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With the summer season in full swing, it’s time to showcase your prettiest mini, midi and maxi dresses. Whether you’re wearing a head-turning backless dress for a formal event or packing skin-flaunting cutaway dresses for your beach holiday, you’ll find the perfect bra to match at M&S, as well as some hacks to help keep it from view

To create this handy guide, we surveyed women in the UK, including our customers, to discover which statement styles you avoid wearing due to bra-related concerns.

Based on our research*, 61% of women say they have shied away from dresses they love because they weren’t able to find a suitable bra solution.

And when women were asked more about the dressstyle they consider most challenging when it comes to finding a suitable bra**, the top five culprits were: open-backed dresses (23%), cut-out-back dresses (21%), strapless or bandeau dresses (20%), off-the-shoulder dresses (19%) and halterneck dresses (16%).

But fear not! With expert bra advice from Soozie Jenkinson, head of lingerie design at M&S, there’s no reason that you can’t wear all those lovely summer dresses this season. Read on to find out more about which bras are perfect for your favourite summer dress.

Low-back dress with multiway bra

Best bra for: low-backed dresses

If you have a special occasion coming up this summer, a low-backed slip dress is a glamorous option. Try our versatile 100 ways to wear multiway bra with the low-back converter for an effortless bra solution for backless dresses. Alternatively, a lace-back crop top such as the Meia rib lace crop top is perfect for creating an on-trend layered look.

Bardot dress with strapless bra

Best bra for: Bardot (off-the-shoulder) dresses

A shoulder-flaunting Bardot dress looks effortlessly elegant throughout the summer months, but finding a bra to suit the style can prove tricky. To avoid straps peeking out, try a strapless style for all-day comfort and support.

Halterneck summer dress with strapless bra

Best bra for: halterneck dresses

No longer confined to the Nineties, halterneck dresses are making a comeback, and we love this sunshine-ready style. However, selecting the right bra can feel like a bit of a mystery. Soozie recommends a strapless bandeau bra for those that don’t need high support, and the 100 ways to wear multiway bra with the straps crisscrossed at the back for those looking for something more supportive.

Spaghetti-strap summer dress with strapless bra

Best bra for: dresses with spaghetti straps

Perfect for hot summer days, dresses with spaghetti straps are a staple when the sun’s out. Soozie recommends a supportive strapless bra that will allow you to embrace the minimal style while keeping you comfortable all day long. Or, if you want to create a more Nineties silhouette, layer with a vest top and T-shirt bra.

V-neck dress with plunge bra

Best bra for: dresses with a V neck or plunging neckline

V-neck dresses are stylish and universally flattering. For comfort and support no matter how low the neckline, choose a plunge bra or opt for a versatile body such as the beautiful Meia lace body, which is perfect for layering under plunging necklines.

Square-neck summer dress with bra solution

Best bra for: square-neck dresses

An increasingly popular neckline for summer, the square neck radiates sophistication and is a holiday essential. The square shape of a balcony bra means that it is a discreet option to wear underneath a dress with a wide, angular neckline. Alternatively, try our Meia rib body, which features a square neckline making it perfect for layering.

One-shoulder dress with multiway bra

Best bra for: one-shoulder dresses

Whether you’re planning a summer holiday or have a wedding to attend, one-shoulder dresses are a hot trend to try. For full comfort and support while wearing this striking style, opt for the wired multiway bra and switch the straps to fasten over one shoulder for a polished look.


* Survey of 516 M&S female M&S customers carried out in April 2022 – stat is based on percentage of women who selected ‘yes’ to either the option ‘I returned the item even though I really liked it’ or ‘I decided not to buy the item even though I really liked it’ when asked about a dress they returned or did not buy because they weren’t able to find the right bra or lingerie to suit the style

** Survey of 1,000 UK female respondents carried out by Censuswide in April 2022