Dresses with built-in bras—stylish, comfy dresses that mean you don't need underwires

Say goodbye to uncomfy underwear and hello to winning summer style with these dresses with built in bras

three models wearing dresses with built-in bras
(Image credit: Future: RCA Public Label, Soma, Aerie)

Dresses with built-in bras are up there as one of the most elusive items in the fashion industry. In the winter months, this functionality is less of an issue given the sheer number of layers we wear but as we head into warmer weather, working out the combination of summer dresses and bra straps is a whole new challenge. 

You can invest in the best bras in the world, but if you want to wear slender strappy dresses or bandeau styles in the summer, then you're left with very few bra options. Of course, this is normally where your best strapless bra comes in, but a strap-free bra under a strapped dress can sometimes cause shaping issues and if your dress is backless or low-backed too, then what?

Finding a comfortable bra has always been a big challenge and many of you reading this will know the unrivaled pleasure of ripping off a bra that's been digging in all day as soon as you walk through the door. A dress with a built-in bra solves all of these problems, allowing you to basque in the sunshine, and avoid awkward tan lines while still keeping your bust in place. The best dresses with built-in bras deserve a spot in your capsule wardrobe. And while not all of the best dresses with built-in bras support a big bust, there are options that do, making this style accessible for everyBODY.

10 dresses with built-in bras to shop now

woman showing front and back of black dress

(Image credit: Frankly Apparel)

1. Frankly Apparel The Emma Dress

Specifications

RRP: $98 (international shipping available)
Sizes: XS-4XL

Reasons to buy

+
Great size range
+
Strong bust support
+
Utilizes recycled materials for sustainable credentials

Reasons to avoid

-
Very casual style
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Only two colorways

Frankly Apparel's mission is to make going braless an option for more women. With a range of clothing that spans dresses, tops and bodysuits, Frankly Apparel wants to ensure its styles give support to all boobs great and small. Co-founders Jane and Heather can often be found on-site modeling the products, showcasing their styles on themselves to demonstrate the product properly. Covering cup sizes A-G, this nifty brand is set to revolutionize your wardrobe essentials.

The Emma dress is ideal for summer casual wear. A pretty, A-line style, the dress can be worn for a workout, or simply for a comfortable, casual outfit for a sunny day. A fully supportive bodysuit underneath ensures you feel secure and uplifted. Available in two colors, the black iteration is timeless and this outfit is ideal for packing for summer adventures. Pair with your best white trainers and a denim jacket for an instant spring-ready style. 


model wearing a strapless grey dress with built in bra

(Image credit: Soma)

2. Soma Strapless Maxi Bra Dress

Specifications

RRP: $142.50 (international shipping available)
Sizes: XXS-XXXL

Reasons to buy

+
Good size range
+
Strapless style for even tanning in the summer
+
Flattering ruching

Reasons to avoid

-
Largely casual style
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Lots of other styles available

Originally a lingerie brand, focusing on great fitting bras, Soma has a host of dresses with built-in bras that will help to reimagine your summer wardrobe. Utilizing the brand's fit knowledge from its bra business and injecting it into feminine dresses, these dresses are pretty and give excellent support—all at a good price point.

The collection boasts a host of jersey-style maxi silhouettes, ideal for summer vacations and weekend outfits. With sizes up to an XXXL, the dresses should fit a US size 20-22 or UK 24-26. The bandeau style lends itself nicely to summer, as it will help even out those tan lines, although there are straps available if you'd like a little more security. The front ruching panel across the bust is flattering for both large and smaller boobs, adding fullness and shaping. With an empire line cut, this is a flattering dress to hide a tummy and ideal for apple body shapes as it skims past midriffs. Pair with the best sandals and a cute cardigan for summer evening style. 


two models one wearing red one wearing black showing a jersey dress with built in bra

(Image credit: RCA Public Label)

3. RCA Public Label Convertible Dress

Specifications

RRP: $220 (international shipping available)
Sizes: 1X-5X (DDD-H) / C-DD cups available

Reasons to buy

+
Available in plus sizes
+
Specifically made for fuller busts
+
Great option for evening and special occasionwear

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey
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Only for C cup and above

Starting in lockdown, RCA Public label is one of the best plus size clothing brands. Made in the USA, items are made in small batches in the New York City garment district, giving everything this American clothing brand does an authentic and more sustainable feel. Founder of the brand, Renee, wanted to design clothes that fixed the various style issues she'd found with other plus labels and it seems she has hit the nail on the head for many others too. RCA Public Label showed at New York Fashion Week in its first year and has been applauded by women for its sexy and sleek designs.

