How To Pick the Best Shapewear for Your Wedding Dress

You’ve found the perfect dress, but have you thought about what you’ll be wearing under it yet? In order to make sure you have the ideal comfort and fit for your wedding day, it’s important to carefully consider what shapewear you’ll purchase.

A guide to how to pick the best shapewear for your wedding dress

A Guide to Bridal Shapewear

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For starters, here are some basic guidelines regarding shapewear:

  • Plan ahead. If you’re planning to wear shapewear under your dress, you need to make sure you have it with you at your dress fitting! This will ensure that your alterations go as planned.
  • Size is key. It might be tempting to go a size smaller, but it’s crucial to get shapewear that fits properly, otherwise you’ll likely be quite uncomfortable (and no one wants that on their wedding day). The wrong size can also cause certain pieces to bunch or roll down – neither is a pleasant option!
  • Light is right. Though this probably seems obvious, it’s important to choose shapewear in white, cream or flesh tones if you’re wearing white on the big day. Black is sexy and easier to find, but save that for the wedding night.
  • Splurge or save? It’s probably best to splurge a little bit and spend for really good quality shapewear; this will help you find optimal comfort and smoothness on your big day. Furthermore, if the piece you’re choosing has boning, you’ll want to avoid plastic and spend for steel boning.

So, how do you pick the best shapewear for your wedding dress? Let’s explore the different types of dresses and what works best!

Strapless Dress

For a strapless dress, your number one concern is bust support. You don’t want to be tugging up your dress all day long, or worse yet, risk flashing your guests.

Consequently, bustiers work really well for supporting most bust sizes because they have a built-in bra and also cinch your waist. If your dress already has boning, however, a bustier won’t be particularly comfortable or useful.

If the bodice of your strapless dress is sheer, you may opt to have your seamstress sew in cups so you don’t have to wear a bra. Otherwise, a supportive bandeau-style strapless bra is another option to consider.

Tip: Bust support is really important, so when you’re trying on your shapewear and dress, break out a couple of dance moves to ensure you’ll be able to dance the night away!

Va Bien Bra - Strapless Basque | A Guide to Bridal ShapewearVa Bien La Femme Fatale Longline Bustier | A Guide to Bridal Shapewear

Va Bien Bra – Strapless Basque // Va Bien La Femme Fatale Longline Bustier
– via Bloomingdale’s,

Mermaid Dress

Mermaid dresses, like trumpet dresses or sheath silhouettes, are close fitting without much flare, so choosing the proper shapewear is more of a challenge. A seamless bustier or a bodysuit will support the bust, slim the waist and shape the hips. Another option is to pair a strapless bra with high waist control shorts (a little less slimming overall than a bustier or bodysuit, but still smooths the rear and thighs).

Le Mystere Bridal Bustier | A Guide to Bridal ShapewearFelina 'Essentials' Seamless Underwire Strapless Push-Up Bustier | A Guide to Bridal Shapewear

Le Mystere Bridal Bustier // Felina ‘Essentials’ Seamless Underwire Strapless Push-Up Bustier
– via Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom

A-Line Dress / Ballgown

Many ballgowns and A-line dresses don’t really need shapewear, but they also give you the flexibility to choose from a wider variety of options. Since these silhouettes generally flare at the hips, you can primarily focus on shaping the waist and supporting the bust. Again, bustiers are a great choice.

L'Agent by Agent Provocateur Mirabel Basque Corset | A Guide to Bridal ShapewearL'Agent by Agent Provocateur Vanesa Basque Corset | A Guide to Bridal Shapewear

L’Agent by Agent Provocateur Mirabel Basque Corset // L’Agent by Agent Provocateur Vanesa Basque Corset
– via

Backless Dresses

Backless styles can be intimidating, but shapewear brands are coming up with new designs to flatter this silhouette all the time! Look for strapless, low back bodysuits, basques or bustiers, or opt for sewn-in cups so you can go sans bra.

Va Bien Vintage Classic Backless Bustier | A Guide to Bridal ShapewearVa Bien Low Plunge Bustier | A Guide to Bridal Shapewear

Va Bien Low Plunge Bustier // Va Bien Vintage Classic Backless Bustier
– via

Plunging Necklines

The trick with a plunging neckline is to support the bust without giving anything away! If you can’t find a deep plunging bra you like, there are also plunging bodysuits that offer other shaping benefits.

