Everything You Need to Know About Wedding-Day Shapewear

Etiquette, Wedding Dresses
Bridal Shapewear Basics

Photo: Select Studios

If you want to look picture-perfect in your beautiful wedding dress, you have to invest in the proper undergarments. From comfy shapewear to no-slip strapless bras, we've got answers to every burning question you have about what you need to wear beneath that gown. Your next dress fitting just got way easier.

Q: I'm plus-size. How can I look thinner on my wedding day and still be able to breathe?
Shapewear doesn't have to feel like a vise. For the most comfortable opions, look for pieces made of lightweight nylon-Lycra rather than cotton, says New York stylist Erin Sumwalt. A one-piece like the Spanx Slimmer & Shine Mid-Thigh Bodysuit ($60, Spanx) whittles your stomach and hips and creates a smooth line. Pair it with a push-up bra; lifting your bust makes your waist look smaller!

Q: My dress is all sheer lace in the back. Do I need to go braless?
If you're an A- to C-cup, you can probably get all the support you need by having your salon sew cups into your gown. If you're a D-cup or larger, a bra will do wonders. Jessica Pfister of Le Mystere recommends buying a strapless bra, like Le Mystère's Soiree Strapless Bra ($74, Bare Necessities), then adding an extender to keep your bra in place at the base of your back where do no one will see it. And don't underestimate the power of pasties! Stick-on bras can be cut to fit any neckline and even layered on top of each other for extra support, says Intimacy founder Susan Nethero. Her favorite: Braza Bra, $8-20, available at Amazon.

Q: I'm busty, and my dress has a sweetheart neckline. How do I keep my cleavage under control?
Before your first fitting, head to a specialty lingerie store and get measured for your true size. You want full support with no squeezing! A reducing bra, like the Aviana Embroidered Soft Cup Minimizer ($46, Linda, The Bra Lady), smooths the bustline using soft molded foam instead of cleavage-creating padded cups.

Q: I'm wearing a clingy satin gown. Which shapewear won't show?
Lightweight seamless shapewear should be invisible under even the most unforgiving dress. To avoid bra lines and wardrobe malfunctions, wear a one-piece and be sure it matches your skin tone, not your gown; white underthings may show through in photos — eek! We like Wacoal's Try a Little Slenderness All-in-One Body Briefer ($85, Bare Necessities).

Q: Is there such a thing as pretty shapewear? I'm not into the granny-panties look on my wedding night.
Control your curves with a half slip that fits like a snug miniskirt, for a vibe that's equal parts sweet and sexy. We love Modcloth's Framework It, Girl Contouring Half Slip ($43, Modcloth).

Q: How do I avoid the urge to hike up my strapless dress all night?
Embrace the power of double-sided tape! Stick some Commando Matchsticks Strips ($10; Commando) between your skin and the dress. If you're wearing a bra, add tape between the cup and your dress. It will stay where you want it — no yanking needed.

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