Fashion And Beauty For The Hardcore | Breakthrough Backless Bra
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Breakthrough Backless Bra

There’s a certain category of summer fashion that can send any woman unable to dispense with a bra running for the hills. Whether it’s something strapless, backless, a halter, or anything else where the sight of visible bra straps is less-than-lovely, these sexy looks seem difficult, if not impossible to pull off if you’re not flat-chested and able to go bra-less.
While bra manufacturers have certainly acknowledged the conundrum of wearing a bra with strapless or halter tops and have come up with a host of bra solutions (silicone-lined underwire, straps that go around the neck instead of the shoulders, to name a couple), when it comes to backless tops or dresses, there haven’t been any winners. Until now.

Last week, Maidenform unveiled the “Breakthrough Backless Bra,” designed by Elaine Cato, the Nashville native who appeared on the ABC show “American Inventor” last June, a sort of “American Idol” for product inventors. While her design for a 6-in-1 convertible bra didn’t win the grand prize of $1 million (she was a runner-up), she took home an even bigger reward: Maidenform approached her about manufacturing a design for a backless bra.

“The concept of the “6-in-1″ was that we tucked the back wings into the sides of the bra,” said Cato via email on Monday, April 7. “Basically it was like the standard convertible bra, able to be worn as halter, strapless, et cetera, but also had pockets to tuck the wing into.”

Cato said she came up with the idea when looking for a bra to wear with a backless pantsuit for a New Year’s Eve party. “But since I had last worn it, bra-less, I had two children, and my cup size had changed.” She couldn’t find a backless bra anywhere, so she sat down at her dining room table to design one herself, taking apart one of her regular bras and to create a new backless version, which she further developed on “American Inventor” as the 6-in-1 bra.

But Cato said that her 6-in-1 bra still wasn’t the perfect version of the bra.

“The problem with it was that there was an unattractive and unwanted bulge on the sides of the bra that I couldn’t get rid of. It looked a bit bulky, though it worked.”

Once she started working with Maidenform, she finally had the resources that she needed in order to perfect the design, she said.

“The bra is held up by the shoulder straps,” explained Cato. “It is made of lightweight microfiber fabric that is soft to the touch, with seamless molded foam cups that deliver smooth shaping under clothes. Combining that with a two-way stretch technology, the bra provides a maneuverable fit with excellent flexibility.”

The bra comes in sizes 34B through 38DD; Cato said that it was designed with a full-figured woman in mind.

“The bra allows women with even large busts to flaunt their sexy backs like never before!” said Cato.