They are wisps of silk, lace, and stretch fiber that go unseen by guests. Hidden beneath the folds of the bridal dress, they are utterly romantic and equally pragmatic. It is this delicate yet durable lingerie, after all, that constructs the crucial foundation for the dress, whether it's a streamlined satin sheath or a ball gown with a bouffant froth of tulle. Proper bridal lingerie -- just a few carefully chosen pieces -- helps to shape the body and make the dress a perfect fit. Ordinary, everyday lingerie should stay home on your wedding day.
"When you wear something beautiful underneath your gown, you walk differently," says Rebecca Apsan, owner of La Petite Coquette, a lingerie store in New York City. "You feel more confident. Luxurious lingerie puts you in a different space."
Finding bridal underpinnings that are both beautiful and practical isn't the same experience as it was in the fifties when brides squeezed into tight, elastic corsets, long-line girdles, and thick, pointy bras to achieve the curvaceous figure demanded by the slender-waisted, full-skirted gowns of the era. Today, thanks to innovative microfibers and creative design techniques, lingerie has become more comfortable and versatile than ever. However, it still may take a bit of trial and error, and a good deal of patience, to find the right undergarments for your dress.