Thursday, August 8

Let's Talk About Backless Dresses and Undergarments

After I posted photos wearing this dress and this dress and Jeremy posted his video, I got a lot of emails from women wondering what I do for, um, support when wearing a backless dress.  The emails usually start out something like, "I know this is personal and kinda awkward..." so I thought we could just talk about it and not worry about it being awkward at all.

I realize some gals are just built in a way that they don't have to worry about bras with these kinds of dresses.  I am not.  I really do LOVE the way a backless dress looks, so I went ahead and got my first one, and decided I would just find a way to overcome this obstacle.  Sticky bras are an option.  I'm lazy though, and if my clothes aren't convenient, I won't end up wearing them.  I need to be able to throw something on and go.  Here's my solution:

Reaaaaallllll classy, right?  I just chopped up some bras and handstitched them in.  It doesn't matter how good your stitches look or how ratty your bras are, it only matters that you don't poke your stitches through the front of the dress, and your bra gets stitched in straight.  I used a LOT of pins when sewing because my first go around ended in a very crooked chest.  That doesn't really look good on anyone.  ;)

So, now you know.  Go out there and buy all the backless dresses your heart desires.  ;)))


102 comments:

  1. This is such an awesome idea! I never thought of that... I have stayed away from so many backless dresses because I simply CANNOT do without a bra! I feel inspired to get a backless dress now...

    Thanks so much for sharing this! You don't know how enlightened I feel right now...

    Christen
    http://christenlouise.blogspot.com

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  2. You are the cutest! Seriously, great advice though. I definitely cannot go bra-less, and this is a genius solution. Thanks girly!

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  3. Such a good idea! I would never have thought of that. xx
    www.rosesjaunes.blogspot.co.uk

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  4. This is genius! Thank you, you have opened up a whole new wardrobe option for me! A great way of getting use out of bras with uncomfy backs or straps!

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  5. oh my gosh i loved you already and adore you so much more after this! your post seriously made me laugh! it's ingenious though! very smart. i'll have to do that.

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  6. I was actually just wondering that today! Ha! Thanks for sharing your secret! I was standing behind you in line for the Bonlook booth and your dress looked perfect! :) I better try this out on my backless dresses!

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  7. Love this! Love all the backless dresses you have and was definitely in the head scratching majority wondering how you make it look so effortless. This is a super smart solution! Going to get my paws on some backless dresses and get to stitchin' asap :) Thanks for the tip!

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  8. This exact question had been going through my mind when I saw that beautiful blue dress! Brilliant. I'm doing this ASAP. :)

    Lyric
    lyricalbits.blogspot.com

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  9. That is genius. I'm totally going to do that! Thanks!

    -Kate

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  10. I'm so glad you posted this because I've totally been wondering how you wore them and figured you just had the right proportions for it! I'll have to get some cheap bras and do the same!!

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  11. This is a genius idea! I love the idea of backless dresses but have always been intimidated by the idea of wearing one without a bra, even though I have a fairly small chest. Thanks for the great post, I will definitely try this out!

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  12. Thats great,I've really being wondering on how to wear this kind of dresses without a bra(even though I can,I don't feel confortable walking without a bra).Thanks.
    Kisses
    http://monamedefille.blogspot.com

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  13. Oh my gosh, Katie, you're so cute!

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  14. That's such a good idea, I was wondering about that too, I would have never thought to just sew them into the dress!
    Amia
    www.teapotsandbelles.blogspot.com

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  15. I've totally done that. It's also a good trick for a strapless dress that you want to give straps to, especially if you can't stand strapless bras!

    -Becca
    Ladyface Blog

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  16. I honestly never would have thought of that. Kudos on your ingenuity!

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  17. I love this! Great idea for a backless dress. Hanna Marie

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  18. This is really good info! Thanks so sharing. To bad I am not a sewer at all.
    Carlee
    Little Sloth

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    Replies
    1. how about the spray adhesive? You may have to do it every time u wear it... but it may be a quick fix for non-sewers or a fast way to go at the last minute?

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  19. Oh my gosh DUH!!! Why didn't I think of this? I have been lusting after so many cute backless tops/dresses but despise sticky bras so I've refrained. This is a great DIY thanks, Katie :)

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  20. Genius! Thank you so much for sharing. I have a feeling sales of backless dresses are going to sky rocket

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  21. Thanks so much! I've been hanging out for someone to do a post like this cos I always look at your clothes (and the ones of abeautifulmess) and think 'But where is the bra??'

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  22. Mind. Blown. This is SUCH a good idea! Definitely gonna have to give this a go next time I find a cute backless dress.

    Helen at http://uhhelsyeah.blogspot.co.uk xx

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  23. Brilliant! Going to try it out.

