What to Wear Underneath Backless Outfits: Adhesive Bras

May 21, 2018 | Hurray for Lingerie, Hurray Vacay, Paris Vacay, Personal Style, Style Solutions, Underneath | 7 comments

I get asked this all the time: “what should I wear underneath backless shirts or dresses?” or “You know, those open back tops or low back dresses that everyone is wearing – what can you actually wear underneath them to lift your bust and get some support?” Good news: there are several options. You can choose to wear a pretty back bra or lace camisole. You can even wear a lacy bralette or layer one over your bra. Sometimes a low back bra converter could help. Or. If you really want to have a bare back without the lace, straps, or tank top, the best answer is an adhesive bra. I can feel your groans all the way over here. It’s Ok, Kimmay is here for you, boo. I would never lead you astray. I want you to explore the freedom you may be able to find when you wear an adhesive bra. Keep reading.

Pssst! I am proud to bring this post and giveaway to you thanks to NuBra. There is some important information about their product along the way, and a way for you to get to know this USA brand at the bottom of this post. I always bring you my honest opinion and heart.  Also check out some beautiful clothing from Tobi and sunglasses from LaFont in this post as well!

Kimmay wears the Low Glimmer Seamless NuBra in cup size D in black while in Paris. Kimmay gets ready to go out on the town in Paris wearing the Low Glimmer Seamless NuBra.Wearing the Low Glimmer Seamless NuBra in cup size D in black while in Paris. It has cute rhinestones and totally stays in place! Dress by Tobi. Photo by Own Your Sexy. More info on sizing and NuBra at the bottom of this post.

In my bra fitting experience since 2005, I have helped many people find bras for tricky outfits, including backless and low back. There are some pros and cons to wearing an adhesive bra. Most importantly, there are some do’s and don’ts. If you really want to make the most of wearing a stick-on bra (and want it to actually stay in place, provide some shape, and give you lift), then read on! I’m giving you the real deal on adhesive bras. Because whatever you put on should help you say hurray inside, outside, and underneath™.

Kimmay feels free and breezy in Paris wearing the Low Glimmer Seamless NuBra in cup size D.Wearing the Low Glimmer Seamless NuBra in cup size D in black underneath this halter dress by Tobi. Feeling free and breezy in Paris! Photo by Own Your Sexy. More info on sizing and NuBra at the bottom of this post.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Wearing an Adhesive Bra

Just like any other kind of bra, adhesive and stick-on bras aren’t for everyone. I get it. But if you want to try them out, make sure you do so armed with these important do’s and don’ts! It will make your whole stick-on-bra-wearing adventures far more hurray than what the hey. Read my suggestions below and try them out for yourself. Let me know how it goes!


Choose high quality – There are a bunch of adhesive bras out there, but do they really work? I haven’t tried them all, but I’ve seen a few in my 13+ years in the bra fitting and lingerie business. And I’ve learned that you should not skimp on quality when it comes to a stick-on bra. You are far more likely to say hurray if you go with the good stuff. Personally, I’m a NuBra fan because they use the best materials (including medical grade adhesive), are made in the USA, and are the original adhesive bra. They know their stuff. It may be tempting to go for something less expensive or from a discount site, but I caution you against this. {More info on NuBra at the bottom of this post}.

Choose your shape  – You get to decide how your bust is shaped, and the same is true for stick-on bras. Some of the adhesive bras out there are made of a flimsy material or don’t offer much shape, which is a great choice if you want your natural breast shape and perhaps a little smoothness. I like a little more shape – almost like I’m wearing a molded cup bra – when I go backless. The NuBra styles I’m wearing here are seamless and have a smooth, spherical shape to them. They offer some nipple coverage as well as a round shape. You can even choose a style that has more or less padding or volume to it – it’s up to you!

Kimmay puts her finishing touches on her outfit with the Lace Underwire NuBra in cup size D in black. Wondering what Kimmay is wearing under this cut out dress? It's the Lace Underwire NuBra, try one for your wardrobe!Wearing the Lace Underwire NuBra  in cup size D in black while in Paris. Dress by Tobi. Photo by Own Your Sexy. More info on sizing and NuBra at the bottom of this post.

Clean and rinse your breasts before applying – I can’t stress this enough. Before sticking any bra onto your bust you must clean your skin, first! Our skin has natural oils, and perfumes, lotions, sweat, and body/essential oils that will add to it. This will make it difficult for the adhesive to stick to your skin. Try using a mild soap and water and then towelling off and air drying completely before applying. It will really help your adhesive bra stay in place!

