I started and stopped this blog so many times because, frankly, this is tricky territory. So few of the bras that fit this description are suited for real life, but since real women (like us) have occasions to wear them, they are sometimes a necessity. This post came about as many of mine do—as the result of a special request. In a recent chat with some girlfriends, the subject these bras came up, and everyone groaned. My sister had just bought a cute, casual dress online, not realizing that it was backless and shaped in a way that also made straps completely out of the question, and so arose the problem of what to wear underneath. Nothing isn’t an option, after a certain age, and above a certain modesty level, and definitely not if you are blessed in that department, so I promised that I would come up with a list of the best, real-life solutions.
You can find all of my picks in this category, as well as other bras, sleepwear, and shapewear in my Lingerie Catalog.
Here, my picks for the best of the trickiest:
Sure, they are backless and strapless and adhesive, to a point, but they are not for the faint of heart. These work, and quite well, but some of these styles offer minimal support and are best worn with snug dresses for a relatively tame night—out to dinner, perhaps. Not for a night in the mosh pit. (Sorry to spoil the fun!) Adhesive bras have been perfected the last couple of years, however, and have come a long way in terms of comfort and support.
These have come quite a long way from the “prom bra” you might have worn under your Gunne Sax back in the day. Contemporary styles are sleeker and chicer, and super-supportive for women with larger busts. And true to their origin as corsets, they have the added benefit of whittling your waist.
Note: These are low-backed, not backless, which kind of negates my title, but there you have it. Unless it’s sticky, it’s not going to stay on without a back.
Detachable straps can be worn however you like, but I think convertible bras are an urban legend. I’ve never heard of any woman who actually takes the time to figure out all of those straps. Some of these extend to just above your belly button, while others, called longline bras, are only a little longer than a conventional bra. One caveat: Depending on where these hit you on the waist, they might push out any belly fat you have, making tummy taming shapewear a must.
Note: As with regular bustiers, these are not backless, but they do have low backs.
I hope these ideas for strapless (and sometimes backless) bras help you find the perfect style for your next special occasion. And again, to see all of my picks in the intimates-and-sleepwear category, check out my catalog.