Speaking about the development of the dress, Renee says: "I invented a built-in bra dress specifically for plus size women with F+ cups and in just one year, my unique patent-pending design has sold out several times. Due to popular demand, it is now also offered in smaller sizes. After all, who wouldn’t love one dress that looks sexy while offering comfortable support, moisture-wicking fabric, and versatility? Free yourself from the strapless bras this summer with a 'one and done' dress!"

The convertible dress is now a staple for the brand. Working tirelessly to make a LBD with a built-in bra that works for plus-size women and those who need a bra for a large bust, this design goes up to a 5X, supporting up to an H cup. With six ways to wear it, this versatile style can be tweaked for what to wear on a first date, used as a base layer under a blazer for what to wear to an interview, or simply worn with your best leather jacket or best denim jacket for stylish weekend look. You can switch it up and turn it into a halterneck style, or tank cut dress and adjust the flattering side ruching to suit your mood. Available in classic black, red and sequin, other colors are set to be added to the line in the coming months. 


model showing front and back of white skate skirt dress

(Image credit: Frankly Apparel)

4. Frankly Apparel The Charlee Dress

Specifications

RRP: $128 (international shipping available)
Sizes: XS-4XL

Reasons to buy

+
Its got pockets
+
Great for holiday
+
Excellent size range

Reasons to avoid

-
Could mark easily

This sporty, flirty midi dress is an ideal style to bag for the summer. Featuring an empire cut that falls into an A-line skirt, this design is light and airy, great for holidays or casual weekend wear. The Frankly Apparel brand offers brilliant support with its built-in bra system and the deep V-neck and squared-off back are both a sweet design element and offer a level of style practicality. A spot-on dress for heatwaves it even has pockets, immediately adding extra fashion points. Team with a pair of comfortable flats for a chic summer look.


model wearing black strappy maxi dress

(Image credit: Soma)

5. Soma Black Maxi Dress

Specifications

RRP: $59.40 (international shipping available)
Sizes: XS-XXXL

Reasons to buy

+
Maxi dress style
+
Can be styled for smarter occasions
+
Bust flattering design

Reasons to avoid

-
Only one colorway

Another great design from Soma, this strappy dress features a built-in bra that both fits and flatters. The ruching across the bust will add shape and fullness to a smaller chest, making it an ideal for choice for those looking to add curves. Made from jersey, the dress offers plenty of comfort and stretch but also has a lovely drape and handle. 

In a maxi-length silhouette, this dress can easily be dressed up or down. Team with plimsolls or sandals for a sun-ready outfit or team with a cropped blazer in sequin or tweed to give this look added polish. 


model wearing a tank dress in pink with built in bra

(Image credit: SheBird)

6. SheBird Tunic Tank Dress

Specifications

RRP: $89 (international shipping available)
Sizes: 1-9

Reasons to buy

+
Five colors available
+
Confusing size range
+
Great price point

Reasons to avoid

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Not figure hugging

SheBird was founded four years ago by three women who wanted to revolutionize the way women dressed. They wanted to simplify every day, creating clothing from performance fabric with built-in added value. The brand's journey started with its SheLove built-in bras that feature in this dress, as well as a range of tops and sleepwear. Having seen success with its built-in bras, the brand is launching shorts with some of the best shapewear built-in, just in time for summer. 

Embrace the fashion color trends 2022 with this mood-boosting dress. One of the best pink dresses, it perfectly encapsulates the fashion trend 2022 for dopamine dressing. With a sleek, in-built bra, the almost crop top style support underneath lifts, fits, and flatters for a comfortable finish. The dress itself favors a trapeze shape, which will work for all body types, skimming a midriff on apple body shapes and gliding past fuller hips on pear-shaped bodies. While the jersey dress definitely feels casual, add one of the best blazers to this look and a smart pair of heels, and you could easily make this look work for the office in the summer. 


two models showing Aerie's red and white printed dress

(Image credit: Aerie)

7. Aerie Offline Real Me Xtra Tennis Dress

Specifications

RRP: $64.95 /(international shipping available)
Sizes: XS-XXL

Reasons to buy

+
Youthful design
+
Fun print
+
Great price point

Reasons to avoid

-
Small size range

Having worked with plus size models such as Iskra Lawrence, Aerie is well known for its body-positive stance. One of the first major fashion brands to publicly announce that it was doing away with airbrushing imagery, the brand's youthful outlook ensures it creates trend-worthy looks at pocket-friendly prices. While Aerie isn't a specialist at solution clothing, they do have a pretty solid lingerie department, so it knows what it's doing when it comes to built-in underwear.

