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.
Strapless dress options
Va Bien Bra – Strapless Basque // Va Bien La Femme Fatale Longline Bustier
– via Bloomingdale's, HerRoom.com
Mermaid dress options
Le Mystere Bridal Bustier // Felina ‘Essentials' Seamless Underwire Strapless Push-Up Bustier
– via Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom
A-Line dress options
L'Agent by Agent Provocateur Mirabel Basque Corset // L'Agent by Agent Provocateur Vanesa Basque Corset
– via ShopBop.com
A guide to how to pick the best shapewear for your wedding dress
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!
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!
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).
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.
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.
Backless dress options
Va Bien Low Plunge Bustier // Va Bien Vintage Classic Backless Bustier
– via HerRoom.com
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.
Plunging neckline dress options
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 by 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.