The panty purpose: an epic post on wedding day underwear

September 16 |
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)!

PURPOSE: CONCEAL

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.]

PURPOSE: SUPPORT + STYLE!

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.]

PURPOSE: SHAPE

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!

PURPOSE: CONCEAL

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.

PURPOSE: CONCEAL + STYLE!

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?

  1. As an older bride and also a plus-size one, wearing "nothing" would not work for me. Things on my body that need to be "up" no longer do that on their own, and so I have had to figure out something that is comfy but still gives me lots of support. I won't be comfortable or feel beautiful if I have to keep hiking the girls up all day!

    18 agree
    • Exactly what I'm trying to say. You do you! Whatever makes you feel best, rock it!

      8 agree
  2. Love the panties! I have similar ones from Fredericks of Hollywood and they really are uber comfortable.

    Another tip is to wear whatever you buy before the wedding! Wear it around the house, out to work, however you can, but give it a test. Just like shoes. You want to make sure 1) it does what it's supposed to, 2) it stays where it's supposed to and 3) that you're comfortable. I have a corset (although non-wedding) and I need to practice wearing it because it doesn't bend. I'm used to being able to bend in the middle, so it would take some practice to be comfortable in it. Strapless bras, if you've never worn one, take practice to trust it to stay put and not hike it up. The upper level version of drop crotch is no fun either.

    27 agree
    • Yes, that's definitely good advice. I think you should always practice wearing something you don't normally wear (tights, corset, even heels).

      When testing something out, I like to try and wear them while doing household chores. Cleaning requires lots of motion, so you can practice for all kinds of potential movements!

      15 agree
      • I agree. I wore my open toed pep to eggplant colored retro heel outside in the grass for a while just to make sure they would not sink in the grass. I'm sure I looked ridiculous, but it worked!

        2 agree
        • Yeah, I'd rather look ridiculous around my apartment then realize I can barely walk two feet when the day comes.

          Megan always laughs at me because I'll be gallivanting around our apartment building in sweats and my stripper heels. But you gotta break them in sometime!

          8 agree
  3. I hope this isn't t.m.i. but I wanted to chime in on the duct tape front as I have taped my (DD) boobs up for formal events.
    I'd personally recommend using coaches tape, rather then duct tape. Go into the drugstore, tell the pharmacist you want to buy tape to tape up your knee and ask them what comes off easiest, get the widest roll. Think about how those stick on bra's are shaped, and try to tape in a similar way. I did a u shape from under one armpit across the bottom of my boobs and up to the other arm pit, then kind of filled in across the u with overlapping lines of tape.
    If you put it one just once, it will hold fine and come off okay. If you reapply the same day, the tape will hurt when you take it off the second time. (I put band-aids over my nipples, before the tape.) I keep meaning to buy a good strapless bra, but until then the $2 tape works well for me.
    Oh and last time I bought a fancy, slinky dress the shop keeper said to me: "No panties, just control top hose." I followed her advice, but bought one size up in the hose, so I wouldn't feel too squeezed.

    13 agree
    • A good strapless bra is hard to find for a busty girl. Make sure you buy one that is specifically made for a DD and not just a bigger version of a regular strapless or it will never fit correctly!

      5 agree
      • Yeah. I used Yelp and local LJ communities (I'm in a major city) to find out good lingerie shops, then picked one, went in, and said, "I need a strapless bra. Not black. Must be wearable for 12 hours. Can't come up higher than *gesture to where dress neckline rides*." Then I had them do the fitting and just plain bought the one they recommended.

        On the one hand I nearly had a heart attack spending that amount of money on a single bra, but on the other hand, it WORKS. And barring *massive* weight gain or loss, I will not need another one for at least 10 years (given how rarely I go strapless).

        If you're big-chested, it's often worth the investment to do it right. Cheap out elsewhere.

        7 agree
        • Google "Linda's bras" for a really, really good site for us large-busted ladies. You're so right that a good bra is worth the money you'll spend on it, every cent.

          4 agree
          • For bras for busty girls, I have to point out Bravissimo. They *start* at D-cup and go up to KK.

            For strapless, I'll admit, I've never trusted a strapless bra – I opt for corsets, instead. I know they seem a bit intimidating, but a well-made custom corset is a joy. And I was shocked the first time I wore one and discovered how much better my neck and shoulders felt! My corsetier of choice is Meschantes, they do some excellent sales on ebay and are willing to work with customer-supplied fabric.

            7 agree
          • Lindas helped me out also – I found it after reading the OBB posting on bras for plus size girls. I chose the Goddess Marilyn Underwire Strapless Bra.

            To smooth out my middle I found the "Squeem Firm Compression" Cotton & Rubber Waist
            Cincher(goes up to 3XL) on Lindas. I was able to wear this all day long and didn't have to mess with it when I went to the toilet unlike spanx or other pants that smoothed the waist.

            0 agree
    • For my high school proms, I always wore a duct tape bra. And one year I did wear a duct tape dress on top. Talk about the sweat!

