Conservative in the front, party in the back… There’s something about the change of seasons that always has me reaching for fashion with a bit of extra flair. In particular, I am all about back detail! Whether it’s a bow, a criss cross, or an unexpected ruffle — there’s nothing quite like a splash of surprise as you turn around to truly elevate an outfit. It feels daring, but in a restrained, feminine way. You leave an impression simply by walking away. Best of all, form fits the function! On hot summer days, an open back is deliciously breezy.
Looking to add something fun and flirty to your closet? I’ve rounded up a selection of affordable options featuring beautiful back detail. I’ll walk you through the specific items I’ve purchased, including sizing help and styling ideas. I get pretty specific with fit information, because we all know how tough it is to get a perfect fit without trying things on first! Anyone else miss shopping in a store? Additionally, you can click on any item in the collage below to scope out a few other pieces I have my eye on.
Clockwise from top left: Open Back Blouse | Open Back Sweater | Blue Printed Romper | Lace Trim X Back Tee | Floral Ruffle Back Dress Bottom row (from left): Open Back Striped Jumpsuit | Open Back Ribbed Knit Sweater | Bow Back Sweater | X Back Swimsuit | Slit Back Romper
What grabbed me about this first look is the print! It reminds me of a beautiful porcelain plate. The soft blue and white is so classic. It just screams summer — and at $23 it’s budget-friendly. I’ll be wearing this a ton when we are finally able to have beach days and picnics again. The comfort level rivals my PJs! Additionally, I love how the higher neckline offsets the sassy vibe of the open back. The straps have bra-like sliders, allowing you to adjust the height of the neckline.
I do want to point out this romper has rather mixed reviews on Amazon. I LOVE it… But, I think that’s because the cut is petite-friendly. For instance, I’m about 5′ tall, curvier in the hip area, and super flat-chested. Consequently, the length was ideal for me, but might feel overly short for taller ladies. While I thought the top provided plenty of coverage (as you can see in my photos), some reviewers who are blessed with more up top complained about “side boob” issues. I ordered size small.
My Amazon strategy? Look for customer photos. Try to identify someone with a similar shape. Ideally, you want to base your purchases on several reviews from women with your body type. They won’t always be available, but can be hugely helpful. Some reviewers even include their measurements, in addition to photos of the garment. I love when that happens because —with a little math — you can get a pretty clear idea of how something will fit on you.
Because the print is the star of the show, I kept my accessories simple. First, I opted for my go-to white beaded hoops from Harper & Teal. As for footwear, a nude wedge (here’s the pair I’m wearing) is great for elongating your leg line. Believe me, at 4’11 and change, I know all the “looking taller” tricks. A simple straw clutch (mine is under $16 and works with everything) or cross body bag will complete your look. For chilly evenings, I pair this romper with a light weight long cardigan or white denim jacket.
Back details sometimes pose a bra issue. However, there are plenty of backless, strapless bras on the market that actually stay put. Nordstrom has one of the best selections I’ve found so far (I like this style), while Amazon has some cheaper options, like this number, also with pretty good reviews.
The next style I’m sharing is insanely versatile. This is the kind of romper you can crumple up on your suitcase, pull out in a flash, and still feel polished! The v-neck and tie waist detail is very figure flattering. Then, there’s the drama in the back. That button-close neckline and long slit is a totally unexpected feature. That back detail surprise makes an otherwise “standard” $27 garment feel special. Furthermore, on a sweltering hot day, that breezy back is heavenly!
The fabric is pretty light weight, but not see through. Great for summer! The fit is loose and relaxed. Don’t be afraid to size down. I’m wearing the small. It comes in three color ways, but sizing is pretty limited due to its popularity. The romper has a serged hem (e.g. thread wrapped). Personally, I think it adds to the design, amping up the casual vibe. But if you prefer a folded, traditional hem – it is something to be aware of.
Like the first romper, this one also needs very little to shine. I recommend a great wedge, a pair of sunnies, and a denim jacket for cooler evenings. That’s the beauty of one-piece dressing. You pull it on and you are good to go! Here are a few pieces you could use to finish off the look…
It’s almost counter intuitive to have a sweater with a half open back… After all, they’re usually for warmth. But that’s why it makes such an impact! It’s almost like the style is winking at you — a bit mischievous and flirty — while retaining demure, lady like appeal. I’m in my mid-30s and really enjoy the scale of this open back. Unlike some styles, it doesn’t feel overly bare. I found it on Chicwish and have gotten so much wear out of it! I pair it with everything from jeans to this cheerful color-block midi skirt (great for a casual wedding or rehearsal dinner). The ribbed sweater is also available in black.
A few sizing notes to point out… This sweater is a cropped style, so it’s ideal for pairing with higher waist silhouettes. Some of your stomach might show if you plan to wear it with low rise pants/skirts. In my opinion, it runs a little bit smaller than average. If you are between sizes, I’d opt for the larger. It comes in dual sizes. I’m wearing the XS/S. Also, be aware the bow is gorgeous… but a bit tricky to tie yourself — enlist the help of a significant other or friend for best results! (Let’s just say my friend Kelly ties a better bow than my husband – lol)
When it comes to styling this beauty, the sky is the limit! You can pair it with everything. I dress it down regularly with jeans and wedges in the summer. In fact, some customers on the Chicwish website even played around with putting the bow in front. Such versatility! These are the pieces I used to create my look…
I hope this post gave you a few ideas for summer/spring fashion — or provided a momentary respite from the challenges of coronavirus. Stay safe my friends! And as always, if you have any specific questions about anything I featured, let me know in the comments below. I’m happy to help.