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How to find the perfect bra for every dress

Whether it's halterneck, backless, strapless or sheer, there's a bra for every outfit, Katie Wright discovers

From sexy little festival frocks to elegant evening gowns, summer provides ample opportunity to get dolled up, but at the same time, it brings with it a whole host of underwear conundrums - particularly this year, when backless, bandeau and spaghetti-strap dresses are so on-trend. Going bra-less might work for some people (lucky them), but if you need some support in the boob department, or don't want your nipples to be visible beneath a light fabric, it's not an option. So how do you find a bra that's discreet but doesn't let you down - literally?

"When wearing any type of bra - especially one you want to be discreet - it is essential that you get the fit right," says Debby Duckett, Boux Avenue buying director.

"A correctly fitting bra will not only be more comfortable, but also more supportive, therefore giving you a better shape under clothing.

"So when looking for a new 'solution' bra, it is always worth getting professional help from an expert bra fitter."

From backless to sheer, here's what you need to know about choosing a bra for every dress, no matter how skimpy...

Halter neck dresses

A 'multiway' bra is best for halterneck dresses according to Duckett: "With an adjustable clip, it can be worn as a regular bra, halterneck or racer back and comes with a low back converter, so it's good if the dress has a really low back as well as a halterneck."

You can also buy converters separately to attach to any bra.

Strapless dresses

"A strapless bra is a key asset in everyone's lingerie drawer, no girl should be without one," Duckett says.

"Opting for a strapless or multiway bra will provide the support needed, whatever the neckline of the dress, whether it's strapless, bardot or one shoulder," advises Victoria Shelton, garment technologist at Figleaves.

Backless dresses

"In the summer months, backless and low-cut dresses are what everyone wants to wear to keep cool.

Finding the perfect underwear to go with these is the hardest part about getting ready," says Shelton.

"A plunge, backless, strapless, self-adhesive bra solves all these problems.

"This bra is the perfect foundation under any summer dress, designed to lift and shape with a deep plunge for ultimate confidence."

Sheer dresses

Sheer and silk slip dresses have been a huge trend this year, but the combination of fine material and thin straps can prove tricky.

"In the summer months you want to feel comfortable in what you are wearing," says Shelton, recommending a T-shirt bra if your dress has thicker straps because, "it offers support while appearing invisible under clothes - perfect for thin materials worn in the hot weather".

Another clever alternative is stick-on nipple covers, which create a smooth silhouette under clingy materials and are available in a variety of skin tones.

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