      1 agrees
      • I did a tape bra on my wedding day and it worked like a charm! I had heard that this is what they do for runway shows, etc. My dress was backless and a little plungey, so there was no way to wear a strap that went around my ribcage and I had to be aware of the front, too. I had my tailor cut apart a pushup bra and sew it into my dress and then I watched some tutorials online about taping (the best ones are posted by drag queens). The combination was fantastic–I am a mid- to minus-sized girl and it actually gave me cleavage! One caveat, though–be careful about the tape. I used medical tape and the adhesive gave me a rash. Maybe test it ahead of time. ;)

        2 agree
    • It always amazes me how the human being is able to improvise. Who would have thought of the athletic type tape rather than duct tape?

      0 agree
  4. Haha. This post is totally safe for my work since I do casting and at least one in three women send in a panty shot. Haha. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

    When I used to work lingerie, we would sell more Spanx than anything. They're like a packaged miracle.

    The biggest thing to consider when buying a thong is to make sure it fits properly. Even a tad big or small & you'll find yourself with wedding wedgie!

    Another warning is, while Unique Vintage has amazing dresses & products, there are bad reviews on their crinolines. Make sure to e-mail them before buying.

    LaurieBeth, try a shaper that'll give uplift. Look for the ones that look like a tanktop with the breast section cut out. Maidenform has the best one. They lift everything up up up w/o being uncomfortable. Pair with your favorite bra & tada! perfection.

    Just thought I'd add some input since undies are my passion & specialty ;) Great post Coco! It made my day.

    1 agrees
    • Thank you!!! Your comment totally made my day.

      I agree, Spanx are the best invention ever!! I'm always reluctant to believe hype, but in this case it was totally right.

      0 agree
  5. Be sure to have a recent bra fitting. I went in to have one done about a year ago (the first since in 10 years) and realized I was wearing two band sizes and two cup sizes off. Putting the right bra on really helped the girls out. I had it done at Nordstrum and found them really knowledgeable and professional. I have seen one done at Victoria's Secret before and I didn't think they were as thorough. The fittings are free both of those places.

    On my wedding day, I wore a dress that I had commissioned for me on Etsy (it fit like a glove) without a bra (although I am only a 32B) and a pair of Hanky Panky's. They are my go-to pantyline free undies and the only thong's I find comfortable. They are kind of pricey, so try either Loehmann's or Nordstrum Rack for last seasons colors (assuming you don't need a flesh tone to go under a shear dress–My dress was fuschia so I wore a great red pair).

    Happy hunting!

    0 agree
    • I agree, VS sucks at bra fittings. I worked there for a few months as a "holdover" job while I was waiting to get into somewhere else and thank um, whoever, I had been trained on bra fittings at both Dillards and Fredericks! They don't teach the Victoria girls anything and their "bra specialists" are only trained to fit for their brands.

      2 agree
    • Amazon sometimes has package deals. I recently saw a variety pack of I think 5 pairs for $82 (they retail at $18/pair) on there.

      0 agree
    • I was at Nordstrom's yesterday doing for some bra fitting. I was only one band size off, but two or three on the cup. I got the impression that the staff there spend their days saving women from ill-fitting bras. I am feeling grateful and evangelical, so ladies! Go get a bra fitting. Seriously. It helps so much!

      4 agree
      • Does anyone have a suggestion for a good bra fitter in Sydney Australia? Last time I had my girls done at what I think is Australia's largest lingerie chain the "fitters" were so unchariable about my A Cups that I have never been fitted again :(

        2 agree
  6. For me – sometimes I'm commando – sometimes I'm not – whatever really. So the purpose of underwear with me is to fit in with the theme of the wedding sort of Celtic Rockabilly with some Hippie thrown in for fun LOL.
    So I want vintage looking undergarments – but were fun and colorful. I found some that are purple and teal with zebra stripes and a matching purple vintage looking girdle with garter belts. So adorable!

    0 agree
  7. For the bra-less hippies out there: I wear pasties almost any time I leave the house. They're nude, washable, silicone, and come from the lingerie dept at Target & Walmart. I wear the firm silicone kind, not the wrinkly band-aid flower petals, fyi. I used to wear band-aids but those would chafe if I wore them too often. The pasties never chafe. I suggest wearing them with a camisole or tube top, as the pasties themselves can leave a noticeable bump. I usually wear pasties+camisole under my work clothes, that way I'm nipple-free & don't have the discomfort of a bra band wrapping around my ribs. Granted this advice is mostly for smaller gals. I'm an A-B, and my job doesn't involve much jumping, so I don't really need bra support. Anyhoo, that's my two cents!

    2 agree
    • Washable pasties, where?! What brand are they?

