Strapless bras – what I picked and why

Strapless bras – a blessing or a curse…

The links to the Wacoal strapless bra contain my affiliate link at Amazon.  If you click on it and then buy something, I will receive financial benefit.

I bought the cutest top at Cato’s – kind of a modified off-the-shoulder style but I needed to wear a strapless bra with it.  The first time I wore the top I got a bandeau strapless at Elder Beerman and – it was awful.  It was too big and I tugged on it all day.  It didn’t offer enough support either so I added “boob tape” to keep things up.  Not a happy camper at my nephew’s graduation party.  Have you ever been distracted by your underwear when you’re trying to have a good time?!?.

Wacoal Strapless vs Lively

So, I decided to try two different strapless bras that have good reviews on social media.  One was the Wacoal “Red Carpet” strapless and the other was Lively’s style #42211.  Because I’m an Amazon Prime member, the Wacoal arrived within two days of my order but the Lively wasn’t delivered for about 10 days.  Also, the Wacoal had my size in all colors, but the sizes were limited in Lively’s selection.  I got the Wacoal in nude, size 34DD, and the Lively in pink, size 36D (34DD wasn’t available).  Besides the shipping, there’s a pretty big price difference too.  I paid about $65 for the Wacoal (although Amazon changes its prices depending on what you order so a different size and color might have a different price).  The Lively was just under $45 which included shipping.  They have free shipping on orders over $50.

What is the same about both strapless bras

Both have just minimal padding, which is important to me because I have enough of my own.  Both have wide bands with four hooks.  Both have underwire support AND both have a wire support about an inch away from the cups on the back strap to help keep the strap from wrinkling.  Both have removable convertible straps.  And, both are made in China.

The back view of both bras

The front view of both bras

What’s different about these two strapless bras:  packaging, shipping and price

Lively sent me a free tote bag for being a first-time buyer.  It came in a gorgeous box.  I really felt honored to be giving it to myself.  Although it took ten days to arrive, it seemed worth the wait.  The Wacoal came in a plastic bag with free two-day shipping from Amazon Prime.   My budget was really happy about Lively’s price, even though I paid for shipping.

Wacoal packaging

Lively packaging

What’s different:  fabrication and construction

The soft pink of the Lively strapless is SO pretty.  And, the Lively has a mostly mesh strap, which looks as if it would be so cool on a hot day!  The Wacoal is a nice nude color but nothing special. Both are made of similar (but not the same) fabric.  The body of the Wacoal is 91% nylon and 9% spandex, while its dense mesh strap is 87% nylon and 13% spandex.  The Lively body is 87% nylon and 13% spandex, while that mesh strap is 77% nylon and 23% spandex.  The Wacoal has the sticky rubber lining on the inside of the strap – both top and bottom – and along the top of the cups.  This baby is meant to stay in place!  The Lively has the sticky rubber lining on just the inside of the top of the strap.

Lively mesh strap and fabric content


The deciding feature

The deciding feature for me was  this – the strapless bra by Wacoal has a seecond piece of stiff vertical support where the back strap attaches (if you’re wearing it with the straps).  The Lively strapless has fabric there but it is not stiff.  In my mind, the Wacoal strap would not collapse on itself but the Lively might.  And you have to wear a strapless bra TIGHT, so the lack of vertical support in the Lively bra gave me an additional bulge back there (not something I need more of right now!).  So, as much as I wanted the Lively bra to win this contest, the Wacoal got my vote.

The deciding feature of the Wacoal bra

Test run of the Wacoal Red Carpet strapless bra

I did not wear the Lively bra, because it is unethical to wear something and then return it (and I’m going to either return or sell it).  So I wore the Wacoal strapless with my off the shoulder top yesterday, out to dinner at Purple Chopstix with my family to celebrate a birthday.  It didn’t wiggle around or slide down – it required absolutely no adjustments – and in fact by the end of the evening I’d forgotten that it was strapless at all.  I’m thrilled with my choice!!  But if you want a lighter weight strapless bra, consider giving the Lively bra a try.  It was a close contest.

Confidently yours,





Purse Charms for holiday gift-giving

I watched Bill Cunningham, fashion photographer for the New York Times, talk about the prevalence of purse charms or handbag accessories in The Big Apple yesterday.  Some designers are using the charms for political commentary and some are using them to make tons of money, but it inspired me to look for some DIY ideas for gifts for the ladies in my life.  Pinterest has a lot of ideas using beads and charms, but I’m hoping to come up with my own design.  I like the fur pompoms from Fendi; I’ll be looking for faux fur options.  Wish me luck – ho ho ho!!


Female fashion designers in the media

I wanted to share with you my delight in watching videos of designers talking about their offices and personal style this past week in the New York Times Video.  Male designers were interviewed but the women really caught my attention.  Julie de Libran for Sonia Rykiel, Tory Burch, Donatella Versace, Vera Wang and Diane von Furstenberg all were filmed in their offices discussing their distinct individual styles and what fashion design means to them.  What struck me most each about each one…

  • Julie de Libran talked about her use of color, how much she enjoys being a woman dressing women, and the importance of making your own choices.
  • Tory Burch indicated that when she started her design house she decided hers would not be a “bitchy” environment, as well as the importance of Feng Shui (not to put her logo on the bottoms of her shoes) and our ability to multi-task.
  • Donatella Versace emphasized the importance of family, employee relationships, and branding.
  • Vera Wang expressed concerns about the pressure to move forward in the fashion world.  She also used Feng Shui as well as a psychic in setting up her office.  I was appalled by the size of her fit model but realize this was for her couture clothes and not the items she designs for Kohl’s (or we will all be splitting the seams of our clothes).
  • Finally, Diane von Furstenberg shared her experience of the intertwining of her work and life and suggested her lovely office represents her brand.  I am quite a fan of DVF and am fortunate to own a jacket and two of her dresses thanks to The RealReal and Putnam and Speedwell here in Athens (where I was thrilled to find a vintage DVF sheath for $20).
Do you have a favorite designer?
Really yours,