So the big day is on its way and you’re looking at your options for gowns. Maybe you already have an idea of what you’d like, or maybe you’re still narrowing things down. Either way, there’s one very important rule of thumb to remember: When it comes to the silhouette of your gown, not all undergarments are created equal.
It may sound ominous, but it’s true. Your favorite stretch cottons may be fine under your skinny jeans, but they won’t be doing you any favors under a tight sheath dress or bodycon mermaid gown. Does this mean the end of all things comfortable? Absolutely not. It does mean that you need to think about how much comfort versus control you want, as well as what undergarments are going to work best with the style of dress you’ve chosen.
With wedding season in the air, we’ve been eagerly diving into this year’s Top 5 popular bridal gown silhouettes, and how best to support them underneath. We’ve found all kinds of great products to suit your personal taste – whether you prefer light, medium or full control of your body shape, there are a ton of options. We can’t wait to show you.
A quick note, if you’ve got a gown with a neckline that has you stumped, have a look at our sister article here.
If you have an hourglass or athletic frame, the Mermaid/Trumpet silhouette is a perfect pairing. The style is known for being body con from the torso through the hips, with a flair out around the mid thigh area. Because of this, you want an undergarment that ensures zero lines. Here’s our picks depending on your preference, from simple panty to supportive bottoms, to full body shapewear…
ThirdLove, Comfort Stretch Thong $12 or 3 for $30
When you need zero panty lines, your best option is a high quality thong. This one by ThirdLove is stitch-free design with smooth seams and second skin fabric. It falls mid-rise, so it’ll sit perfectly on the hips and comes in four nude shades to give you options.
Knix, Thigh Saver $36 or 3 for $90
If thong’s are just not your thing, but you’re not interested in going full shapewear, we recommend a seamless long-leg bottom. Similar to shapewear shorts, these will read panty-line free, but unlike shapewear, the fabric is light and airy, with no more support than, say, your everyday stretch panty
If you want to be in full control of your body shape, this shapewear body suit delivers. It covers every bodycon area of the mermaid dress, giving you exactly the silhouette you want to present. Strapless option also helps cover your upper area bases as well.
Considered the most universally flattering, the A Line silhouette works for full-figure through sweet petite. Apple and Pear shapes especially look good in this style. The skirt should drape freely around your curves, showing no pinching or bunching. Because of its simplicity, the A Line is usually partnered with more complex dress top designs. That means you’re probably wearing something pretty complex up above to cover it. So give your bottom a break. A simple high-waisted panty or shapewear bottom should do just fine for the occasion…
ThirdLove, Everyday Lace High Brief $24 or 2 for $36
These gorgeous lacy high briefs look delicate but are created with super-comfy two-way stretch that makes them tough enough to wear everyday. They’re great to move in, but also fantastic at keeping everything in place.
Craving a little middle area control but not full shapewear? These super smooth high waist boyshorts from Maidenform are a great happy medium. Light shaping gives you that extra bit of confidence with the easy feeling of wearing a regular panty.
With many options of convertible straps (including strapless) this smooth panty bodysuit is a chameleon to handle whatever direction your options go topside, while keeping things smooth and simple down below.
A traditional sheath is a straight cut with a nipped waistline but no visible waist seam. Sometimes also called a Column dress, this silhouette works well with hourglass and athletic body shapes, and is especially flattering for petites and 5’7″+ ladies. The skirt portion is fitted, so as is the case with the Mermaid style, you’re going to want to choose something below the waist that won’t break up the sleek silhouette with pesky panty lines…
ThirdLove, Comfort Stretch Bikini $12 or 3 for $30
Because a sheath is less form-fitting than a mermaid style, you don’t have to go full thong, however the fabric does hug more closely than an A Line, so you should be wary of potential panty lines. Meet your new best friend with this stitch free, nylon-spandex stretch bikini from ThirdLove. Super comfy, it comes in 5 nude color options, and sizes from XS up to 3X.
If you’re a little concerned about tummy bulging or just want that extra bit of hip & thigh control, this light shaping bike short by Rago will work wonders. The high waist and tummy panel will handle that nipped sheath dress waistline while insuring no visible waist seam. The longer leg and thigh shaping makes sure things stay smooth through the hips.
Bring on the sheer, the clingy and the unforgiving fabrics ready to show every bulge and panty line. This mid-thigh bodysuit will cover all your “bases” while keeping your silhouette looking effortlessly smooth under that shealth dress.
THE BALL GOWN
The Ball Gown silhouette leaves no doubt you are a Queen among brides. Be it frothy tulle or costly crepe, the ball gown is a 360 degree explosion of fabric that flows forth from a properly nipped-in waist. How tight that waist is, is entirely up to you. As for down below, you’ve got free reign. This style is especially flattering if you’re an Apple, a Pear or if your frame leans more towards Athletic.
ThirdLove, Lace Back Cheeky Panty $24 or 2 for $36
Give yourself the royal treatment with these low rise, cheeky coverage panties by ThirdLove. Gentle waistband won’t hamper your style, and wrap around lace will have you feeling like a true princess.
Want that corset-cinching power but can’t find the right bra style to match? This cincher plus smooth short is just what the dress maker ordered.
This all-in-one shaping solution gives you plenty of strap options, tons of smoothing material and moderate mid shaping to ensure a nice waist-nipped look without the heavy boning.
THE EMPIRE WAIST
With a high waistline right under the bust, the Empire silhouette is second only to the A-Line in its versatility to look great on so many body types. In fact, just about every shape looks great in it with two exceptions. Hourglass ladies and those with an Athletic build, this look may still work but it will not be your most flattering. As for who looks best? Pear-shaped ladies, the Empire was positively made for you!
ThirdLove, Lace High Brief $24 or 2 for $36
It only makes sense that with such a high waistline on your gown, you’re going to look best with high-waisted panties. These flirty high-waisted lacy gals add a combination of smooth microfiber and stretchy soft lace to kick your sexy look and comfy feel to a whole new level.
If you’re feeling the need for some body sculpting with your gown, a high waist firm control bottom will help give you that exra piece of mind. This one by Va Bien offers firm control, so it will reduce your tummy sag by 1″ while the sleek outside keeps any bulging and bumps away from your natural waistline.
With the Empire style the focus is on lifting and pushing up the breasts. Give your gals the lift and support they need to achieve this with a smooth bodysuit that comes with a built in push-up bra. This fun and flirty number by Frederick’s checks all the boxes.
That’s the Top 5. We hope you came away with some great ideas to make your special day even more so. And if you’re still looking for ideas “up top”, check out our article on the Top 6 Bridal gown necklines and how to support them.