Derived from the French word for “band,” bandeau wraps have been around, in one form or another, since ancient Roman times. They were particularly in vogue for use as a brassiere in the 1920s when women with “boyish” figures were all the rage. Bandeau wraps were also popular as two-piece bathing suit tops in the 50s and 60s. Since then, when used in their “supportive” sense, bandeaus are more commonly known today as a “strapless bra.”
However, is a bandeau bra supportive enough? If you’re over a C-cup, the answer is generally “no.” Most bandeau-style bras offer support somewhere between “none” and “medium.” Cupless, wireless, seamless bandeaus offer next to no support and are generally for women with less up top, or for purely decorative purposes. Other bandeaus have cups, padding, and/or under-wires that can provide much more support.
Bandeau bras come in a variety of colors and styles. More plainly-styled and simply-colored bandeaus are usually used strictly for traditional “bra” purposes, but some bandeau bras are fancier and can be used as layering pieces or, in some cases, worn alone as a top. Strapless bras are also a good option for breast-feeding mothers. With no straps to deal with, and often no cups or under-wires, they offer “easy access” when your baby needs your breasts the most.
Something to keep in mind about bandeau bras and the support they give is that strapless-style bras tend to “wear out” much more quickly than standard-style bras. By not having straps to take on some of the strain of supporting your breasts, the bandeau-style bra becomes exceedingly stressed over time and will need to be replaced in almost half the time a regular bra would need replacing.
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