Problematic Outfit #2 Backless

Let's continue the Problematic Outfit series with the backless dilemma. So much stress can be created when women purchase a low back or backless dress, yet still expect to wear a normal bra with it. No thought is put into what sort of undergarment they are meant to wear under a single layer silk, completely backless dress. "I want something really pretty, completely smooth. Maybe a corset or something that's backless. Oh and it must be a really good push up." Arggghhhhhh! NO! Stop there! It doesn't exist. It just doesn't. So I want you to think about these things before you fork out the $$$ for a backless designer dress (Brides, I'm talking to you).

Women hate it when I tell them what their options are when they want to wear this problem outfit. They often huff in disgust at the thought of a silicone bra and think they can find for themselves that elusive, pretty miracle bra without a back strap. Good luck is all I say... You only have a few lingerie styles to choose from and it will depend on the shape of the outfit, which one you can go for. Is it completely backless or just low back? Does the outfit have straps wide enough to cover normal bra straps or is it spaghetti strapped? Let me show you some of the options you actually have when it comes to these hard to "under-dress" outfits.

Detail back bra

The first option you can look into is the detail back bra. This is a style that you can acceptably show off under outfits and not be embarrassed about an ugly back strap. You can often find a jewel or chain detail back bra that is pretty enough to wear as an outer wear piece. You have to make sure these bras have a nice moulded cup and that the back is done up tight enough as not to ride up on the under bust. Don't let me catch you out in public like this...

Beige bra under backless top? NO!

Wrap back bra
If your outfit has straps (not spaghetti straps) and has a low back, not backless, you can opt for the wrap style bra. This garment has a long back strap, often interchangeable, that you cross over in the back and wrap to hook in the front around your belly. This bra shape can be worn with a low v or scooped back outfit. The thing to watch out for is the strap line, especially around the stomach under finer fabrics. Best worn under slightly heavier, more structured garments.

Low back extender

If you have a bra that works with an outfit but isn't low cut enough, you can always buy a low back extender. These add ons attach to the existing hook and eye and turn your normal cut bra into a wrap style. They come in assorted colours and are best worn with bras that have straps.

Low back corset

Low back corsets are an option if you feel a bra just doesn't feel secure enough. If you think you are going to get maximum tucking from one of these, think again. They are usually designed for a smooth silhouette not a full control. If you want a smooth line under a fine fabric, you don't want too much boning. Boning on the side is enough to keep things in position and help you feel more secure. Be careful of your muffin top line, as depending on where the corset finishes and how tight it sits in this section, it may create an even worse line under certain dresses. These are better for a dress that nips in at the waist and flares over the hip so you don't see the corset line where it ends. Look out for a nice firm fit with hook and eye done up on the last hook so you have room to tighten as it stretches with normal wear. These can often be worn strapless or with straps.

Low back bodysuit
Low back bodysuits create the same effect as the corset, but usually smoother. They can come with straps or convert it to be worn strapless. The only concern is the length of the bodysuit on you, as well as the cut in the rear as to not create unsightly lines. When wearing the v back bodysuit as a strapless, make sure it is a very firm fit or you will be adjusting the garment all night long. Bodysuits need to be the correct length on your torso or it can pull the underwire up or down on the bust and in turn offer no support. Look out for a cup that sits up and over the bust to create a nice smooth silhouette and fuller coverage. This helps the garment from moving too much on the torso.

Silicone Stick on bra
Silicone stick on bras are your best option for the most problematic outfits, the completely backless dress. You don't have to worry about straps of any kind, you can position them how you need and they are completely seamless. The only problem with these are they don't offer the support of a normal bra. You wont get the lift that you would with an average push up. They are more like a large nipple cover, giving more coverage and a  little more fullness to the bust. They can however be clipped in the middle to cinch the bust inwards and create a little more cleavage. It does at least give a nice smooth profile under even your finest silks. Recommended for smaller cup sizings only. A to small D. If you are fuller, it will only be a nipple cover to you and nothing more. The rule to stick on bras is to have completely clean and dry skin. Stick on bras come in a variety of shapes and fabrics. From a normal fabric cup to the silicone variety.

Nipple Covers
Nipple covers are an option when you don't want the weight of a silicone bra holding up your dancing! It's less to think about when you're out on the town and just want to cover the headlights. They smooth things out when you don't want a boost or need the support. Remember, it isn't always about cleavage.You can opt for the silicone variety for a completely nude effect or go for something fun in a detailed style.

Now there is a lot more to each of the styles I have mentioned but I'm keeping things simple here. The following photos will give you an example of the actual variety within the options I have outlined.

The photos above and below are bad inventions that you shouldn't bother trying. It may work on a firm petite bust but on most people creates a horrible shape no matter how you put them on. Most people purchase them, try for ages to position them so they look right, then give up, rip it and half the skin off in the process! I've heard such horror stories about these. Personally speaking I would never bother trying. You could do just as good a job with sticky tape (that is not what I'm recommending. Always use an adhesive that is safe on the skin).

Marlies Dekkers

Hopefully you will use this post as a guide to the styles that might work under your outfit before you purchase it. As I always say, make sure you can return your outfit if you find no lingerie that works underneath it.

Do you have a silicone or stick on bra horror story? I'd love to hear it!


  1. So where can I find the bodysuit backless bra in the top pick? :-) - I'm serious.

    1. That bodysuit I think was the Ultimo one that was on ASOS.
      Ultimo A-D Miracle Solutions Backless Bodysuit With Removable Gel Padding it was called. It is currently sold out.... Though let's see if they re-stock soon.


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