I've never really got on with backless dresses. This is purely because I'm unable to go completely sans bra. If I could, I would, and more power to those with a fuller bust who feel confident enough to do so, but I'd end up feeling more exposed than if I wore a bikini on the tube. However, thanks to the likes of Topshop's sellout Austin frock, with its cutout back (plus the numerous slip dresses around right now), I very much want to wear something backless. There's just one hitch: How do I find the best bra for this kind of dress that gives me the support I need?
While other lingerie issues such as the classic VPL or a black bra under a white tee are easily resolved (seamless knickers and a nude-coloured bra, respectively), the backless dress requires a little more thought. Thankfully, there are plenty of options. I got intel from the likes of Net-a-Porter, Figleaves, Marks and Spencer and Amazon on which bras are the best sellers for backless dresses. I also spoke to founder of the award-winning The Pantry Underwear shop, Eloise Rusted, who told me what I need to know when shopping for this tricky piece of lingerie, assuring me that she doesn't "recommend any solutions that we haven't rigorously tested ourselves, as we mostly recommend them to brides who will have to wear them all day and all night."
So what are the ultimate tips for finding a bra that works for a backless dress?
1. Avoid converter straps (the ones that attach to existing bra straps), as they "create a prominent line across the hips and stomach at the front," warns Eloise.
2. Stick-on bras are tricky, as they are usually unable to mimic the look of a real bra "we have yet to find stick-on bras that actually lift and remain secure for a long period of time. The most unreliable are the ones with the wings at the side that stick silicone or foam cups across your breasts at their natural height, which, in itself, looks a bit odd."
3. Low-backed bras are great if you need more support.
4. A bra might not be the only option. Eloise recommends a low-back body or a basque which will offer some additional support and give you a true backless style.
5. If you do go for an adhesive solution, make sure it lifts your natural breast. Eloise recommends only one: By Wishes Braless Life Solution (£26). "It offers all-day support, and the greatest aspect is that it lifts your natural breast tissue to the height, as though you are wearing a bra, stops movement and creates the shape you want."
Now keep scrolling for Eloise's recommendations, plus the best-selling bras for backless dresses from Net-a-Porter, Figleaves, Marks and Spencer and Amazon.
Net-a-Porter's best-selling backless bras come from Fashion Forms. The luxury online retailer continues to see a demand for this brand and even added four new styles to the range this year. The brand's most popular style are these gel petals, which can be worn up to 25 times.