Under the Wedding Dress Essentials

It's no secret we think feeling like your best, most stylish self on your wedding day is incredibly important. But what goes on underneath a wedding dress to make the dress and you look your best seems a bigger mystery. So in celebration of National Underwear Day we thought we'd share some of our favorite tips and tricks we've learned with you! It's time for some lessons on building your fashion first-aid kit! Pour yourself a big cup of coffee or a glass of wine and get ready, this is a long one!

The Top Half
Some of our gowns come with a bustier or cups sewn in, but the majority do not. If you need any extra coverage, support, or lining, here are a few of our recommendations! 

1) "BUILT-IN" BRA CUPS - First, we usually recommend cups being sewn in your wedding dress for many of our gowns. If there is a low back, plunging deep V, or other design preventing a bra, cups sewn into the gown are a great solution! This also ensures your dress won't move around at some point and show your bra. Your seamstress will have this option for you during your fitting. Depending on what type you choose (gel, cotton, etc) and where your alterations are done, the cups generally cost between $10 to $75 for the materials. If you chose this option your cups will be sewn in after you recieve your wedding dress and during your alterations by your seamstress. 

2) A SEAMLESS BRA -  If having cups sewn into your gown doesn't work for you, here's a few more options! Some brides don't feel comfortable without a bra on for a variety of reasons. And there are some gowns that allow for a more traditional strapless bra. This might sound like the easiest option at first. However, it is still important to try out a few options as the average strapless bra kind of, well, sucks! It's best if you can find a seamless, strapless bra to prevent any lines showing through your gown if you prefer/need to wear a bra. A good strapless bra is probably not going to be cheap, but definitely worth it's weight in gold! This plunging strapless bra at $82 has been a long time favorite of ours! We also like this plunging strapless bustier, and we've found strapless bras that the extra coverage bustiers have seems to help stay keep the bra in place much better. If you have a dress with a low back, give this low back, strapless, seamless bustier by Felina a try. If your wedding dress has a plunging neckline, here is a plunging, adjustable bra at a great price worth trying! One-shoulder gown gals can rejoice as this one-shoulder bra by Dmondaine is genius! No matter what bra you choose, choose a nude/skin tone color. White may seem more "bridal", but it might show through. Undergarments as close to your skin tone as possible is the safest option!

3) ADHESIVE CUPS - Everyone seems to have their own opinion about sticky bras. Like most things in life, it works for you or it doesn't! It's all about figuring out what works best for you and your body. If you are comfortable with adhesive cups, we recommend investing in a quality set. We recommend this Nubra option. Adhesive cups are similar in their effect to cups sewn into your gown. They are attached to you, not your dress, and they sometimes can offer more control of the finished look. For example, there are options for push-up, extra padding, breathability, etc.

4) BARE - For our bold brides that feel confident going braless, there are still a few great options to help complete the finished look. We are big fans of these Non-Adhesive Nippies Skin Covers or the adhesive version! We've had great results using them, and have only heard good feedback. If these skin covers aren't quite right, try these adhesive Nippies. These are an upgrade from the old, miserable bandaid trick. Ha! Plus they are much cuter with their heart shapes and lace patterns. These are all great options for anyone needing a little extra coverage as well, even if you have some structure or support built in. They're not just for the bare! 

5) EXTRAS - Once you've got your coverage and structure figured out for your bust, sometimes there are a few extra goodies that can help create your desired look or comfort. If you need some extra "oomph" to fill out the gown design, create subtle cleavage, or just give you that extra boost these "cupcakes" can be added. There's also these enhancers you can buy online through Katie May or in our boutiques in person. Just make sure they are secure! That's the last thing you'd want to happen on your wedding day! And speaking of keeping things secure, double sided fashion tape or Stylin' Tape can be helpful for certain styles. If you do decide to use double sided tape, don't touch it or play with it! Not only is it distracting and defeating the purpose of a secret trick, the tape will quickly lose its adhesive sticky power.  Once you place the fabric to the tape and your skin, just trust the adhesive and let it be! Enjoy your night!

Click through to see our "on top" Dress Theory recommendations!

The Bottom Half
Now that you've got "the girls" figured out, you can't forget one of your other great assets!

