps. Designed especially to address the common pain points plus size women usually have with bras, their designs feature incredible back support. Most notable is the double band on the back of the bra which gives unprecedented adjustability and back support to the bra.
The straps are something to write home about. Not only are the straps made wide, the Soft Cup Butterfly Bra features a thick front strap filled with gel that should win over even the most sensitive of shoulders.