The best bras to wear under backless, strapless, and other tricky tops
Finding a bra to wear underneath a diaphanous, sheer top is no easy feat! Not only does it need to be opaque enough to provide adequate nipple coverage; it needs to be delicate enough to avoid being completely obvious underneath that fine fabric. Try Maidenform’s Comfort Devotion Extra Coverage Bra, $35, for a smooth, lightly lined silhouette that won’t overwhelm.
Fall’s fine-gauge sweaters are great transition and layering pieces, and finding the perfect bra that’ll boost and smooth your silhouette is key. For larger-busted ladies—up to a K-cup!—we love this Bravissimo “Dotty” Spot Bra, $47, which gives big boobs a super-uplifted 1950s-ish look.
Tank tops are probably the ultimate throw-on-and-go summer layering staple—so why ruin their versatility with a fiddly strapless contraption? Our top tip: Try a tank top with a bra already built in. We love this Victoria’s Secret Wide-Strap Cami, $30, which comes in eight fun colors. And larger-busted ladies should definitely check out Bravissimo’s Lightly Padded Underwired Strappy Top, $55, which provides great support in cup sizes up to H!
Backless bodices are basically off-limits for anyone bigger than a C-cup (or who doesn’t have a gravity-defying bosom), but that doesn’t mean that ladies who opt for this daring look don’t need support! Try a pretty adhesive bra like Fashion Forms’ Lace Underwire, $36, available in up to a D-cup or, for more support,Jezebel’s “Caress” Push-Up Bustier, $50, a long-line bra that has a plunging back view.
While you may be tempted to throw on any old bra underneath that boxy top, you’d be surprised at how much the right undergarment can transform a shapeless silhouette! Frederick’s of Hollywood makes some of the best boob-boosting and smoothing bras around. For a little stealth sexiness underneath any top, we like the company’s Va-va-voom Satin Full-Figure Bra, $38, which gives a great uplifted rounded shape.
Push-up bras are a no-brainer when you want to turn up the heat. If you’re blessed with a bigger chest and are looking for a bra that will give you gorgeous cleavage, try Polish brand Kris Line. Available in up to an H-cup, Kris Line bras lift and center bigger boobs in a way we’ve never seen! Look for a balconette style like this “Harriet” Bra, $32, for a little extra oomph.
We love the flattering shape of a halter top, but we understand that strapless bras aren’t everyone’s fave. Instead, try this Nine-Way Convertible Bra Kit, $39, from Frederick’s of Hollywood, which includes instructions on how to maneuver the straps to suit any top—including a crisscross halter look!
The humble T-shirt might be one of the most bra-challenging tops around. For a smoothing, casual, inconspicuous-yet-flattering look, we love Spanx’s Bra-llelujah Soft-Touch Underwire Contour Bra, $68, which provides full coverage in up to a D-cup, back-fat-smoothing magic, and is comfy enough to wear every day!
Love that halter dress, tube top, or backless blouse but can't figure out which bra to wear underneath? Keeping the girls covered in those sometimes tricky outfits has never been easier.
Check out our cheat sheet for picking the right bra for every type of top.