8 Brilliant Style Hacks for Dressing Tricky Necklines

With warm weather and wedding season upon us, chances are, you may need some sartorial guidance on what to wear underneath all those backless, strapless and other daring styles. Real Simple tapped Stacy London, stylist and Hollywood Fashion Secrets’ Style Ambassador to share her tricks of the trade.


Look for garments that have built-in support.

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London advises looking for backless and strapless dresses with internal boning, which provide additional structure. Or, at the very least, thin silicone strips along the lining that can grip the skin and help to keep the dress in place.


Try a backless bra.

For open-back dresses, enlist the help of the barely-there, yet trusty NuBra, $46, journelle.com. It boasts the same seamless foam cups of typical T-shirt bra, but is lined with super-strong adhesive that painlessly adheres to the skin and clips in the center-front. The result is a completely invisible look under clothing, which leaves no trace in the back or along the neckline. It’s available up to a D-cup and even comes in a push-up style if you’re looking for extra oomph.


Create structure with a bustier-style.

Don’t fret if your dress doesn’t have a ton of support in the first place, a strapless style that also has waist-cinching properties will be your saving grace. The Le Mystere Soiree Bustier, $79, barenecessities.com, is available up to a G-cup, incorporates soft and stretchy boning, as well as a deep-back plunge, and it hits just above the waist for comfort. Offering more support than a backless style, this is an ideal option for a full-busted woman, or for smoothing out bumps under a lightweight or slinky jersey style that hugs curves. When going strapless isn’t your main concern, you can also transform your favorite bra into a low-back one with a strap converter, like Fashion Forms Adjustable Low Back Bra Strap, $9, macys.com.


Don’t be turned off by a plunging neckline.

In place of a bra or tank, which will look sloppy under a plunging neckline, utilize the little-known trick of stylists and use fashion tape to keep the dress in place and opt for adhesive silicone nipple concealers, like Commando’s Top Hats, $34, barenecessities.com. Not only will they give small busts a nice shape that rivals a T-shirt bra, but London also recommends them for regular wear under lace bras and thin fabrics for no show-through.


Invest in a great strapless bra.

The foundation of a warm-weather wardrobe, this is a must-have. No matter your cup size, look for wide wings with some boning along the sides, a multi-hook closure, thin silicone strips, and a tight fit, so you can avoid yanking at your dress throughout the evening. A good one to try: Red Carpet Strapless Underwire Bra by Wacoal, $60, wacoal-america.com, which is also available in sizes for full busts.


Say goodbye to wayward bra straps.

Whip wandering and droopy straps into a racerback style in no time, with a bra-converting clip. Not only will it hide unsightly bra straps, which hardly scream “work-appropriate,” but it will simultaneously give your bust a lift, says London. Try Hollywood Fashion Secrets Stylette, $11, target.com.


Always do a test-run.

Whatever you’re wearing, London suggests putting your outfit—complete with bra, tape, dress, and shoes—through the paces. By sitting, stretching, moving and walking in the ensemble, to make sure you’re not accidentally revealing too much and you can rest assured you won’t yield any embarrassing surprises.