Before I began my career in the lingerie industry, I had not a clue as to the vital importance of foundations. Most women (my past self included) don’t typically put too much thought into their daily undergarments, “because no one really sees them”… but wearing the right (or the wrong) foundations can DRASTICALLY change the way you look every day. In everything you wear.
While it’s important to begin each day with properly-fitted foundations, it’s even more imperative on your wedding day. Not only do you have hundreds of eyes on you constantly, but you also have photographers and videographers capturing every moment. No one wants to risk a slip-up, pop-out, bathroom shapewear disaster, or multiple candid photos of the bride tugging at her dress.
Obviously, there are LOADS of other priorities when you’re trying to plan a wedding, but this one should be near the top of your list. Once you have selected your gown, your immediate next step should be deciding what you want/need to wear underneath it. Waiting until after your gown has already undergone alterations can make this task unnecessarily difficult. The sooner you start, the more likely you’ll be to find something you love – and your seamstress will thank you for it!
First and foremost, you’ll want to consider whether or not undergarments are TRULY necessary under your gown. I’ve done multiple fittings for brides who decided that they looked better and felt more comfortable without anything underneath. Don’t let anyone pressure you into buying something you aren’t sure you want or need. Narrow down your options, try out what you like, and see what works for you.
So let’s get started.
With so many options and different styles to choose from, foundation shopping can be quite daunting if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, so here’s a rundown on the basics…
1. The Strapless Bra. Known as the most dreaded style of all, this is also the most versatile, and now available up to an H cup! The main reason women don’t particularly love this style is because unless you’re wearing the right size, it’s a complete disaster. The bra won’t stay up, give you the support you need, OR give you the lift you want. If your dress requires a strapless bra, a professional fitting is a MUST!!!
Within the strapless world, there are a few different types. You have your basic strapless (the Freya shown at right), your strapless longline (the Cosabella shown below right), and your strapless bustier (the Elomi shown below left). You can find most of these styles in fabrics that are smooth and basic, or lacy and silky.
These bras also usually come with straps you can do multiple looks with: criss-cross, halter, one-shoulder, cross front, etc. So not only is a strapless a great bra to have in general, but it’ll also work with most wedding gown styles!
2. The Stick-On Bra. This specialty bra is a great option if you have a low-back or backless gown. Unfortunately, this bra doesn’t work for every size (best for A-D cups), as the support mainly comes from the adhesive, and NOT a band. These “bras” are made with a wonderful skin-friendly adhesive that you can wash and re-use, and there are two basic styles you’ll find:
a. Minimal coverage adhesive cups with a clasp in the middle for added lift, and b. an adhesive bra with wings for added support (shown at right).
3. The Multi-Way Bra. This style is best for off-the-shoulder, halter top, or cap-sleeve gowns. Many bra manufacturers are now creating their everyday bras with multi-way straps, so you can get smooth, lacy, and push-up styles with straps that work around what you want to wear. As mentioned above, you also get multiple strap options with a strapless bra.
After you’ve found your bra, the next step is to decide if you want/need a shaping piece. These are available in many different styles, colors, fabrics and sizes, but there are basically two different categories that break them up:
4. Shapewear. This category includes pieces designed for every day wear to special occasions, and everything in between. Typically, shapewear does not have boning in it, and is available from flexible support to firm support. I’ve noticed that alot of my clients refer to these garments as “Spanx“, which is actually a brand of shapewear. Since Spanx first introduced their line years ago, shapewear has come quite a long way. You are now able to purchase shaping camisoles, panties, shorts, tall shorts, slips, dresses and more, in a variety of fabrics & colors. My personal favorite is the Cosabella Smoothing line, which is made with a bamboo fabric and is extra firm, yet breathable. Or their Sexy Shaping line, which has medium control in a sexy lace, and tons of fun colors (shown at right)!
5. Bustiers/Corsets. These styles typically have “boning” or “facing” in them to give them shape and structure.
There are some important things to keep in mind when shopping for bustiers and corsets.
First, the amount of support and shaping-power depend solely on the fabric and placement of the boning. For example, if you purchase a bustier or corset with a thick, sturdy fabric and lots of boning, you’ll find that it has a very durable structure, and won’t flex as much when you move around in it. If you purchase a bustier or corset made with a thin, delicate fabric and not as much boning, you’ll find that it bends as you move around, and may bubble or stick out when you sit.
You’ll also want to consider the length of the bustier or corset. Something too long or too short can dig into your skin, creating a visible line through your dress.
Just like your bra, you MUST try these pieces on with your gown!
For additional assistance in preparing yourself (or your bridal party) for your wedding, please visit my website, stop by the shop, or contact me!