Solution: Half slip skirt. Slips may sound like a thing from the past, but I seriously wear mine all. the. time. As brands are skimping more often on quality (i.e. using thinner fabrics, or only lining half of a dress), a slip can be an easy and affordable way to "rescue" a garment. I especially like them in the winter to keep unlined dresses or skirts from riding up against hosiery. I own the Vassarette 16" slip skirt (under $10!) in both nude & black. If you tend to wear shorter skirts and dresses, it's worth getting your slip skirt hemmed even shorter so there's no chance of an unsightly peek-a-boo.
Solution: A bra with convertible straps that can be criss-crossed in the back (see: convertible strap bras below), or, use a racer-back bra clip to hold your bra straps closely together in the back. You can also try using a large paperclip as a solution in a pinch.
Solution: An elastic bra-strap converter. Try one of my most popular DIY tutorials, or buy one for cheap like this 1-hook converter in black or nude (here's a wider strap version, too). Please note this solution is only for slightly lower-back garments, not ones with a dramatic dip or nothing on the back. The elastic converter can pull your regular bra band down about 2 inches in the back before the fit of the cups get affected in the front.
Situation: Strapless, cross-back, halter, off-the-shoulder, or one-shoulder tops and dresses.
Solution: Convertible-strap bra. Nearly all the bras in my closet are nude-colored (save for a few black ones to wear under dark clothing) and convertible. "Nude" is not the same for everyone - the closer the bra is to your actual skin tone, the more concealed it will be under light or white clothing. Convertible straps are also not created equal. If you're shopping online, be sure to look closely at photos and descriptions to see where the straps can clip on or off. Here are some comfortable bras in my everyday rotation with varying levels of convertibility:
- Calvin Klein wireless contour bra - straps don't unhook at all, but there is a little clasp to secure the two back straps together at a midpoint. This will work under most racerback-style or narrow-shouldered tops.
- Gap wireless bra or wireless push-up bra - shoulder straps unhook from the back, so you can make them into an X back configuration.
- Halogen wireless triangle-shaped bra - same as above.
- Little Bra Company Sascha strapless underwire bra - shoulder straps unhook completely from the front and back, so you can wear it totally strapless, regularly, or with an X back. This also has little removable pads in the cups.
Situation: Low-cut tops & dresses.
Solution: A plunge bra. I have this Uplunge bra (cups run small) which comes in both nude and black, and has straps that converts into 3 different configurations!
As an alternative, try filling the neckline gap with a bralette or camisole that is pretty enough to be seen visibly. I love my Topshop crochet-trim one! Please note bralettes usually don't have much structure, thus may not work well for those who need more support.
Solution: Adhesive bra cups. An added benefit of these full front stick-on bras is that the adhesive cups can push & keep the girls close together for extra oomph. I have an older NuBra which I've worn several times and it's still going strong. Similar options currently available include the NuBra push-up or feather lite adhesive bras.
Situation: when any of the above bras just won't work, or, you want the girls to feel "free" without being indecent.
Solution: Nip covers! I don't know a re-usable option that works well, so I still use the quick fix of band-aids. Here is an inexpensive breast petal option ($6), and for swimwear, Bravo makes push-up liner cups that even come in triangle shapes for bikinis.
You guys may have noticed two major categories I didn't cover here: shapewear and undies! For shapewear, I've tried on a few styles from Spanx but they did not fit right and were still visible from the outside. And for underwear, I'm all about the nude panty, but am still in search of the perfect ones that result in no VPL underneath slacks and skirts. Would love to hear about your favorite brands/styles for these, and also about any other must-have undergarments that I missed!
And for fellow Pinners, below is a compilation of all the solutions from this post! You can hover over any image on this blog, and a Pinterest button should appear over the upper left corner.