A strapless wedding dress is a classic choice for your big day, but if you're worried about indecent exposure (i.e. flashing all your guests while you're trying to break it down on the dance floor), then you might want to read on. From the best undergarments to why alterations are so critical, we've got the scoop from experts Terry Hall, Cammy Hebert, and Cologne Schmidt on how to ensure you aren't tugging up your dress all night long.
Meet the Expert
- Terry Hall is the Head of Retail and Business Development at Amsale. He was previously the Fashion Director at Kleinfeld.
- Cammy Hebert and Cologne Schmidt are the founders of Show Me Your Mumu, a retailer specializing in bridesmaid dresses and wedding attire.
Get It Altered
According to Hall, the most important aspect of a bride's gown, regardless of style, is the fit, of course. "Great alterations can make an inexpensive gown look like a million bucks and vice versa," he notes. "Many women often hesitate to wear a strapless gown for fear it'll fall down or they'll have to keep pulling on it. The truth is if it fits properly and you're rocking the right undergarments, you have nothing to stress about."
Buy the Correct Bust Size
While alterations are key, so is buying a strapless dress that comfortably accommodates your girls in the first place. That may mean ordering a size up and having the waist taken in if your breasts are busting out of the smaller gown that fits like a glove everywhere else. Hebert and Schmidt recommend testing out your dress with a little dance to see if it slides down. "If so, you can have them take in the top a bit more."
Open the Cups
Depending on your bust size, the cut and fit of the dress, as well as the designer/manufacturer of it, it could be a good idea to "open" the cup when ordering, says Hall. "Typically, bust sizes D and larger should be opened to allow for a more generous cup, which will give the breasts adequate coverage," he explains. Not doing so could result in a bust line that's just too skimpy, and in turn, a potential wardrobe malfunction.
Choose a Strapless Dress With Boning
Keep your girls where they belong and dodge an embarrassing nip slip by investing in a strapless wedding gown that has boning, advises Schmidt and Hebert. "This will give the top structure and hold you in like a corset so you won't feel like your dress is constantly slipping down."
Other dress designs that will provide the proper structure and support, particularly for fuller-busted women, include a sturdier fabric like Alencon lace and ruched duchess satin.
Get the Right Undergarments
The more support, the better, right? In the case of strapless dresses, Hall suggests buying a strapless bra to match, preferably one with boning that extends to your waist or even lower if your gown design permits. "With the right bustier in place and a perfectly fitted gown, you'll be ready to boogie the night away without a worry in sight!"
Add Some Straps
If only for the dance floor! "A lot of the strapless dresses I tried on had pretty matching lace straps as an option," Schmidt points out. "I think they're great to add on later when you feel like you need a little extra support for dancing."