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Style over 50: Bra Friendly Summer Dresses

Article by Ceri Wheeldon

summer dresses you can wear with a bra image

Whether it’s a summer holiday or a staycation, the warm, sunny weather is welcome, but it can be difficult to find summer dresses that are easy and comfortable to wear in our 50s and beyond – especially if we want to wear a normal bra.

When we were younger we may well have been able to go braless enabling us to wear strappy sun dresses. Strapless bras are of course an option, but for those who are bigger busted one that fits and gives the right level of support may not be easy to find. Personally I have found that some strapless bras have such a tight fitting band to keep them in place that they are not particularly comfortable to wear in hot weather.

Fortunately there are summer dresses available to wear with a regular bra. If you are worried about your bra strap slipping and showing when wearing a sleeveless dress, you can always sew a piece of tape with poppers into the shoulder of the dress to keep your bra strap in place – it’s a trick I’ve used many times.


Here are just a few bra friendly dresses available at the moment:


red summer dress you can wearr with bra image

This red floral wrap dress from Sosander  has a flattering v neck to help elongate the neck and flatter the bust area. It skims over the hips to help slim your lower half and the tie waist emphasis the slimmest part of your body. The short sleeves of course easily cover bra straps. Great to wear with strappy sandals, or a denim jacket and trainers for a more casual look.

Red floral wrap dress from Sosandar £69


summer dress to wear with bra image

Another red dress, this time with sleeves for those who are self conscious about their upper arms.  The ruffles on the sleeves and hem give it a contemporary feel, and again it skims the hips to flatter the lower body.

Polka dot fit and flare dress from Sosandar £69


animal print maxi style over 50 image


I love animal print – whether its to wear or accessorise my home! I’m a secret Bet Lynch!

I find shirt dresses so flattering – they are easy to dress up or down, and this dress can be worn with espadrilles or trainers for a summer look, or with boots later in the year. A great year round investment piece.


Leopard print maxi shirt dress  from Sosandar £69

pale green summer dress to wear with bra


A dress that is so easy to slip on.  Fab for sightseeing or meeting friends for lunch . Fresh , summery, and a bargain!!

Pale green dress from ASOS UK £30

maxi dress for bigger busted women over 50 image

A maxi dress that provides plenty of cover and easily allows for a good, supportive bra. This is an ideal dress for those who are bigger busted . Again this dress skims the hips- great for those who are curvy.

Poppy maxi dress from John Lewis & Partners  £110

maxi dresss for women over 50 image


Tapering under the bust, another flattering maxi that works with a normal bra. With the gathers on the skirt focussed only on the centre of the dress, this allows for movement while providing cover for tums, without adding volume to the sides, creating a flattering silhouette. The scarf print is fun.

Scarf print maxi  dress from John Lewis & Partners £55









Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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