Like clockwork, every summer brings about a new wave of skin-baring dresses. But this year, designers like Nensi Dojaka, Maximilian, and Isa Boulder are beautifully pushing the limits, crafting stringy, strappy frocks that have us wondering which are the best backless bra and undergarments to wear with each one. If there’s anyone who can answer those important fashion inquiries, it’s the people who do it for a living: fashion stylists. For their tips and tricks, we consult some of our stylists, individuals who work magic with underthings and barely-there lingerie.
“As a fashion stylist who has worked with women of all body types and skin tones, I think each undergarment remedy is different,” celebrity stylist Jared Depriest Gilbert tells Vogue. Some women might feel comfortable showing off a beautifully designed bra underneath a sheer dress, while others might prefer a demure, less-visible approach that offers great support. Either way, there’s a solution for every type of dress you’re dreaming of wearing this season. Read on to learn about the best backless bra, seamless panties, and more to stock up on.
The Best Seamless Panties
Second-skin fabrics like lightweight cotton blends are summer no-brainers, but what does one wear underneath those thin, sometimes sheer materials? “The ultimate go-to for seamless undergarments is Commando,” Andrew Gelwicks, who dressed Catherine O’Hara during this year’s award season. “They are the sleekest, chicest option when you need a no-fuss, simple solution.”
The Best Strapless Bras
Yes, strapless bras with real support actually do exist. “I usually rely on the Spanx brand because there is something for every woman,” says Gilbert.
The Best Plunging Bodysuits
If a backless outfit requires undetectable, all-over coverage, “layering a strapless, plunging bodysuit underneath the garment will have you covered,” says Danyul Brown, who has worked with Lottie Moss and Hana Cross. “I love this bodysuit because it really gives you that security of full coverage under a low-back summer dress from the front and the back,” adds Amanda Lim, who styles Madeline Brewer and Aly & AJ. “It’s also so weightless and stretchy, you forget you’ve done your due diligence to stay sexy and classy!”
The Best Stick-On Bras
For a moderate lift that also helps to smooth things out without any visible lines, reach for a stick-on bra. “NuBra offers a wide selection of strapless bras in varying colors and materials. My clients always trust their silicone pasties as well for those tricky, sheer dresses,” Gelwicks explains.
The Best Anti-Chafing Shorts
There’s no need to worry about thighs rubbing together while wearing a lightweight short underneath those dresses. “I have fallen in love with Skims,” says Courtney Mays, stylist to Chris Paul and Anthony Anderson. “Not only is the brand size-inclusive, but also conscious of the beautiful diversity of skin tones. The sheer fabric makes the shorts feel sexy but not too constricting. They are breathable and the perfect undergarment for a dress or skirt.” Sometimes she even wears them under trousers to smooth things out.
The Best Nipple Covers
For smooth coverage without wearing a bra, nipple covers are the way to go. “Nippies Skin is my favorite product as far as nipple coverage goes,” Dianne Garcia, stylist to SZA and Ella Mai, reveals. “Unlike pasties, they are completely seamless and come in several colors, so even under sheer garments, they are basically invisible. It’s also a plus that they’re reusable. I always keep a couple of pairs in my kit.”
The Best Statement-Making Bras
If you’re up for it, don’t be afraid to show off your undergarments. “I currently enjoy a contrasting undergarment under a sheer or backless dress,” says Brown. So sometimes, he styles clients in beautiful undergarments that deserve to be seen and layered into outfits. Lim seems to agree too. “One thing I like to encourage my clients to do is layer—summer dresses are no exception,” she says. “I love these CUUP matching bra-and-undie sets because they are lightweight, breathable, and gorgeous to boot. Plus, they can fold up and travel in your carry-on, taking up almost no space at all.”