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  24. what a great idea!! i never would've thought of that!

    http://www.thefreckledmask.com/

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  25. This seems like such an obvious solution, but I never would have thought of it! Thank you so much. My wardrobe possibilities have just multiplied :)

    Jessie
    http://mymessielife.com/

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  26. I am SO glad others had the guts to ask! I see your backless dresses and how well they fit, and just always figured you were a lucky gal who didn't have to worry about it! Genius. Thanks for sharing!! Backless beauties here I come!

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  27. Maybe another awkward question, but how do "the girls" stay IN the bras?? Like... how do they stay supported? Do you use fashion tape??

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    1. Hmmm... I haven't really had an issue with that. They just kinda stay in place.

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    2. It works great if you are on the smaller side. As a 34D, I have trouble with this, and I have to find dresses like the blue one that has some structure to the back and it helps. It is not a perfect solution, because if you are large and there is no structure to the dress the bra kinda just floats in front. I look for a dress with a strap mid-back so I don't have that issue.

      Try it! Use a bra that is a smidgen too big, as it will help not draw attention to any seams as you sew.

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    3. Hmm, I wonder if that would help me. I have sewed some bras in dresses and am not 100% happy with the outcome. Perhaps, too, it is because I used fairly stretchy bras. Did you use a more structured bra?

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    4. While the dress would still have to have enough structure to do this, you could combine the sewn in bra with a corset back... Not sure where the dress is at the moment (recently moved), or if I could even post photos here, so hopefully I can describe what I'm talking about well enough ;)

      I bought a beautiful evening gown type dress last year, strapless with a zip-up back. It was a bit too tight and didn't zip all the way up. Did some googling and came up with how to replace a zip-up back with a lace up corset back. There are kits you can buy, or you can DIY it, which is what I did - though I sorta cheated, as I had an old corset with fabric and loops that matched well enough, so I cut it up and stitched to the dress (instead of handmaking and sewing on the individual loops). And sewed a bra into the front that had pretty shoulder straps that widened a bit at the top of the shoulders (and fabric also matched the dress - dress was black satin, so pretty easy to match in this case) - found some beautiful ribbon of black roses (could also be made by hand) and stitched that to the bra shoulder straps. I cut the bra back off where it met with the side seams.

      It looked fantastic, and for once, zero problems with support (36DD). Haven't done another one yet, but I'll no longer be afraid of strapless dresses, dresses with no front support, or zip-up dresses that are a bit too tight (just make sure it zips up to about an inch above your waist).

      Hope you see this as it's rather a late response ;) Feel free to holler at me if you need more info!

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  28. how did i never think of this?! love this idea and will totally need to try it!
    kw ladies in navy

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  29. This is so brilliant!! Why are the simplest things the ones that hardly ever cross our minds?! :)

    Thanks for sharing!

    xo, Courtney
    shabbyloveschic.com

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  30. Brilliant!! This is so perfect!

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  31. Great post!! The mystery has been solved! ;)

    http://sometimesgracefully.com

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  32. So genius! Thanks so much for sharing :)

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  33. Thank you! I just made my first backless dress purchase and was stumped how I was going to sort out the support 'issue'. Now I'm good to go! X

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  34. Love this. I always don't wear backless but now I know how!!

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  35. INGENIOUS!!! Thanks for the great tip, I definitely have to (attempt to) try this!

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  36. Whaaaaaat? I can't believe I haven't thought of this before! What a great idea!

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  37. I'll definitely giving this tip a go when I purchase more backless dresses. I just use a sticky bra and it's such a hassle sometime to get it to stick or stay in place.

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  38. haha awesome...
    I hate bras (I only wear sports bras) so in these dresses... I would probably go freeeee

    Valentina
    Valentina Duracinsky Blog
    -- Facebook Page

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  39. Seriously the most ingenious thing I have ever come across! I always skip buying backless dresses cause I never thought I'd be able to wear them..this is seriously awesome!

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  40. Katie, you've opened up a whole new world for me. I can wear backless dresses now!

    Thank you so much for sharing this!

    <3

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  41. I'm thinking that I should just stitch some of my old bras into all my dresses now :)

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  42. Uh, this is the most important blog entry I've ever read. BRILLLLL!!! <3

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  43. Genius! You just brought light to many ladies out here. :D

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  44. OH wow!! What a simple and great idea! Maybe I'll try it with a cheap bra and cheap dress to start out. I have a 36FF bust (these things aint staying up by themselves!) and I still have my doubts about how well it'll work, but it's definitely the best idea I've seen so far!

    http://cuddlyasacactus.wordpress.com/

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  45. Ah, why did I never think of this?? I have so many backless dresses I love that I avoid because let's face it, those sticky bras are like torture in Oklahoma heat. :/ You da best, gurl.

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  46. I also use that option and it works great everytime!
    xoxo
    Melodie
    http://sevenlivesandmore.blogspot.fr/

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  47. So smart to stitch the bra in! I have been known to safety pin a bra in and it wasn't too pretty, haha!