      1 agrees
      • i think i got mine at target or walmart. i don't know the brand, but they look like this: http://thumbs4.ebaystatic.com/pict/2605255929834040.jpg i replace them every 6-months or so because they do wear out after tons of uses & washings. you'll notice that after a while even washing them won't help them stick on better. i don't wash mine every time, maybe once a week or 2. mine came with a little plastic case & plastic paper, which is nice to have for travel. remember, under most clothing you will still need an undershirt to avoid large bumps on your boobs. also, i believe you can get them in darker & lighter skintones. also, these are firm silicone, not flimsy bandaid-like petals that wrinkle. oh, and if you need something more bra-like i hightly recommend the Nu-Bra, both normal(it's thicker, like a padded bra), and the "Light" (just a thinner cup). however, the nubra will un-stick a little & feel gross if you sweat a lot, fyi. it's still better than a bra, for me. and last, i still recommend at least a light sports bra or tank w/ built-in bra for any exercise. pasties & stick-on bras are really only good for leisurely activity. even my small girls need support at the gym or dancing. hope that helps! ^_^

        2 agree
  8. I've been surpised by how many strappless bras are still visible under my dress. I guess my dress is more low cut than I thought. Last night I bought some of the stick-on bra thingies, but had a heck of a time applying them symmetrically. Maybe athletic tape is the answer! A custom, one-time use stick-on bra!

    0 agree
    • Did you try the NuBra?

      If this is the bra you're talking about, did you try unhooking the cups before applying? I have found that if you unclip the cups, stick them on and then hook the cups together, it's A LOT easier to get it straighter!

      Also, if your comfortable with this, maybe have a friend or sibling help. An outsiders perspective can help you get it on more symmetrically.

      2 agree
  9. Sarah B, I may need to try the athletic tape you suggested! My goal was to find a dress that wouldn't require a strapless bra, since they don't seem to actually exist in my size (finding a regular bra with straps in my size is difficult enough as it is). So far, though, I can't seem to find a dress that will allow me to wear a regular bra while still fitting the relaxed summer wedding aesthetic I'm going for. Athletic tape may be the answer.

    0 agree
    • Yeah, I'm a 32dd, and just finding bra's in my size (in the $30-50 range) was nearly impossible. Recently I found a dowdy but awesome bra store in NYC (Orchard St. Corset) that had multiple bra's in my size, in stock. Next time I need a strapless I might go check there…. but I still don't really know if I believe a strapless could be comfortable. And the tape really did hold up through a big boozy dancing night of fun. (But it might not be the sexy ideal for post wedding coitus, ooo baby, rip off my tape, try not to take my nipple with it)

      6 agree
      • I love Orchard Corset! I'm also a 32DD (or 32E) and I recently bought a longline backless strapless bra there. Much more comfortable than a standard strapless, since it's secured around your waist and doesn't creep down.

        1 agrees
        • Good to know. I once had two employees at a lingerie boutique tell me that strapless bras just "aren't available" in my size, "not even in Europe." (I need a quite-small band size, but a larger-than-average cup size. Apparently American designers think you're never supposed to be narrower than a 32…) I've tried the up-a-band, down-a-cup thing, but it just…didn't work. Tape may be the thing.

          2 agree
          • Someone else mentioned it up-thread, but for smaller-band, larger-cup sizes check out Bravissimo. (www.bravissimo.com) They're UK-based, but they'll even do phone-based fitting consults. Shipping to the US is relatively quick and inexpensive.

            0 agree
          • It's possible to take in bra bands — I do it when my spanx bras are stretched out. If you can fit the cups well, see if a seamstress will dart the band under your arms (IME).

            0 agree
        • 32DD in da house!! I've never met any of my people before!

          I'm having a lingerie bridal shower, which I'm super stoked for, but which we planned before I thought about the reality of my guests trying to find anything in my size! :)

          0 agree
  10. is spanx underwear, or is it worn with panties? I ask because they are in the underwear category, but look like shorts. I'm certain it would feel weird if I wore shorts without undies. Do women wear this in addition to a thong, or as is??

    1 agrees
        • I wear a thong under mine, but that's a personal preference. You really don't need to.

          0 agree
    • This might also be a tmi, but the spanx I got had a hole in the crotch. I assumed this was for ease of use without having to take the spanx off everytime one used this bathroom, making panties unnecessary.

      3 agree
    • I think they can be worn with or without. They have a cotton open crotch, so I guess this is supposed to make bathroom trips easier. It all depends on your preference. I wear undies under mine.

      0 agree
      • I agree totally, but my dilemma, how the hell am I supposed to go to the bathroom if I don't go commando? Seriously my girls will hold my dress up, but who is going to get the panties down and wipe? Maybe I should consider depends! I have a small bladder!

        0 agree
  11. Victoria's Secret has the Lacie panty that is pretty much the same thing as the Hanky Panky, just a little cheaper ($16, I believe) and probably more accessible for anyone not wishing to purchase online. Really, anything with stretchy lace will probably do the trick.

    *Disclaimer, I do work for VS, but this is my real opinion as a OBB follower!

    1 agrees
    • Just a quick word about the Lacie thong…since they're "one size fits all", if you're smaller (like me) it will NOT fit properly. I have a couple (got them for free in a promotion) and they constantly ride up and shift around. I'm usually a small in VS undies, but the Lacie just does not work for me. They will fit okay for the first fifteen minutes of wearing them, and then they get stretched out and baggy :(

      0 agree
  12. So you had me a thong that felt like nothing!

