The Wacoal 854191 Strapless Push-Up Bra: The Best Damn Strapless Bra I’ve Ever Worn

Published in: Product Reviews

What do you get when you combine the words “phenomenal” and “strapless bra” in the same sentence? Well, besides a good laugh? Because that was always the case until I found the subject of this afternoon’s post.

I don’t know how you feel about ‘em, but strapless bras for me have always been exercises in misery. Oh, the many times I’ve ducked into bathrooms to hoist up a strapless bra that has somehow worked its way around my belly button…

But lo, magic exists! Just when I began to believe I’d never find a good strapless bra, like it would forever be my personal chupacabra, I discovered the Wacoal 854191 Strapless Push-Up Bra, also known as “the most phenomenal strapless bra I’ve ever worn.”



I have a fairly average bosom (32D) and don’t carry a lot of muscle on my upper body, yet I’ve always struggled with strapless bras for one reason or another. They’re always too painful, too padded, too pointy or just plain useless, not providing enough support or constantly slipping out of place.

Before the Beauty Social last month, I decided to try my luck once again and look for something to wear beneath my teal blue dress, which has a neckline with cutouts that would reveal any bra straps underneath.

I headed over to Nordstrom, where a lingerie associate recommended the Wacoal 854191 ($50), a padded push-up strapless bra that comes in two shades, beige and black. She gushed about it and said it was the only strapless bra she ever wore, and said that her customers always loved it, too.

The price made me a little cranky, but then I tried it on…

WOW! Too good, TOO GOOD!

Wacoal 854191Right off, I liked the lace detailing, the way it fit (and how it didn’t scratch or poke my skin), and that it had just the right amount of padding to add a little oomph. :)

And it feels so comfortable on, like I’m wearing a regular bra with straps. It supports my girls and pushes them up just like a regular bra would, and it stays put, refusing to slide down my torso. The underwire holds everything up and doesn’t cut into my sides, and I feel like the cups fit perfectly, so nothing spills out.

I usually won’t wear a strapless bra unless I absolutely have to, and then when I do, I unhook them the minute I get home, but the 854191 (the name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue…) has actually worked its way into my regular bra rotation. I even wear it when I don’t technically have to, like when I’m not wearing something where I have to hide my bra straps.

Of course, comfort is one part of this equation, but I also love how it looks under my clothes. Not like some strapless bras that look too pointy or sloped from the side. I think this one looks very natural to me and not too obviously padded.

It might not offer enough support for you if you’re much more blessed than I am in the bosom area, so if any of you have any strapless recommendations for bustier MBB readers, please mention them in the comments.

PRICE: $50
AVAILABILITY: Available at Nordstrom stores and also online
MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: A+

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

62 Comments

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  1. Shannon says:

    I adore that brand. I have at least 5 of their regular bras, but have not tried the strapless one. Now I have to!

  2. Oh man, this sounds amazing! My strapless bras either provide 0 support or they cut into my skin so much; NOT FUN! I think I need this in my life…
    dani@callitbeauty recently posted … Meet The Most Vibrant Blush I’ve Ever Come Across…

  3. Gina says:

    I might have to check this out! I’m the same size as you (32D), and I recently tried the Victoria’s Secret Biofit Multi-way, and it’s TERRIBLE. I had to exchange it for a 32DD because the one I got was too small in the cups, and even then, it did fit me right. I can never find my size anywhere, so I’m super excited about this bra!

    • Karen says:

      Oh, good to know. It’s been years since I’ve worn a Victoria’s Secret bra. They’re really cute, but they fall apart on me.

      I hope that this one works for you! :)

    • Xtine says:

      I agree! The biofit is TERRIBLE! I am the same size as u both. The best strapless bra from VS for our size is the Very Sexy multiway plunge. I bought it in 3 different colors, BUT after wearing them out so much, I’ve discovered that it either pinches if you tighten it the whole way OR it’ll slide down an inch. Definitely not as far as your belly-button like most strapless bras, but it still slides.

      Thanks for this review, I definitely want to try it out. Are you going to get it in black too?

  4. shadowy lady says:

    I’m always interested in strapless bras as I never find one that works for me :( I have slim build on top but big breasts, strapless bras are always such a pain for me!

    This one sounds great though and I love the lace design. Do you know if it comes in sizes bigger than D? (I’m a 34DD)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Shadowy Lady,

      Yup, they carry that size. If you go to the link in the “availability” section below, it should take you right to the bra on the Nordstrom website.

  5. Faye says:

    Thanks for the recommendation; I’ll have to give this a try. It’s funny because I wear Wacoal bras all the time — I’m a 32B, but I like good support — but I never thought of them for strapless. I’m excited to try this one.

