It’s another reader request today – can you tell I’m ticking off my to-do list before we go away? A few people have mentioned the difficulty of finding truly invisible lingerie to wear under things like white linen trousers and low backed dresses in the summer, especially since I featured the halternecks I wore for our French trip. So, over the last few weeks I’ve been calling in samples to test and I’ve come up with my pick of the best nude lingerie for summer: t-shirt bras, no-VPL knickers and bras for awkwardly cut tops. With each bra, I’ve shortlisted one for a smaller bust and one for a bust that needs more support. It seemed as though it would be such an easy project but actually it’s taken longer than I thought and it’s left me with a complete drawerful of nude lingerie – I may never need to buy a nude bra again!

I’m aware that as I’m writing this it’s mostly geared towards lighter skintones. There’s a real scarcity of nude lingerie in darker tones, perhaps somebody needs to ask Rihanna to add lingerie to her Fenty range. I apologise in advance, I did try and I’ve raised it as an issue with a number of retailers and suppliers.

Best nude lingerie for summer – standard t-shirt bras

Light support

I find these sumptuously soft t-shirts to be the most comfortable to wear. They’re described as padded but it’s only in the sense that you won’t have any nipple show-through in an air-conditioned building, there’s no cleavage boosting padding. Because the gore at the front is low, they give a really nice shape under a t-shirt, avoiding the ‘mono-boob’ that you sometimes get with more structured bras.

Best nude lingerie for summer

Soft plunge bra

Firm support

This is a solid bra with good side support for anyone who needs more engineering. Do you remember us talking about the importance of side support in this post about how to find the right bra for your breast shape? I wore it when we were cycling in the Lakes so I really put it through its paces and once you’re in it doesn’t budge. It also has memory foam so it moulds to your shape, giving a more natural looking outline than a lot of others I tried.

Best nude lingerie for summer

Basic t-shirt bra

Best nude lingerie for summer – strapless bras

I’m sticking with the t-shirt theme here so avoiding cups that have any kind of detail such as seams or lace and staying with a hardworking nude colour palette.

Smaller bust

I’m really impressed with the structure of this one. When you look at the padding inside it’s been designed as a pair of hands that lift the breasts up and support them. This means of course that it’s perfect for anyone who is looking for a cleavage boost. It stays put and I found it to be more comfortable than the majority of strapless bras, a lot of the others I tried seemed to dig in.

Best nude lingerie for summer - strapless bras

Ultimate strapless bra

Fuller busts

This is a hardworking strapless bra for somebody who wants support but no extra boosting. It isn’t quite as comfortable as the one above, I was aware of the underwiring but it was the best unpadded one I tried. It has good side support which means it gives a really smooth silhouette and it currently has 20% off.

Best nude lingerie for summer - strapless bras

Smoothing strapless bra

Best nude lingerie for summer – bras for awkward tops and dresses

I mentioned this in a previous post, it’s the bra I wear under my halterneck tops. It doesn’t give much support but it’s the easiest solution I’ve found and there are lots of different ways that you can attach the straps so you can use it with other difficult tops such as plunging or asymmetric necklines and low cut backs too.

Best nude lingerie for summer - backless dresses

100 ways to wear it bra

If you’re just looking for a solution for a low backed dress, this is an easy and cost-effective way of adapting one of your existing bras. It currently only seems to be available in black but they usually have a nude version too.

Best nude lingerie for summer - low back dresses

Low back converter

And if you’re absolutely stuck, these stick-on bras offer some support. I tried one for a day and it stayed on well, I don’t think I’d be worried about it pinging off on the dancefloor and hitting someone in the eye but you never know! I found it better to go down by one cupsize for a more secure fit. I tested this one with the deep plunge neckline…

Best nude lingerie for summer - stick on bras

Stick on bra

…but it’s also available in a classic shape.

Best nude lingerie for summer

Classic stick on bra

Best nude lingerie for summer – invisible briefs

Now this has been a frustrating job. Most of the pieces that I was sent to test claimed to have no VPL but I found that despite their discreet seams, a line was still visible through fabrics such as jersey. In the end the only knickers that were genuinely invisible were laser cut ones. They aren’t the most attractive thing to wear but they do disappear visibly. These are the best that I tried:

Best nude lingerie for summer - invisible briefs

No VPL Brazilian cut

… or for fuller coverage…

best no vpl knickers

No VPL shorts

… and you’re in luck if you have a darker skintone because the deeper shades have a slight shimmer.

vpl knickers darker skintones

No VPL knickers – deeper shades

What I’ve been wearing

I’ve been trying to remember to get outfit shots when we’re out and about. As always, I intend to post them on Instagram but then generally don’t because they feel too ordinary but anyway, here’s a random selection for you.

