Idk about you, but I’ve got a love-hate relationship with bras—at least when we’re talking about the stiff underwire ones, that is (gimme all the comfy bras!). While I love to let the girls free at home, I hate going in public without a real bra on. (See? Love-hate.) And because I prefer not to go braless, I always pass on all the cute backless, plunging, or cutout dresses and tend to stick with the same old silhouettes over and over again.
Bra top dress
If you also adore complicated, strappy dresses, but need a bra or some sort of coverage to feel comfortable, join the club. With the right bra, we, too, can wear those asymmetrical dresses with all the slits and ties and not be stressed about popping out of ‘em. (!) Got your eye on a couple of dress options? Take the risk and go with the jaw-dropping, fun one—just make sure to get one of these types of bras to go with it.
For a strapless or spaghetti strap dress
A strapless bra, bodysuit, or bustier. A strapless bra is an obvious choice if you don’t want your straps to show, but if you’re larger than a C-cup, try a bodysuit. These full-body bras for strapless dresses will prevent the band from sliding down and offer the kind of support you usually can only find in a bra with straps—super important if you’re gonna be wearing it allll day. But if you’re worried about the going-to-the-bathroom sitch, opt for a longline silhouette or bustier instead that has boning and silicone to keep it up.
For a low-back or backless dress
A sticky bra. Strapless and backless adhesive bras that connect in the middle work especially well to provide coverage and a little lift when you can’t have a band in the back. Sometimes these bras for backless dresses can be a little fuller coverage, especially if they have adhesive side wings, so they probs work the best if the open-back dress has a higher neckline and doesn’t show a ton of side boob. And if you like a little cleavage and have a dress with a bit of a lower neckline, go with a lace-up version, which allows you to adjust the drawstring in between the cups to push ’em together.
For a plunging neckline dress
A plunge bra or boob tape. Plunge bras are perfect for low-cut dresses—even necklines that extend below your sternum are no match for bras like these that have a deep “U” shape between the cups. And if all else fails, there’s always boob tape. With thick tape like this, you can customize your “bra” any way that you want, but it’s especially perfect for maintaining lift in low-cut dresses that cover your shoulders, and yup, it even works on larger chests. Just make sure to spot-test before committing for the night, and protect your nips from the strong adhesive by placing a circle of tissue between it and the tape.
For a strappy dress with cutouts
Adhesive nipple covers and lifting tape. Take all the good things we said about boob tape and condense it down into a smaller version when you’re workin’ with less fabric and showing way more skin. Dresses with lots of slits, holes, cutouts, and straps make bras near impossible, but adhesive nipple covers and boob-shaped lifting tape that you can trim down to fit the shape of your dress are game-changers.
For a low-cut and low-back dress
Nipple petals. Sometimes all you want is to prevent a nip slip, in which case breast petals will make you feel covered even in the most revealing of dresses. The most minimal of low-back bras, pasties are also painless to take off (i.e., they’re sticky enough to stay on, but won’t leave any red marks) and usually sweat-resistant, so they won’t budge even if they get wet.