  6. Aimee says:

    Wow, D cup is average?!

    • ger says:

      that’s exactly what me and my A’s said when I read this hahhaha!

    • BeckBeck says:

      I think she’s talking about a D in the lines they carry at Nordstrom – which is definitely smaller than a D at Victoria’s Secret or some other mainstream places. I wore a 34 or 36D at VS and ended up in a 32F (aka DDD) at Nordstrom. (And I don’t look like Dolly Parton – I’m a bit bigger than average, but not cartoonishly so.)

  7. Chelsea says:

    I have two weddings to attend next summer (BFF’s and my brother’s), and I’ve never had a strapless bra I’ve liked. I’ll have to try this on!

  8. Perri says:

    I have 32D also.. check out the strapless offerings from Simone Perele… it is a little pricey but seriously the BEST strapless bra I have ever found. It doesn’t look like MinnieMouse ears haha

  9. Molly says:

    Thanks for the info! I usually hate strapless bras too. I have two that I hate but can’t seem to part with, one pokes me and is scratchy and the other is too padded… My old standard from 20 years ago is going to get worn out if I don’t get a new one.

    Oprah raves about Walcoal. I’ve never tried the brand since it wasn’t carried in this area of NY until Macy’s began selling the line. Also, I usually buy bras on sale, like a buy 2 get 2 free type of deal and the Walcoal $50 price is steep for me too.

    Maybe I’ll have to bite the bullet and buy this one, with a coupon of course, at Macy’s. Your review has made me curious and I like the lace accents on it too.

    I wear a 34C-supposedly the most common size-(I dunno)..but I don’t like much padding either, I like beige and not hiking a bra up all the time either!
    Thanks for the review.

  10. Barbara says:

    Aimee: Ha, I thought the same thing. D is average?! This bra looks great, though. I’m a B or C, depending on the style and brand, but no strapless bra has ever fit properly. Thanks for the review, Karen!

  11. Chris25 says:

    I would pay $1,000 for a comfy strapless bra. On a payment plan, of course. :P

  12. Nina says:

    if its a bra that works and will last you a long time, 50 bucks is a small price to pay!

    i think im going to go check this out. i remember having used wacoal before but not in a while. this definitely needs a revisit!

  13. Jen says:

    I love the Wacoal brand. I have a bigger bust and definately need the support. Wacoal is by far the most comfortable and supportive. I need to try this strapless one. My experience with Victoria’s Secret bras are: super cute, but not particularly comfortable. The straps are too thin and I get rub spots just under my armpits from rough seam fabric. ;(

  14. Crystal says:

    Wow I have to look into this. I gave up on strapless bra’s a few summers ago because of how bad the support is. I even used those sticker like things for a while before I finally gave up.
    Crystal recently posted … Becca Compact Concealer

  15. Emmaline says:

    My strapless is not the most flattering, but I fell in love with it after an uncomfortable sunburn. I am glad to hear that so many people like this brand. My bras are literally falling apart. I know where to start looking now! Thanks.

  16. Elle says:

    I just got a bra from VS that fits pretty well…it’s the Very Sexy multiway and so far I like it…however I haven’t taken the tags off and am very, very curious about this now! I wonder how this would work on a 36D…I have trouble with the band slipping down. What attracted me to the multiway one was the fact that there are these little plastic (rubber? lol) “grippers” (almost wrote “gropers”…oops) on the inside of the bra band that pretty much seem to glue it to your body. I also like that you can wear it with straps, and i bought it cos I have a one-shoulder dress to wear. It was also $50, but I gotta try this one.

    And to the reader who mentioned the VS BioFit…BioFit has to be the worst line they have. Seriously. My boobs ended up over and OUT of my bra with my last (and only) BioFit bra. Oh well – win some, lose some I guess :)

  17. Rachel says:

    Sounds like magic! I seriously need to go out and invest in a strapless bra someday, but with my regular bras costing around $150 (32F is a weird size apparently), I am hesitant to find out how expensive a good one to fit me would be! I’m glad you’ve found one that works for you, though :) It’s always a fantastic feeling to have found a good bra.

  18. Julia says:

    I have this one too, in black! I was sort of skeptical about the push-up, because I feel like as a 38 D/DD it isn’t something I particularly desire, but compared to other strapless bras I tried on I think it helps keep me supported without getting into obnoxious mattress padding territory. Like others I was a little meh on the price, but for good bras $50 isn’t really that expensive, and since it is a win on both form and function I feel fine about it.

