I spend a fair bit of my time in this little corner of the internet complaining about bras and bra shopping. Today, however, I get to share some excitement over a specific type of bra, one that fits delightfully into my “low maintenance girly girl” lifestyle: a convertible bra! That’s right, it’s a bra that can shapeshift into many different styles and works for all the different breast shapes. Truly a one-bra-to-rule-them-all situation.
Having a “less is more” approach when it comes to your intimates drawer can inspire some positive change in your life. A convertible bra is an easy gateway into that practice. Whether you’ve got small boobs or large breasts, your wardrobe needs a convertible bra! But I’m getting carried away. You’re probably still thinking “What is a convertible bra, though?” so I’ll get right to answering that!
WHAT IS A CONVERTIBLE BRA?
The term “convertible bra” can be used to describe any bra in which the configuration of the straps can be changed. This definition includes completely removable straps or partly detachable straps.
The default setting of a convertible bra is just the traditional bra shape with two separate cups and a strap on each side. The bralette vs bra debate is also applicable here because convertible bras can be wired, unwired, lined, or unlined. The best convertible bra isn’t defined by what it looks like, but rather what it can do.
A convertible bra with fully removable straps can be worn completely strapless, one-shouldered, or as a halter. A convertible bra with partially detachable straps, like the triangle bralette pictured above, can be worn as a regular bra or a racerback.
There are many convertible bras on the market and most of them work the same (with a few exceptions). In order to get a full idea of what a convertible bra can do for you, I’ll give you the full rundown of all the common convertible bra configurations.
MOST COMMON CONVERTIBLE BRAS
The most common convertible bras can perform 5-6 different functions. Some convertible bras have extra configurations and others have less. For our purposes, the following styles are ones most common convertible bras can take on:
All convertible bras start with a traditional, double-strap appearance. They can be either underwire or wireless. You should pick out convertible bras according to your regular size requirements.
If the straps of your bra are fully removable, you can play around with the style to your heart's content. If you choose to wear an outfit with one shoulder, you can remove the other strap of your bra to maintain the sleek look. While one bra strap won’t offer you a ton of support, the band should be doing most of the heavy lifting anyway.
Removing one bra strap and partially detaching the other to connect it to the front of the bra on the opposite side will allow you to wear your bra as a halter. This is the perfect option for certain tops and dresses—Just be sure to adjust the strap so that it’s not digging into the back of your neck!
Sometimes the straps of your bra will sit too far apart to be concealed under certain tops. The racerback option of most convertible bras helps solve this issue by bringing the straps closer together. This can be achieved by swapping the bottoms of the straps to opposite sides of the bra band, or via a clip feature in the center of each bra strap.
Becoming strapless is often the main function of a convertible bra. Why? Because if the band isn’t strong enough to support your breasts then some of the other functions (halter and one shoulder) won’t function properly. When trying on a convertible bra, remove the straps to check how well the bra band supports your breasts. If it holds up well to some moderate movement then you’ve found yourself a great convertible bra!
While many common convertible bras (with fully removable straps) can shapeshift into any of the above options, a convertible bra that has a low back option is a little more special. Convertible bras with a low back option usually come with an extra strap and loops on the bottom of the back main strap.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A CONVERTIBLE BRA
A convertible bra is only useful if it works well for you and your body in all its different settings. When looking for a convertible bra, consider which functions are the most important for you. If you have the chance to try it on before purchasing, fiddle with the straps to check if the different possible styles all fit and feel as comfortable as the default, double strap setting. Here’s what you should keep in mind when buying a convertible bra:
- Support: Because most convertible bras can become strapless, the strength and support of the main band is the most important quality to look for. If you have larger breasts, look for a convertible bra with wider bands.
- Function: The first thing you have to decide when shopping for a convertible bra is what exactly you need it for. A standard convertible bra should cover all your bases but ones with the low back option can be trickier to find. If you only require the racerback function, then a partially convertible bra is your best move.
- Style: I mentioned that convertible bras come in many different options. Some are lined, wired and others resemble bralettes more than bras. There are even push-up options for convertible bras. Figure out which style works best for your body and lifestyle!.
- Fit: A good fit is always super important but it’s especially critical when shopping for a convertible bra. Following the standard “how should a bra fit” guidelines will work for finding the best convertible bra.
WHEN YOU MAY WANT A CONVERTIBLE BRA
A convertible bra is a great addition to your underwear drawer, in general, but here are some reasons and scenarios where one might come in handy!
TO SAVE SPACE
A convertible bra is the easiest way to lessen the burden on your undergarment drawer. When asking the question “how many bras should I own?” The standard answer is around 5 to 7 bras but a convertible bra can turn that into 4 to 5 bras. If your bra drawer is overflowing, you might want to consider donating some of your old bras and replacing them with one convertible bra.
TO SAVE MONEY
Instead of buying a specific type of bra for each occasion, invest in one convertible bra. The price point of convertible bras isn’t any steeper compared to the price of a regular bra. The one-time purchase of a convertible bra will save you money in the long run.
FOR YOUR TRAVELS
A convertible bra is the perfect item to bring along on a trip or vacation. It will save you space and the agony of having to decide what type of bra you need for each outfit you’ve packed. It can function as your everyday bra and convert to accommodate any fancy dresses you plan to wear to yummy dinners at your destination. The only thing a convertible bra can’t do is act as a sports bra, so keep that in mind.
CONVERTIBLE BRA: CONCLUSION
That’s about all I have to say about convertible bras. I think the concept speaks for itself! Why own four different bras when you can have just one that can perform all the same functions?! It’s a minimalist’s dream (or really the dream of anyone who hates bra shopping).
Are you already a fan of convertible bras or is this your first time hearing of them? If so, are you excited to try out a convertible bra for yourself? Share your thoughts and experiences down in the comments!