    But on a different note, I <3 my corset! I've had the same corset since 12th grade. I'd ware it on my wedding day if I didn't think black would bring bad wedding luck!
    I love how my corset feels like a tight in all the right places.

    When I was younger I had very little control of my life. But, I could control how tight my corset was. That is why I can't say enough about corsets! :D

    0 agree
    • I know it's crazy! And everyone I've spoken to about Hanky Pankies says the same thing. "They are so comfortable, it's like I'm not wearing underwear."

      One of my friends even told me that finds them so comfortable, she literally forgot she was wearing underwear one day!

      1 agrees
  13. Re: Spanx.. I wear them a lot, and you're supposed to wear them ALONE, meaning no panties with them. They have a split in the crotch that you can pull apart to pee through so you don't have to pull the whole thing down to go to the bathroom, too!

    1 agrees
    • Wish we had spanx in South Africa
      The shapers we have work well but sadly no split to pee through :-)
      You can imagine the mission of taking off and putting on everytime you have to go to the bathroom

      0 agree
      • Could you just cut a hole in the crotch?

        Spanx are all fancy and have this overlappy-stretchy thing (think two flaps of cotton that overlap from each side) and I bet you could DIY that if you wouldn't be comfortable without some coverage.

        0 agree
  14. I've always worn panties but wondered if that why the crotch was split!

    I went to a supposed 'bra whisperer,' and realized later, she sized me waayyyy wrong (don't ask how). But luckily, when I tried the dress on at my seamstress's, with all of my ill fitting contraptions I looked best – gasp-without em! I'm so psyched to go braless!

    0 agree
  15. I am a size 18, and looooove Spanx for when everything needs to be held in place BUT ***TMI ALERT*** peeing through the hole can be a total, catastrophic fail, depending on how your anatomy is in relation to it. Let's just say I experimented for the first time while AT a friend's wedding. Still a little horrified.

    Moral of the story: test the peeing out in the safety of your home with time to wash your Spanx before the event, and be prepared to hike them down and up for bathroom trips if your fortune is like mine.

    7 agree
  16. I just wore regular underwear since my dress was puffy and they wouldn't show, but on top my seamstress built in a bra so I wouldn't have to wear one. The dress had a lace-up corset back so it was pretty secure once it was on, but having cups there made me feel a lot more supported.

    1 agrees
  17. I just purchased a new Spanx item. It's their highwaisted piece except with (finally) a crotch that opens so you don't have to pull it down but it also has a nifty set of straps that attach to your bra to keep it up and seamless. It was a tad spendy… like $90, but as a big girl, I figured I only get married once (hopefully and next week!!). The material is a new weave, so not so much panty hose material anymore… but it seems to have a bit more give so get a size smaller for the extra hold. If you need it…

    I also have heard a lot of people recommend the MiracleSuit (the peeps who do the support swimsuits) shaper. There is a strapless one, a one that fits around your bra, etc. The only problem is it's hard to find one in bigger sizes in stores (so you can't try it on to see if it works for you). You most likely have to purchase it. But there a couple of companies out there that will let you return, no questions asked if it doesn't fit. Which is so nice!

    0 agree
  18. I'm wearing one of those spanx-thingies. I find them hideous and for sure I do not want that to be the thing my brand new husband sees on our first night as a married couple. I want to feel sexy, if you know what I mean?
    But I really need one of those, as my dress is thight and any sorts of panties will show. The saleslady in the shop was very helpful in this: she suggested that I wear the spanx-thing during the day, and at night, towards the end of the party, I slip out to the bathroom and change into a thong. That is going to be my plan! Best of both worlds, I might say.

    2 agree
  19. Hi guys wondering if any of you ladies have some advice for me I have a 32H bust (32G I think that is american) which is natural btw so needs support. I am struggling to find a strapless bra that doesn't give me a really odd shape and I think corsets make it a little too in your face, I think maybe it's the small back… Any ideas? I have my heart set on a strapless dress.

    Thanks girls!

    0 agree
    • I am a 34DD, so not as big as you are, but I still was worried about this too. I bought a long-line strapless bra, which provided a good shape (no weird bra lines across my back) and enough support without getting that BOOM! in your face look. I wore it with my strapless wedding dress and it worked great, and I've also worn it with other strapless dresses. It was worth the investment, as it's so much better than traditional strapless bras, and it's comfortable, too.

      When you buy a dress, I'd recommend something with a straight neckline (not plungy) and perhaps something not super clingy (like satin). Both those features will help disguise any little bulges, slips, bralines, etc. so you can look fabulous and feel confident!

      0 agree
    • Not all corsets are "in your face" with the ladies, if that's what you mean. Many people get corsets that push the girls up today, but originally they were made to contain, not shelf. You could try contacting a custom corset shop with your concerns, and I'm sure they'd be happy to make adjustments to their regular pattern. You also don't need to tighten it up completely to change your body's shape. Instead simply let it "hug" you supportively.

      2 agree
    • Hi stary, looks like you're in the UK, so have you tried Bravissimo? They have a website and a few shops, and are great for fittings.

