3 ways to cover your cleavage in a formal dress

3 ways to cover your cleavage in a formal dress
3 ways to cover your cleavage in a formal dress

You've found a dress you love. The problem is, her plunging neckline won't have a place in formal settings, whether it's the office or a fancy event. It will not necessarily be necessary to return it. With just one or two adjustments, you will be able to cover your cleavage, in a very elegant result. Whether you prefer to layer underwear, add creative accessories, or get your sewing kit out, in no time you'll be the prettiest one to go dancing.


Method 1 of 3: Wear a Layer Under the Dress

Cover Cleavage in a Formal Dress Step 1

Step 1. Wear a thin camisole in a complementary color

Avoid basic tank tops, which won't be dressy enough to pair with a formal dress. Look for more luxurious materials, such as lace or silk, and avoid pieces that are too bulky, which will form unsightly bulges on your figure.

  • Match the camisole to the color of your dress, if you want to give the impression that the two pieces are meant to be worn together. Thus, the camisole will not seem like an added piece, intended to cover you.
  • To better support your chest, wear a bra under your camisole. You could also opt for a built-in bra, to cover yourself more widely.
  • For a slimming and smoothing effect, look for a camisole that doubles as a sheath, like a Spanx product.
Cover Cleavage in a Formal Dress Step 2

Step 2. Let a pretty bra protrude slightly

You might think showing off your bra is a bad idea, but if you choose the right style and fabric, it can be a stylish addition to your outfit. Some will even give the illusion of being a camisole or part of the dress, with the advantage of maintaining your chest.

  • There are high-rise bras that will better cover your cleavage. Choose a lace-trimmed model to match the dress or choose a classic black model.
  • Bandeau bras do not have straps and cover the entire chest. They are therefore perfect to be worn with a dress with thin straps or over a bra providing more support, to cover the neckline more widely.
Cover Cleavage in a Formal Dress Step 3

Step 3. Cover your chest without volume with a removable piece

This option will come in handy if you don't want to buy new underwear or wear extra layers. These pieces of fabric usually attach to bra straps. This allows you to choose the underwear you prefer, without risking the straps getting tangled.

  • If you also want to cover your exposed back with a high-cut back, look for a camisole that will fully cover your core.
  • Look for a convertible bra with a removable front piece, like those from Le Mystère.
  • On Amazon, search for cleavage hide, or check out Calicosy brand sites.
Cover Cleavage in a Formal Dress Step 4

Step 4. Hold everything in place with double-sided fashion tape

If you're worried that your wrap dress will open too wide at the top or that your plunging neckline is showing your bust too much, this adhesive will allow you to hold the fabric in place and adjust the neckline.

  • Remove the protective film from one side of the adhesive and place it on the skin of your chest, where you want the neckline to end leaving a small margin on the edge of the fabric, so that the adhesive is not visible. Smooth the tape over the fabric, then peel off the protective film from the second side and place the fabric on top. Repeat on the other side of the neckline if necessary.
  • Use the pre-cut adhesive or cut it to the correct length.
  • Do not pull too much on the fabric when pressing it onto the adhesive, as this may create tension and cause the tape to fall off.
  • Take extra tape with you everywhere, in case your garment comes off and you need to secure it again.

Method 2 of 3: Add well-placed accessories

Cover Cleavage in a Formal Dress Step 5

Step 1. Wear a scarf or shawl around your neck or shoulders

A thick woolen scarf may look best over your winter coat. On the other hand, a pretty silk scarf, printed or in a classic shade, will be perfect for going to work or going out at night.

  • Wrap your shoulders in a shawl and tie it nicely across your chest. This will keep your arms warm if you are wearing a sleeveless dress.
  • Tie your scarf in a large, looped knot at your chest, to distract from your scoop neckline.
  • Let the scarf hang over your chest, without tying it, and wear a thin belt around your waist to keep it in place. It will also cinch your waist and enhance your figure.
Cover Cleavage in a Formal Dress Step 6

Step 2. Add an attention grabbing necklace

The jewel will fill the space created by the plunging neckline, while bringing a touch of shine to the outfit. Layer several rows of pearls on a simple black dress for the most elegant effect. Or choose a unique and daring piece!

  • Look for necklaces with adjustable chains, so you can place them exactly at the desired level, to best cover your chest.
  • Bib necklaces will be perfect! They will cover a large part of your cleavage. These pieces are made of overlapping chains or colored stones and beads.
  • Have a light hand with the accessories. A daring necklace, paired with long earrings and chunky bracelets, could give an overloaded result.
Cover Cleavage in a Formal Dress Step 7

Step 3. Use a brooch to close the neckline

If the fabric of the neckline is loose enough that you can close it, try securing both sides of the garment with a sparkly brooch. You won't need to add anything else - the brooch will double as an accessory.

  • If you don't have a brooch that will do the trick, you can use a safety pin, which you will need to take care to hide under the fabric.
  • Look for a safety pin the same color as your dress, if you can't hide it completely.

Method 3 of 3: Touch up the dress

Cover Cleavage in a Formal Dress Step 8

Step 1. Sew a piece of fabric to the dress

If you can sew, try this trick. You can use a piece of fabric cut from an item of clothing that you no longer wear, such as a skirt. Choose a fabric adapted to the shape of the neckline, for a more subtle result.

  • Secure the fabric inside the neckline with pins, while you are wearing the dress. Then remove the garment and sew the fabric along the neckline, using a thread of a similar color to the dress. Trim the excess fabric, leaving a margin of about 2cm if you plan to hem it.
  • If you don't feel able to sew yourself, go to a seamstress and ask to have the task done.
Cover Cleavage in a Formal Dress Step 9

Step 2. Add snaps to the dress

Maybe you want to cover your cleavage for a certain occasion, but want a more plunging neckline for another occasion?

  • Put on the dress. With a pencil, mark the level at which you would like to place the pressures. Make a mark on the top of the sewing piece and a mark on the inside of the dress. Sew the pressures on the back of the fabric, at the marks.
  • To go from a daytime look to an evening look, hide your cleavage to go to work and reveal it to go out to dinner!
Cover Cleavage in a Formal Dress Step 10

Step 3. Shorten the straps to bring up the neckline

Sometimes long straps will cause the garment to fall too low on your chest, revealing your chest too widely. By shortening the straps, the dress will be more modest and more comfortable.

  • Cut the straps in the back, remove the excess length, using the cut length on one side to measure the length to be removed on the other strap. Sew the shoulder straps back in place by making several stitches, and make sure that they are not twisted before starting to sew.
  • Avoid shortening the straps if the dress has a band or seam under the bust, as this detail would fit across your chest, which would not be comfortable.
  • Keep in mind that this will also narrow the armholes. Before cutting and sewing, make sure that the armholes are placed correctly and that the size is correct.

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