Under-the-Dress Essentials

The secret to the perfect fit? Great undergarments.
by Jennie Ma
  1. white lace lingerie
    photo by Le Secret d'Audrey

    Bridal fashion has taken a sexy turn in recent years. Designers like Galia Lahav, Ines Di Santo and Rivini are redefining the traditional wedding dress with daring cutouts, plunging necklines and curve-hugging styles that leave little to the imagination. If you find yourself in love with a sultry silhouette but don't know what to wear under it (hint: your usual bra and panties probably won't do), we're here to help. From clingy fabrics to open backs, we've got the answers to your undergarment dilemmas.

  2. Your dress has an ultra-deep V-neckline.

    fashion forms deep plunge bodysuit

    The essential: Look for a bra that has a special cutout in the front to accommodate low necklines. Most likely this bra will have extra support on the side (or, in this case, is designed as a bodysuit) to make sure that despite the deep dip, everything stays put.

    Fashion Forms U Plunge backless strapless bodysuit, $32, Bloomingdales.com

  3. Your dress is cut close to the body and clings to your tummy area.

    Miraclesuit Thong high-waist cincher

    The essential: You'll need some shapewear that can smooth and pull in your problem area—your lower stomach. Look for one with either boy shorts or with a thong bottom to ensure you get a seamless finish.

    Miraclesuit Thong high-waist cincher, $38, LordandTaylor.com

  4. Your dress has a classic strapless neckline.

    dominique longline bra

    The essential: A bra with grips on the inside is one possible solution to the elusive slipping strapless bra; another answer is the longline bra. This is a bra that's attached to a corsetlike bodice, which gives it more support against slippage since it wraps around your waist.

    Dominique Longline smooth strapless bra, $71, BareNecessities.com

  5. Your dress fits snugly around your upper body.

    Spanx Haute Couture Nouveau slip

    The essential: Ban the dreaded bulge with an upper-body undergarment that will smooth out your back. Look for one that's lightweight and flexible, so you can still move around naturally.

    Spanx Haute Couture Nouveau slip, $168, Spanx.com

  6. Your dress is extremely formfitting around the hips and thighs.

    Miraclesuit Waistline Thigh Slimmer

    The essential: Target the problem area with shapewear that falls above the knees. The key is finding a pair that's tight enough to firm up any possible wobbly bits and give your silhouette a smooth finish—without giving you a muffin top.

    Miraclesuit Waistline thigh slimmer, Miraclesuit.com

  7. Your dress shows off your curves, especially from behind.

    Spanx butt booster
    photo by Courtesy of Nordstrom

    The essential: Find a pair of special shorts that can give your behind an extra boost. Look for shorts with padding that looks and feels natural (your guests don't need to know you're getting some booty help) like cotton, foam or silicone.

    Classic Shapwear Padded panties, $30, ClassicShapewear.com

  8. Your dress has a sexy, open back.

    adhesive bra

    The essential: Your best bet when it comes to a backless gown is a bra that has adhesive cups. Silicone cups will give you the most natural feel, while the nude color will make it nearly invisible.

    Fashion Forms NuBra, $75, Nordstrom.com

  9. Want more? Browse tons of bridal lingerie and shapewear on The Knot Shop.

    Ready to start the search for your own sexy wedding dress? Right here.

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