I'm a Lingerie Expert—Here's How to Find the Best Wedding Underwear for You
I’m going to make a bold claim: Finding the best wedding underwear to wear with your wedding dress is just as important as choosing the dress itself. Admittedly, it might not be the most exciting aspect of planning your nuptials, but I firmly believe that your clothes only look as good as the underwear you wear underneath them—and this is positively true when it comes to wedding underwear.
Choosing the best wedding underwear for your bridal look should be high on your list of pre-nuptial priorities.
I was a very laid-back bride, practically horizontal. So much so, it was only the morning before my wedding that I realized I hadn’t bought nor thought about the briefs I’d be wearing on my wedding day. My bra was decided upon before I even found my dress—I am a 32G, and choices were (and, let’s face it, can still be) pretty limited in terms of lingerie for women of that size or above. So I had already invested in the perfect bra long before my big day. My pants, however? They completely slipped my mind. So, it came down to making a last-minute dash to a supermarket to pick up a pair of no VPL undies to wear underneath my formfitting dress. They were never going to be the chicest thing I own, but eight years on, I’ve kept them for sentimental value. My bra, on the other hand, was deeply integral to my wedding look. Without it, it simply wouldn’t have been possible to wear the dress I chose or, at the very least, feel comfortable in doing so.
As such, I cannot stress the importance of getting these foundation pieces right, especially on a day as important as your wedding day.
Camille Charriere’s wedding underwear was even more integrated to her bridal aesthetic, as she opted for beautiful array of sheer dresses.
Even the most camera-shy bride can expect to be photographed from every angle, which means the stakes for finding the best wedding underwear are even higher—they need to perform in 360 motion. Although looking good might appear to be the priority here, feeling good should be your utmost concern. The last thing you want is an ill-fitting bra or an uncomfortable pair of knickers, as pretty as they may be, to distract you from the occasion, cause your wedding dress or outfit to look less polished, or cast even the slightest shadow on your confidence. And I'm certainly not the only one who will attest to this. Allow me to introduce you to underwear expert and Managing Director of lingerie hotspot The Pantry Underwear, Eloise Rigby. In her role of Pantrepreneur, it is her job, and that of her knowledgeable team, to help brides-to-be in finding their perfect wedding underwear. And now, she’s here to help you, too.
Why is selecting the correct wedding underwear so important?
"We don't wear white or ivory as an entire outfit very often, so aren't necessarily aware of the challenges it can present,” Rigby from The Pantry Underwear explains. "Ivory silk, for example, shows every line and shadow. On this day of all days, as center stage, you'll want the focus to be on your beautiful outerwear—the right underwear, creating the optimum silhouette for you under your dress or outfit will ensure it looks its absolute best, and with no focus on the underwear from those viewing from the outside. For example, a visible VPL from behind when walking down the aisle, would probably want to be avoided. If you’re not concerned about that, however, more power to you!."
What makes for the best wedding underwear? It’s all down to whether it provides your desired support and silhouette.
What should we consider when shopping for wedding underwear?
We wear underwear each and every day, so it’s easy to understand that many brides feel as if they already know which lingerie is going to work for them. But then again, you don’t wear a wedding dress every day, do you? Rigby’s advice? “Enlist some expert help. There are so many options that exist that a bride might not think or even know of! At The Pantry Underwear, we host bridal underwear fittings in person and virtually, which offer a range of solutions to form the foundations for an outfit. These specialist products almost always have variable sizing because they are constructed differently to typical underwear products, so our product and fit specialists can help to navigate sizing and make fit adjustments. Fit and comfort should be your priority—if you’re already feeling uneasy in the underwear at the try-on stage, just think how you’ll feel three hours in on the day that it matters most on. Try and keep an open mind and be willing to compromise—different bust sizes present different challenges, but it’s nothing we can’t sort together."
Although many wedding dresses are crafted with built-in lingerie and support, Rigby advises you still explore all your underwear options. "Unless you are going for the braless look, wear a bra or lift solution to offer the shape and support you are looking for. Most dresses with bras built-in won't offer adequate support for wearing all day and night, and, of course, for dancing to the small hours in. Built-in cups can move with the dress through the day, rather than with you, and therefore the breast tissue can become dislodged and misshapen.”
What are the most common types of wedding underwear?
While the best wedding underwear will need to be catered for each individual look, there are a handful of styles which Rigby swears by.
1. Bra-less lift solutions
"A The Pantry Underwear best-seller, not just for brides, but anyone who is looking for occasionwear lingerie, the bra-less lift solution enables the wearer to confidently style completely backless dresses and tops. Often it'll be worn underneath a backless garment such as a bodysuit to offer further support. It's also commonly worn with wedding dresses that have cups built in, to provide the uplift, support, and security required throughout the day. Contrary to expectation, this is a really comfy product to wear. Nipple petals are provided to avoid nipple factor seen through a dress—if the intention is to conceal them that is! There is a trend for visible wedding lingerie, after all, and we can always advise on that if that’s the desired aesthetic."
