Backless bras, backless strapless bras, low-back bras, self-adhesive or sticky boobs: The options are so overwhelming, how can you find the best strapless (or backless, or lifting, or — well, you get the drill) bra for you? It’s no wonder that many of us have given up hope on finding a the ideal specialty bra that can actually hold up our girls without needing extreme weather Duct Tape. Especially if you’re post-breastfeeding and are done with your nursing bras, you might think that you’re destined to wear matronly tops and dresses for the rest of eternity. Heck, you might not even know where to get backless bras anymore. But we’re here to say you can still enjoy plenty of fashion moments just like you did before — and we’ve got the undergarments to prove it.
You might not be hitting up the clubs like you did in your college days, but there are still reasonable excuses to wear a backless bra—hello weddings, graduations, anniversaries, girls getaways (you get it). For one, most formal gowns cry out for a backless bra—so the next time your friend asks you to be a bridesmaid or you have to attend another dreaded black-tie affair, you’ll be glad you have the perfect undergarment to keep yourself lifted under cover.
Since finding a quality backless bra that lives up to its hype can feel like mission impossible, we went digging for the best bras that are not only backless, but are comfortable to wear for a long night out and actually stay put (even with a nagging toddler trying to pull your top down). Below, find our top picks plus some helpful tips from a bra expert.
What To Look For In A Backless Bra:
We’ll be honest: Finding the right backless bra isn’t the easiest task. There are a ton of different styles all designed to appear hidden under that little black dress or super low halter top without causing you discomfort or adding back rolls or sad side boob— or all of the above. That’s why Jessica Pfister, VP of Le Mystere, says the most important quality in a backless bra is without-a-doubt support. “If the bra is an adhesive backless, it needs to support and stay in place,” she says.
But, support doesn’t look the same for every single gal. For example, an adhesive type of backless tends to be most useful for smaller busts. “If you are a full busted size D or larger, and the outfit allows, I would definitely recommend a convertible low back bra as opposed to an adhesive bra.” This way, she explains, you’ll get the shaping and support needed to carry the weight of your bust.
Best Backless Bras For Large Busts
Stickies and strapless bras are not for everyone, so if you’re one of the many who can never seem to find a truly supportive bra that gives you enough lift, separation and coverage, this is your backless babe. It’s a regular bra (i.e. support) with a super low back. This silhouette is low enough for most “backless” tops and dresses, and supports from the waist, so you won’t get weighed down by adhesives. The molded contour cups with underwire are light and breathable and go all the way up to size F (yes, size F!). You’ll even get a set of detachable clear shoulder straps just in case.
This low-cut backless bra gives support where it’s needed while showing as little as possible (which is next to nothing). The demi cup is designed to cover only half the breast with a push-up style pattern that gives you a nice lift. The best part? It’s ultra plunging in the front too, which allows for low-cut dresses (think sweetheart) and summer tops. Since it’s a convertible bra, you can wear it in a variety of different ways, but the demi coverage is always flattering. It’s a great cut for size B-DD while not being “full” coverage.
Best Bras For Backless Shirts
Full disclosure: This bra might not hold up for larger busts, but if you’re in the small-to-medium range, this thing will become your new best friend—and not only for those backless outfits. It’s an adhesive bra that’s super sticky (and not in a gross kind of way). It stays put without any side bulge or pesky strap lines. It comes in handy for strapless outfits as well as shirts or gowns with sexy side cutouts that you, mama, really can wear! Tip: Keep this puppy in its case to make sure the stickiness lasts. After each use, wash by hand with soap and water, air dry, then store for next time.
This self-adhesive backless bra has a unique U-shape design that not only holds your girls in place, but gives you a bustier, fuller look. How? It secures on the side via adhesive wings made from a super sticky, skin-friendly silicone material and has a bustier-like front that pushes your chest upwards. It’s made to be reused several times—and even washed, which is a huge plus. At under $20, buyers are pleasantly impressed with its lifting ability. It comes in size B, C, or D and you can pick the color closest to your skin for a true nude.
We know what you’re thinking—that there is no way these flappies are going to make your boobs look like the 20-something-year-old’s in the pictures. Will yours look different? Probably—but they’ll also be lifted and will look amazing in that daring backless outfit you thought would be hard to pull off. The secret to this bra’s success lies in its lace-up front closure (the pull of the strings give you the lift). It is adjustable and designed to boost cleavage without pulling you down. Just make sure you apply to clean dry skin (no just-coming-out-of-the-shower bs, no powder, no moisturizer or deodorant where the adhesive needs to live).
Best Strapless Backless Silicone Adhesive Adhesive Bras
The texture of these are so similar to your actual skin to the point that it’s a little freaky, but on the flipside it has the ability to make it look like you’re pulling the no-bra look under your backless outfit (how daring of you!). Think of it like a high-quality pastie that covers more than just your nipple (amen) and actually gives you some realistic-looking lift. How to: You scoop each breast into place and then use the adhesive bra cup as your support system. It’s reusable, up to 20 wears, which is just enough given its reasonable price tag.
These adhesive nipple covers might be small (they’re just 4 inches in diameter), but they put in some serious work, especially on a hot humid day when the last thing you want is a heavy, wet bra sticking to your body. These are not much less about support than they are about coverage, so you may want to reserve them for a dress or an outfit that has some hemmed-in lifting ability. Choose your closest skin tone (creme? caramel? coco?) and then smooth them over nips for full coverage. Under that strapless dress that doesn’t need lift but needs something-something— this is that something.
Okay, so it’s not silicone, but it is sticky. When all else fails (we mean ALL), opt for the red-carpet method of keeping boobs perky-looking and put in place: boob tape! This brand is beloved for its durability—it’s made from a fabric that’s 95 percent cotton and 5 percent spandex, so it’s stretchy and breathable too. It’s also waterproof and medical-grade adhesive, meaning it promises to hold up on those hot and humid days (or during those steamy-sweaty nights). You don’t have to be choosy with sizing—it’s one-size-fits-all, from A cups to DD cups. The length you get with one purchase is 16.4 feet (2 inches wide) so it should last you at least a dozen wears. Bonus: It comes with nipple covers, too, so the actual tape doesn’t touch your nipples, those are protected yet still lifted along with everything else.