With wedding dresses coming in styles far from the traditional strapless ballgown we all know and love, the time has come for us to really look at the most important aspect of what makes a wedding dress look good – and that’s what’s underneath it. The correct lingerie is crucial to making any outfit work, but for the backless, strapless, one-shoulder, plunge necklined gunas we’re all favouring at the moment, your wedding underwear is make or break. From Spanx shapewear to low back bra converters, plunging bodysuits to backless bustiers, there are some great bridal underwear essentials to keep you feeling confident in your dress no matter what your concerns. Now, you’ll be happy to hear that a lot of dresses will come with inbuilt corsetry or boning, and that if not, your bridal boutique will be able to advise you of the best underwear for your gown, or recommend a good seamstress who could sew your bra or some boning into the dress. The right underwear makes the dress, so make sure you think about it well ahead of the Big Day, and check out some of our picks below to get you started.
Best Underwear for Wedding Dress with Deep/Plunge Neckline
Hugely popular both on the aisle and on the high street at the moment, the plunge dress is one of the more difficult styles to dress. The go-to undergarment for many women has been the Wonderbra Ultimate Plunge Bra which is at present trickier to track down than a bargain Jenny Packham headpiece (keep your eye on Littlewoods, Next, Debenhams, ASOS and Simply Be for more sizes to come in the coming weeks). Our alternatives include Fashion Forward’s U Plunge Backless Strapless Bodysuit (left) which we found in McElhinneys Department Store here in Ireland, Triumph’s Seamless Plunge Bra and the Unplunge Deep V-Neck Converter Bra from Nordstrom (if your gown is strapless, backless and has a plunge neckline – God bless you – you could give Nordstrom’s Unplunge Backless Strapless Underwire Bra a go).
2. Best Bra for Wedding Dress with Low Back
Low and detailed backs are a massive trend in wedding dresses this summer, and even if yours isn’t one of the more risque, chances are that you’ve some detail on the back that shouldn’t be ruined by the sight of a bra strap. For the full armour, check out Poirier’s Low Back Push Up Bra which is a fully padded bra with a long strap that criss-crosses at the back and ties at the tummy (we’re yet to try this one out for ourselves and worry a bit about unnecessary bulging, so make sure to try one on with a similar style dress before dropping the cash on one). If you already own a regular bra that suits the front of your gown perfectly, get your hands on a bra back converter which fits onto the hooks of your own bra and elongates to tie around the waist.
3. Best Corsets for a Strapless Wedding Dress
Of course you could just wear a strapless bra under your dress (and if doing so go for one with a little silicone around the top and a good width at the back – the more clasps the better for extra hold) but the strapless bustier is going to give you way more support and of course some lovely smooth lines under the bust. Bodices on these can be boned or unboned, but it’s really up to you and your dress as to what you go for. We love Elomi’s Underwire Bustier which contains flexible inner boning and has some pretty lace detail that makes it feel ultra bridal and Va Bien’s Longline Convertible Bustier from Bare Necessities.
4. Best Shapewear for a Wedding Dress that’s Tight on the Tummy
Many brides opting for a vintage style will be drawn towards slinky, bias cut silk gowns which look amazing but can be extremely clingy on the tummy. The solution? A pair of not-so-humble Spanx High Waisted Shorts. Spanx is a brand synonymous with shapewear and most ladies who don occasion wear more than occasionally probably already have a multitude of styles in their wardrobe! Their high waisted shorts are made specially for under dresses and contain fully boned front panels to flatten the tummy. If you’re not into the feel of shorts, give Marks & Spencer’s Firm Tummy Control Slip a go – it’s a great option for a fit and flare dress where you wear your own or an inbuilt bra. Spanx also do a OnCore Mid Thigh Full Body Suit if you’re looking to minimise your bust and aren’t wearing a strapless dress.
5. Best Underwear for a Mermaid Wedding Dress
There are lots of great shapewear options for mermaid style gowns out there – although most fit and flares should really be coming with some inbuilt lingerie and corsetry these days! If your gown isn’t as fitted as you would like a fit-and-flare however, a control slip is your new best friend. We love the look of Poirier’s Opaque Natural Forming Dress which is fitted with pre-formed cups and provides control for tummy, waist and thigh, it’s seamlessly finished and straps can be added if needed. If your dress comes with an inbuilt bra, try Naomi & Nicole’s Firm Control Tousette Slip at McElhinneys which provides hold with support straps. For those looking for something more budget-friendly, we’ve heard good things about Penneys’ Smoothing Slip which also has its own bra and comes in at a refreshing €13.00.
6. The Ultimate Wedding Dress Underwear Hacks
While researching this article we came across some frankly mad looking bits and bobs (or ‘lingerie accessories’ to give them their official title) which stick, pull, cover, push and smush everything around to help us ladies with our quest for the ‘perfect’ shape. There are bra strap converters, tape, glue (really – although we’re leaving this to the professionals) daisies, stick on bras and bustiers and some other strapless ‘slips’ we’d rather not get into (either talking about them or trying them out ourselves). Fact is, there is something out there for whatever your dress concerns are if you start looking early. With all of these solutions, make sure you try them on first and do a dry run to see what way they’ll perform on the day. While some people have never had success with a stick on bra, others find them genius, and while some swear by the ‘pricier’ shapewear on the market, others have had all the luck with briefs and slips they’ve picked up in high street stores. If all else fails, find a good seamstress to sew a lift into your dress or to adjust a comfortable bra to fit – or go without if you can still dance around without any ‘mishaps’! Just make sure you’re comfortable on the day and you’ll look incredible!
Main image by Eden Photography
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Former editor, current contributor, (she just can't let go!) Karen enjoys writing fashion but is known to dabble in decor from time to time. Her favourite section on the site is the Real Wedding section, followed closely by the Health & Fitness forums.