The panty purpose: an epic post on wedding day underwear

By on Sep. 16th
I need some advice. About underwear. I did a few internet searches for things like "wedding dress undergarments" but I can't discern fiction from reality. What do I really need?

Can you do an advice column that is a rundown of all the undergarments people tell you to wear (like "shapers" or spanx), when to wear a slip, what kind of bras work well for busty women, what kind of underwear has no panty line, etc?

I can't ask my mom for advice, and none of my friends have any ideas because they're all dirty punks like me. Any help would be appreciated!

Since I wore cotton underwear and duct tape on my wedding day, I'm bringing in Offbeat Coco to answer this question. -Ariel

Wedding undergarments — what a challenging task. You need something that's comfortable, while serving its purpose: shaping, supporting, concealing, whatever. When thinking of undergarments, it's important to consider first the purpose, not the fashion or any "shoulds." Do you want something just to hide your bits under a short dress? Something that's going to shape and support? Or just something to wear that won't show panty lines? As for bras that work well for busty women, check out Andrea D's experience with long line bras or for those who are smaller, here are some "minus-size" suggestions.

As for underwear, the first option I have is this: don't wear anything. Free-ball it! That's right, I said it. It's your wedding day. The most important thing is for you to feel comfortable and confident. You're gonna be stuck in whatever contraption you choose for hours (and I mean HOURS), and you don't want to feel trapped.

However, in the case that not wearing undies just isn't your cup of tea (or if you're wearing a short dress), here are a few options for panties, shapers, slips, etc. Disclaimer: We're talking about undergarments here, this might not be safe for work (NSFW)!


Personal favorite: Hanky Panky. They are these little lacey stretch thongs that are INCREDIBLE. They don't show any panty line… that's right, NO panty line. And they are incredibly comfortable, almost to a point where you don't feel like you're wearing anything. Plus, they come in every color you could imagine. They even have a few different styles: low rise, high rise and boy shorts. These could work under ANY dress: pencil skirt, a-line, floor length, cocktail, tight, flowy, silk, cotton, anything!

Megan wore the ones pictured above in beige on my wedding day, under my fairly tight dress, and they were perfect.]


Why not try something that can serve dual functions? A corset would be a fun choice because it works as both outerwear and underwear. Starkers makes custom bridal corsets. They offer a variety of different fabrics as well as historical and modern designs. Starker's corsets can go over a skirt to create a dress or under a dress to help shape and support. Plus they are guaranteed to make you feel oh so sexy.

Ariel wore a custom corset over a skirt on my wedding day and it was awesome beyond awesome. A really good custom corset is oddly comfortable — like a hug.]


If you want some sucking in action, smoothing, or what-not: Spanx is the answer. Yes, the SPANX In-Power Line Super Power Panties these babies really work wonders if your goal is control. Spanx are great for an uber tight dress, or something where you want smooth lines. This style works for a tea-length dress or longer … otherwise, the shorts might make a surprise appearance.

Not going to lie: these aren't the most comfortable thing, but they get the job done. Not to mention, they don't move. Assets' Perfect High Waist Panty Hose are less pricey. However, you have to constantly pull them up, (oh the dreaded drop crotch) which is not only annoying, but embarrassing. Spanx will stay where you put them, which is important if you plan on dancing.

They also have opaque tights, fun patterned and textured tights for a retro, rockabilly or goth wedding, and control top briefs. Don't forget, they come in plus sizes!


Now, if your dress is a little sheer, and you don't want it to be, then you may want a slip to conceal. A nude or skin tone is always a safe choice. Again, if you are looking for something that helps shape, go with the Body Wrap's Lites Bra Slip with Underwire. This has a built in bra and it's strapless, which would work with most dresses.

extra long tank top

One of my tricks for the sheer dress problem: wear an extra long tank top. If you don't care about shaping but still need a little something, an extra long tank top can take you there.


If you want to add some oomph to your gown, slip on a crinoline. They come in all kinds of fun colors, which can really brighten up your dress. Unique Vintage has a ton of colored crinolines. They come in three different lengths: cocktail, tea-length and floor length.

Crinolines have a multitude of purposes. They can add an extra layer of warmth (good for cold climates/outdoor weddings), a touch of color, length to a short gown, and they make you look like a delicious cupcake! YUMMY! A crinoline works best under a full skirt. Crinolines can suit all types of themes: gothic, vintage, whatever.

So, in review: when considering what to wear, remember to focus on the purpose of the undergarment. Are you covering muff, supporting your 36DDD lady friends, smoothing your back fat, or concealing nipples through your sheer dress? Your answers will determine what undergarments you may want to try, keeping in mind that the underwear police will not pull you over if you opt out completely.

Oh and common sense alert: if you do decide to go for fancy undergarments, if possible try on the undergarments with your dress before purchasing. I know some places won't let you, but try your best! Definitely check each store's return policy before making a pricey purchase, as most places will not return opened intimates.

Any suggestions/hints/tips/tricks you'd like to add?

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