What Lies Beneath
How to buy your critical undergarments
The words “bridal lingerie” conjure up images of sensuous silks and pretty lace, but the truth for most brides is: practicality comes first. A bride’s undergarments are her foundation pieces for the dress and have to be as hardworking as the name implies. The undergarments prime or prepare a bride’s silhouette for the dress by eliminating any lines, bulges or bumps. Given that most wedding dresses are made of lightweight charmeuses, silks or chiffons — which will show any imperfection — a bride needs to set about her lingerie shopping armed with an insider’s guide to the best the underwear industry has to offer. Here is ours:
1. As soon as you have chosen your dress take key measurements, how long is the front and the back? How long is the illusion panel? How wide are the straps, where do they sit on your shoulders? Take photos from every angle and head to the lingerie department.
2. Enlist an expert at a store and get measured properly. If you are likely to lose weight bear that in mind but do not buy anything that is too small or it will create a line or bulge.
3. The safest choice for underwear is a seamless, microfiber thong or boy shorts but if your dress has a wide skirt you have more room for choice.
4. Consider whether you need an underwire bra or not. Some dresses are so structured and fitted that they offer enough support. If not, consider whether you might just need extra padding added to the dress or if you can have your bra tailored to sit inside the dress.
5. Buy the undergarments and take them to your dress fittings. Stand in a well-lit area (natural if possible) and see if you can detect any lines. Match your underwear to your skin tone not your dress, it will create a smoother silhouette.
6. Always make sure you have adhesive tape on hand on the day. Last minute weight loss or perspiration might cause the dress to slip; the tape can afix everything into place and make sure it stays that way. If you are not wearing a bra, do not forget skin-hued pasties.
Best Lingerie for Different Dress Styles
Strapless: Consider a custom-tailored corset with boning which will nip in the waist and create cleavage.
Seamless Slim-fitting: You will need a smoothing, all-in-one seamless shaping slip or seamless shape wear that starts underneath the bust.
Plunging Neckline: Don’t give up the bra. Rather, find a wide-set style with demi cups to boost cleavage.
Halter gown: Find a backless and shoulderless bra with a plunging necklace, which still provides good support.
Body Enhancing Dress: If your dress highlights your rear invest in “long line” seamless pantyhose with thigh shapers to lift and lengthen. To create an hourglass shape, a go with a bustier with boning. For a slim-line effect, seamless thigh-length slips smooth the tummy, rear and thigh.
Bonus tip: If you are still dreaming of a pretty two-piece bra and panties set, a sheer camisole or a bra and skirted garter belt with stockings, pack them as part of your trousseau and slip into them when you do not have to wear anything on top.