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What to wear under your wedding dress

There’s so much talk about the dress and the journey of finding ‘the one’. But what about what goes under it? The very important undies! Here to rectify that in her own inimitable style is our resident expert, couture wedding dress designer Mette Baillie of Freja Designer Dressmaking.

Foundation garments, shapewear, bra and knickers, what should I wear under my wedding dress?

This is probably the most overlooked part of your wedding preparation! Boom! I said it! Get sorted!

Ok, I know I am a professional and I work with this kind of thing every day. But honestly, for all the preparations that go into your wedding dress shopping, to not consider what you will wear under it is a very big mistake.

I would like you to consider this issue already when you try on dresses, and before you settle on your dream dress. It should not be an afterthought.

So, we are all different. Some women would not even consider emptying the letterbox without a fully supported bra, others are quite happy going with no bra. This is a hugely personal issue, and although you can ask advice, you will have to be happy with your decision.

Your undergarments depend very much on what type of dress you pick. If you are going for a strapless, fully corseted dress. You will probably not want to wear a bra. Perhaps you would want to ask your dressmaker to fit in some cups, sometimes on a boned dress, it can feel quite hard on the skin.

If you always wear a bra, a strapless might be able to do the trick, make sure when your dress is fitted you ask for a loop at the back to thread the bra through, so it NEVER makes an appearance on the day. Do not get yourself talked into buying one of those long length bras, boning on top of boning does not work. Those bras often also shape your boobs too hard, so you end up with boobs a different shape than your dress is.

If you have a softer dress, then things are a bit more complicated. Often brides are sold dresses in shops and have been told “just ask the dressmaker to fit in some cups for support” but think about it – if you wear a loose top, like a t-shirt or sweat shirt, and you stitched in some cups, they would not support you, they would just float around inside the top along with your boobs. With your dress, it’s the same issue.

So if you have a softer dress, your support should be on you. For a lot of those low back dresses that are around at the moment, I am a fan of those little stick on cups: they look like a normal bra cup, but are attached by tape under your arm. There are loads of more expensive options than these including those gel ones, which I often think are too heavy. For once I think cheaper is better. But be aware, they will not give you the lift and control of a sports bra!

If you have a softer style dress, and if you are small busted, you may want to consider going braless. I think it’s a lovely option, and I think you can get away with more see through, and more shape of your bust than if you are big busted, as it just all gets a bit much.

Depending on the cut of your dress, you may be able to wear a multiway bra, or a little multiway body suit, but you need a trial run of it.

Left-Right: All Marks and Spencers: Adhesive Bra, Multiway Bra and Nipple covers

If you are going braless, you may want to consider the little daisies, so you don’t have any “cold nipple” incidents. I have heard of women using blister plasters for this use, but I could not think of anything more horrific than to sport those on my nipples my entire honeymoon… please get proper ones instead!

For a lot of those see-through dresses with lace bodices on flesh colour mesh, you may have to wear a stick-on bra thing. Buy plenty so you can try them out at the fitting and practice how to fit them. Silly as it sounds, it’s really good to not do it on your own, as you can lift your boobs and another person can apply the stick on cups. After this you will owe your chief bridesmaid big time – as she will make sure you don’t have one stargazer boob and one staring at the ground.

If you have any kind of straps or sleeves or so which potentially move on your shoulders, it may be worth adding a piece of double sided tape, so it stays put. Look in the mirror when you put it on, so you can ensure it’s absolutely symmetrical.

Left-Right: ASOS and Eylure from Boots

ALWAYS, ALWAYS test run the tape on your body for 24 hours to see you do not develop an allergic reaction on the day. If you use any kind of tape, also make sure you don’t use any body lotion or perfume or talc or similar on the area before putting it on.

What colour to choose? The colour of your underwear should be the colour of your skin, so your flesh colour. This does not mean the colour of that dead flesh underwear you sometimes see. If you have pale skin, it may be a cream colour, I tend to go for a pale pink for winter time and a sandy beige for summer time.

Left-Right: Calvin Klein, Sheer Chemistry and Marks and Spencers No VPL

Ok, so the pant part. It’s a tricky one. Many ladies think they need to go for those crazy Bridget Jones, hold me in, tight knickers. In my opinion, for most brides it’s just too much. Often, they create a problem elsewhere, by leaving a line on the leg where they stop or on the belly.

So, if you need a light bit of support or if you are worried about chafing, tights might be the thing. You can get tights with support on the belly and a bum lift, these are worn commando… no knickers! And no VPL! Brilliant!

If you settle for a pair of knickers. Then again, there are a few options to consider. Calvin Klein makes lovely paper thin knickers, they are great under a dress, I think usually little shorts or a thong is most invisible, instead of plain knickers. Marks & Spencer also have a no VPL range.

If you wear hold-ups… no talc or body lotion on your thighs… (Been there… done that! The holdup sliding down with the speed of light and covering your shoes? Not a good situation!). Test ride the style and size!

Ohhh and those Bridget Jones knickers and other crazy foundation garments.… get them off and change into something much nicer and fresher for later.

And while we are at it, look after those beautiful boobs of yours.

Limited edition tees available from UK breast cancer charity CoppaFeel!

Great advice, as always from Mette. Follow this and you’ll be all set for looking (and just as importantly feeling!) a million dollars. x

Originally hailing from Denmark but having now made Edinburgh her home (it was love at first sight!), multi award-winning designer dressmaker Mette Baillie is the incredible talent behind Freja Designer Dressmaking

Wedding photos courtesy of (from top) Elemental Photography, The Gibsons, Jen Owens Images, Marc Millar. Product shots as detailed in captions.