What is a Convertible Bra?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

A convertible bra is a type of bra that has movable and sometimes removable straps. These allow you to change where the straps fall on the body so you can adjust the bra for different types of clothing backs or fronts. This type of bra can often be worn without straps to accommodate strapless or spaghetti strap style tops and dresses.

A woman wearing a convertible bra.
A woman wearing a convertible bra.

The development of the convertible bra was celebrated by many since the types of women’s tops exhibits extraordinary variance. Having to buy separate bras for strapless garments, cut out backs and halter top styles was expensive and certainly took up storage space in your lingerie drawer. Many women felt that the strapless bra, often standard for all types of tops with an unusual back or fit on the straps, was inadequate to the support really needed. This is particularly the case for women with larger bust sizes — straps are needed to provide ample support and lift.

A convertible bra in its strapless form.
A convertible bra in its strapless form.

The removable straps on the bra usually can be attached to several different points of the bra. With appropriate fitting, you can get a cross back style, where the straps are crossed at the shoulders. This can work with T or sports style tank tops or for wearing clothing with a cut out in the back. Some convertible bras have backless versions for wear with completely backless tops.

Halter tops became increasingly popular in the 2000s, and using only one strap of the convertible bra meant you could wear a halter top or halter top dress while still getting some bust support. Some styles also feature super clear straps. The ultra sheer straps mean that even a little bit of bra strap showing may not be noticed.

Of course, another of the most important features of the convertible bra is its ability to convert to a strapless bra when needed. Just make sure you keep the straps somewhere you’ll remember when they’re not in use. Losing the straps of the bra can easily turn the bra into a strapless bra only.

Amount of support in the convertible bra can differ with each way the bra is worn. It’s a good idea to try the bra in several styles and try each conversion to see exactly how much support you’ll be getting. Molded cup styles with underwire are usually best choices for women with a C cup or larger.

When you are fit for your convertible bra, bring a tightly fitting shirt to try over the bra, and perhaps any other garments you might wear with it. This is usually the best way to see how each conversion will support and whether the conversion will be enough to keep the bra from showing. Also look for sturdy attachment features.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments


I'm not such a fan of convertible bras, especially the ones that change into strapless bras.

I have a bigger bust, and the strapless convertible bras never seem to give me enough support -- I'm always worried about spilling over!

I think I'll just stick with my regular bras, thank you very much.


One thing that can be really fun to do with a convertible bra is to change out the straps.

They have a lot of different styles of convertible bra straps; some have glitter or shapes in them, and some are just clear.

I personally like the ones with glitter, they can look really cute when you match them with a bright top.


I think the convertible strapless bra is one of the best inventions for womankind. It can see you through the work day, and through a night of partying at the club with equal ease.

I hear they've even got convertible backless bras -- I can't wait to get one.


can you please send me instructions and diagrams on how to wear a combination convertible bra.

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