21 best backless dresses for subtly sexy style this summer (consider your Out-Out ‘fit sorted)

Once summer finally arrives, the easiest option is always a dress. And right now, the chicest styles are definitely backless dresses. Sure, we’re all about making an entrance, but sometimes, making an exit is even more powerful. Style-wise. The best backless dresses are ideal dress options for when you want to bring the party to the back – as well as staying on the fashion frontline.

There is something in the contrast between a demure, covered up front and then acres of bare skin that makes a backless dress so damn sexy. Showing off your buffed back has a surprise element too, particularly if you pick one of this summer’s cottagecore dresses.

You can take your commitment to going backless in stages. There are dresses with a couple of wide straps that still hold your look together or narrow laces that are more daring. Slashed backs or cutaway details have the look of a ‘normal’ dress from most angles while halter necks can sometimes be a clever way to go backless, as they offer more options for hiding a bra.

If you’re thinking that backless dresses are a no, because you don’t want to give up your bra, check out the genius TikTok hack that converts a regular bra into a backless one – or look at our guide to shopping all the invisible underwear alternatives. From stick on bras, invisible bras and nipple covers there will be a lingerie solution that you feel comfortable with.

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If you’re starting with a backless baby step, Coast’s printed dress would be ideal as it just shows off a triangle of your upper back, above your bra strap-line. Topshop’s bright lime dress has a slash back that you can make less revealing, by tightening the bow-tie. Reformation’s printed halterneck dress could let you wear a halter-neck bra, if you like, while Claudie Pierlot’s juicy orange maxi-dress has wide side straps at the back for a little more coverage.