      1 agrees
    • Thanks for the suggestions. I will look into a custom corset I had no idea you could ask them to limit the boob exposure lol. And oops I put I'm a 32H but checked my bras and they are actually a 32HH/J.

      I'd never heard of a long line bra but I'll have a look into that too. I think that's what we call a basque but I may be wrong. I've never found them in my size but maybe.

      I've never been successful in finding a strapless bra in bravissimo that is both sexy and effective. Also once you get to my size there are usually only 5-6 bras to choose from.

      I found another site curvylicious (apt huh?) that does many styles in my size but alas no strapless.

      0 agree
  20. I went braless (the corset did most of the work chest-wise) but wore spanks- the skirt was VERY snug and I just wanted some smoothing and seamfree action going on.

    0 agree
  21. On shapewear, I absolutely adore the What Katie Did Glamour range and found out this morning that as of December they're adding the underbust girdle in peach to the range. Not necessarily for those who want free-flowing comfort but fantastic for waist-cinching without a corset.

    The UK seems to have a much better variety of lingerie for the DD+ sizes. I was horrified to be put in a 38B the one time I tried to buy a bra in the States despite repeatedly telling them that I was a 34F (this was in Victoria's Secret). The girl even continued to swear I was a 38B after I pointed out the bulges over the cup and under the arm and the fact that the back was riding right up. Grr!

    That said, I'm going corseted all the way. A custom corset looks amazing and doesn't have to look too "in your face" if it fits right.

    2 agree
  22. My dress has a corset-like top, and the seamstress sewed in pads, so no bra for me today. I'm a 36A, and I usually wear heavy duty wonderbra-type push up bras, so it feels weird going freestyle under my dress!

    Because of the corset-like design, Spanx are really unnecessary, leaving me to wear something cute and lacy that FH is going to love. :) BTW, another person here who LOOOOOOVES Hanky Panky thongs! They are fabulous.

    0 agree
  23. For my wedding, I just wore a convertible bra and full-cut brief panties from http://www.myskins.com/

    They have 20 different "skin tone" colors, so no matter what your skin tone is, they will most likely have something to match you! Also, all of their bras and panties are seamless to eliminate lines underneath clothes.

    They were a miracle under my wedding dress, which turned out to be somewhat more sheer and form-fitting than I expected. No pantylines or anything! And the bra was really comfortable.

    0 agree
  24. For sizes bigger then a D, UK ladies get yourselves down to a Bravissimo shop. I went from a 36D to a 30G and I gotta say my cleavage looks 10 times better now! The do tend to put you in a tight fitting bra but you just need to break it in, like a pair of shoes! :) They do shapewear, swimming & clothes too.
    They ship worldwide but I think it's best to get an in-store fitting done.

    0 agree
  25. hah! we sell these panties at work and OMG I LOOOOOOOVE THEM! we carry them in the thong and boy shorts styles. i always recommend them because 1) they're UBER soft, 2) the SUPER stretchy and always retain their shape, 3) they make everyone feel like sex kitten/pin up model/sexy dancer/domesticated stripper/omg my partner is going to want to touch these all night! you cannot beat that. we sell them for $3 to $20 depending on the brand and style. we also sell those awesome pasties that hide your nips and pull them up and in. :D if you're like me and don't want to do the duct tape thing and don't want to hassle with a bra, they are awesome! just stick them on, double check in the mirror and go. i'm probably just going to go braless for the wedding though. FH prefers when i do so i'll most likely end up doing what i always do and either completely forgetting to put one on or just decide i don't like the way it feels.

    0 agree
  26. I always thought I wanted something flowy, as a plus-sized bride, to sort of cover up the assets that are lacking luster (hello, hips!), but when I went to try on dresses, I realized that I would have to wear a long line bra and shapers on the bottom with them to get everything nice and smooth.

    HECK NO!

    When I tried on the corset top with the full skirt, I was IN LOVE. My 40DD self could float "freely" up top without any bra AT ALL, and sure, it's a little tight, but it's better than tight + underwires!

    Okay, it's not perfect for my "enchanted forest" theme, but, really, the no-bra bit nailed it for me.

    1 agrees
  27. I just have to say, I absolutely don't feel comfortable without panties. I hope I'm not the only woman who feels this way. I'm going to experiment a bit, but I'm probably going to go with spanx, to help shape me, too.

    2 agree
    • me too! I have to wear undies, I can't imagine going without.

      I'll probably just wear my best regular undies on the day though.

      1 agrees
  28. omg, the new super higher power spanx are AMAZING! they go all the way up to your bra, so you don't get that muffin over the top and between your bra! I had regular higher up old spanx, and bought a new pair and lost ANOTHER inch off and they lifted my tush too. Too bad you can't see my nicely lifted ass in my A-line dress. Oh well.

    PS- I can't see how any normal woman can pee out that little hole, I think it's more for ventilation personally. Oh, and I'm a fan of wearing panties under them, I'm curvy gal and a sweaty one too. Panties = sweat control.

