How to wear a backless dress is always a party season dilemma that fuller-chested women are all too familiar with.
Now, a new “miracle” bodysuit has been launched to allow women to wear backless dresses with confidence whatever their bra size.
The bodysuit has a corset-style front to provide maximum support, but is cut low everywhere else, leaving the back exposed.
The suit’s makers claim the front provides just as much support as an ordinary bra – while ensuring that no straps make an embarrassing appearance at the back.
The underwear brand Ultimo said the suit also “transforms the silhouette” by controlling the tummy and smoothing the hips, at the same time as boosting and shaping the bust.
The £42 ($65) suits will be available in cup sizes A to G – catering for even the most voluptuous.
Celebrities have led the trend for backless dresses this year, with both Victoria Beckham and Cheryl Cole recently spotted on the red carpet in backless styles.
But they can be among the most difficult styles to wear for all but the thinnest women because they are difficult to combine with underwear.
“Fuller-chested women tend to stay away from backless styles because they feel apprehensive about going without a bra,” said Michelle Mone OBE, founder of Ultimo.
“Miracle shapewear has been engineered to change that by providing all the support of a bra yet leaving the back exposed.
“This will allow women to feel much more confident stepping out in styles they may have previously avoided.
“Backless styles are very much in vogue this party season.
“We hope that we can help take a lot of the hassle out of party dress shopping for women by giving them all the secret support they need for their perfect dress.”
The body suits are part of a range of 12 “Miracle Shapewear” inventions released by the British underwear brand designed to combat love handles, muffin tops and bulging tummies.
Ultimo has also come up with a new “frontless” bodysuit for dresses cut low at the front.
This features a gap between the cups – which are held together by an invisible strap – to ensure that no bra fabric is visible when wearing a cleavage-revealing dress.
The styles will be available in UK in Debenhams from today and can also be purchased on the Ultimo website.
Clothing that controls the body shape first appeared in the US, becoming popular with the Spanx pants launched in 2000.
It has since spread to the UK, where a recent survey by market researchers Mintel showed that one in ten British women has worn “shapewear” to improve their figure.
British stores like Asda and Marks and Spencer have been quick to cash in on the trend, and have even launched ranges of aimed at men.