How to Choose Bridal Lingerie

A close-up image of lacy bridal lingerie with a blue bow.

When thinking about bridal lingerie, most people immediately assume they are choosing undergarments that are fancy or flashy. However, most of the concerns with bridal lingerie are about comfort and the look of the garments under the wedding dress. Here are some things to consider and focus on when choosing bridal lingerie, since each step of your bridal gown decision will have accompanying questions about lingerie.

The Goal: No Cares or Worries in Your Dress on the Wedding Day

You want to feel at ease in your wedding dress on the big day, which means you don’t want to feel unsupported anywhere or feel like any lumps and bumps are showing. Obviously, you can pack your honeymoon bags full of fun and flimsy options, but focus your bridal lingerie on what makes you feel secure and comfortable for an entire day in your beautiful gown.

Bring Different Options When Wedding Dress Shopping

Bring a variety of lingerie options to your dress shopping appointment. This should include a strapless bra and/or a regular bra, slip, shapewear, etc. This will allow you to look carefully at the lines created under dresses by different shapes, styles of fabric, etc. Focus on finding the dress you love and using the lingerie to create a comfortable, seamless, secure feeling that will be essential on a busy wedding day. Keep in mind that you will likely have to buy specific lingerie once you finalize the dress style and get the dress tailored to your body shape. This first step is just to enter the dress shopping process as prepared as possible, knowing that you will likely have to make some adjustments later.

Colors and Styles: Choose a Seamless Skin Tone Option

A bride wearing her lingerie before putting on her wedding dress.

Line-less and seamless are the names of the game, and a great bet is always a selection that matches your skin tone. With a white dress, it’s possible for a white bra to be seen if the dress fabric is sheer or filmy enough. That being said, beige, cream, and tan lingerie are all popular, but you may have room for more adventurous options if the bodice isn’t very thin and sheer.

The more fitted or thin your dress is, the more your bridal lingerie needs to be simple and classic, so as not to distract from your dress itself. However, with thicker dresses and more full skirts, you can experiment and try more fun lingerie options, especially as long as they are still comfortable for you to wear for what could be a fairly long day.

While it can be tempting to get fancy, remember that some lacy or complex lingerie will become uncomfortable when worn all day, and remember that the look of your dress is a top priority. You can also pick out something pretty to wear after the wedding, but trying to wear something uncomfortable under your dress is not the goal.

Choosing a Bra

A mom helping her daughter put her wedding dress on from the back.

Many beautiful wedding dresses are designed these days without straps and/or with open backs. While there are bras of many different styles available and customizable to your needs, you may discover the best option is to have cups sewn into your wedding dress for support. Before going this route, try on a similar dress to the one you’re going to wear that has cups sewn in already to help you approximate the look and to make sure it offers enough support. An excellent tailoring job will help with this as well, so be sure to get the best tailor you can afford.

Other things to consider:

Stockings and Hold-ups: Depending on your style, some women go bare-legged or pick a sheer stocking to wear with their dresses. Choosing these early is best, since you want to pay attention to the color and how comfortable they make you feel. Some have a “tummy panel” at the top that can be part of your smoothing lingerie ensemble.

Aim for Invisible Lines: Panty lines and bra silhouettes will draw the wrong kind of attention to your dress, so find the most seamless, invisible look you can. When you shop, bring along a dress of similar thickness and tightness to use for comparison (or if you are at a department store, just find one to try on with your lingerie).

Bring the Lingerie to Your Final Dress Fitting

Bring the actual lingerie you decide to wear with you to the final wedding dress fittings, since you want to feel confident that it will work with your dress and offer the support and shape you need as your dress shape alters. Even slight alterations can make or break the fate of certain lingerie or shapewear pieces. If something doesn’t quite seem to be working, consult with your tailor about how either a different kind of shapewear or a slip might help, or if another fitting might be in order. Make sure you see the dress in a couple different lighting situations, including outdoors in sunlight. You don’t want to use your bridal lingerie as your “something blue” if it turns out that it’s visible through your dress.

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