The Backless Dress

Sans back. Bareback. Backless. It’s a way to show some skin without getting all J. Lo at the Grammys in the Green Versace dress. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, you’re missing a massive pop culture moment and I’m embarrassed to know you. Now back to my point. When I say backless, I do not mean backless and also side-less and also sheer. Since your entire back is exposed, that means you should limit exposure of other glands and extremities. AKA if you’re dress is backless, make sure it’s not one of those super mini dresses that’s really a shirt or a ball gown (because we all wear those so much) with a slit up to your hoo-ha. No thanks.

The beauty of backless is that it’s not limited to one type of occasion. It can be formal, casual, whatever. But it is never ok—never EVER ok—to have your bra strap showing. It defeats the whole purpose of the dress. Bandeaus are maybe acceptable when it’s a causal dress and the bandeau is the same color and material of the dress you’re wearing. But probably not. One last word of warning: CRACK IS WHACK. I don’t want to see it and neither does anyone else. Make sure your dress doesn’t come down too low. That is all.

How to go Bareback:

  • NO BRA STRAPS. See above.
  • Make sure the dress doesn’t come down to low in the back, to high in the slit, etc. See above. Awkward I keep repeating myself.
  • Careful when it’s hot outside…you don’t want your back to get stuck to a chair.
  • Avoid tan lines. It’s not realistic but hey, give it a shot.
  • There are tons and tons of really cute backless dresses for daytime. (Realistically though, nobody will wear them because they’re not appropriate for work and so the only way you would wear one is if you’re unemployed in which case you probably shouldn’t be buying dresses).

Buy these Backless-es (that’s so not a word):

Backless by Day:

Pins and Needles Front Pins and Needles Back

Backless Lace Dress by Pins and Needles

Available online from Urban Outfitters

Backless by Night:

ONE by Contrarian Front ONE by Contrarian Back

Babs Bibb Mini Dress by ONE by Contrarian

Available online from Shopbop

That Gown we Discussed:

Rachel Zoe Front Rachel Zoe Back

Adriana II Mermaid Maxi Dress by Rachel Zoe

Available online from Bergdorf Goodman


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