    1 agrees
  29. I've recently fallen in love with Swoon Lingerie (http://www.etsy.com/shop/swoon) which will do you gorgeous panties, bras, camis and bloomers (!), any size, all custom-made. She's based in Scotland, so for us UK girls it's super cheap to send, but they'll ship anywhere I hate buying bras, but am so happy with these. No nasty wires! I don't think they can go above a D or so at the moment, but for those of us too small for Bravissimo, they're so nice!

    They're for prettiness and not shape, mind–but the bloomers! Cute bloomers under a coloured crinoline would be fab. :)

    0 agree
  30. I want to be real here…anyone have suggestions for SWEAT and ODOR? Truthfully, we all know there is NO WAY to NOT sweat under the dress, but I hate that feeling and if I have had that feeling under a bridesmaid dress, I can only imagine how I will feel on my wedding day!

    My thought was ditching functionality and cuteness and going for COTTON comfort…getting Hanes her way white cotton panties and just changing them out and throwing them away as I get too sweaty. Obviously, this would take some serious planning and one devoted bridesmaid! But, I am open to MORE suggestions! I know it is totally gross, but I just want to feel comfortable! Thanks in advance!

    1 agrees
    • YES! BABY POWDER! BABY POWDER! It's the best. It works great for what my friends and I refer to as "swamp ass." I also sprinkle it in my shoes because my feet sweat a lot. You just need to sprinkle a bit, you know, down there, and that will take care of that. But be careful not to put to much or else you'll have white powder everywhere!

      3 agree
    • I know I'm late to the party, but Spanx might actually be a good option for this–the ones I have from them are incredibly breathe-able.

      also, if you want to smell awesome, companies like Lush make dusting powder for precisely this purpose. Keeps you dry and smells fantastic.

      0 agree
    • Unless you're one of those who is allergic to a lot of stuff, ignore the directions on your deoderant. Wipe it on whereever you might sweat, under the girls, along the panty line on your legs, if you've a belly that hangs over a bit, under the flap of the belly, anywheres that ya get bad sweat. It aint perfect but it does stop a LOT of it, just like it does for yer arms. Baby powder is good too but I find that if you sweat too much it turns grainy and you get lil baby powder/sweat balls floating around.

      2 agree
  31. After seeing my F-cup friend wear a strapless dress for her friends wedding day and looking like a giant saggy sausage I suggest checking with your bridesmaids their preferred undie options before getting them dresses so you know they'll be comfy (and far more prepared to run around after you) on the day too!

    0 agree
  32. I would suggest that you need to think some about shape, especially if you're wearing vintage. A 'modern' frock kind of presumes a modern bra, but if you're in a 1940s tea dress, an Edwardian gown or a 50's cocktail dress they wont necessarily have the same silhouette. My dress required conical bosoms and as I am not gifted in that department (who is? Catwoman maybe?) I had to give considerable thought to the matter of retro/faux vintage lingerie.I also needed something to hold me in at the waist a bit, so I didn't bust the seams when I got tired and slouched.
    What I sourced and bought turned out not to be quite right,(at which point I urge you not to look at your self only from the front when trying underwear for 'The Dress') however my Rago open bottom girdle gave me brilliantly conical cleavage (with a little help from What Katie Did inserts, shhhhh). So even though it didn't match my knixs, and wasn't very weddingy, on it went.
    All worked out in the end.

    2 agree
  33. Bravissimo has come up a few times and desevedly so. Well worth the cost of S/H to the USA for us gals who need engineering-by-boeing to keep the girls up. (34HH last time I was measured.)

    0 agree
  34. If you don't need support, the nude Commando thongs by Her Look (sold at Nordstrom and online) are the most invisible thing I've ever come across. I've got a thin silk dress that shows everything and this is the only garment I've found that is completely invisible. I might try their "Low Beams" to deal with the top as tape doesn't do it if I get a chill.

    0 agree
  35. Another thought…
    I've gone without panties on numerous occastions and have some thoughts on the subject. They might be totally obvious, but maybe not:

    1. Don't do it on your wedding day if you are not totally used to the feeling. Maybe practice a few times at a variety of events (which could also be an interesting way of building character).

    2. There are certain times of the month that simply conflict with going sans underwear.

    3. If your wedding day is utterly hot or you are dancing up a storm, and you're wearing a thin dress, sweat stains could appear on your bum when you sit down. This would be very unfortunate. WATCH OUT FOR THIS MISTAKE!

    Frankly, I go commando quite frequently and I wouldn't do it in a light colored dress, no mater how much tulle is involved.