1) SLIMMING, SMOOTHING SHAPEWEAR - Hold on tight, this is going to be a long one. But hopefully helpful! It's like our gal B. Spears once said, "Can't live with em', can't live without em'". She was referring to boys, but we are referencing our feelings towards shapewear. The very mention of "spanx"evokes strong responses. Either you are used to and wear them on a regular basis, or the thought of wearing them disgusts you. We even know gals who will wear 2 to 3 pairs of Spanx at once for special events! However, if you fall into the anti-spanx category, we understand. But if you are wearing a fitted or skimming wedding dress and if there is ever a day where you wear some shapewear - at least make it your wedding day! And realistically, you will be so happy and full of love, support, and crazy-ness that the fact you are wearing spanx will probably be the last thing on your mind! Shapewear has come a long way since its beginnings and there are many options now that are both effective and comfortable! If you're going to take the plunge into the shapewear world, we have so many favorite options depending on your body and your needs. There's options that focus on your thighs or tummy. It's important to try your shapewear with your gown in advance as it's difficult to predict if there will be any visible lines from them as each bride and dress is totally different! If you are wearing a sheath and the line on your thigh above your knee is visible (a common problem), try this footless option! Shapewear is not going to hide your diet and exercise habits, but we are cheerleaders of wearing it under your wedding dress for smoothness alone! They can also eliminate underwear lines, and as your wedding day fashion BFFs, we are NOT going to allow you to have underwear lines on your big day. Yes we are suggesting going commando under your spanx! Trust us on this one. If you wear panties underneath, you might have to worry about them rolling, bunching, or riding up. Not good! If that idea makes you uncomfortable, try these tummy taming thongs or briefs. It's a blend! Underwear and shapewear! For plunging backs and/or necklines, your options get more limited. Our favorite piece we've found so far is Dmondaine Rita Slip. This slip has a deep plunging back and neck, yet still provides some shape and smoothing. It has adjustable straps as well! And if Journelle says it's a miracle, we believe it. 

2) SEAMLESS EVERYTHING - If you are wearing a backless gown, a fuller dress, or don't feel the need to wear shapewear, we cannot stress the importance of nude and seamless briefs or thongs. We definitely prefer and recommend Commando brand options. Between their classic thong, girlshorts, tiny thong, bikini, or cotton bikini, we think all of our brides can find the perfect option for their body, comfort, and specific gown. We are big believers/supporters of the Commando brand. We definitely recommend you give it a try! And if there is ever an everyday dress or special occasion outfit that is prone to panty lines, you better believe there is a good chance we're wearing an option from the Commando line! Another pro tip when it comes to buying seamless thongs or panties, consider sizing up if you are on the border of different sizes. You don't want underwear lines from your undergarments, you don't want lines and lumps from slightly too snug undergarments.

3) SLIP FOR SHEERNESS - White and ivory dresses of any kind are prone to sheerness. Most gowns have a lining to help. However a slip might be for you, if you are particularly concerned or if you know your wedding vows will be exchanged right when the sunlight is pouring in at just the right spot to glow through your gown. Depending on the bodice and strap options of your gown, most brides need a half slip to ensure there are no visible straps. This is also help keep you cooler if you're lucky enough to get a hot day for your wedding day. Slips help not only with sheerness, but brides who feel their gown is a little itchy should consider giving one a try as well!

4) EXTRAS - If your gown is so fitted or the fabric is thin and fitted and there is no way to get around panty lines, consider this strapless thong before going actually commando on your wedding day. And yes you read that correctly, a strapless thong. It's safe to assume you've heard of strapless bras or slips, but there is now even a strapless thong! We've shared a few good laughs over this thong in our offices to be honest, but we sought out this option for a reason! There are just some gowns or body types that cannot avoid panty lines, and this is a great option to try. It's another adhesive undergarment so keep that in mind with hot weather and perspiration. These come in a pack of two and we recommend wearing the black one around on a regular day to test it out, and maybe even ordering an extra set so you can try a nude one on at a dress fitting to ensure there isn't a line under your gown where the adhesive strip lays. If you are looking to eliminate panty lines, take a look at this option and have a good laugh. But seriously give it a try before going fully commando brides! Also, if you are looking for some support and have complicated designs and details to work around, consider a bodysuit

Click through for our "on bottom" Dress Theory recommendations!

You made it all the way through! We hope you learned a thing or two to help you look and feel your best on your wedding day. What goes on under your dress can be so important when trying to create the finished look you imagined! A lot of these tips and tricks can be helpful for other events or your bridesmaids as well. Especially options like a proper strapless bra, that genius one-shoulder bra, seamless thongs, or stylin' tape. Because let's be honest, there's no guarantee your bridesmaids are going to have alterations done on their dresses. Which is perfectly fine! But makes their foundation pieces important as well! What's most important now is taking the time to figure out what options work for you and your dress specifically. Every body shape is unique and some products will work for some brides and not others. Figuring out your secret under the dress recipe of undergarments and tricks will not only prove priceless for your wedding day, but you can refer back to the same pieces for any special event where a little lifting and securing can make a difference! And for our savvy brides, if you sign up for Journelle's mailing list you can save 10% off your first purchase. Score!

Also we often hear that wearing spanx, stick on cups, or gel cups under your gown isn't particularly attractive. But neither are panty lines in every photo or a bra you have to pull at every 10 minutes. And let's be honest, if you're marrying the right guy he's going to understand. He may not really understand how much time and energy it takes or what you do when you're in the bathroom for 45 minutes getting ready for your dates. But at this point, he probably has a slight clue! Slip away to the bathroom and change into a cuter option when the reception is over and you and your new husband are finally alone. How good you looked and felt that day is worth a little planning ahead, we promise! If you have any questions about undergarments for a specific dress or style, we'd love to help in any way we can. Leave us a comment or send us an email at hello@thedresstheory.com and we will see what we can do! And if we forgot your favorite under the dress trick, we'd love to hear and add it to our list to help other brides-to-be out.

The Dress Theory