Shapewear has been used in bridalwear for many years as it's a "tried and true" way to enhance a bride's natural figure. The right shapewear pieces have the ability to enhance the silhouette of a gown and can make all the difference underneath a wedding dress, but with one caveat: It must be worn in the proper hue.
Though wedding gowns typically come with an attached lining, you always want to be diligent with what you wear underneath your look. “Most brides prefer that their undergarments disappear under their dress and for the dress and bride to be the main event," notes Angelica Melendez, vice president of design for intimates at SPANX. "So you want a [shapewear] shade that blends well with your skin tone, or one that gives the look of a glow to your skin." Meaning, choosing shapewear that’s flattering to your figure and almost invisible under your gown is an essential part of the bridalwear journey.
Meet the Expert
Angelica Melendez is the vice president of design for intimates at SPANX. She has worked with the brand for over eight years, and is a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology.
As emphasized, the hue of your shapewear is just as important as its style and overall fit, but it can be challenging to find a piece that checks off every box. After all, some wedding dress fabrics become nearly see-through with flash photography! So to help you find the best styles, here's a breakdown of the best shapewear shades for your skin tone and wedding dress design.
The Most Popular Shapewear Hues
Modern shapewear brands are a lot more inclusive than they used to be, and now feature a broad range of shades that suit a variety of skin tones. While this is absolutely great, it can make shopping for undergarments feel overwhelming, especially if you don't know where to begin. For those currently looking for their wedding day shapewear, we've listed out the most popular hues to consider when starting your search.
- Deep brown
- Deep purple
- Medium brown
- Light brown
- Blush pink
It’s also worth mentioning that this list isn't inclusive of every color available, as names may vary based on the brand. Nonetheless, this is a great overview of what you can expect to see.
The Best Shapewear Hues for Every Skin Tone
When it comes to shapewear, the general rule is to choose a color that’s as close to your natural skin tone as possible.“Blush, white, or ivory shapewear is best for someone who is more alabaster or rosy in skin tone,” says Melendez. “It is dual purpose practical because it is both an ideal match and romantic.”
If you have light or medium-toned skin, a neutral brown that’s either slightly lighter or darker than your natural skin tone is your best bet. For brides with darker complexions, a deep brownish nude is typically the most flattering hue. Black or grey-toned shapewear is also ideal for darker-skinned brides who are wearing deeply hued, non-white wedding dresses.
It's important to note that during your search, you may come across multiple brands offering garments in a shade they call "nude". However, always remember that "nude" means something different for everyone. If you end up running into this issue, a good rule of thumb is to ignore the shade names and, instead, look at photos of the pieces on real models with varying complexions.
The Best Shapewear Hues for Every Wedding Dress
While you should always match your shapewear with your skin tone, there are a few instances where the color and fabric of your dress can come into play. For example, if you’re wearing a wedding dress made from a sheer fabric, your shapewear can serve as a foundational piece that’s visible underneath your dress (like a corset or bodysuit). In this case, Melendez notes that you can wear undergarments that blend in with your skin tone or pieces that stand out and make your dress details pop.
You can also match the color of your shapewear with the color of your dress if your gown is made with a thick fabric. Many brides choose to wear all white on their wedding day, which is possible, but only if the hue of your dress allows for it (you wouldn't want to wear a stark white bodysuit with a blush gown). Again, the best shapewear shades are largely dependent on your skin tone, but you can match your shapewear to your dress depending on the fabric and style.
And to further assist you with your shapewear journey, we've put together a handy cheat sheet that will help you figure out the best color matches for your gown.
If you’re wearing a sheer wedding gown: Wear shapewear that matches your skin tone or the color of the dress (if you want it to stand out).
If you’re wearing a blush wedding gown: Wear shapewear that matches your skin tone or one that has a blush-pink tint.
If you’re wearing an ivory wedding gown: Wear ivory shapewear (as long as your gown isn’t see-through).
If you’re wearing a pure white wedding gown: Wear white or neutral-toned shapewear.
If you’re wearing a nude wedding gown: Wear shapewear that matches your skin tone.