Get the right size – OK so bra sizing has its own complications, right? But when it comes to stick-on bras, there are a different set of rules. For example, the NuBra styles only come in cup sizes, not band sizes. But if you’re a Hurray Kimmay regular, you know that cup sizes are relative to band sizes. As in a “B” cup in a 32 is different than a “B” cup in 38. Sooooo if you’re buying a “B” cup, a “B” cup for which band size? I find that NuBra cup sizes are relative to a 34 band. So I suggest finding your sister size in a 34. For example, I usually wear a 32DD so my sister size in a 34 is a D cup.

Apply it correctly – I am pretty fab at putting on my bra the “hurray way”. But it did take some practice. Same rules apply to how you apply (or put on) your stick on bra. It can take some practice! NuBra has a pretty great step by step guide for you, and I suggest trying it a few times and seeing what works best for you before you wear it out. It took me some getting used to. The most important thing is to angle it properly, and allow the cup to cover the front of your breast – not your underbust like a regular bra cup would.

Wash it – One of the best ways to help your stick on bra stay sticky is to wash it! You can generally use a simple soap and water routine and let it air dry, but NuBra even makes a special wash. The key is to get the oils from your skin off the adhesive so you can wear it again and again.

Kimmay feels confident wearing the Lace Underwire NuBra in cup size D in black while in Paris Kimmay finds freedom in wearing the Lace Underwire NuBra while spinning in ParisWearing the Lace Underwire NuBra in cup size D in black while in Paris. Dress by Tobi, shoes by Koolaburra. Photo by Own Your Sexy. More info on sizing and NuBra at the bottom of this post.

Check the shape with your outfit – Make sure you test out the shape of your adhesive bra and the shape of your outfit to make sure it’s a good match. The dress I’m wearing here, for example, is a perfect tie front shape for this NuBra! You may or may not like the shape of the bra and it may or may not look great under specific materials or cuts. For example, I usually wear my stick-on bra with a dress or top that has a little bit of a thick material or construction to it, or has some texture. And you can wear it with different silhouettes like backless, low back, halter, criss-cross back, strapless, and more! Also, you can adjust the shape that your bra gives you! For example, create cleavage by wearing your NuBra further apart then clipping in the middle.

Test it with other outfits and styles – Try a fun style and treat your stick-on bra just like you would lingerie. It doesn’t have to be just a neutral or black. Go for a print or sequin style, or even a bit of lace! Let it put some hurray in your day!

Kimmay takes care of he Seamless NuBra in cup size D in FairStoring my Seamless NuBra in cup size D in Fair while in Paris. Sweater by Tobi. Photo by Own Your Sexy. More info on sizing and NuBra at the bottom of this post.

Store it properly – Just like a molded cup bra, don’t invert your molded cup stick-on bra. Make sure you don’t dent it. NuBra comes with its own plastic container or you can invest in a hard case, which comes in handy if you’re travelling or storing it with lots of other things. The key is to make sure you help it keep its shape and avoid the adhesive from sticking to other things.


Don’t wear lotions, oils, or perfumes – This is suppppper important so it’s my #1 don’t. These will make your skin slippery and the adhesive from the bra will have a hard time staying in place. I suggest washing your breasts with soap and water, towelling dry, and then letting them air dry completely. It may sound like an unnecessary step but I assure you it’s super important!

Kimmay is comfy and cozy in the Seamless NuBra in petal pink.You can wear NuBra items under sweaters, dresses and more! Kimmay shows you how on the Hurray Kimmay blog!Storing my Seamless NuBra in petal pink cup size D while in Paris. Sweater by Tobi. Apartment by Cobblestone Paris. Photo by Own Your Sexy. More info on sizing and NuBra at the bottom of this post.

Don’t go for paper – While some people have found success with paper adhesive bras, they’ve proven to not be the most popular choice because they offer less support and shape, and don’t stay in place as well. I suggest a molded cup with super strong adhesive!

Don’t expect it to be exactly like your other bras – Real talk alert. The construction and engineering of a basic, underwire bra with straps and a band are very different than an adhesive bra. While that sounds obvious, you’d be surprised how many people expect these two totally different items to provide the exact same fit, coverage, or support. Bras vary in their level of support, and that includes this kind as well. I’m super happy with how my stick-on bras support me, but it’s certainly different than any of my other bras. Keep an open mind when trying yours!

Kimmay loves wearing her Seamless NuBra size D in Fair. Have you tried one?Kimmay looks stunning in her Seamless NuBra size D in Fair, try one today!Wearing my Seamless NuBra size D in Fair while in Paris. Photo by Own Your Sexy. More info on sizing and NuBra at the bottom of this post.

Don’t wear it in the water – I feel like this shouldn’t need to be said, but this needs to be said. The adhesive on most stick on bras, even the surgical grade kind on NuBra, is just not meant to be worn in the pool or ocean or bath or whatever body of water you’re thinking of diving into. However, if you want to wear one poolside to avoid tan lines, go for it!

