If Kim, Kendall and Kylie can do it, so can you — go braless, that is. Summer is a time for backless dresses, jaw-dropping cutouts and daringly low-plunge necklines, but these swoon-worthy warm-weather style staples aren’t exactly bra friendly. Whether you’re a fabulous full-figured lady or a sassy smaller-boobed babe, you don’t have to have a stylist on speed dial to pull off these celeb-approved pieces. Keep reading for seven tips for ditching that over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder and pulling off these tricky tops and dresses like a pro.
For an Open Back
1. Genuine People Open Back Tank ($118): Wanna know the quickest way to put a damper on a top or dress that’s all about the party in the back? Pair it with an everyday bra. Luckily, backless silhouettes are fairly easy to navigate when it comes to going braless, especially when balanced out by a not-so-revealing neckline. Girls with smaller busts can likely get away with rockin’ nothing but a pair of pasties, but if you’re in need of a solution that provides actual support, a stick-on or adhesive bra, like the Invisibra Deidra Stick-On Bra ($43), is your best bet. They’ll provide you with the coverage you need and a bit of support without a tacky strap showing in the back. Breast lift tape will also work like a charm.
For a Plunge Neckline
2. Reformation Seville Top ($98): Avoid wardrobe malfunctions this summer when you strut your stuff in an OMG-worthy plunge crop top, like this tie-front stunner, by enlisting the help of good ol’ athletic tape. Start by popping on a pair of pasties, like Nippies Skin Adhesive Covers ($24), or even shaped foam cups, depending on how much fabric you have to work with. To add lift, hold breasts in place to create the look you want. Then place the tape low on the breast, pull upwards and secure on the chest. For an extra busty look, take an additional piece of tape or two and secure next to the breast, then pull up and across the breast to lift. Smooth out gaps in fabric and keep clothes in place with double-sided tape, like Inner Mate Garment & Body Adhesive ($18) or body glue, which washes off clothing with water or wet wipes. Simple breast lift tape will work too — just make sure your top is able to cover it completely.
For Tops With Serious Side Boob
3. Out from Under All Muscle Bodysuit ($29): When it comes to bodysuits, tops and dresses with sassy side boob, like this striped number, garment tape, body glue (like Yofi Stick It Body Adhesive [$12]) and pasties are your best friends if you’re not diggin’ the idea of a bandeau. Stick with fitted silhouettes to keep the girls in place, and secure clothing with glue or tape. If you’re really worried about a potential fashion fiasco, you can use tape, applied in a crisscross or crosshatch fashion, to lift and hold breasts in place. Just make sure to keep tape far enough away from the cutouts so your styling trick stays on the DL.
For an Open Back, Low-Cut Sides and a Plunging Neckline
4. Free People Easy on the Eyes Jumpsuit ($340): This sweet one-piece is anything but drama-free with its open back and revealing side and front cutouts. So what’s a girl to do? Obviously classic, strapless and even stick-on backless bras are out of the question. If you’re looking to keep the girls covered, Bring It Up Breast Shapers ($35) or a similar product are a pretty good bet. In addition to providing a smoothing effect under clothes, they also offer lift and support (they’re even available up to size DDD!), plus they can be adjusted to create cleavage in case you’re ready to embrace your inner Kardashian.
For a Daring Blazer Look
5. Mango Oversized Gilet ($120): While you could attempt Kim Kardashian’s gaffer tape trick, we don’t recommend it — especially if you have sensitive skin. You can, however, use surgical or athletic tape (note: These work best under thicker or non-see-through clothing) to create a similar effect. Start tape under the breast, follow the curve around the outside and pull up to secure on the chest or shoulder. Continue placing pieces of tape until the breast is secure, working your way toward the center of the breast. To cover your nipples, use pasties instead of tape to avoid an uncomfortable experience later on in the evening (ouch!). Another option? Breast lift tape. Just make sure to place it carefully to avoid tape from peeking out from under your top. Before heading out the door, secure with double-sided tape to hold the blazer in place.
For a Cutout Crisscross Neckline
6. Mara Hoffman Cross Front Mini Dress ($286): What makes this tropical frock so tricky? That cute midriff-bearing cutout. Working with a strapless neckline is typically easy, but this peek-a-boo detailing is another story entirely. The best way to approach the conundrum is to enlist the help of your trusty breast lift tape, applying as usual to keep the girls perfectly in place. If you don’t have breast lift tape on hand, you can use surgical or athletic tape. Cut pieces to the shape of breast lift tape, and apply to the breast in a similar fashion. Because this dress features a halter neckline, avoid positioning the tape too high. In either case, use double-sided tape or fashion tape to keep the edge of the fabric from moving.
For an Asymmetric Neckline
7. Express One Shoulder Belted Asymmetrical Maxi Dress ($70): With an asymmetric dress, you have quite a few options. Bring It Up Breast Shapers ($35), adhesive bras and even a classic strapless option like Victoria’s Secret Sexy Nothings Strapless Bra ($50) would work just fine here. If none of these options are available to you, you can use tape instead. Start by placing two strips of tape vertically on both sides of your body, right next to each breast, and one strip underneath your breasts (attached to the side of each breast, as far as possible, given the cut of your dress), pulling them together and up. Cover nipples with pasties, and then proceed to place another strip of tape horizontally across the lower part of your breasts (securing each end at the side of the body where the first two pieces of tape are), to provide lift and support. An additional piece of tape can be added for extra reinforcement and support.
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