Night out with friends

A night out for a friend’s birthday – we weren’t going to the nightclub behind us by the way, just a restaurant nearby although we did end up dancing at a Pop-Up soul bar at the end of the evening which was a good result!

Midlifechic friends

Top; Trousers; Clutch

Sunday afternoon casual

This was the following evening when only the middle one was at home. He was at a loose end so we popped out to see Yesterday at the cinema – it’s a real feel-good movie, catch it if you can. I’m wearing a new ponte blazer, I’ve been looking for a longer casual one for ages so I was really pleased when this finally came off pre-order. It’s a heavy ponte so good for cooler evenings and it will be great for travelling in because of course it doesn’t crease. A black blazer / t-shirt / jeans combo is a standard formula for me on a Sunday.

Midlifechic Boden Smyth blazer

Blazer (gifted SS19); t-shirt; jeans (gifted SS18); espadrilles (gifted SS19)

Working in London

An early morning station shot as I was heading down to London for a meeting and a haircut / colour. Last time you saw me wearing this jumpsuit we were in France but it dresses up well for work too. The strapless bra withstood the test of a long day.

Midlifechic cobalt jumpsuit

Jumpsuit (gifted SS19); Jigsaw sandals (SS18); Sunglasses

And here’s a picture of the latest stage of my hair journey when I finally made it home again. AJ tells me that the colour at the front on my right side is now completely my own and he’s just blending the rest to match.

Midlifechic going grey

Jumpsuit; necklace (gifted SS15); earrings (gifted SS16)

As you can see, the underneath is still quite dark so when I asked him how darker haired people should go grey, he suggested I show you this as a way of managing the lightening process. I’ve never been as dark as this at the front of my head so the under layers at the back surprised me.

Midlifechic hair at the back

Brewery party

Last Friday we quite literally went to a ‘p*** up in a brewery’. The headmaster from our village primary school is retiring which seems weird because not only was he there for all of our boys but I’ve actually known him since we were at school ourselves. I should add that he’s five years older than me but even so he’s the first contemporary of ours to retire.

Midlifechic party outfit

Boden silk blouse AW17; Gold Miss Selfridge trousers AW17; Zara shoes AW17; Jigsaw clutch SS18

Proud mum day

This was last Sunday at the middle one’s school. He’s had a big part in his very last school show (We Will Rock You) and we’re so proud of him that we’ve been in the audience almost every night this week.

Midlifechic jeans outfit summer

Broderie blouse (now in the sale); jeans (gifted SS18); sandals; bag (available in scarlet)

Not only does he act in this one but he sings and dances too! Here’s a little taster for you (the tattoos by the way are on a vest, they’re not his!).

For privacy reasons YouTube needs your permission to be loaded. For more details, please see our Privacy Policy.
I Accept

Working lunch in the north

And then finally this was on Wednesday on my way to the Northern Professionals’ summer lunch which went on until late in the evening. As I mentioned on Instagram my favourite conversation was with a man who was backing a new app called Tudder which is Tinder for cows. I love working up here, it’s just like London but so much more earthy!

Midlifechic work outfit

Leather jacket (size down AW18); short sleeved jumper (gifted SS19); Finery skirt (AW16); Midlifechic clutch (sold out); M&S shoes (SS19 sold out); Mango earrrings (SS19 sold out)

And so that’s been the last couple of weeks. I’ve been missing the youngest who’s away doing Outward Bound with NCS and the eldest who is busy at different festivals with his summer security job so it’s been good to keep busy. We have another party tonight and then we’ll be starting to count down to our holiday. We’ll be closing the summer shop next Friday so it’s your last chance to buy t-shirts or straw clutches this year. I’ll be back on Tuesday and in the meantime, the sun’s due to return in the UK so have a lovely summer weekend everyone.

Disclosure: ‘Best nude lingerie for summer’ is not a sponsored post. I was provided with free samples to test by a number of brands but the shortlist was chosen purely on the basis of performance.

Recent posts you may have missed

Absolute beauty essentials – things I take with me wherever I travel

A long weekend with teens in the French Riviera

Going grey gracefully – how to approach it

Summer sale buys and Midlife Lately

The Lake District with teenagers

Last minute travel buys from M&S

An easy wardrobe solution for a wet summer

Beauty, menopause and midlife musings

What to pack for a chic weekend in the countryside

Linen from JD Williams

Packing for a hot beach holiday

M&S trying-on session

What to pack for a weekend in the French Riviera

Swimwear, beach and holiday packing with John Lewis & Partners

Elevated looks – easy summer dressing for women over 40