What to Wear Under Wedding Dress | Bride Lingerie Expert Advice
What Do You Wear Under Wedding Dress? | Advice From Lingerie Expert Emily Brummett
Most start dreaming of their weddings as little girls, and the dress is no different. Wedding dress shopping is one of the most fun parts of wedding planning. However, brides need to be properly prepared for the task. Before going wedding dress shopping, or getting fitted, find the proper undergarments. They can be the difference between feeling confident or self-concious in your wedding look.
My Work in the Lingerie Industry
But first, a little about my background and qualifications to talk on this subject. Besides being married to wedding photographer Jeff Brummett, I have been around the block a few times when it comes to working in the lingerie industry.
It all started with my first job. I worked as a sales associate in lingerie at Nordstrom NorthPark Center in Dallas, Texas. I then became the personal stylist based out of the lingerie department. My next opportunity taught me a lot. I was a lingerie vendor for the UK lingerie company Eveden. I represented the brands Freya, Fantasie, Elomi, and Goddess around the Southwestern US. After a few years of traveling about 120 flights a year, I got burned out from travel. I took a step back and became a lingerie sales associate at Neiman Marcus NorthPark. I then got the opportunity to take another vendor position with Dana-co. For Dana-co I represented the brands Natori and Skarlett Blue.
Start with a bra fitting
So where do you begin the search for the perfect undergarments to wear under wedding dress. I recommend starting with a bra fitting. Eight of ten women are wearing the wrong size bra. Before your engagement session is the perfect time to check in and make sure you are wearing the right size. I recommend going to your nearest Nordstrom or a reliable bra specialty store. Do not trust Victoria’s Secret, Soma, Third Love, or any too good to be true company. I’ve worked as a lingerie vendor for seven years. Trust me, bra fitting is an art. The Soma and Victoria Secret’s of the world don’t have the precision fitting techniques necessary for the perfect fit.
Start with a skin toned strapless bra, it will work under the majority of dresses you try on. If you end up choosing a dress that doesn’t work with a regular strapless, great! You can then go shopping for the perfect undergarment. But for your initial dress shopping, a strapless will be perfect. My favorite strapless on the market is the Wacoal Red Carpet Strapless. It comes in a vast array of sizes and has great support and stability. I was a 32G when I got married and wore this strapless bra and I did not have to adjust it once all evening.
A lot of people think a bustier or a long line bra would be a good solution. But those are usually more trouble than they are worth. You generally have to end up wearing shapewear on top of a bustier. A bride is much better off with a properly fitting strapless and a great piece of shapewear.
In terms of sizing, a lot of people think smaller is better. However, nothing makes you look bigger than shapewear or a bra that is a size too small.
After you have the perfect strapless, the next thing you need is a seamless panty. Like your strapless bra, your underwear needs to be a color that matches your skin tone. My favorite seamless thong is this one by Calvin Klein. It is cheaper than the popular Commando thongs, and I like it much more.
You might be able to have more fun with your underwear choice if your dress isn’t too form fitting. Though many brides these days are falling in love with dresses that require shapewear.
For my own bridal portraits, I wore a strapless bra, a bustier, and a high waisted shaper. I almost passed out. Like had to sit down, throw a tablecloth over me in case I threw up on my dress almost kind of passed out. It was pretty bad. You can definitely overdo it when it comes to wedding day undergarments. On the wedding day I made the wise decision to wear my Wacoal Red Carpet Strapless and Hanky Panky Original Rise Thong. I was so much more comfortable.
You might ask the question “should you wear shapewear under your wedding dress?” I say, if you don’t need it, don’t wear it. You will be able to have a much more comfortable experience. I was a bridesmaid in a wedding earlier this year. While getting dressed, I asked the bride and bridesmaids if they could tell a difference with or without shapewear. They said they couldn’t tell a difference. So I took off my Spanx and stuck with my favorite Calvin Klein seamless thong. I enjoyed the evening much more because I was comfortable, and felt no need to adjust my shapewear. In fact, even with properly fitted shapewear, you still sometimes feel the need to adjust it. Nothing looks worse than a bride or bridesmaid fiddling with her underwear all night.
Wearing Spanx Under Your Wedding Dress
It seems many people think they have to have Spanx, when they reallyjust want shapewear. It’s like when people ask for a Kleenex when they mean that they need a tissue. The brand Spanx has some good products, but just because it’s popular, does not mean it’s the best. There are other great brands out there such as, TC Shapewear, Wacoal, ITEM M6, and Nancy Ganz. When shopping for shapewear, keep an open mind when it comes to brand and listen to your sales associate. Associates have vast knowledge and experience on what works best for certain outfits.
Alternative Bridal Underwear Options
What if you decide on a dress where a basic strapless bra and seamless panty won’t do the trick? I suggest heading to your local Nordstrom with pictures of your dress in tow. There are a variety of shapewear and sticky bra solutions out there. Different ones work under a variety of wedding dresses.
You need to have realistic expectations about what shapewear and undergarments can do. If you’re buying a dress that needs a unicorn of an undergarment solution, you might think about finding a different dress.
Weddings are expensive. It’s tempting to cut corners. Your wedding day undergarments and lingerie is not the place to try and save money. People often go the cheap route on bras, panties, and shapewear because they aren’t seen. But if you don’t have the proper foundation below your clothes or wedding dress, nothing looks right. It’s like building a house. You have to have the right foundation and support system in order for the structure to look right.
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Are you looking to have a little more fun with your wedding lingerie? Check out my take on fine art bridal boudoir.