    I haven’t seen this one there, but for anyone in the market for nice bras at good prices I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend Nordstrom Rack. My everyday bras are Natori 136001 (would it kill these people to name their styles?!). They are comfy comfy comfy (my bestie calls them clouds for your bosoms hahahaha), they come in a variety of colors, they have pretty straps, and they retail for $70 but are generally sold for $28ish at Nordstrom Rack. That’s just my personal favorite style but the Nordstrom Racks I have been to have a really large variety of brands, styles, colors, and sizes and the prices are really good compared to retail.

  19. Christy says:

    AWESOME Karen! I’ve actually been looking for one. I only buy bras from Nordstrom because of their quality and I haven’t seen this one there. I plan on buying it now! Thanks!

  20. Windie says:

    When you can, check out Nordstrom Rack because Wacoal is cut down drastically. I bought several for $15.00. For your petite frame, try Natori, Calvin Klein, and also Elle Macpherson (her stuff has sizes e, f, g…) Wacoal has a sub brand, too but I can’t think of the name :/

    • Gail says:

      bTempted is the sub line you were referring to. It is more of a junior line:) Very awesome addition to Wacoal, let me tell you I LOVE there panties;)

  21. Olivia says:

    Oh god. Strapless bras used to be one of my go to bras. They always felt like i was wearing nothing! But once gym class started to roll around I realized it was time for a bra that would’nt fall down akwardly down my chest…

  22. Mireya says:

    Wacoal makes amazing bras. Almost all of the bras I own are made by them. Sadly, I can’t make strapless bras work for me, as I’m a 34H and I need serious support. The day they make a strapless bra that works for me will be a joyous day indeed.

  23. Paris B says:

    I hate strapless bras but we get Wacoal here and i’m going to have to look for these and give these a go! Some times a girl just needs a strapless bra or two in her wardrobe :)

  24. D is not average at all! Most times it is impossible to get 70 (we use 70 instead of 32 here) with a D in Singapore. It’s either you go down to 70C (which creates the ‘cut’ in the boobs) or go up to 75D (which is too loose for my body).

    It’s hard to find a good strapless bra that does the good things you mentioned. I have to go find it! Can only hope they carry it here!

  25. MariamDad says:

    Thank you! I have the exact same problems with strapless bra’s that you mentioned. I hope Nordstrom ships to Europe.

  26. Advah says:

    Hah and only a few days ago I was commenting here about taking off my strapless bra at work because it was digging into my skin and preventing me from breathing!

    Thanks for the review! Unfortunately it’s not sold in European shops apparently but I’m adding that to my list of things to get when I next take a trip to the US. :D

  27. Shannon says:

    I’ve been using a stick-on bra for my strapless needs (NuBra is one of my favorites) because I’ve never found a strapless bra I really liked. However, the stickies don’t provide much lift at all :( But this sounds awesome! I’m totally willing to spend that much on a high-quality bra. Thanks so much for the review!!

  28. Shannon says:

    p.s. a note on cup sizes: they’re actually tied to the band size. For example, if you wear a 32 C, you can *probably* also wear a 34 B (it’s called a “sister size.”). It’s the same cup size, the band is just larger. Similarly, the cups on a 32 D are the same as a 34 C and so on. I mean, it also depends on the bra, and the manufacturer, but that’s basically how it works. So a 32 D cup is the same as a 34 C or even a 36 B cup. It’s all relative! I found that this info reeeeally helps when I’m trying on bras.
    The tough thing about being a 32 D is that I can never find my size anywhere, it seems… sigh. Even though ALL the lingerie shops I’ve talked to say it’s super duper common! I don’t get it!

    • Mireya says:

      Yes, Shannon, you’re right! I have to use this trick sometimes when I can’t find a bra I want in my size – go up one band size, down one cup size – so I am a 34H but I can get away with wearing a 36G or even a 38F sometimes (depending on how it’s made). The only problem is that, especially with larger busts, if the band is too big it won’t provide quite enough support. Still, it works in a pinch.

      • Shannon says:

        for sure. going up on band sizes can be risky. I, for example, usually can’t wear 34 Cs because the band isn’t tight enough, it starts riding up on my back… and you run into bad-fit problems. I was mostly hoping to point out that a 32 D, in that context, is fairly average. “D” and on up the alphabet have a stigma of being large-ish, but really, it totally depends!

    • Quinctia says:

      I swear, it’s a conspiracy. None of the bra-measuring guidelines from various places match up, and there are a lot of stores out there where it’s like a needle in a haystack to find anything above a C cup. I don’t know if it’s because they don’t order them, a lot of lines don’t even make them, or because everyone’s buying the few that do arrive. Based on simple ratios, I’ve seen tons of ladies who were of “normal” proportion that should probably be wearing 32D, 32DD, 30E, and the lions choice of bras in stores are 34-38, A-C cup.

