The Evolution of a Bra Without Straps and Back

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I may be entering a new era where the bra as I know it begins its descent from reigning women’s intimates. If not going braless, women are resorting to bralettes or other creative ways to cover their nipples (double-sided tape and bra pads, anyone?).

Well, the lingerie industry answered back and gave women another variation: a bra without straps and back.

​Bra Without Straps and Back

Strapless and backless bras are in a league of their own. It might have not been named the “bra of the future” but it’s likely going to be a mainstay underpinning for future generations.

Just the sound of strapless and backless bras might make you doubt its effectiveness, but maybe with a little bit of context about its history, you’ll understand how I ended up with what I can only call an innovation.

Comparing Bras Without Straps and Back Design

Style Structure Purpose Wear
Corset Bust, steel or plastic bones, waist tape, grommetsForm an hourglass shapeOver a shirt or under tight-fitting dresses
Posĕs Cone-shaped cups, backlessFirst backless and strapless bra for swimming Regular bra or bikini top
Modern strapless Can have full-coverage cups and wired bandsEliminate pesky strapsEveryday wear, casual, work
Adhesive Can have partial cups and some form of adhesiveSeamless and  invisible bras Everyday wear, casual, work

The Evolution From Corsets

As a brief introduction, corsets can be described as a tool to reinforce an hourglass shape in your body. It emphasizes your curves or creates somewhere there’s none by narrowing your waist and accentuating your hips.

A woman wearing a nude sticky bra standing on a brown wooden floor in the living room

In their prime, experts at Orchard Corset say they were:

 ..constructed from a strong, yet flexible fabric (cotton/satin/leather) that is reinforced with steel boning (flexible steel rods.)”

Corsets ruled in the 1800s, but its appeal and influence on women’s undergarments go beyond that.

Would you believe it was only around this time in the previous century that bras were separated from the corset and sold on their own?

After the corset was divided into a two-piece, bras transformed into what was called a corselet gorge. They were still sold as part of a set together with the bottom part, which was a “corset for the waist.”

This separation birthed the need for bras straps for support. I might have lost the corset in its traditional sense when bras emerged, but needless to say, the hourglass figure has been etched onto beauty standards ever since.

The First Backless and Strapless Design

From separated corsets, the first official bra was created out of silk ribbons and handkerchiefs – a diversion from the extreme structure of what came before that.

Since then, the bra was evolved on its own with different cups, shapes, and fabrics.

Adhesive bras without straps and bands may seem like a recent invention, but it was thought up long ago, and has been among the many versions bras have evolved into.

The Posĕs Bra

The first backless and strapless style bra named the posĕs was created by a man nonetheless. Charles L Lang was called to create it after seeing his wife struggle with the straps and bands of her bra.

The bras were cone-shaped cups with frills along their round edges. Designed to be both a brassiere and bikini top, this served other purposes other than what was initially just for comfort.

It allowed women to get an even tan throughout their body since tan lines were unpopular and unattractive then.

There’s no concrete evidence to prove it, but it was said posĕs could stay on even through the most strenuous and rigorous activities. This was thanks to the “rejuvenator” adhesive that was reapplied each time.

A woman wearing a nude adhesive bra and blue denim shorts standing near a white wall in the kitchen

The Mod​​​​ern Adhesive Bra

The strapless style has long been around before corsets turned into bras, and even before corsets itself. They can be dated back to the 14th century, as seen on ancient wall paintings.

Graphic image of a nude colored bra that describes how adhesive bras should be nude in color, low cut and created from silicone

I can’t say the same for backless styles though. Posĕs didn’t leave as much of an impact, as it soon faded into oblivion while brassieres continued to evolve.

Nipple pasties were already a thing, but I can’t consider them a bra, can I? Probably not. The modern adhesive bra is a soft pair of nude silicone pads that act almost like a second skin when you stick them on.

It combines some of the best aspects of a strapless bra and nipple tape to cover your nipples or achieve an invisible appearance beneath thin clothes.

With advanced technology and innovative ideas, these adhesive bras have also been fused with bra styles like a push-up or plunges. Larger busted women might turn instead to the best backless bra for DD cup.

​Related Questions

Who Can Wear a Backless Adhesive Bra?

You can wear a backless adhesive bra regardless of your body type, whether petite with little breasts or full-figured with wide-set breasts. To get the desired look, be sure to choose the proper band size and cup design.

How Do You Clean a Sticky Backless Bra?

Use warm water and a small amount of liquid fabric detergent to wash your sticky backless bra. With your fingertips, gently rub the adhesive portion in a circular motion.

Can Strapless Bras Stay Up?

Strapless bras can stay up mainly because of the elastic band, which has a firm grasp against the underbust. Some strapless bras also include non-slip silicone grips to improve hold.

What Is a Bralette and ALL the Situations to Wear One


Today, adhesive bras are a pretty common undergarment to have in your lingerie collection. While it may not be the piece you choose to wear on an everyday basis, they allow you to wear clothes that might not be possible with other bras.


Allena is the Founder and Editor of The Better Fit, a platform dedicated to empowering women with practical advice on bras and fitness, inspired by her own revelation of the widespread issue of incorrect bra sizing. Her expertise and tips have been recognized by major publications such as Cosmopolitan, Better Homes & Gardens, Insider, and NBC, making her a trusted voice in women's wellness and lifestyle.