Disclosure: I received this product free of charge for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
I’ve been having some 90s nostalgia lately. Not like middle school was my glory days or anything like that, but even then I had a pretty well-defined sense of style. I pioneered backless tops at my middle school before they were explicitly banned in our dress code. I probably would’ve continued to rock them all the more if bust support weren’t a concern. (Let’s face it, those clear straps and bands of the 90s were a bit awkward.) Enter the Nud Bra by Nüdwear ($48.50), an adhesive bra that is both strapless and backless, ostensibly ideal for backless tops and dresses. Actually, the bra is not only backless but completely bandless.
First off, how does the sizing on this bra work? Since there is no band, band size isn’t an issue - it is sized only by cup. However, cup size without the context of band is really odd to me – my 30D is certainly going to have a very different volume than a 38D. At the time that Nudwear sent me the sample, I was still thinking of myself as a 30C, and so a C I was sent. Oh, and I definitely wouldn’t go off of the bra sizing method they describe on their website. By their math, I’d be a 34AA or thereabouts.
When the package arrived for me at work, I was excited and intrigued… then immediately confused. No instructions for care or placement were included with my Nud bra, though it does come with a lightweight plastic egg case to keep the gel cups from being crushed or deformed, as well as a hot pink organza bag in which the case can be kept. (Sadly, my cat decided to eat said bag as I sat down to write this review.) The good news is that information is on their website, but I really wish it had come with the bra itself, or at least been made clear on the packaging that I should be looking to their site for answers. Imagine if I had taken the bra with me on an out of town trip and was at a hotel with no Wi-Fi?
Edited to add: Apparently the standard retail packaging does include instructions.
So the first time I tried this bra on, I was pretty confused and had to reposition it several times. On that first occasion, I determined this was a good bra for adding volume and camouflaging nipples, but not necessarily much (or any) lift. Since I don’t buy into nipple-denial but do enjoy having my breasts in the bust area of my tops and dresses, I was a little disappointed. The second time around, with the help of the online directions, I did a little better, but I still had to play with placement a few times. The directions do not explicitly advise you to separate the two bra halves, only that you should join them later. (The design is essentially two separate cups with a front clasp.) They also don’t confirm which direction is “up” on the cups, though I assumed the rounded side fits against the lower curve of the breast. Getting even placement with an asymmetric bust is definitely challenging. Following their placement directions, I would also add “cleavage” to the list of positive features. I do feel like I got better lift the second time around, and while it’s not exactly supportive, the Nud Bra did feel surprisingly secure (minimal bounce factor).
As for the comfort level of wearing the Nud Bra, I would advise anyone with dry or sensitive skin to proceed with caution and consider covering your nipples with bandaids to help minimize itching. Taking the bra off is totally painless, but the itch factor can drive you up the wall. I’m not sure if it’s from the gentle adhesive or the lack of fresh air or my own deep need for a better moisturizing routine, but it was pretty much the first thing I noticed the first time I tried it on. The adhesive is supposed to be sweat/moisture resistant, which would be totally handy if I weren’t the perpetually cold sort and also the dancing-at-sweaty-nightclubs sort.
All in all, this wasn’t exactly the magic backless bra support I had been hoping for. I could see it working better with more practice, or if I were more patient with trying and re-trying and adjusting the placement. Nudwear also makes a Feather-lite Nud Bra, which is available in black and beige. Have you tried the Nud Bra? What foundations (if any) do you wear with backless tops and dresses?