What to Wear Under the Wedding Dress: Your Guide to Bridal Shapewear and Lingerie
by Kaitlyn October 15
As if choosing a wedding dress wasn’t hard enough, brides also face a plethora of choices when it comes to options for bridal shapewear and lingerie. Trust us, what’s underneath the dress can make a major difference in how your gown fits and in your overall comfort level for the day. And remember: comfort translates to confidence! Wearing the right pieces beneath your wedding dress can help you feel your absolute best on your big day. Below, we’re covering the basics of everything from slips to corsets (no, we’re not talking the restricting medieval-like torture devices of the past) to full body slimmers, as well as some of the staple pieces in bridal shapewear, lingerie and accessories (what’s the point of a garter, anyway?). Keep reading for all the deets!
The Best Bridal Shapewear for Underneath Your Wedding Dress
Corset: a corset cinches at the back, often with laces that tighten, to help slim your waist. For ladies wanting tummy control and muffin top control, a corset may be a good option. Modern corsets are made with enough stretch to not be restricting so you can still breathe normally.
Bustier: a bustier (pronounced boost-ee-YAY) is the same shape as a corset but without laces in the back; rather, the bust area is defined and lifted for support and shape. A bustier can help girls of any chest size have a more defined bust and help to make sure everything stays in place.
Bodysuit: similar to the shape of a one-piece swimsuit, a bodysuit covers your midsection from the chest to the hips and eliminates panty lines while smoothing out curves and helping to create a lovely hourglass figure. Bodysuits can be have a briefs, thong or shorts cut.
Waist-only slimmer: for ladies wanting the illusion of a flatter tummy, wearing a waist slimmer under the dress can keep things tighter and smoother without constricting your legs in any way.
Waist-thigh slimmer: for the best midsection coverage and slimming effects, a waist-thigh slimmer goes all the way from beneath the bust to above the knees, helping to tone the entire midsection and smooth any bumps and curves beneath the dress. You’ll want to try on waist-thigh slimmers and make sure the tight pant legs don’t ride up, as the bunching of the material can be obvious under certain dress styles. Look for full shapewear with a strategically placed hole to make going to the bathroom a breeze!
Depending on your specific dress and on your body, your bridal boutique or seamstress may recommend simply sewing built-in bra cups on the inside of your dress rather than have you wear a separate undergarment. Wearing regular underwear may be an option for you, as well – you’ll just want to make sure they’re a nude color and won’t bunch up or show any lines if your dress is tight-fitting through the waist.
Do You Need to Wear a Slip Under Your Wedding Dress?
Why wear a slip beneath your wedding dress? SHAPE. Not only does a slip help to smooth out any lines and ensure your dress flows beautifully along your skin without bunching, for fuller dress styles, a slip is imperative for the material to keep the desired shape (a.k.a: the poof!). Wedding dress slips are lightweight but wired so the material will flare in all the right places, and they also ensure that your dress doesn’t bunch between your legs in the front or between your cheeks in the back – not a good look for any bride!
Fitted/Sheath: the simplest style of slip for the slimmest-fitting of dresses. Fitted or sheath slips usually do not have any shape-holding wires and simply serve to smooth things out so the material of the dress can stay smooth and elongated.
Trumpet: a trumpet (or mermaid) slip flares out below the knee to help these styles of dresses hold their iconic shape at the bottom.
Ball Gown: a ballgown slip will flare out dramatically from the highest point in the midsection to create dramatic lines.
A-line: a-line dresses typically have more flowy skirts that gradually flare out from the hips, so these slips will have wiring that starts up higher to accommodate this shape.
Not sure which fit would be most flattering on your body type? Our guide to wedding dress styles and fits can help!
Bridal Lingerie Options
Last but not least, you’ll want to think about investing in some bridal lingerie! These pieces are extra dainty and oh-so-delicate, helping you to embrace your bridal beauty beyond just your wedding day. Plus, they don’t have to come in only shades of white. Go for a bold tone or a cute pattern as a way to infuse some color into your day, and get some extra mileage out of these pieces by doing a boudoir session or bringing them along on the honeymoon!
Robe/Kimono: get ready in style on your wedding day with a silky soft robe, which can serve a dual purpose by allowing for easy on-and-off so as not to mess up your hair and makeup once your stylists get it perfect!
Babydoll Negligee: a classic cut for bridal lingerie, the babydoll top is flattering on nearly every body type and makes for a fun, feminine and flirty piece.
Garters: what’s the point of a bridal garter? Well, these days, they don’t truly serve a purpose other than being a meaningful piece many brides look forward to wearing as a part of a longstanding tradition. Centuries ago, garters were connected to stockings and worn above the knee to help keep the stockings from slipping down. The garter toss tradition emerged as a way to share good luck with one lucky guest by sharing a piece of the bride’s clothing. Do you have to do a garter toss at your wedding? By no means! If you’re not into it or not comfortable, many modern brides are choosing to forego this tradition. However, if you do want to wear a garter and plan on doing a garter toss, look for a garter set that includes a thicker, more intricate garter along with a thinner, simpler garter: the smaller to toss and the larger to keep! The smaller one will go below the larger one on your leg (remember to put them on before your shoes!). Which leg to wear a garter on is totally up to you. There’s no right or wrong!
Your local bridal boutiques should carry several options for bridal shapewear and slips, and many also carry lingerie, garters, robes and more. You may find it easiest to order several varieties online and see what you like best if you aren’t able to try on different options in-store. Here’s to comfort and confidence as you rock your own unique bridal look!
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