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To choose the best bridal underwear, brides should select pieces that compliment and flatter their body shape. Pieces that will be worn beneath the wedding gown should not be visible beneath the dress at any point, and should create smooth lines and curves that do not bulge beneath the fabric. Those pieces that will be worn as lingerie ought to be similarly complimentary to the bride's figure, as well as easy to put on and take off without assistance.
The term bridal underwear may refer to support garments worn underneath the wedding dress, or to lingerie worn by the bride on her wedding night. Both types are typically sold by lingerie stores to fit every body type. Some pieces are designed to transition from the ceremony to the wedding night without requiring the bride to change her clothing and function adequately for both purposes.
Bridal underwear that is to be worn beneath the wedding dress should be tried on by the bride while wearing the full ensemble. Many dresses are designed with plunging necklines, low backs, ties, and eyelets. These small and detailed openings are often positioned over the location of traditional undergarments, requiring the purchase of specialty items.
The bustier is a common piece worn as bridal underwear underneath gowns that can also function as lingerie. This piece resembles a corset in that it wraps around the torso and is secured by a series of ties, buttons, or hooks. It may feature plastic or bamboo stays that add shape and assist in creating a uniform line around the waist that is not interrupted by bulges or rolls, though the bride should choose sizing carefully to make sure she can breathe comfortably during the ceremony and reception. Most bustiers are strapless and provide both lift and support to the breasts. This piece may be worn with low backed and strapless gowns, typically in white or off white, though they are also available in a wide variety of colors that can be combined with bows and fringe for lingerie only purposes.
Body shapers may be used to control added girth beneath the dress, and, as strictly functional underwear, are typically removed before the wedding night. Shapers are generally made from heavy duty spandex and surround the midsection, hips, lower abdomen, buttocks, and upper thighs. This type of garment is designed to be stepped into and pulled up to the rib cage. It may end just below the buttocks in a style similar to briefs, or it may continue down to the mid-thighs like athletic shorts, depending on the wearer's preferences. Most shapers are white, nude, or black in color.
The type of bridal underwear that will only function as lingerie can be found in a wide variety of colors, styles, and materials. These types of garments should also be tried on prior to the wedding night and honeymoon. All online orders of this type of clothing can be completed one month prior to the wedding to allow adequate time for returns and sizing exchanges. Most brides want to look and feel beautiful on their honeymoon, and may benefit from selecting styles that compliment their body shape, size, and natural skin tones. Though complicated pieces that feature straps and netting may provide instant eye appeal, brides may wish to carefully examine each ensemble to make sure they can put the pieces on by themselves and achieve their desired look.
@Rotergirl - It probably should go without saying, but bridal underwear should make the dress fit better and make the bride look like a bride, not like a Vegas showgirl. I attended a wedding where the bride had an ample bustline and wore a strapless dress. The problem was she wore some sore of corset with either a balconette or push up bra that put her breasts right at her chin. She didn't need the extra "push" and the effect was just cheap looking. I see brides like this on TV all the time. They want to look sexy, and end up looking like hookers. Not that they should try to hide ample cleavage, but guests should see the bride as a whole person, not two large bosoms walking around in a satin gown.
The wedding gown will be the primary factor in determining the best bridal underwear. Brides who wear a mermaid, trumpet, sheath or sleek fit and flare gown will probably want one of those shapers so the gown will fit smoothly over the figure. For a ballgown or A-line dress, the bra may need to be a longline or corset (unless the bra is built into the dress), but the other underwear can be whatever the bride wants to wear.
She could opt for a garter belt and stockings for an A-line or ballgown, but I'd advise pantyhose (bridal styles are available!) for a sleek fitting gown, just to preserve the line of the body.
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