Va Bien Bodysuit - Plunge | A Guide to Bridal ShapewearFashion Forms Seamless U-Plunge Bra | A Guide to Bridal Shapewear

Va Bien Bodysuit – Plunge // Fashion Forms Seamless U-Plunge Bra
– via Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue


What’s the difference between a corset and a bustier?

Some lingerie companies take liberties with what they call corsets or bustiers, so it can be confusing to tell the difference. For starters, corsets are designed to “cinch” and bustiers are designed to “boost.”

One of the easiest ways to tell the difference is price; corsets are much more expensive than bustiers because corsets are generally made-to-measure and bustiers are mass-produced.

Corsets are also usually closed with laces, while most bustiers have hook-and-eye closures. Bustiers are shorter than corsets, ending right around the waistline, while corsets end at the hips.

What should I choose to flatten my stomach?

High-waisted panties have panels to compress and flatten the tummy area. Another option is a waist cincher.

What should I choose to slim my thighs?

Leg shapers usually smooth thighs AND flatten tummies with the reinforced panel in front. Certain bodysuits will do the same!

What should I choose to accentuate my butt?

You’ll want shapewear designed to lift, firm and shape your rear. If you’re worried that you’re lacking in that department, believe it or not, there are even padded panties to add curve to your behind!

What should I choose to smooth my back?

Most of the shapewear pieces discussed so far affect the back, but there are smoothing tank tops and camisoles to keep things simple.

How do I know if I picked the right size and support level?

Aside from getting help from a specialist at a lingerie store, which is your first line of defense, there are a couple of things you can do to see if you’ve got the right fit. After you try on your shapewear, put it to the test – sit down, cross your legs, bend over, etc. to check that A) it stays in place and B) there’s no bunching, binding or rolling. This should go without saying, but any piece that cuts off your circulation is a no go!

If your shapewear is making you sweat, you might want to choose a lighter piece. Those with firm and extra firm control often have boning and/or reinforced panels that may prove to be too heavy.

A Curvy Girl's Guide to Lingerie | How To Pick the Best Shapewear for Your Wedding Dress

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  1. Julie Leczkowski says

    Hello, I just bought the Allure 8917. When I tried on my dress, I wore a bustier under it and since it’s a fit and flare you can see a line where it ends. What kind of undergarment would you suggest and would lessen any kind of back fat pushing up? My dress already has waist support built in as well.

  2. Kelly says

    I’m go CRAZYYYYY!!! I’m on the hunt for a low back, deep v, mid thigh/leg control (shorts not a slip) My wedding is on the beach and in 40 days and I can’t find anything!! PLEASE PLEASE HELP!!!!


    • says

      Hi Kelly! Congrats on your upcoming wedding! I can’t say I’ve seen anything that exactly matches what you’re looking for, but what about this Strapless Lowback Bodysuit with Legs? It has convertible straps, or you can go strapless.

      You could possibly pair a bra that suits your deep V requests with this shaper bodysuit, too.

      If those don’t work, maybe you could share what your dress looks like and I’ll try to help!

  3. says

    I’m wearing an all lace see threw top with both an open back and deep plunge front. I’m looking not only to suck everything in and smooth it out. But to hold my D boobs in place all night. Any recommentions ???

    • says

      Hi Nicole,

      Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Would a low-backed slip with a deep v in the front, like this, work? It goes all the way up to a DDD cup.

      If not, could you share the name and designer of the style of dress you’re wearing so I could get a better idea of what you need?

  4. Michelle says

    I bought the Melanie dress by Maggie Sottero, which has a lace see-through back all the way to just above my rear. I want to smooth my tummy and thighs, or at least that juncture where the dress clings. How do I do this without it showing in the back? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Michelle! First off – congratulations on your upcoming wedding! The Melanie is a gorgeous dress, but it does present some challenges for finding shapewear! The trouble with most pieces that slim and smooth tummy and thighs is that they are too high cut, often going all the way up the waist past the belly button, which appears to be too high for this particular style.

      I searched for some “low-rise” alternatives. These Spanx shorts might work.

      Another thought would be a low-backed slip.

      Obviously, you’ll never know unless you try them on, so just make sure if you’re shopping online that the company has an easy return policy if they don’t work out! Good luck! :)

  5. Christine Martinek says

    I am wearing a fit and flare backless dress with a sheer lace overlay and teeny straps on my wedding day. What shape wear can I wear underneath that won’t show in the back?


  6. Maggie says


    Help! I need something that is strapless, backless (or at least a VERY low back) but has support to lift the girls and helps hide my lower abdomen ‘pooch’!!! What is my best option?? I bought my perfect dress, but I need shapewear for under it!

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