Open back dresses

The open-back dress is a summer staple not to miss – 9 of the best to buy now

Posted by for Fashion

Say hello to summer’s new ‘it’ dress thanks to Rixo, Free People, Topshop and co.

When your leggings are in the wash, a throw-on ‘anytime’ dress really is the next best thing to grab from the wardrobe. But, with hundreds to choose from on the virtual high street, it can be a minefield to wade through the masses. So we did the hard work for you. 

Stylist’s fashion team has picked the best yellow dresses that’ll add sunshine into your wardrobe (no matter the weather), floral iterations that’ll match your garden backdrop and our go-to Ganni picks. Now, it’s time to introduce the next big summer style doing the rounds – the open back dress.

London-born brand Rixo included some of these beauties in their latest drop and naturally they’re already doing the rounds on Instagram on the most stylish women. We may associate this style with occasion wear but now they’re more suitable for daytime with classic styles – think T-shirt and shirt dresses – being given the flash back detail. 

Before we delve into the shopping, let’ talk about bras, backs and skin on show. Some of us can go bra-free, some of us won’t want to. Some of us will enjoy showing off a square of skin, and – again – some of us won’t want to. There’s no right or wrong answer here, but cut-out back dresses really are suitable for everyone. So whether you want to show off your bra straps or throw on a long-sleeved t-shirt before the dress, there’s something for everyone in the selection below. 

Side note: some of the styles we’ve picked below have strategically placed straps so you can still wear a bra without it being visible. If not, there’s the option of a stick on bra from Debenhams suitable for A-E cups if you want it to be discreetly supported. 

So, there you have it. Here are the 9 best backless dresses that’ll transport you into full summer mode with minimal effort needed. 

  • Free People

    Free People dress
    Best cut-out back dresses: Free People

    This dress is a dream from all angles. The slinky fit midi skirt with spaghetti straps makes it a summer must-have. 

    Although this one is tricky to layer over a top, a stick on bra like this one from M&S is an alternative for those who would still like a bit of support. It’ll also work with a string bikini if you want to get the fresh-off-the-beach look.

    Shop Free People Margot midi dress, £140

  • V by Very Curve

    V by Very Curve red dress
    Best cut-out back dresses: V by Very Curve

    This angel sleeve dress with peekaboo back detail is the easy throw on dress we all need right now. Fresh from the curve collection at you can snap it up in sizes 14-28. You’ll be able to wear your usual bra with this one and team it with a pair of pink mules for a hot summer vibe. 

    Note: Wear your hair in a sleek ponytail to show off the back detail to perfection. 

    Shop V by Very Curve crinkle open back button dress, £35

  • Asos Edition

    Asos Edition cut out back dress
    Best cut-out back dresses: Asos Edition

    When you find a great dress, snap it up. Asos’s premium Edition label often sells out so we can only assume this will be one of the first to go. The intricate embroidered detail and button cuffs could easily mean it could be mistaken for designer. 

    Note: You should still be able to wear a thin strap T-shirt bra with this one. 

    Shop Asos Edition embroidered ruched batwing midi dress in green, £120

  • Free People

    Free People dress
    Best cut-out back dresses: Free People

    Hello dreamy beach dress. If your daily walk is luckily near a beach then this will be your get dressed and go look. If not, it’ll work just as well in the garden for a book reading session. 

    Keep it casual with flip flops and layered bangles for a boho vibe. If you want to wear a bra, it’ll look just as good layered over a tank top.

    Shop Free People tropical toile dress, £158

  • Staud

    Staud pink dress
    Best cut-out back dresses: Staud
    Not just known for its amazing handbags, Staud is a go-to for dresses, too. Most of us owned a maxi dress in the early noughties and now they’re back and better than ever.

    The hot pink backless dress just screams summer from every angle – style up with printed sandals and a wicker bag. 

    If you don’t want to go braless, add a red bikini top underneath fora cool colour clash. 

    Shop Staud Apfel cutout cotton-blend poplin halterneck maxi dress, £280

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Opening image: Getty

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