You’ve been flipping through magazines and scrolling through websites for the perfect plus size wedding dress inspiration. You looked at dress shapes and hemlines. You had a long debate about whether or not to go strapless. And then it hit you – what do you wear under your wedding dress of your dreams? Fear not, shopping for bridal lingerie and foundation pieces does not have to be stressful. With a little research and some underwear knowhow, you can get ready for your wedding with the perfect bridal ensemble from head to toe. When to Shop Some brides like to shop early, but it’s best to buy your underwear once you’ve had your first dress fitting. You’ll be able to see what kinds of foundation pieces you need to look and feel your best. Take the fitting as a time to walk around in your gown, do a spin or two, sit down, and bend over. The extra movement lets you know what type of underwear you need, as well as any alterations that need to be made. Take some photos of you in your dress, and head off to the lingerie store with the notes fresh in your mind. Once you have your underwear, you can bring it future fittings and wear it with the gown. For last minute brides – be sure to try on your underwear with your wedding dress at least once before the ceremony! Just like the dress, underwear can be altered before your wedding, but it does take extra time. Wedding Day Bras It’s astounding how much improvement has been made to bras in terms of coverage and support (yay, science!). This leaves brides with a lot of choices when they are searching for a wedding bra, so it’s good to look for one that covers these essentials: Find a style that fits the shape of your dress. If it’s a halter neck, mimic that with a halter bra. If it’s one-shoulder, look for convertible or one-shoulder bra styles. Strapless dresses with low or sheer backs can be tricky when it comes to bras, but there are still great options. If you have a fuller chest, a strapless longline bra may be the solution. Extra panels provide lift and gently shape the waist while still allowing the bra to be low in the back. Consider coverage. If you are wearing a wedding dress with an empire waist, you don’t want lots of wires or thick materials that bulge out where your dress is at its slimmest. Look for a bra style with molded cups and seamless construction that sits close to your body. And don’t be afraid try on bras without wires to see if the extra-smooth shape gives you enough support. Think about fabrics. Sexy, lacy bras are fun, but they may not fit your wedding dress. Some dress fabrics like satin won’t cover textured lace, lace-up bra backs, or embellishments. Fortunately there are plenty of bras with seamless coverage in the front and smooth support in the back, like straps that won’t cut into your shoulder area or closures that are extra-slim. With all the bra options for your wedding gown, it can get a little overwhelming in the lingerie department. So here are a few styles that are great for plus size wedding dresses to get you started: Longline Bra This bra works wonders for support and shaping. It provides extra lift to the chest and smooths down your waistline. Think of it as a bustier’s hard working cousin: it’s longer so it covers the full stomach area without creating lines or bulges. Seamless Bra Perfect for lightweight wedding dress fabrics like satin or silk – this bra has no outward seams around the cups, which can show under some clingy or tight-fitting dresses. Some versions don’t have adjustable straps, so they are extra smooth along your shoulders. Torsolette The torsolette bridges bras and shapewear and does double duty to support your chest and mold your midsection. Its long construction provides hip control, and some styles have flat lace panels to create a sexy look under your dress. Wedding Day Underwear Just like bras, the underwear under your wedding dress should follow similar guidelines before it meets your wedding day standards. It should fit the shape and construction of your dress, offer appropriate coverage, and work with your dress’s fabrics. For dresses that are fuller and come away from the body below the waist, brides have more underwear options. As long as the fabrics of the dress provide enough volume, the sky is the limit for underwear. But dress shapes that are slimmer and close to the body still have plenty of great underwear pairings. First of all, look for new shapes. Some brides are intimidated by the thong, but this is a viable option as long as the fabric lies flat and doesn’t pinch the body. Flat laces and seamless constructions work well here; a seamless panty or thong is made of a single layer of material so it lies flat. If underwear is cutting into your hips, looks for styles with a high waist that sits just above the hip area. Material is also key here. Microfiber undergarments have a super smooth feel and gentle drape, so they can fit curvier figures without bunching or gathering. And blends with Lycra®, Spandex®, and other stretch materials offer slimming and support without creating bulges or the dreaded VPL (visible panty line). Speaking of stretch fabrics, another great option is shapewear. This secret weapon for celebrities is now common practice for weddings and special functions. Shapewear performs so many functions: fabrics can sculpt and lift while a range of shapes provides coverage and a slimming effect. Let’s take a look at some different fits for plus size wedding gowns: High-waist panty/short This shape can go up to the bra line, offering coverage while supporting the stomach area. Some styles have reinforced panels that compress the middle and smooth out hips, and the lack of panty lines is great for straight and fitted weddings dresses. The bottom covers the rear and can be cut like a panty or a short if you want a streamlined slimming effect through the thigh area. Our High Waist Boxer Shaper by Julie France is a good example of this shapewear staple. Control Slip This shaper looks like a slip and offers the same coverage with the added benefits of smoothing and slimming effects. It offers light control through the waist, hips and thighs and is great if you want full coverage. It’s basically a one-stop-shop foundation for your wedding gown. The slip should sit at least one inch below your hip and have stitching or panels that are smooth and won’t ride up throughout the night. Sleek, Chic, and Discreet These three buzzwords are our tenets for bridal underwear! Look for sleek fits that work with your dream wedding gown, chic fabrics and cuts that fit your body shape, and discreet styles that keep the focus on you and not a fashion faux pas. Still have questions? Drop us a line! We are always happy to hear from you and offer some expert advice on bridal dresses, underwear, and everything in between.