As much as we love swapping tips and tricks to solve our biggest fashion and beauty dilemmas, there are some questions we may not feel comfortable asking our friends about, let alone Google without going incognito. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. In this series, we’re tackling those embarrassing queries by turning to experts in the field to get you the answers you need — minus any awkward feelings.

Nobody likes a wardrobe malfunction. Especially when we’re not even trying to be risque. We want our jeans to fit just right in the frontand in the back, our button-downs sans gape, and we’d like to completely avoid the dreaded VPL at all costs. In this installment of AFAF, we’re talking about how to keep your nips from showing through your shirt causing unwanted attention and embarrassment. Because once we finally shed our winter layers, we’d still like our nips to stay covered, TYVM.

How do I keep my nipples from showing?

So how do we address this fashion faux pas in a world that both rejects *and* accepts the visible nipple? “Nipple coverage is ultimately a personal preference,” says Jaclyn Fu, co-founder of Pepper, an undergarment company designed specifically for women with small boobs. Whether big breasted or small chested, we all have nipples and sometimes it seems like they have a mind of their own. There are two main solutions to keep your perky pair from stealing the show.

The first is padding. “Unlined bras are the most challenging because there are no extra layers so nips are more likely to show through,” says Angie Kornas, founder of Honey Cloudz, a company that creates size-inclusive bra inserts. “Lined bras are a good first level of protection.” If you’re already packing the padding, you can add an additional insert to your undergarment to help keep you covered (we have some options below). But if you’re not used to wearing padded bras, opt for lighter weight styles and inserts that hug the breast and blend seamlessly into the contours of your body.


What if I want to go braless?

Wearing really sheer shirts and going braless altogether has become increasingly acceptable — even trendy — since the Free The Nipple movement of the 1970s regained popularity in recent years. “Breasts have been over-sexualized for too long and it’s great seeing trends today that empower women to take control of how they present their body,” explains Fu.

For the outfits that you ditch your bra for (sheer or not), there are tricks to disguising nipples. “My best hack is if you don’t have a nipple cover just laying around you can use regular, medical, or silicone tape and criss-cross it over your nipples,” says Brooklyn-based stylist Joiee Thorpe. “Lay the two pieces very flat so they don’t show — smoother tape will work better. You can even take a strip of tape, start it from under your breast and pull the strip up to the clavicle. This will both cover and give a little breast lift.”

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(Photo via Getty; Illustrations by Casey Callahan)

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