This cute printed tennis dress has a stack of rave reviews and five-star ratings online. Shot on two different models, to help shoppers see how the dress fits on two different silhouettes. Available in three colorways, we love this spring-ready, distorted, gingham print. The red and white combo, make it ideal for a Memorial Day outfit, although once you slip into this dress, we have a feeling you'll want to wear it all summer long. Named a 'tennis dress', with Wimbledon around the corner, this sporty style is about to come into its own. Mimicking the actual design functionality of a tennis frock, the dress features attached shorts and pockets, should you actually want to head on to the court in this number. The central back strap, trimmed in frills is a lovely added detail that offers an extra luxe factor. 

model wearing blue slip dress and showing inside of the slip dress

(Image credit: Silk Maison)

7. Silk Maison Slip Dress with Built-In Bra

Specifications

RRP: $145 (international shipping available)
Sizes: S / M / L

Reasons to buy

+
100% silk 
+
Cool for summer

Reasons to avoid

-
Small size range
-
Largely aimed at nightwear

Silk Maison is really, as the name suggests, all about silk. The built-in bra on this little number is somewhat of a happy accident as it were. The brand has a huge range of 100% silk products, from nightwear to the best robes and a selection of party dresses. While most of the items on-site do not feature built-in bras, a quick search brought up this timeless design. 

This silk slip dress comes in three colors and can be worn as a day, evening or sleep dress. For the daytime, slide over your best white t-shirt and team with trainers for a super-cool casual look. In the evening, wear this silky slip dress with the best designer heels, some statement jewelry and perhaps an oversized blazer for a directional feel. Want to wear it for bed? Then with a built-in bra, you negate the need for any of the best sleep bras, making this truly versatile and functional. 


model wearing short black dress with built in bra

(Image credit: Soma)

8. Soma Cross-Back Dress with Built-In Bra

Specifications

RRP: $120 (international shipping available)
Sizes: XXS-XXXL

Reasons to buy

+
Stylish strap design
+
Wearable for multiple occasions
+
Comfortable fabric

Reasons to avoid

-
Needs more color options

Soma has made this list a few times for a reason. Specialists in the field, the brand's range is larger than we could fit into this column. This double strap detailed dressed, with gathering detail under the bust and a knee-length hem is one of the smartest dresses we found, with a built-in bra. In a neutral black hue, this dress can easily be spun for multiple occasions. Looking for what to wear to a christening? Add a bright jacket to this look and you're on to a winner. Need something for an upcoming holiday? Slide this dress into your luggage for the ultimate in alfresco dining style. Simple, but flattering, the fuller skirt and under-bust cut will skim your silhouette and without pesky bra wires, you'll feel comfortable all day and night.


model wearing a grey ribbed dress

(Image credit: SheBird)

9. SheBird The Luxe Rib Vacay Dress

Specifications

RRP: $78 (international shipping available)
Sizes: 1-7

Reasons to buy

+
Ideal for lounging
+
Good support
+
Great price

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite a straight and clingy shape
-
Dull color

Literally named the 'Vacay dress,' this casual ribbed dress is ideal for more dressed-down days. Whether you integrate this grey ribbed design into your best loungewear looks or save it for hot holidays—where wired bras are usually even more uncomfortable, there is no denying the practicality of this jersey dress. The ribbed fabric offers added fit and support and we love the deep underband on the hidden crop top. With quite a short hemline, you could even wear this dress, tunic style and pair it with your fave summer shorts, or your best leggings


woman wearing black turtle neck dress with built in bra

(Image credit: Klassy Network)

10. Klassy Network Mock Turtleneck Brami Dress

Specifications

RRP: $55 (international shipping available)
Sizes: XS-3XL

Reasons to buy

+
Great price point
+
Rave reviews
+
Smart design

Reasons to avoid

-
High neck makes it smart over casual, limiting wear.

Bringing style and comfort together is the name of the game at Klassy Network. Utilizing wardrobe staples and giving them a fashion-forward twist, with a dose of practicality sprinkled on top has given way to a collection of 'brami' (bra-cami) tops that can easily be slotted into your capsule wardrobe. Using its signature built-in padding, to offer bust support without restriction. With an inclusive size range, the brand's items fit cup sizes A-G+ and XS to a 3XL. 

This turtleneck design is the smartest and perhaps most office-appropriate we've seen and you could certainly wear this look all year long. Featuring built-in padding with a light compressive band under the chest it offers support without feeling tight and restrictive. Essentially a black sheath dress you can wear it alone or use it as a layering piece under jackets or knitwear. A really clever design that offers plenty of fashion mileage. 


Rivkie is a fashion editor, writer and stylist with over fifteen years' experience in the industry. Having studied design and pattern cutting at the London College of Fashion, Rivkie fell in love with styling and journalism, covering fashion weeks in London, Paris and New York. 


Specialising in plus size fashion, Rivkie has long championed that style is for everyBODY and has been a regular talking head on a host of radio stations and television shows, pushing for greater representation for plus size women and fashion throughout her career.