How to rock a backless vintage style gown without your bra showing!

Estevez for Grenelle dress 1956

Backless dress by Estevez for Grenelle  1956

Because we sell backless or low back original vintage or vintage inspired evening gowns on our website, we frequently get asked by customers what type of bra to wear with this style.  So I thought it would be helpful to do a post focusing on this.

Backless gowns are an iconic look for formal evening dress. Just think of Jean Harlow in her slinky bias cuts gowns with their plunging low backs.  Though the backless style was quite popular in the 30s, it is actually  timeless, showing up in evening wear from many different eras.. It’s an alluring alternative to low cut cleavage baring looks if you don’t wish to expose too much flesh in front, but still want to appear sensual and enticing.  Because there is no doubt that a woman revealing her back in a dress is extremely sexy in an elegant, understated way.

But,  in order to pull off this style, you need to wear the proper bra, unless you’re perky enough to get away without! The rest of us need something to hold us up in front without the tackiness of showing the bra strap in back, hence undoing that chic, sensual Hollywood glam look we are trying to create.

Luckily there are options. Some may work better than others, depending on how much support you need in front. And if you’re wondering what they wore back in the day for a solution to the backless style…..

Stick on bras from 1949

Stick on bras from 1949

image source

Even back in 1949 they had stick on bras. These remind me of the raviolis I used to make with my Nonna!But today there are several brands of stick on bras to choose from that offer that totally strap free experience.  And they are perfect for backless styles as long as you don’t have to support more than a C cup.

NuBra

NuBra

My favorite brand is the NuBra  with a sticky silicone material that is, well, really sticky!  I find they adhere quite well and are easy to care for.

Backless longline bra 1956

Backless longline bra 1956

Then there’s the backless longline style of brassiere.  Here’s what they looked like back in the 50s.  Not very different from the ones that are available today.  They offer much more support that the stick on ones above.

Backless bra from Bramania

Backless bra from Bramania

This lowback longline bra  from Bramania comes in white, ivory and black and at $30.00 is a great price for the added support it will give you. Shop for it here.

Bra for very low backed dress 1956

Bra for very low backed dress 1956

And this interesting looking invention from 1956 is a regular bra with very long straps that attach to a band that circles the waist to hold everything in place. This offered a solution for support combined with the ability to work with a very low backed dress. Of course, this was meant for a dress with sleeves or wide straps. And I’m not sure with the sides of the bra attached to those thin straps if it would end up moving out out of place during the evening. I’d like to try retrofitting one of my own bras to look like this and see how it would “hold up!”

Bra extender from Nordstrom's

Bra extender from Nordstrom’s

I did find something at Nordstrom’s that works in a similar fashion, though not quite as low.  A strap extender that attaches to a regular bra, crosses in back and attaches in front.  I also found an easy tutorial for how to make your own low back bra extender. This is a great idea for bras you already own that have two or three hooks on them.

So there you have it. And if you have any of your own recommendations for backless  bras, please feel free to share!

Have a glamourous day!

By | 2014-11-16T12:44:22-04:00 November 16th, 2014|Fashion|Comments Off on How to rock a backless vintage style gown without your bra showing!

About the Author:

Theresa
Hi, I'm Theresa, owner and chief classy dame at the Blue Velvet Vintage online boutique. Lover of mid century fashion and home decor, classic films, Old Hollywood, pretty dresses, red lipstick, swing dancing and retro culture in general. Between my ecommere site and vintage style blog my mission is to revive the eras of classy dressing and inspire women to add more glamour to their lives! So don't be shy! I love to hear from others who share my appreciation of the styles of the past.