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Boob tape may not be a perfect or absolutely necessary product, but for those who are looking to ditch a bra and still have some level of support for their breasts in whatever they’re wearing, it’s a downright game changer. As the name suggests, boob tape is an adhesive strip of fabric specifically designed for keeping breasts in a fixed position.That could mean pushed together for more pronounced cleavage or holding them in a slightly lifted and shaped way. Imagine your favorite, most comfortable bra became nearly invisible. It’s kind of like that.
Similar, but old-school, solutions may have inspired folks turn to more household-use tapes—for example: Kim Kardashian wearing gaffers tape in 2008 under a low-cut look—but the options today are not only better, they’re gentler, more effective, and come in a range of nude color shades to suit different complexions. This includes Nue, a brand launched in 2020 by beauty/fashion-editor-turned-founder, Stephanie Montes. The product comes available in three skin tone options and donates a portion of its sales to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, however it’s most known for being a self-professed “boob job in a box.” That’s not to suggest Nue—a French word meaning “nude”—is for augmentation. It simply allows the wearer to choose how their breasts look on their frame.
Like the decision to wear a bra at all, boob tape is an optional and completely personal wardrobe choice. If you rather wear convertible bras or nothing at all, stick to tape for household odd jobs and gift wrapping. But if you’re curious about the specifics of how boob tape works, stick around. Ahead, Montes helps us break the logistics of applying, wearing, and removing boob tape like a pro.
Meet the Expert
Before You Tape
Montes says that some of the same rules apply to boob tape as they do with skincare. “If you know that you’re a super sensitive skintype, just do a little patch test whether it’s on your chest or your arm,” she says. Nue’s tapes are hypoallergenic and latex-free, but you’ll want to be sure this or any other product won’t cause you irritation, especially if it’s going to be taped to your skin for multiple hours. Once you’re in the clear, the conditions for proper applications are straightforward: clean, dry skin. “Don’t wear lotion as it would mess with the adhesive and it won’t stick as well,” Montes adds.
To make sure you’re applying tape to the proper spots so it won’t show under clothing, Montes recommends using a nude eyeliner to mark the outline of your top on your skin. However, should you have any tape sticking out of your clothing after application, it’s also easy to carefully cut away any excess. Either way, keep scissors handy as you’ll use those to cut the strips of tape you’ll be using in the looks below.
For Low-Cut Tops
For plunging necklines or silhouettes with a wide opening down the sternum, boob tape can be used to create a lifted breast shape without visible bra lines. Begin by holding your breast in the desired position. Once established, apply the first strip of tape beginning from under the breast (about where a bra band might be), following it along the curve of your bustline, pulling as much as necessary to hold the breast in your selected place. “I like to go straight through the nipple, to give lift, as my base strip,” says Montes. “Then if I want to go in more for cleavage, I’ll put a strip on the outside [of the breast] and push inwards.”
As she explains, the next strips can run vertically along the outside of the breast, slightly pushing inward to create cleavage, while smoothing the tape along the curve of your body for a natural shape and hold. You can optionally apply a piece vertically next to the piece on the nipple, closer to the breast bone, to define your shape. In total, you’ll likely use between two and four strips to establish a secure fit. “You do need a lot less than you think because the tape does stretch so much,” says Montes. Ultimately, the amount you use will depend on the size of your bust.
For Strapless Tops
If you can think of nothing more frustrating than tugging at a strapless bra when wearing a bandeau top or dress, you may be relieved to know that boob tape can do the trick, too. “I like to start underneath and kind of pull upwards,” says Montes of the application. She explains that a bandeau look can be created with strips of tape running horizontally from the bottom side of one breast—securing where the breast tissue begins, nearly under the armpit—to the outside of the other. “Build from the bottom up for support,” Montes explains, with strips of tape layering toward the nipples. “Pull upwards for lift and inward for cleavage...to get a balconette look.”
Montes says this supportive-at-the-bottom, fullness-at-the-top look not only works well for strapless pieces or “a Bridgerton look,” but she also chooses this taping technique under everyday T-shirts, too. “If I want my T-shirt to look really crisp and smooth, then I can add the tape underneath and I don’t have to worry about the crease in the back or the line showing up top.”
For Triangle-Shaped (and Other Tricky) Tops
For extra tricky silhouettes such as with cutouts, triangle tops, or anything else nearly impossible to hide a bra beneath, there’s another way to provide support (if you want it). Use the strips of tape to create two individual bra cups. Determine the ideal placement of your breast, then begin applying smaller strips horizontally from the bottom of the breast toward the nipple or top to create what Montes calls a “mermaid cup.” Again, pull the tape slightly upward and inward to create cleavage and lift. Then repeat the same process on the other breast.
When using products like Nue, which are sweatproof and waterproof, this application can even be worn under swimsuits. “I laid out, swam, sweated, and went back to my hotel room and it was still on,” says Montes of her own recent experience at the beach. “And then when I removed, it peeled right off.”
Removing The Tape
We’re not interested in any fashion tool that requires painfully tugging a strong adhesive off of our body. This is why boob tape is the much preferred option over gaffers or other industrial strength tapes. For Nue, Montes says the strips, which lay directly over the breast skin and the nipples, will peel easily off the body after a day’s worth of wear.
“Your skin does get a little more sensitive when you’re on your period so if you feel like removal is a little rough or if you're sensitive in general, you can use a body oil or olive oil or any oil you have around the house to soak the tape off,” she says.
Fair warning: Montes notes that getting the tape with water will actually do more harm than good. “Some people will jump in the shower with it and think that’s how to remove it—don’t do that," she says. "Because it’s made to be sweatproof and waterproof, it actually gets even sticker as it gets wet so it won’t slide off in the pool.” For additional removal comfort, some brands also offer pasties that go under boob tape or you can layer a thin cotton round on top of the nipple, but Montes says it may not be needed at all.
As stated from the start, boob tape requires some practice to get it right, at least at first. Application takes some testing and playing around with the product to get the look you want. If that look is nothing different than what nature gave you—great! If it calls for a little assistance, then keep scrolling to shop more boob tapes options available on the market.