When you want to make a bold statement, it’s hard to top a show-stopping backless dress. But wearing a frock that exposes your back isn’t without its challenges — namely, how to wear a bra without the straps peeking out. You don’t have to forgo coverage and support just because you’re showing off your back –with creative undergarments, you can still get a little lift without ruining the lines of your daring dress.
Wrap Around, Convertible Bra
Depending on the type of sleeves or straps that your backless dress has, a wrap-around convertible bra can offer effective support without any straps showing. The bra’s shoulder straps and back band are both adjustable, so you can move them in a variety of positions to fit the lines of your dress. With a backless style, you can wrap the back band low around your waist so no straps are visible.This type of convertible bra offers the most support under a backless dress and is an ideal option if you have a large chest.
If your dress is so low in the back that even a convertible bra may be visible but you still need support for your bust, you may need to make adjustments to the dress itself. Have a seamstress sew bra cups into the front of your dress to give the dress support for your breasts without ruining the backless effect. Go this route for a backless wedding gown or other special occasion dress. If you are handy with a needle and thread, you may even be able to sew the cups in yourself. Usually, sewn-in cups work best if you are a C-cup or smaller.
If you have a small-to-medium-size chest, a stick-on bra can work well under a backless dress. As the name implies, these bras have adhesive so they stick to the skin and do not require a strap across your back. They’re usually made of silicone, but opt for a thin, lightweight style so you don’t have to worry about it sagging under your dress. While a stick-on bra helps keep your breasts covered under your dress and can create flattering cleavage, they don’t provide much support — if you’re a C-cup or larger, this may not be the best option.
If you have small chest and are more concerned about coverage than support, opt for pasties. Also known as petals, they are usually made of silicone and are adhesive like stick-on bras, but they only cover the nipples. Choose an option that uses medical-grade adhesive, so the pasties can actually help lift your breasts a bit and keep them in place. Because they offer very little in the way of support, pasties usually work best if you’re smaller than a C-cup.
References and ResourcesCosmopolitan: Bras for Hard-to-Wear Dresses
The Bra Book: The Fashion Formula to Finding the Perfect Bra; Jene' Luciani