Heather Gross, buyer at BareNecessities.com


Courtesy of BareNecessities.com

The best way to get your gown to fit like a glove is to have the proper foundation garments. Once you've selected your wedding dress, ask the sales person what type of bra would be best for you and your dress - strapless, corset, halter? There are a variety of foundation garments available and we asked Heather Gross, buyer at BareNecessities.com for her expert tips on how to choose the best foundation garment for your wedding dress. Here's what she had to say: —Anne Chertoff

What kind of support is necessary for any bride?

Every bride needs a great bra. It's a good idea to get fitted for a new bra when you begin to shop for your wedding dress to make sure you're wearing the correct size. I also recommend a high-waisted shapewear style to smooth out the mid-section. This will help keep your stomach flat and if you're wearing a tight fitting gown, this foundation piece will also ensure your dress lies better against your body. And remember to bring the undergarments you plan to wear on your big day to each and every dress fitting.

What's the most important piece?

I believe the most important foundation piece is a great fitting bra. Wearing the perfect bra—in the right size—will make your dress fit better. You want to make sure...

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the cups fit right so you are not spilling over the top and out the sides. It's critical that you're measured properly and wearing the correct band size, which ultimately ensures both perfect fit and total comfort. If a bra is too big, it will ride up in the back and not offer the support or desired shape you'll need. If it's too small, it may dig into your back creating a dreaded back-fat bulge. The last thing you want to do is to pull and tug at your bra all night .

What should a plus-size bride look for in foundation garments?

A plus-size bride should look for and purchase garments that will be supportive and comfortable. You want to make sure you can dance in confidence and not have to pull up your bra every minute. It's important that the shapewear piece she selects is not itchy or digging into her, creating unnecessary bumps or lumps. Today's bride has so many choices when it comes to innovative, comfortable and virtually invisible shapewear - finding the perfect piece should be simple. Don't be afraid to try on a variety of styles to ensure you've found the perfect one.

A wonderful strapless bra for a full size bride is from Vabien, style #1506 (shown above). This strapless bra is a terrific choice for full busts and full figures because it features patented Ultra-Lift construction and goes up to a G-cup. There is actual boning in the cups to give a plus-size bride that extra lift. And best of all, this bra will not fall down! You will not have to keep pulling it up all night so you can dance the night away in confidence.

I would also recommend Miraclesuit branded Shapewear. These styles are especially cut to fit fuller women. They offer extra firm control and select styles are available up to size 5X.

What should a bride looking to fill out her gown, in certain areas, look for?

If you are looking for a little more volume in the rear, I would recommend Flexees panty style #5164. This padded panty adds just enough volume to your bottom without looking unnatural. If you need a push up bra, I would recommend Panache's Atlantis Collection. These two gel push-up style bras come in small sizes and give the petite or small busted bride a natural enhanced look while adding a whole cup size to her bust. They're available in both a t-shirt bra (style #1044) or a strapless style (#4040.)

What garments are best with different styles of gowns (strapless, halter, off-the-shoulder, etc.)?

Strapless bras are a must for pairing back to all strapless and off-the-shoulder strap gowns. I would also recommend them for halter top, portrait-neckline and cap-sleeve gowns, so you don't have to worry about the straps peeking out or sliding off your shoulders.

If you are wearing a princess style dress, you may only need a great fitting bra and may not require any additional shapewear. The top of this dress silhouette is typically form fitting, with an emphasis on the bust, making the right bra a critical part of creating a finished, smooth shapely look.

If you are wearing an empire, mermaid style or any form fitting column gown finding and purchasing the perfect shapewear piece is very important. You want to look for a seamless high-waisted style, be it a brief or thong. By selecting this shape, a bride is guaranteed a flawless smooth look underneath her gown, while preventing and camouflaging any appearance of a muffin top.

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