    0 agree
  36. Everyone has such great advice & insight and the range of options is awesome!
    As for me, I am getting ready for my 2nd wedding and found the underwear options from my 1st wedding are not suitable at all for this one.
    I spent a lot of money on the Le Mystere bustier w/ matching thong from Neiman Marcus which was perfect for my 1st wedding. I have grown from a 32C to a full 34/36 D since 2001 so I had to buy a new bustier, or so I thought. I bought the Le Mystere bustier again but after a lot of $$ and a different wedding dress, found(and was told by various shop owners) that most newer wedding dresses are being made so a bustier or bra isn't necessary for ~D cup & smaller.
    I dont' know how factual that is, but the dresses with rouching on top that have straps of some kind, offered a ton of support. In fact, my seamstress had me take the bustier out and found my dress fit better without it!
    My new dress is more sheer and evening gown like so it will require a Spanx or something for a little control/contouring…no bra but maybe some pasties just for fun. I'll save the sexy panties for afterward.
    I've done the crotchless Spanx and totally agree with the earlier posts about being cautious with the bathroom breaks! Just be sure you get the hole open enough to suit your anatomy and let it go fast when your ready in case you lose your balance or hold on the material! Def better than trying to take it on and off though.
    The key for the day is beauty w/ comfort whenever possible! You must be able to breath, sit, bend over, lift up your arms, etc. Practice, practice, practice & break in your shoes!!

    0 agree
    • I was wondering about this. I like the idea of finding something for under that feels pretty but comfy BUT the dress I have is corset-ish and has a built in bra as well. Do I even need something up top?

      0 agree
  37. I wore a body shaping leotard plus bra with detachable straps (I wore the straps) to help suck in my waist and shape my abs, and a Spanx-like pair of short things like the ones pictured above, but in black. I wore no underwear with that, because with the leotard, the only two ways to pee were to shift the crotch strap to the side or unbutton it, which in a mermaid dress, err, no.

    If I had worn panties, I would have worn COMFORTABLE, COTTON panties that breathed. Other than checking for color match (no "I can see your white panties through your sheer dress") and pantyline, go for breatheability.

    I did not wear hose, because the shorts kept me from getting the dreaded chub rub (I don't mean this to make fun of thigh fat, even slim girls get it) between my legs and hose just do not breathe.

    0 agree
  38. People keep talking about undies under spanx, but if you're going to use the pee-hole to save time and not pull them down, you want to put the undies OVER the spanx.
    (This is true of garter belts, as well–undies over!)

    I've sometimes worn fun-creative-party outfits with solid bright hose & fishnets, and cut the whole crotch out of them, then wore boyshorts over. This allowed me to use the toilet without pulling down the hose, and have cute boyshorts showing if my skirt went up!

    Another brand to consider: Yummie Tummie. Similar to spanx, but comfier, from what I've heard. (Friends of mine have been brand ambassadors at blogging conferences.)

    I think I may want just a corset for up top. I usually wear the ladies down, or in a strapless bra, because my shoulders just don't like the pressure of regular bras!

    0 agree
  39. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who suggested places to buy larger bras or corsets! It is quite literally impossible for me to find a bra in my locale that fits. I have an eight to nine inch difference between band and bust size and no one carries bras that big here.

    On a totally related note, does anyone else find it irritating that bra manufacturers don't seem to have a standard regarding how many times they repeat the D before moving on to E? Every time I shop for bras I have to double-check their sizing to find out if my size is defined as F, G, or H.

    3 agree
  40. I had a simple silk dress that wasn't very forgiving with underwear, but I found that the feather-lite nu-bar (unhooked) was awesome with some fashion tape to keep the dress from shifting, and a beige seamless thong from VS that had some suede-like lining along the edges to keep it in place. It was summer so I didn't want a lot of spanx making me sweat. I'm about a size 6-8 and am a C-cup though so I didn't need too much to hold in place.

    Nu-Bar:
    http://www.nubra.com/NuBra_FL.htm

    I think this was the thong I bought:
    http://www.victoriassecret.com/ss/Satellite?ProductID=1265384517445&c=Page&cid=1292993395101&pagename=vsdWrapper

    0 agree
  41. Just a word of warning – I love my Spanx, but the center seam that goes down my stomach shows right through my dress.

    Thankfully I am aware of this months before the wedding. My seamstress pointed it out and I have time to look for another option. Ruelala had a Cass boutique yesterday, so I am going to try their boy-short.

    All that is to say – be sure to audition, or even test-drive, your undergarments with your wedding outfit, and give yourself time to purchase a second choice if the first doesn't work out as planned.

    1 agrees
  42. I hate going strapless because my bra size is 42 J *cue this face O.O* I can't ever find anything that fits me and I hate trying on clothes because of it. I'm very much concerned with how things are going to look when I start trying on dresses.

    0 agree
    • Call up a couple of salons and talk to their alterations lady. I'm in the same boat, I'm a 34I. My first dress shopping experience, I ended up at a salon in Va Beach who didn't sell anything over an 8 or a DD. Talk about heart breaking and super embarrassing!

      I ended up finding a salon in my home town that does in-house alterations and they created a custom bra for me! And it was included in the cost of alterations! I found the small, privately owned salons are more willing to make such concessions for their brides.

      0 agree
  43. My #1 concern is chub rub – I don't want to be miserable all night. I'm planning to wear Luvees which are a Spanx style short, but without the support.

    2 agree
    • THIS.

      Also, for folks who are considering Spanx but are worried about comfort, I suggest getting one of the nicer items (the more expensive ones are made from this amazing fabric that's actually ridiculously comfortable) and getting a size up. Prevents the chub rub, keeps everything basically contained, but is way more comfy AND doesn't require 10 minutes of wiggling to get into and out of it.

