Yes, You Can Wear A Backless Dress With Big Boobs — Here’s How
Backless or bust.
My dressing room saga is an ongoing conflict between dresses I’d love to wear and my size 36DD boobs. Here’s the thing — I love being well-endowed, but I also love experimenting with trending dress silhouettes.
Shopping for backless dresses with big boobs can be difficult, especially when it feels like going braless isn’t an option. Do you go backless or bust? As a self-proclaimed big chest expert, I’m thrilled to report that you can, in fact, do both.
Over the years, I’ve tested nearly every breast-supporting mechanism on the market — from boob tape to built-in cups — and have determined the very best solutions. Gone are the days of sticky boobs that slide off on the dance floor and painful halter necklines — bra innovation has, thankfully, come a long way.
When determining the best option for keeping the gals in place, always prioritize comfort. If you feel great in no bra, then that’s the best option for you! If you feel more confident with extra support, you may want to try a fashionably exposed strap.
According to Jiayi Lyu, the founder and CEO of the bra company Understance, you can’t really get the support you need without a bra. “It is impossible to get full support if you take away bands, straps, or cups because fuller busts require more structure to lift and keep in place,” she tells Bustle.
That being said, there are plenty of alternatives that come in at a close second. From boob glue to bodysuits, keep reading for the best tried-and-tested ways to wear a backless dress — even with big boobs.
I usually wear some form of shapewear under a dress, especially in the summer when heat results in unwanted chaffing. In my search for the best styles, I recently discovered low-back bodysuits — the one-and-done solution for all my wardrobe problems.
Shapewear bodysuits tend to be comfortable, smoothing, and undetectable under dresses. This simple style from Amazon gets excellent reviews and costs less than $25.
Allow Me To Introduce: Boob Glue
When I first discovered Bosom Couture boob glue I thought the product was too good to be true. As it turns out, this roll-on adhesive is the ultimate trick for keeping everything in place, because it sticks directly to fabric without damaging it.
If you’re trying to keep a plunging neckline or halter top in place, this is the product to do it. If you have a large cup size, you won’t get much lift from the product, but it will effectively keep your boobs secure.
There are dozens of five-star reviews on Amazon praising this “game changer” for braless situations. The strength of the adhesive holds lighter fabrics best and is a great option for hot summer months. It washes off skin easily with soap and water and leaves no residue on clothing.
Try A Backless Bra
It may seem obvious, but sometimes all you need for a backless dress is a backless bra (yes, that exists). A backless bra is exactly what it sounds like — with padded bra cups and a silicone adhesive that sticks to your sides for support. It’s like a sticky boobs/underwire hybrid.
Most backless bras are strapless, but I love this Fashion Forms design because it comes with a removable halter strap for added lift and a plunging neckline to accommodate the lowest of necklines.
Tape ’Em Up
When SKIMS launched back in 2019, body tape was one of the first products they sold. Kim Kardashian swore by the peel-and-stick tape as her trick to rocking a no-bra look. I was a curious consumer and immediately purchased the product. Naturally, Kim Kardashian was correct.
Skims no longer sells the tape but luckily, boob tape is now a common product on the market. I love Nippies Breast Lift Tape, which comes in five different shades. Simply cut your desired amount of tape, peel off the backing, and stick it on your desired location. It provides a comfortable lift that’s customizable to fit any garment.
Take It To The Tailor
If I’m being honest, I avoided having my problem garments tailored for years. It seemed like an inconvenient, unnecessary expense. Eventually, I realized I was neglecting pieces in my closet because they didn’t fit right and having them tailored would actually increase the return on my initial investment (fashion girl math).
A professional tailor can sew in underwire, boning, or cups, add fabric to accommodate your regular bra, or adjust the dress so you don’t need to wear one at all. This is a solution with longevity and since it doesn’t require you to purchase a new product, it’s one of the most environmentally friendly options on this list. It’s well worth the money.
Pasties, All The Way
Nipple pasties are one of the simplest ways to get a little extra coverage when you don’t want to wear a bra. They come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors — the colorful ones can even double as an outfit accessory under mesh or crochet tops (or nothing at all).
If your goal is to create a smoother appearance under a top or dress, I’d recommend sticking to the classic, skin-tone pasties. Most pasties are only good for one use, which is why I like buying them in larger packs from Amazon — this option includes 40 pairs for $13 and has over 1,000 five-star reviews.
Sick-Ons — AKA: Chicken Cutlets
Sticky boobs, sometimes jokingly referred to as “chicken cutlets,” are arguably one of the best fashion innovations of our time — they’re relatively supportive, comfortable, and provide shape.
Most are affordable, some are reusable, and if you buy a good pair, they’ll stay stuck even through the sweatiest night of dancing. Since there are so many different styles and brands, it’s important to find a reliable option, to avoid leaving the event with your sticky boobs in your purse (been there, done that).
I’ve found the most success with styles that are available in cup sizes, like this pair, which has great reviews on Amazon. One customer said: “I wore these from 7am to midnight with a satin slip dress and they stayed on all day!” Generally, I recommend sizing up when possible for more coverage, because in my experience, most sticky boobs run small.
Show Your Straps
This may be a controversial opinion, but I think showing your bra straps can actually enhance an outfit when done right. At the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, for example, the look was all the rage. Celebrities like Sydney Sweeney and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley proved an exposed bra is a glamorous choice.
The key to nailing this look is all in the texture and fit. Choose a lace or silk style to add dimension to your outfit or wear a balconette style for a romantic, vintage feel.
Don’t Sleep On Low-Back Bras
I can’t believe I didn’t invest in a low-back bra sooner. This style will provide the support of traditional underwire while appearing totally backless. A low-back bra typically has a longline band that will extend down the front of your ribcage, while a thin strap connects and reaches low around your back.
From push-up to seamless, there are many iterations of low-back bras, which makes it easy to tailor your choice to your outfit and comfort level. If you’re trying a low-back bra for the first time, I recommend getting one with convertible straps so you can get the full impact.
Sometimes the best way to wear a backless dress is to match that energy and go braless. If a dress has a thicker fabric or a form-fitting silhouette, you’re already set up for braless success. These styles inherently supply more structure, which helps to keep your boobs in place when you’re not wearing a bra.
If you’re game to go braless, I recommend looking for dresses with patterns (a floral one will do just fine!). A pattern can create an optical illusion of lift and make the outline of your boobs less evident. The entire point of going braless is to make you feel more comfortable — it doesn’t have to feel overly revealing.
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