How to Wear a Dress Without a Bra

Tips for Strapless, One-Shoulder, and Low-Back Formal Dresses

You've found the perfect dress. It looks awesome on the mannequin. You've even seen your favorite celeb rock a similar style on the red carpet. So you try it on and it looks super flattering until you get to your chest and shoulder area and discover your bra is totally visible underneath your armpit, your bra straps are showing, or, it's so low in the back there's no way you can wear a bra at all.

Some girls can go bra-less (though you'll still need something to cover your breasts), while others need some kind of cup support. Whatever your situation, here are the best ways to wear a dress without a bra and look your best.

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Sew Bra Cups Into Your Dress

Designer making adjustments to wedding gown
Michael Blann / Getty Images

If you use an experienced tailor, he or she will have no trouble sewing a support system, bra cups, or extra lining right into your dress. I had this done for my junior cotillion dress, and I didn't have to worry about a thing all night. You can also cut the cups out of a cheap bra and sew them directly into your dress yourself if you're particularly handy with a needle and thread, and want to save both time and money.

Stick-on silicone bras are perfect for backless dresses. They literally adhere to your breasts and give them a subtle lift as well as a little protection. 

A body shaper can smooth out any pudgy or problem spots you have, while still giving your breasts the support they need. They can be great for low cut or backless dresses, and come in all shapes and sizes, from full thigh and back coverage to more minimal coverage like this one. They're most readily available in black, white, or beige.

Yes, a woman probably came up with this idea, but you can just buy the bra cup. They stick onto your skin underneath each breast, giving your check a lift while providing support. These are great for girls who are a B-cup and above.

Breast petals are nude colored stickers in the shape of a flower that fit right over your nipples. If you're going completely braless, be sure to wear a bra petal. They'll prevent your nipples from making any unwanted appearances underneath your fabric if it gets cold, or if the flash of a camera suddenly makes your dress completely see-through. I've seen that happen to celebs on red carpets and it is not a pretty sight.

A staple for many celebs and stylists, Hollywood Fashion Tape is skin-safe, double-sided tape that will fasten your fabric directly to your skin, effectively preventing any unwanted slippage or accidents. You can use fashion tape to secure the front part of a strapless dress, a plunging V-neck, or a thin bra strap to a thin dress strap.

It Stays Body Adhesive can be spread all over your breasts, and it literally secures your chest to your outfit. Don't be afraid to use this product, it's a gentle adhesive that's skin and fabric safe.

Strapless bras have evolved because they've needed to as necklines have plunged deeper and deeper. Today, there are deep-plunge strapless bras that give you support but aren't visible in-between your breasts. They're perfect for low-cut dresses. One caveat is that they may still be visible in the back.

A corset may sound old-fashioned, but they've been around for years for a reason. Corsets will suck everything in and give your breasts a lift, which can be flattering and supportive.

If your dress has a low back, maybe all you need is a bra back converter. These handy things pull the back of your bra down so it's not visible, but you still get the cup support and breast lift in front.