      3 agree
  44. If you want absolute comfort, no panty lines and no wedgies, wear Hanes comfort soft no line bikinis with a wedgie free guarantee. I am going to sew some ribbon and flowers on mine to make them cute!

    0 agree
  45. I actually bought my bustier from http://www.herroom.com and the night before the wedding I thought I had everything together and slept peacefully in my childhood home , even a pretty blue underwear I chose for comfort and a little tradition thrown in..not like I was going to show it off.

    Well I woke up the next day to find I had everything EXCEPT my underwear. I was at my grandparents so I had literally NOTHING there. So what did I do in the heart of danger?

    I went commando. No shame, ma'am, none! lol

    Sometimes you gotta go for convenient and just be happy for it.haha

    0 agree
  46. So my issue is that day to day underwear just DOES NOT WORK. EVER! There is one pair that was sold at Walmart called "The World's Most Comfortable Panty" which are the ONLY ones that don't: slip, wedgie, wrinkle, show lines, or cut into the tendon in my crotch (as in 10 hr. in anything but this type and there are bloodstains on my jeans). I have 6 pairs of black Cacique (Lane Bryant brand) "perfect panties" that really only serve to hold a panty liner somewhere near where I need it.

    Any suggestions from someone with about a US size 18-22 bottom half and not a lot of extra $?

    0 agree
  47. I'm a 34I (aye yi yi!) and getting the proper garments was super important to me. . . I ended up getting my dress from a locally owned salon that does in-house alterations and they ended up creating a custom bra for me that goes inside my dress but is detachable so I can wear it again/separate if need be. The dress I picked out has an interal corset and a "control" band that goes across the stomach like a girdle. You should ask your alterations lady if she can create something similar. Now all I gotta worry about is a pair of underwear and I'll be set!

    0 agree
  48. Just wanted to add a hot tip after my own slight issue on my wedding day- when wearing those lovely tuck-em-in shorts and going to the toilet make sure u pull the top of them RIGHT up back under the corset in your dress or you will be walking back down the aisle with your hunky husband and all your special people in your life congratulating you while your knickers are falling down down down!!! Yep actually happened to me!!

    0 agree
  49. If your dress is strapless I would always recommend some appropriate underwear to support your bust. Although the dress may be boned, this is to help it keep it's shape, not hold you up!

    If you are big busted you may need to consider something like a corset which supports you from the waist so won't slip down. I made a corset for a JJ bride with under wired cups (because a traditional corset wasn't the right shape for her dress style). She never thought she'd be able to wear strapless underwear!

    0 agree
  50. I bought shapewear similar to the Spanx shown in the article – it's the Wacoal brand, and I love it! I purchased mine from Nordstrom, they have the best customer service! I chose Wacoal over Spanx after reading A LOT of reviews – many reviews said that Spanx have a higher tendency to roll down your torso (which makes any chub issues worse, rather than concealing!) and that Spanx wear out more quickly.

    0 agree
  51. Geeeeeze!!!! So many ladies also 32DD!!! =D…..Ugh….finding cute bras without breaking the bank is like winning the lotto…..I have a suggestion regarding shaping….. I just recieved my wedding gowns in the mail (ones a poofy princess gown and the other is a tight fitted strapless satin trumpet gown) I've been literally searching the net high and low trying to find a body shaper that would smooth and reduce my waist and hips and work for both dresses……finally decided what the hell let's just wrap myself in duck tape and see how that goes…..lol….I had a friend of mine assist me with the wrapping since you don't want creases and holy cow it looked amazing!!!!!! Smoothing, definitely a ton of reduction and best of all it cost less than the lunch we had earlier that day…..lol….try it out!!!!

    0 agree
  52. If you don't need to be shaped, but you'd like your clothes to hang well, find a silk slip. (A real silk, bias-cut, approximately-skin-tone slip, or dye a white one.) It will feel wonderful. Your clothes will flow over it instead of hanging up on any bumps. You'll be lovely in just the slip when you take the dress off, and you won't have squeezy compression lines when you take the slip off.

    They're expensive, but if you never put them in the dryer they'll last decades. Cold-water wash, drip dry, stronger than steel.

    0 agree
  53. I know I'm a little late to this party, but my undies of choice for my wedding day were a pair of performance hiking underwear from Patagonia. They were blue and green striped, stayed put, no wedgies, and were sweat wicking so I stayed comfy all day. My mother and bridesmaids were all pretty against it ("You can't wear THOSE on your wedding day!") as they felt I should wear something a bit more in line with my big gorgeous princess dress. Little do they know that my husband and I both share an appreciation for performance underpants :) Were they sexy? Nope. But they were practical and comfortable as hell!

    0 agree
  54. I recommend Va Bien! They have waist cinchers, long line shapewear with supportive bras and a variety of designs! The tailor for my wedding dress said "ohhh you got a good one!"

    0 agree

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.

Biz owners & wedding bloggers

Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.