We discuss the wedding dress so often here at One Fab Day that often it’s easy to forget that there also needs to be some serious thought put into what goes underneath those layers of chiffon and lace. It’s one of those things that’s easy to forget, but good bridal underwear is just as important as the gown itself; it makes you feel beautiful, but most importantly, comfortable (and well supported) throughout the day. From sexy to supporting, no matter what your style of dress, even it’s low-backed and slinky, there are super bridal underwear solutions available to suit so you won’t have to go commando! To help you find the perfect bridal lingerie for your dress, we’re sharing our top tips on how, when, and where to buy.
So where to start? Well, there are 3 key looks to consider when it comes to your choosing your bridal lingerie:
- Your wedding morning “getting ready” look, which should be something you can be photographed in, with enough coverage that you’re comfortable seeing any close family and friends whilst wearing, and that doesn’t create any skin indentations.
- Under the wedding dress lingerie or shapewear, which are more functional foundation pieces, like a strapless bra, a seamless thong to prevent VPLs, or a bodysuit.
- Wedding night and honeymoon looks, which can be almost anything from a sweet something blue lingerie set to a white lacy corset!
Next, the types of bridal lingerie that your gown requires depends on two factors:
- The cut and silhouette of your dress
- What makes you feel comfortable
Bridal Underwear Types
If you are looking for something with a little more support, super shapewear will be your best friend on the big day. Perfect to smooth over any lil lumps or bumps and to give you that extra little bit of confidence in your gown. It may not be the most glamorous underwear for your big day but it’s how you feel that’s important and if it helps you feel great, what’s not to love about that?!
Good bridal underwear should always be invisible. For this reason we always recommend a nude colour that matches your skin tone. While this is not so important with a fuller skirt, delicate layers of silk fabrics still don’t always conceal the contrast in colour between skin tone and lingerie so make sure to take this into consideration. However, do keep in mind most lingerie companies offer only one shade of “nude” that is definitely not one-size-fits-all. For shapewear and underwear in range of nude tones check out Nubian Skin, Wonderbra, and Skims.
When it comes to knickers, you’ll want seamless so opt for styles with laser-cut edges for no visible lines through your dress. Or, choose a high waist, thigh shaper style, which wont rid up or dig-in. Also a great option for minimising chaffing too!
The main department stores all have a great shapewear section as do the smaller lingerie boutiques and if it’s online shopping you need to do, you can also find great support-wear such as Spanx online. The one thing to keep in mind when shopping for shapewear? It absolutely has to fit correctly, or you risk being “cut off” in weird places.
Lacy White, Cream, Ivory & Something Blue Styles
Traditionally, fabulously feminine lingerie with laces, trims and beautiful textures were part of the brides trousseau to be worn on the wedding day. Nowadays, many of the pretty bridal lingerie options on offer aren’t actually that practical for underneath your dress. Many bridal gowns, especially slinky sheath silhouettes, will require wedding undergarments that are smooth and seamless. Pay attention to whether ribbons, lace, or adornments are going to create bumps under your gown and then avoid those styles. Is your heart set on a pretty bridal lingerie set that doesn’t work with your dress? Pack it in your overnight bag! Or, add it to your Honeymoon wardrobe. Plus, what girl doesn’t need a great white lacy anyway!?
Bridal Lingerie for Backless, Frontless and Strapless Dresses
Whether you have a daring backless gown, a plunging frontless gown or an off-the-shoulder strapless gown, there is a lingerie solution for every wedding dress!
For a strapless wedding dress, or one with very thin straps, the obvious go-to is a strapless bra. Strapless bridal underwear such as a long-line bra with a corset-like bodice will help to accentuate your waist and provide added comfort. Make sure your strapless bra features silicone that grips you and stays in place. There is nothing worse than constantly having to readjust a strapless bra! Also, if you are wearing a strapless dress remember not to wear a bra with straps in the morning before you put on your wedding dress as the marks on your shoulders may take a few hours to disappear.
A seamfree bodysuit or corset style is also great, comfortable shapewear solution. Make sure to look out for for details like strategically placed boning for compression, support and snap closures that make it easy to take on and off, as well as silicone grip lining.
As well as a frontless or plunging bra style, body tape is also helpful in providing some extra support for lower cut style wedding dresses. There are also lots of great options for converting bras such as low-back bra converters. Lift tape, nipple covers & strapless, adhesive bras are also alternative solutions for brides looking for some support underneath their gown but who want to stay away from complete wedding dress underwear.
If you’re finding hard to match your dress with the perfect bra, fear not. Experienced seamstresses have a trick or solution for most gown styles including internal cups sewn in for added built-in support, hidden clear straps that can be built in, bra strap traps and loops, bust cups, shoulder grips and more.
When to Start Bridal Lingerie Shopping
Start shopping for your bridal underwear once you’ve found the gown and prior your first dress fitting so that you can take it with you to check it is suitable and don’t be afraid to take a couple of options to try on!
Give plenty of time and thought into what you will need, and double check with your dressmaker or bridal boutique what type of bra or support they recommend or what’s necessary, as many corseted gowns for example, won’t need an extra bra.
If possible, make an in store appointment with a bridal lingerie or bra fitting expert. Don’t forget to take a few images of your dress to show your fitter.
One thing to keep in mind is that last-minute weight changes will affect the fit of your bra. If you find yourself losing weight before the big day, get refitted if necessary. Your lingerie shop may also be able to make some alterations to your bra, but don’t leave it too late, you want your underwear to fit like a glove.
Where to Find Bridal Lingerie
Good quality bridal lingerie can be pricey but it is worth the investment to make sure you are looking and feeling fabulous on the big day. It is also something that you can wear again and again long after the big day has gone. Whether it’s a gorgeous white lacy bra that you can pop on under a simple white tee or the great shapewear that you can use under your best dress.
A great starting point are the Irish department stores such as Brown Thomas, Arnotts, McElhinneys etc. who have a complimentary expert fitting service as well as stores such as Marks and Spencers. For a more personal one-on-one service, we’ve heard great reviews about these specialist lingerie shops:
- Peaches and Cream, Dublin
- Susan Hunter, Dublin
- Intimate Lingerie, Dublin
- Ophelia Lingerie in Dundalk, Drogheda, Malahide, and Sligo
- Belle Femme Lingerie, Kilkenny City
Online you can find great designer labels on sites such as Net A Porter, ASOS, Journelle and Shopbop. For more romantic styles check out Claire Pettibone or BHLDN‘s fab ranges or, for some something a little more sultry try La Perla or Agent Provocateur.
Do A Trial Run
Your wedding underwear or shape wear shouldn’t ride up or be painful. Just as you would new shoes, do a trial run in your new lingerie or shapewear around the house to get an idea for how it feels and if you’ll have any support issues such as rubbing from corset boning or pinching, for example. This gives you the opportunity to fix any problems ahead of time, so you can fully enjoy your day!
For more bridal fashion advice make sure to check out our Style section.
Feature image by Spanx