When it comes to bra advice, our go-to girl is expert bra fitter Kimmy Caldwell. Today, she's helping a couple of our viewers (and all of us, really!) find undergarment solutions for low-cut and backless outfits.
As Kimmay points out, it's not just about finding the proper bra, but also with some of the less-traditional options, it's about the proper application.
Check out Kimmay's product picks and tips below, and click the links to shop your faves. Online shopping is one activity that's actually encouraged to do from the comfort of your couch. And remember, warmer weather and social gatherings (where you might want to wear that backless jumpsuit) will come again!
Kimmay is a paid spokesperson for all six brands.
Best Bras + Bra Alternatives For Deep V Necklines
1. Instead of boob tape, try…
Brassybra is breast tape in the shape of a breast, "so it can actually give a more round shape than regular strips on their own," Kimmay says. "We've all seen the tape solution that celebrities have tried — this is a little bit different."
Brassybra uses medical-grade adhesive, is made out of 97% cotton and is water- and sweat-resistant. It comes in a range of skin tones and is available for cup sizes A-G.
The application process is very important with any kind of breast tape or sticky bra. "You have to wash everything and make sure that there are no oils, no lotions, no creams, nothing that will cause these to slip," Kimmay advises, "and then air dry before you apply."
How To Put On Breast Tape
When you're ready to put them on, note that there's a left and a right. Peel off and adhere the bottom first. "This is really key: You can rub this vigorously for 60 seconds to heat it up or you can even use a hair dryer on low to heat activate this and that is how it applies on," Kimmay says. Then, peel off the top and pull it gently — it has a little bit of stretch to it — to help lift the bust before adhering. And then again, vigorously rub or use the hair dryer again to really keep it in place. If you need to, there are long, thin tape strips called "That Little Extra," which you can purchase to give yourself a little extra shape. "But usually, this alone is really great. And it's like a second piece of skin," Kimmay says.
When you're ready to take it off, Kimmay's trick is to saturate it in EVOO or coconut oil to make sure that the tape is the only thing that comes off. Think of it as basting your bust!
Check out our viewer Tara rocking her jumpsuit featuring a deep V neckline with the help of Brassybra:
2. For a great low-plunge bra, try…
Va Bien Marquise Plunge Basque, $85.00
If you'd rather wear something with straps, this bra option from Va Bien features an extreme plunge in the front and a low scoop back, plus convertible straps.
"Everyone has a different style and need, and I want to make sure everyone has options out there," Kimmay says.
Best Bras + Bra Alternatives For Backless Or Low-Back Outfits
3. For a sticky bra that actually stays on, try…
NuBra makes sticky bras in the USA using medical-grade adhesive. They run from cup sizes A through E (DD).
"I wore this on my wedding day — a hot August day up at the Bronx Zoo — I was sweating so much and this puppy stayed in place," Kimmay shares. "It's almost like a t-shirt bra in the front, so if you're wearing something that's a little clingy, it's really, really smooth and looks really good."
The application process is important here too, according to the expert bra fitter. Again, wash everything, air dry before you apply and then really stick it in place. Sticky bra cups should be applied so that they cover the front of your bust, rather than underneath your bust like a regular bra. "If you place them farther apart and then you hook it together, you create a bit of cleavage," Kimmay says.
How To Put On a Sticky Bra
- Standing in front of a mirror, take one bra cup carefully by the edges and set it to the desired position — it's best to place the cup on the side of your breast with the clasp pointing toward your belly button.
- Smooth the edges of the cup onto your breast, leaving 2 to 3 finger widths from the bottom.
- Repeat with the other bra cup.
- Connect the front clasp by sliding the end of the right-side clasp into the left-side and snapping into the locked position.
- With both hands on the bra cups, press firmly for a few seconds for a secure hold.
You can see Kimmay demonstrate this process on a dressform in the video above.
Check out our viewer Heidi confidently wearing her backless dress with a sticky bra underneath:
4. For a low-back undergarment option with more support, try…
Another option is to try a low back bustier. Some have a little dip in the back, but this one from Dominique has a very low, dramatic dip in the back. The longer front matches across with the lower back to ensure support, plus the underwire cups are good if you have a larger bust and want better support, Kimmay says. This longline bra goes up to a 44DD.
Best Bras For Outfits With Plunging Sides
One other type of garment that can be hard to find undergarments for is one with low armholes or sides. A great fix for this is to wear a lacy bralette, Kimmay says. Choose one either in a similar color to what you're wearing so it blends in with your outfit, or in a contrasting color and let it show!
5. For a cute bralette look, try…
Here's Kimmay showing off a Fleur't lace bralette:
6. For a bralette designed for fuller cup sizes, try…
"If you want something that's a little bit more supportive, this one from Montelle I'm obsessed with," Kimmay says. The straps are adjustable and the wider band options (30-40) lay flatter and give coverage for up to cup size G in some bands.