“Bodysuits offer an all-in-one solution involving shapewear and typical bra cups, though it is worth bearing in mind that backless styles, such as our best-seller from Ivette, cannot offer the same support as your everyday t-shirt bra though as they are essentially missing half the bra. To counter this, some brides underpin them with the solution above. The cups, however, offer a smooth and rounded shape under clothes, proving the wearer with a beautiful silhouette.”
If your dress has a higher back, then you’ll be able to consider bodysuits with the back support in place. Like any other garment, bodysuits can often be tailored to suit your specific requirements, so if you’re in any doubt, why book an appointment with a local tailor specialising in lingerie and bridal alterations who can discuss the possibilities with you in greater detail.
3. Strapless bras
"This may seem obvious, but finding the right strapless bra is really important if the dress silhouette allows—many brides opt for strapless or asymmetric dresses and jumpsuits, so this is a lingerie solution we commonly use. Many of us will have had the Wonderbra strapless bra growing up with the magic hand structure, and although it certainly delivers in support, it does have a prominent shelf underneath the cups that can be restrictive to the rib cage if you have further corsetry or structure on the top, and that can show through more simple outfits, too. At The Pantry Underwear, we’re big fans of Panache’s perfect plunge-shape strapless bra, as it avoids the shelf like and squished shape many strapless bras have a reputation for giving. Standing from the side, it'll create an uplifted t-shirt bra style shape—a look many brides want to replicate for their wedding days.”
4. Invisible shorts
“More than 90% of our brides end up with shorts or a short section as part of their foundations. Not only do they offer smoothing attributes (your bum tissue is generally the softest on your body) and ensure no lines, they're also really comfy to wear and are breathable so as not to make you feel hot. Many of our brides also like the additional support of shaping shorts. Regardless of what you choose, an invisible short is extremely useful for future lingerie needs, too.”
What type of underwear should we wear to initially try on bridal outfits?
“Chances are you’ll choose or, at the very least, have a very good idea of your wedding look before you get around to considering your underwear, and this is normal. For initial try-ons, I recommend wearing neutral and smooth underwear—a strapless bra and pair of invisible control shorts for example.
When should we source our wedding underwear?
“You should have your wedding lingerie locked in by the time you have your first fitting, but it never hurts to be prepared as soon as you’ve found your dress or outfit—or know what style you’ve got your heart set on. We usually see our bridal clients a couple of weeks before the first alterations fitting. Alterations should only begin when the bride has sourced the foundations and is happy with the silhouette as the dress will be tailored to that silhouette.”
The best wedding lingerie isn’t always the prettiest lingerie—often, it’s about how it makes you feel and your outfit on top of it look.
Which brands create the best wedding underwear?
“We have invested heavily in solutions products to create a range that is inclusive alongside our completely free expert advice. We are partnered with many bridal brands and stores that are confident in sending brides who have purchased from them to us for their foundations, including Andrea Hawkes, Angelica Bridal, Bon Bride, Bustle and Bow, Charlie Brear, Morgan Davies, The Own Studio, Rita Colson, and Rixo, to name but a few. To call out specific lingerie brands would be misrepresentative of our knowledge as not all products from those brands are as effective or suited to bridal requirements as others. for anyone looking for their best wedding underwear match, I’d direct them to our fitting service and general solutions edit for them to explore the cherry-picked tried and tested products for themselves. Brands we do stock, however, and may recommend from our bespoke fitting appointments include Panache, Ivette, Wonderbra, Nueda, and Spanx, again to name a mere few.”
How can we be certain we're selecting the best wedding underwear?
"As we’ve discussed, comfort and confidence should be the goal of any bride embarking on her wedding underwear journey. I truly believe the best chance of finding your lingerie soul mate is to enlist the help of an expert. The Pantry Underwear offer free and informal advice to support women in navigating the Wild Wild West that is bra shopping.
"A virtual bridal fitting involves a general size review carried out via secure video call, from the comfort of your own home. We’ll then discuss whether or not that bra size and shape is right for the wearer, then, in regards to wedding lingerie or lingerie that is being selected for a specific garment, the fitter will review pictures of the dress and recommend specific products to go with it. Once the items are delivered, we offer a fit-check service and review whether they have worked as expected or the size or product selection needs tweaking. We also have stores in London and Cambridge, which regularly host bridal underwear fittings should our brides want to sort by for a real-life appointment. We’re here to make the experience as enjoyable for our brides as possible—if she leaves her appointment with more confidence and assurance than she walked in with, then it's a job well done.”
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