Cupless Bra

What is a cupless bra?

Cupless bras are also sometimes known as shelf bras because of how they support your breasts from below.

These bras may consist of just the band, straps, and underwire. 

Some designs also include a small swatch of fabric that supports the bottom of your breasts, while others surround the entire breast with fabric on all sides and no center panel.

Pros and Cons of Cupless Bras

Sexy and feminineNot as supportive as some bras
Work well with low-cut topsThey may be too revealing for a daily bra
Come in two-strap, halter, and harness stylesSize ranges may not fit well or may not be adjustable

How Cupless Bras Differ From Other Bras

Cupless bras are sometimes confused with other bra styles.

  • Open cup bras can include fully cupless bras and peekaboo bras that show some skin via cutouts but not your full breast. They’re ideal if you don’t want to bare it all or need more support.
  • Harness bras also similarly show more skin than they cover. The straps typically fit around your breasts. This style of bra rarely has underwire.
  • Quarter cup bras are open but cover the bottom of your breasts up to your nipple and may include fabric above the nipple as well.

How Cupless Bras Fit

Because this bra style has no cups, makers sell bras by their band size. Cupless bras are commonly available in several band sizes.

Cupless Bras Size

Some bras come in sizes between small (S) and extra-large (XL) with plus-sized options between 0X and 3X. 

Sometimes cupless bras are available as S/M or M/L. You’ll also find some bras sold as one-size-fits-most in both straight and plus sizes.

Generally, cupless bras made in specific band sizes clasp in the back like traditional bras. 

But, bras designed to fit a range may have an adjustable band or be stretchy to fit various bodies. 

Cupless bras often use the typically adjustable bra straps, although halter and racerback styles also exist.

Whether the cupless bra supports or fully surrounds your breasts determines the overall shape of the front of the bra. 

Some are rounder, and others are rounded. Cupless bras with underwire may have a bridge that extends up between your breasts. 

Strappy cupless bras may lack a bridge entirely and sit straight across your ribs.

Remember that these bras don’t offer as much shaping or support as traditional bras. 

Still, it’s important to get a good fit in the band for those options with underwire. Otherwise, the wire might dig into your skin uncomfortably.

Should You Buy A Cupless Bra Set?

Like most lingerie, it’s not uncommon to find sets of cupless bras and panties. But, there are several times when these sets may not be ideal.

  1. Your upper and lower bodies aren’t the exact sizes.
  2. You don’t like the style of the included panties.
  3. The panties are low quality.

Of course, you can only use one piece of the set if you love one piece. For example, if you love the cupless bra, you can wear a pair of panties that fit better.

How to Wear a Cupless Bra

Because these bras are worn for looks rather than support, they are most often worn as lingerie

They pair well with matching panties (crotchless panties finish off the look perfectly), garter belts and stockings, robes, and high heels.

Add pasties for a little more modesty with a cupless bra–or to perform a fun striptease. 

You can also wear a cupless bra as a top with a sexy bottom to create a bedroom outfit. Harness bras can be worn over clothing.

To put on a cupless bra with hook-and-eye closure, do the following.

  1. Wrap the band around your ribs and clasp it shut. Spin the bra around if necessary before placing your arms through the straps.
  2. Place your breasts inside the cups. Bend forward and scoop your breast tissue into the cup.
  3. Adjust the shoulder straps or tie the harness.

If you want to wear a cupless bra beneath your clothing, beware that your nipples may show through. Of course, that may also be a perk! Add a camisole for modesty.

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