You’ve found the perfect dress, but have you thought about what you’ll be wearing under it yet?
Marianne Gimble, co-founder of Va Bien and bridal undergarment expert, helps out with that decision in a series of Q&As!
How do I pick the best shapewear for my wedding dress?
Strapless: Our primary concern here is bust support; a bride should not have to spend her wedding day tugging up her dress because her bust is not supported properly. The most traditional problem-solver is the bustier. Not only will it cinch the waist, but the boning in the bodice will also help to hold up the bust. However, with the technology that exists today, it is also possible to wear a bandeau-style strapless bra, rather than a bustier, and experience the same level of support – even for a very full-busted woman. Va Bien’s patented Ultra-Lift technology seals three thin stays inside the foam of each bra cup to provide strapless bras with the strength necessary to support the bust properly without straps – all the way up to I cup.
I strongly suggest that all brides only trust a top name in intimate apparel like Va Bien when it comes to bust support on their big day. There’s a reason why there’s a whole industry dedicated to bras – it’s a very technical design process and brides should only accept the best for their big day. This especially holds true for full busted ladies.
Mermaid: Mermaid dresses, like trumpet and sheath silhouettes, can pose challenging innerwear issues. These dresses don’t flare out around the waist, hips or thighs; and therefore often call for shapewear underneath in order to achieve a smooth and shapely look. One option is a seamless bustier, which will support the bust, slim the waist, and if long enough even shape the hips. Another option is a high waist control short or tights paired with a strapless bra, which will achieve the effects of a bustier – with just a bit less waist slimming – combined with derriere and thigh smoothing.
A-Line / Ballgown: A-Line and Ballgown dresses pose fewer innerwear challenges than Mermaid, Trumpet and Sheath silhouettes. A-Line and Ballgown silhouettes flare out at the hips, which leaves bodyshaping concerns only to the waist and bust. Bustiers can be quite effective here, providing shaping and support in these areas, and they come in a variety of constructions, necklines and backs to suit just about any dress. A glamorous high waist brief and bra pairing is also an option.
Should I plan to wear my shapewear for my first wedding gown fitting?
Absolutely. The right shapewear is going to take you down one or more dress sizes – so your dress needs to be fitted accordingly.
Will anybody be able to tell I’m wearing shapewear under my wedding dress?
Not if you pick the correct silhouette and construction to accommodate your dress; for example, a seamless sweetheart-neckline bustier under a sheath dress with that same neckline. Everyone will only be able to tell how great you look.
How do I pick out shapewear I’ll be comfortable in from the ceremony until the last dance?
In bustiers, make sure you pick styles with spiral bones. Never buy a bustier with plastic bones in the bodice. Also, with any high waist bottoms, make sure that they either feature boning along the high waist section or a 1″ (min) elastic waistband – or else it will roll down, which is not comfortable. Otherwise, just make sure that you’re wearing the right size. Trying to squeeze into a size too small is never a good idea, especially with cut and sewn shapewear, which has a more restricted stretch than hosiery-style shapewear.
How do I pick the right shapewear to highlight my best assets and minimize my least favorite areas?
This is when cut and sewn shapewear like Va Bien really shines. Unlike hosiery-style shapewear – which does have its own great benefits – cut and sewn shapewear is uniquely effective towards nipping, tucking and enhancing the body in very specific places. Elements like the orientation of stretch in each pattern piece, the shape that each pattern piece is cut in, and the locations in which the pieces are joined all combine like a symphony to shape the body to perfection, rather than just flattening everything.
Should I choose a corset or shapewear for my wedding day?
I personally love the hourglass figure that a corset (bustier) creates. It dramatically slims the waist and puts the bust en valeur. However, other shapewear silhouettes like high waist briefs and bra pairings can still achieve a similar effect, although a bit less dramatic.