      And I think a few stores/lines have a bit of a vanity sizing going on. I’ve been in the mall, in desperate need of a new bra, and had nothing in VS even fit around me, though I managed to actually find a 38DD (I’m a 36DD). On the other hand, Frederick’s stuff fit just fine. My only issue there is the distance between my underbust and armpit is too short to wear a few of their styles.

  29. Katrina says:

    I’m somewhere between a 40 DD-E. Pretty darn busty. Strapless bras? Oh heck no….but if I ever needed I’d try this one. Oddly, I’ve not had too much luck with Wacoal. My favorite favorite bra brands are Chantelle and Le Mesterie. Expensive, yeah, but they last forever and give me the support I need AND are pretty!

  30. Linda Halpern says:

    Karen, I also found the Soma strapless bra to fit wonderfully, and it is also quite comfortable. I will often wear it even when I don’t technically need to. Soma is a division of Chico’s and they have some really lovely bras.

  31. BeckBeck says:

    I’ve never worn a Wacoal – I should try them sometime, since I don’t think they’re quite as pricey as the ones I ended up in when I got fitted earlier this year. My everyday bras are by Simone Perele and Chantelle, and I couldn’t believe the difference they made in how my shirts fit when I found them. I am a 32F and I didn’t want any lifting or shaping or anything fancy – I just sort of wanted them immobilized, and these bras do it perfectly.

  32. amyc says:

    I’ll have to try this! I’m always in need of a good bra, and I am a 32D as well which can be sometimes hard to find. Although, I’m not sure if it will be my Maidenform bra!

  33. Ooooh I must have a look and see if we have it here! I hate strapless bras because I’m relatively small (32B) and I fear for my life every time I wear one because it feels like it’s going to slip down at any moment, so I tend to avoid strapless bras and/or dresses/tops that require one. NuBra (The stick on types) seem to make my silhouette look wonky, but it’s the best I can get. We do have Wacoal here, so I might have a look at it because I know I should have at least one good strapless bra I can depend on for times I really need it :P
    Stephanie/Yukaeshi recently posted … Cleanser Crisis Showdown

  34. steph says:

    I am going to have to try this! I’m a 32dd which is so hard to shop for. It’s nice to know I’m not the only thin person with big boobs! Hopefully this bra comes in my size. I hate having strapless bras slide down have the elastic dig into my skin.

  35. Amy says:

    Any bustier girls, Freya Deco Strapless is the most incredible bra ever. At a 32G, need a gravity defying strapless, and this one is perfect! Quite expensive, but I’ve got my monies worth.

  36. Brianne says:

    Don’t forget the boob tape! :D

  37. Instant Karma says:

    I am so late to the party (sorry for being so MIA as of late; moving sucks) but I will totally have to try this out. I wear a 32C and finding bras in my size — let alone strapless ones — is a pain in the bootay. I’m just excited that VS has started selling more bras in 32Cs and Ds (yeeeeah, sometimes VS vanity sizes too much and I need a D).

  38. Tania says:

    Anyone with a 40G size have luck with this? I don’t think I will ever find a strapless bra on God’s green earth that fits me…. :(

  39. Donna says:

    Ahem…. how about only $35 for this? At the Wacoal website it’s on sale! (Only the white, unfortunately, the ivory and black ones are full price.)
    https://www.wacoal-america.com/shop/last-chance/bras/embrace-lace-strapless-bra_854191.html

  40. Laura says:

    I was trying on Wacoal bras today, and I found THE only strapless bra that has ever come close to holding the girls up – I am a 36DDD. It is the Wacoal 854119 – very similar to this one, but no lace. It was $60, and I just couldn’t do it. I thought maybe I could find it online cheaper, but I haven’t been able to. Does anyone know how these two bras compare??

  41. Brenda says:

    Thanks for the recommendation!!! I’ve been looking forEVER for a strapless bra that will stay up ( nothing like the “shimmy” we’ve all done while wearing these things) and is comfortable and does actually LIFT (after 2 babies each who nursed for a year I need support like no tomorrow!)…I’ve found the best strapless in the world. My local Dillard’s had this brand and this same style 854191 and I LOVE IT!! It really gives me back the natural shape I had and is unbelievably comfortable. I never thought I’d find one this awesome but WOW IT IS!

  42. sarah says:

    Hi Karen, thanks for your post. I would like to try the bra on before buying. Is it available in Singapore to try? According to google, Nordstrom is an online store?

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