What to Wear Under There

Bridal Undergarments

IMAGINE…

The opening notes of a bridal march are heard, and the heavy doors swing open. The congregation stands and turns their eager, expectant faces toward the rear of the church, and there she is, the lovely, radiant bride!

She begins to walk, and as she does, the fabric of her heavy skirt tucks itself between her legs, turning her dress into the bridal version of MC Hammer’s parachute pants.

Tripping her way to the end of the aisle, she bends to hug her grandparents, and as she does, her boobs (technical term: “breasticles”) fall out her bridal undergarments, much to the delight of the junior groomsman standing by the altar…

This could be YOU.

*gasp*

IF you don’t read and swear by the following:

fake wedding contract

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR BRIDAL UNDERGARMENTS:

STEP ONE: GET THE “OVERSKIRT.”

A) Choose a dress.
B) Change your mind a million times.
C) Purchase a dress.
D) Gush about your new dress on Weddingbee.

STEP TWO: IDENTIFY YOUR TYPE OF DRESS.

A) Does it have straps, sleeves, or is it strapless

  • Unless you have “mosquito bites” you will need a bra or some other bridal undergarments. Period.

B) Is it a big gown (ball gown) or a medium gown (A-line, mermaid, trumpet) or a small gown (sheath), or an itty-bitty gown (micro-mini, sundress)?

  • Ball gowns (bell or A-line shaped) need hoop skirts and petticoats.
  • A-lines need a petticoat (and sometimes a smaller, A-line hoop skirt).
  • Mermaids and trumpets need slips sometimes.
  • Small gowns need full-coverage underwear, and sometimes, for vintage looks, petticoats as well.

STEP THREE: IDENTIFY WHAT YOU’RE WORKING WITH.

A) What kind of fabric is used? Is it fully-lined?

  • If it isn’t fully lined, you will need a slip so that your Curious George undies don’t show through. If the silhouette is a ball gown or A-line, you will need petticoats as well, to fluff out the dress.

B) Is it sheer?

  • You will need a slip and a bra/pasties.

C) Is it itchy?

  • You will need a slip or a hoop skirt to keep it off of your legs.

Some visual clarification of the types of bridal undergarments I’m blabbering about:

THE BUSTIER

fashion sketch of bustier

Often decorative, the bustier can also be found in bridal undergarments sections for the Big Night, and for its waist-cinching and boob-holding-upper abilities on the big day. Should use sturdy boning and/or elastic for best results. NOT for waist “training” (i.e., hardcore corseting).

BEST FOR:

  • hot sex
  • strapless dresses
  • clubbing
  • big boobs

THE LONG-LINE BRA

fashion sketch of longline bra

It uses elastic to hold your tummy in (you can also try waist-cinchers) and your boobies up.

BEST FOR:

  • dresses with straps or sleeves
  • big boobs

THE STRAPLESS BRA:

fashion sketch of white strapless bra

BEST FOR:

  • strapless dresses
  • girls who don’t need waist-line control

THE NU BRA

fashion sketch of strapless bra

This is a silicone-based, “realistic” adhesive bra, a great addition to the bridal undergarments arsenal.

BEST FOR:

  • backless or low back dresses
  • smaller (not DD+) boobies
  • people not allergic to adhesive

THE HOOP SKIRT

fashion sketch of hoop skirt bridal undergarments

Think Scarlett O’Hara. Worn to hold a skirt in a particular shape (bell, A-line, bustle-bum, etc.). Hoop skirts are made of fabric (cotton, polyester) and hold enclosed rings within their stitches. No longer made of whalebone, the hoops themselves are usually lightweight steel, nylon, or plastic. Because they use lighter materials, hoop skirts are MUCH lighter now than say, 150 years ago.

BEST FOR:

  • ball gowns and large A-lines
  • keeping itchy fabric or petticoats off of your legs

WATCH OUT FOR:

  • sitting down—practice this!
  • G-strings—the swinging hoop during dancing can give onlookers a glimpse of your lady bits!

THE CRINOLINE

fashion sketch of crinoline

(I’m referring to the old style, made with fabric and wire.)

Think mini crini by Vivienne Westwood. Another historical undergarment, crinolines are nowadays constructed of layers of net or tulle—much like a petticoat—and can contain light, flexible hoops, like a hoop skirt. Many manufacturers will call anything that goes under a skirt, a “crinoline,” so beware of this catchall phrase.

BEST FOR:

  • adding volume to a ball gown or A-line gown

WATCH OUT FOR:

  • velcro closures on the waist—they can snag on your dress
  • cruddy manufactures that will call anything a “crinoline” because they don’t know any better
  • overheating with the material directly on your legs

THE PETTICOAT

fashion sketch of petticoat

The petticoat has many guises; it can be fuller than full or barely more substantial than a slip. It adds volume to a dress and can help give it shape. It’s most often made of tulle, net, nylon, cotton, and can be dyed in your washer to match your wedding colours. In the UK, petticoat = slip.

BEST FOR:

  • adding volume to a dress without built-in netting
  • adding more volume on top of a hoop skirt
  • preventing your gown from becoming see-through

WATCH OUT FOR:

  • overheating, itchiness (see hoop skirt, slip)

THE SLIP

fashion sketch of full length slip

The slip is worn with simpler styles of wedding gowns, to prevent the dress from tucking tail between your knees, and to protect your legs from possible irritation from your wedding dress. It’s made in silk, cotton, polyester, etc.

BEST FOR:

  • sheer dresses
  • sensitive skin
  • sheaths, mermaids, trumpets, mini dresses (in an appropriate length)

WATCH OUT FOR:

  • busted elastic—you don’t want your slip to show
  • a too big-slip—you don’t want it to bunch under your dress

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Now, gird up thy loins and sally forth, appropriately clad brides-to-bee!

Which type of bridal undergarments will you be wearing?

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