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  48. This is AMAZING! I love the look of backless dresses but had always wistfully written them off as being for the small/ultra-perky of chest only. I AM TRYING THIS!! Thanks so much for the tip xoxo

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  49. Thank you so much ! Weirdly enough, I never thought about sewing bras onto dresses. And I have big breasts, so I can't go out without a bra haha. Thanks again !

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  50. Best. Post. Ever. Seriously though, as someone who designs clothing for a living you'd think I would have though of this already! Wearing backless stuff is especially hard/awkward now that I'm pregnant and I can't wait to try this.

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  51. I've SO been wondering that! Let's be real for five seconds...we've had kids. I am so excited to try this out!!!

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  52. This is perfect! I sort of thought about this, but thought I might be a little crazy for it... Now I can go buy a few backless dresses for the remainder of summer! Thanks :)

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  53. Thank you so much! I have thought about this since last summer and all the different things I've tried just looked wrong. This looks very workable. :)

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  54. This is an amazing idea! I'm a bra fit expert and I'm always looking for unique ways to utilize a bra after the band has stretched out. (which only takes about 8 months) This is the perfect suggestion because you don't need the band! Thanks for sharing:)

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  55. Oh my gosh! Does this actually work?? Like, holds them "up"? Thank you for sharing your wisdom!! - Leith
    http://outsidelanddiaries.blogspot.com

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  56. I'm trying to write an eloquent comment here about how enlightened I feel.. But I'm actually speechless. This is genius. Pure, utter, genius.

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  57. Awwweesome!!!!!!

    Thanks Katie!!!!!

    Heather
    southernnorth.com

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  58. I soooooooooo love that black dress !!! :D

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  59. haha you are so great Katie! can't wait to chop up some bras and stick them into cute backless dresses, total success!!

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  60. So simple and clever! Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us! I love backless dresses but until now I've been intimidated by them. No more! ;-)

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  61. you deserve a nobel prize for this.

    I am for real, all these years I have never bought backless dresses when I could have just sewn my bras in. You are a genius and this will forever be my favourite advice ever in all of the times.

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  62. amazing! i always ran from those dresses, because of the bra issue. now i can try to make the one i have in mind :-) thank you! ! !

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  63. This post made me laugh out loud, it's like "here is my shame! but it works!" I am a busty gal, so I shy away from backless anything for fear of wardrobe malfunctions -- but I may give it a go with an old bra I have..
    xx Abby | a geek tragedy

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  64. Genius! Seriously - the best idea ever!

    xoxo,
    Laura
    http://lauraisthriftingthroughlife.blogspot.com/

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  65. I'm pretty sure you just changed my life.

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  66. Katie, you are a GENIUS.
    Rosie x | <a href="http://www.everywordhandwritten.blogspot.co.uk>Every Word Handwritten</a>

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  67. If you don't want to chop up an old bra, you can just buy bra cups and sew those in--I think they have them at Joann, but I'm sure more sizes are available elsewhere online.

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  68. I LOVE this post!! Thank you so much for sharing. I'm inspired and will definitely be getting to work on some dresses that have been just hanging in the closet for too long.

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  69. You are a genius! Thank you for telling us, because I always wondered what you did. I've tried those sticky bras in the past. They work, but are definitely not convenient or super comfortable. I always worry I'm going to sweat too much, and it's going to pop off:)

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  70. This is actually genius! I NEED a bra always and I'd just sworn off backless anything.. This is fuckin great

    xo Ashley
    thetiniestfirecracker.com

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  71. Brilliant tip! And the boxcar photo is really beautiful.

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  72. I AM SO HAPPY I FOUND THIS POST AND I WOULD HUG YOU IF I COULD. I could NEVER wear backless dresses because of this problem and if I did I usually wore the lace American Apparel bra under so it was a little bit prettier than just a bra. I am now going to go invest in a backless dress to celebrate discovering this post! ^.^

    x Sara from tinysugarbee.blogspot.com

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  73. great idea!! but I wonder if you wouldn't mind showing a front view picture :)

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  74. I feel like a giant shift has just occurred in my life! :D

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  75. Beautiful Dress! Color are that looks great on you and this dress of romantic is a delight :-) I love backless dresses... Celebrity Dresses

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  76. You picked some really nice dress styles! I don't wear dresses very often but this has inspired me to be a little more outgoing with them! See More

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  77. This may sound like a complete exaggeration.. but you have saved my life. I am in LOVE with backless dresses, and it's such a bitch that I've never found a way to wear them.. until now! I LOVE YOU.

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  78. this is genius!!! i always stayed away from backless dresses because i didn't know how to wear them with a bra. thank you so much for sharing!!

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  79. Brilliant! Just look at all these comments...you helped a whole lot of us 'chesty' girls. Thanks!

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  80. such a great idea but I don't sew......seriously I consider that a swear word :)

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  81. genius idea ! i bought a backless dress but i couldn't wear it....because of the bra ! i will definitely try this,sooooo SMART !!!! thanks

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  82. OMg this is genius, thanks so much!

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