Ah, the nip slip: it happened to Britney, it happened to Janet, it happens to lots of people. Why? Well, physics. If your neckline is plunging or otherwise revealing (think looots of sideboob), if the fabric is made of silk or other synthetic blends (and thus slippery), and if you're not wearing a bra, you're vulnerable.
You don't need to hire a red carpet entourage to ensure that your nipples stay covered. Here are some great preventative measures to make sure that going-out top and the bridesmaid's dress from hell stay where they're supposed to:
PUT FAITH IN DOUBLE-STICK TAPE
But don't reach for the 3M roll you used in college to hang up posters. One brand that stylists swear by is Topstick. The medically safe, double-sided tape was originally created to hold men's hairpieces in place, and for that reason, says NYC-based wardrobe stylist Annie Semenczuk, "It works well bonding skin to any kind of fabric without damaging it." You can find a 50-piece pack of three inch strips at any beauty supply store or online. The tape also comes in rolls, which is handy when you want to customize the length of the strips.
INVEST IN NIPPLE CONCEALERS
"Top Hats are silicone nip covers, which are flesh-colored," says Gemma Slack, New York-based designer and stylist who has dressed celebrities like Elle MacPherson and Madonna. Made by Commando, Top Hats are made of medical-grade silicone, and their raised centers mimic the shape of the nipple, so they contour well against your breasts. Activated by handwashing and air drying, the stickiness on both sides of the silicone piece makes the covers cling to your nipples and your cling to the covers so that everything stays where it should.
KNOW WHERE TO PLACE THE ADHESIVE
"Placement is key," says Slack. Double-sided clothing tape like Topstick isn't intended for holding up strapless tops — it's more suitable for keeping plunging necklines from budging. "The Topstick will anchor the garment but shouldn't be fighting gravity," says Slack.
To decide where to put the tape, she recommends looking at yourself in the garment and sticking the fabric to your skin in any area where you feel it could budge or be blown sideways and expose you. For dealing with heavier garments like sequined tops or wedding gowns, Braza makes curved-shape double-stick tape, which distributes weight better than its linear counterpart.
USE SILICONE CUTLETS TO HOLD YOUR BRA IN PLACE
Also known as "chicken cutlets" due to their shape and meat-like feel, silicone cutlets are jelly cups you put in your bra to enhance the shape of your breast. If you're dealing with bra cups that feel a little loose against your breast, the jelly cups can add support and keep your breasts in place. Miss Oops! Chicken Cutlets are curved and tapered for a smoother look, increase your bust by one cup size, and they're also washable and reusable!
EMBRACE A NIP SLIP AND ACCESSORIZE IT
If you decide to embrace the inevitability of the nip slip, feel free to add a little bit of glimmer and glam to the "show." Janet Jackson's nip slip evidently normalized the nipple shield, because now you can find exact replicas online. (Just make sure to choose one that's surgical stainless steel!) You can also channel Dita Von Teese and go for nipple covers accented with fun frills like these Bordelle bow pasties.