Don’t leave applying to the last minute, or reapply over and over again – So if you use an adhesive bra like NuBra, it can take some practice in applying it just so. I get it. That’s why I suggest practice placing it where you want it and wearing it with your outfits before you actually need to wear it. First, because you won’t stress if you have to get out the door soon. And second, because if you apply, peel off, reapply, peel off, try again over and over and over it will reduce the adhesive effect. If you need to reapply a few times, I suggest washing it with soap and water and letting it air dry. THEN once it’s fully dry the stickiness will be super sticky again and you can give it another go.

Don’t wear one if you don’t feel awesome in it – Listen, I feel like a million bucks in my NuBra! And, I realize this kind of bra or type of support may not be for everyone. With any kind of bra or undergarment, I suggest you give it a try using an open heart and mind, and some knowledge and information. Use your judgement to then make adjustments and test it out. And if after that it feels like a solid “no”, then don’t force it. I never suggest wearing something that doesn’t make you say hurray!

NuBra can give you the freedom to feel supported under any outfit. Here Kimmay wears Seamless NuBra size D in Fair Wondering what to wear under backless dresses like this one? Kimmay and NuBra are here to help!Wearing my Seamless NuBra size D in Fair while in Paris. Photo by Own Your Sexy. More info on sizing and NuBra at the bottom of this post.

Don’t save it only for a special occasion – If you notice here, I’m wearing my adhesive bra underneath all sorts of outfits. From casual to super glam. Try it out under a few different types of outfits. Wear it with a t-shirt, try it with a date dress, stick it on before a meeting. For real! See what’s it’s like to wear it on the regular. Then, choose the occasions and outfits that match it best, just like you would with any bra. If it ends up being just that one cocktail dress with a tricky low back, fine. But you may be surprised how many different kinds of outfits and occasions are a perfect match for this kind of bra.


When it really comes down to it, learning how to wear a backless, adhesive, bra is a step you can take in your freedom. You can find the freedom to wear different kinds of tops and outfits, freedom from bra straps, freedom to move and be yourself without worrying that your bra will fall. This is one way to feel freedom. I support freedom. And if learning the do’s and don’ts of how to wear this kind of bra can help you find that, then I say hurray.

Your Turn: Have you tried an adhesive bra before? What did you find worked and what didn’t? What kind of outfits would you wear if you wore an adhesive bra? What questions do you have about NuBra styles?

Credits: The photos in this post were taken by Laura Boyd of Own Your Sexy and her team during the #HurrayVacay in Paris. Hair and makeup by Zulieka Acosta. Some of the items in this post (like the cute black and burgundy dresses, and sweaters) were provided by Tobi. Sunglasses provided by Lafont.

Enter the Hurray and NuBra Giveaway!

Want to win a collection of NuBra best sellers? Enter my giveaway with NuBra! Learn more about this wonderful brand below, and enter to win by June 27th. Hurray!

Sponsor Spotlight

Huge hurray and thanks to NuBra for making this post possible. After such a fab response to sharing them in the media, we’ve partnered up to bring you more information. And I’m glad because NuBra is the original, backless, strapless, adhesive bra. There have been loads of similar styles, especially in recent years, but NuBra has been hand making these bras in the U.S.A. since 2002. They use high-quality materials, including medical-grade adhesives, and put a lot of effort into making sure it lifts and shapes your bust.

When I was a bra fitter at a retail shop in NYC I sold lots of NuBra products to people. And while I knew they had a great reputation, it wasn’t until I tried one myself on a very high stakes day, that I realized how fab this product really is. I wore a NuBra on my wedding day under my gown, in 95-degree weather with 95% humidity. I was sweaty, and nervous, and doing a LOT that day, and that bra Stayed. In. Place. I will be forever grateful that I could trust that product to help me look and feel my best in my dress. So if it can help me feel secure and supported on my wedding day, I think it’s worth giving it a shot on any day.

Many people think backless bras like this are for special occasions only – prom dresses, weddings, sexy date night, etc. But NuBra is really encouraging their customers to wear this stick on bra under their everyday clothes. Want to give it a try? Shop their different styles and get to know their fab range of styles!

Sizing notes:

  • In my opinion, the NuBra cup size is based on a 34 band. So since I usually wear a 32DD, that would be a 34D cup. I chose the D cup for myself.
  • Learn more about sister sizing and how to translate your cup size into a 34 band.
  • NuBra notes that their “cups are designed to be a little smaller than standard bras, and won’t cover your entire breast.” You’ll notice in the photos here that It covers mostly the front and only part of the top and underside of my breast, but isn’t touching my underbust where a regular bra’s underwire would go.

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