16 Summer Dresses That You Can Actually Wear With a Bra
Up until recently, dresses were never a staple in my wardrobe. Even during the spring and summer months, when New Jersey is gruesomely hot and sticky-humid from late May through mid-September, I would rather wear shorts and a T-shirt than slip into a dress. This was my preference for a few reasons, the first being that I'm an autumn baby to the core and prefer bundling under chunky knits than baring all in a short, sleeveless number any day. The second is that I was an early bloomer and could not find cute summer dresses for bigger busts — aka summer dresses you can actually wear with a bra. But it wasn't for a lack of trying.
At almost 30 years old, and now having been on both sides of the spectrum, I've realized that, for me, it doesn't matter whether I'm big-chested or small-chested; nine out of 10 times, I prefer to wear a bra under my clothes, be it for extra support or fear of poking through. Unfortunately, the fashion industry hasn't always been super size inclusive, and for a long time, summer dresses were designed for people who either didn't need to or didn't want to wear bras. Granted, the industry still has a long way to go, but recently, more dresses are being made to accommodate women of all shapes — and that includes bigger bust options, too.
So what types of dresses should someone with a bigger bust, or someone who would just rather wear a bra underneath their garments, be on the lookout for? According to Sarah Larsen, brand director at ASTR THE LABEL, dresses with either a square neckline, raised back, or any type of sleeve (especially puff and statement sleeves) are the easiest to wear with a bra.
"Smocking is also a great disguise for bra lines and helps with fit," Larsen tells InStyle.
I took Larsen's intel and compiled a list of 16 dresses for bigger busts and bra-wearers alike, below. This way, you can have both your bra and flowy dress this season, without having to sacrifice one for the other.
Alp N Rock Bria Sweater Dress
Shop now: $298, alpnrock.com
M.M. LaFleur The June Dress
Shop now: $325, mmlafleur.com
ASTR The Label Montana Floral Cut Out Midi Dress
Shop now: $138, astrthelabel.com
RIXO for Target Polka Dot Puff Sleeve Ruffle Wrap Dress
Shop now: $45; target.com
Zara Floral Print Dress
Shop now: $50; zara.com
Reformation Spring Linen Dress
Shop now: $248; thereformation.com
MISSGUIDED Smock Dress
Shop now: $50; missguidedus.com
Banana Republic Floral Maxi Dress
Shop now: $149; bananarepublic.gap.com
ELOQUII Elements Kimono Sleeve Maxi Dress
Shop now: $36; eloquii.com
Lee Women's Lee European Collection Drawstring Dress in Clean Callie
Shop now: $118; lee.com
Emily and Fin Picnics on the French Riviera Plaid A-Line Dress
Shop now: $129; modcloth.com
Azeeza Baby Blue Thistle Poplin Dresses
Shop now: $495; 11honore.com
Cotton On Woven Flora Frilly Pinny Mini Dress
Shop now: $40; cottonon.com
Good American Ruched Tank Mini Dress
Shop now: $129; goodamerican.com
Just Fab Tie Front Midi Dress
Shop now: $75; justfab.com
Francesca's Rocsi Ditsy Floral Mini Dress
Shop now: $44; francescas.com