Selecting the right bra for your body can be difficult. Everyone’s breast shape is different, and there’s no shortage of breast variety. When it comes to getting a little support, there are plenty of ways to give your girls a little extra boost with the right bra.

We all know that having the right fit is the way to go, but our bras are more than just cups and supportive bands. Another key competent of ultimate comfort is the bra strap. Just like bra types, a bra strap can come in many varieties. But what do bra straps do, and why does type matter?

What Do Bra Straps Do?

While it may seem like bra straps are responsible for hoisting up the girls, you’d be wrong. Your breasts receive most of their support in the band, while cups provide comfort and lift. So, if bands do all the heavy lifting, what purpose do the straps serve?

Straps are designed to keep the bra in place and lend a little extra support. They help keep the cups in place. If your straps are digging into your shoulders or slipping off repeatedly, then you are probably wearing the wrong size bra. The bands are not intended to hold all the weight, and they do more than just add decoration. Depending on the style you use, some can add more support than others.

So, How Are Straps Different?

Depending on your style and wardrobe selection, bra straps come in a variety of styles. Some can be adjusted or converted, while others can offer a little extra support. These factors all center on strap size and placement. If you wonder what type of bra straps are out there, here are five different options you can choose from.

1. Adjustable Straps

The most common type, adjustable straps, are just as the name suggests. These straps drape over the shoulder and usually feature a tab so you can tighten and loosen them. They come in multiple sizes, from very thin to wide and padded. Most bras feature this type, and this option provides a lot of flexibility for the wearer.

Secured to the front of the cup, these bra straps go over the shoulder and link to the band’s back. Each has its benefits; thinner straps will disappear under tank tops, while thicker straps will supply more support. Often, if your bra is wireless, the straps will be wider to adjust for comfort. Of course, being the set standard, adjustable straps vary based on the bra.

2. Sports Bra Straps

Vigorous exercise requires some extra support. Sports bras have just the thing you’re looking for. The goal is to supply maximum support, so your girls aren’t juggling while you try to work out. Without a thick, reinforced strap, you can risk damaging your ta-tas permanently. While some sports bras feature adjustable straps, many do not favor thicker panels for added support. These bras typically feature a front closure, wider bands across the back, and wide, padded straps.

3. Racerback Straps

Racerback straps don’t typically mean just the racerback style. Whether it’s a T-back, cross back, or a racerback, these straps are atypical to fit the evolving world of fashion. These straps are perfect if you want to wear particular tops and dresses without showing off your bra straps. While some can add extra support with a unique structure, others feature designs that are meant to be seen. These straps can help provide both comfort and style.

4. Halter Straps

While most bra straps go over the shoulder, halter straps are meant to tie at the neck. These straps function much like the racerback designs, and only they show off a bareback. Unfortunately, if you don’t have the proper size, halter straps can put a strain on the neck, especially for those with bigger chests. Of course, with the right size and design, anyone can sport a halter strap bra.

5. Convertible Straps

If you want a bra that can do just about anything, you might want to consider one with convertible straps. These bras can take on nearly any shape, from the typical adjustable style to cross or T-back. You can even delete the straps if you wish. The great thing about convertible straps is that they provide variety in your wardrobe. Just remember to keep tabs on your straps.

6. Wide Straps

Wide strap bras have extra-wide straps shoulder straps. Wide straps help to relieve shoulder strain or pain that can come from bras with thinner straps. Many women with heavier breasts prefer the comfort that wide strap bras provide. If you often find your bra leaving painful red marks on your shoulders, try out a wide strap bra.

7. Strapless

The final option for straps is...well, going without them! Most of the support a bra gives comes from the band and the cup. With the right strapless bra, you don’t need to have straps at all. That being said, if you don’t have a proper fit, you might find yourself pulling up on your strapless bra to keep the girls in place. While it is possible to strut your stuff strapless, make sure you have enough support.

Bra Style Chart

Here is a bra style chart that explains the difference between each type of bra and its straps.


bra style chart

The Best Straps for You

Whether you want some variety in your wardrobe, extra support, or just want to stick to the basics, your bra straps can affect your daily comfort. Keep in mind that your bra straps should not pinch into your skin or slide off your shoulder. If you have either of these problems with any of these straps, you might need a fitting. Don’t be shy and go for straps (or no straps) that work for you!

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