Undergarments: Mixing and Matching

Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 1999

The fabric of your gown determines whether you can wear richly embellished, lacy underpinnings or if you should choose smooth, unadorned garments. In general, dresses made of sheer, lightweight fabrics such as chiffon or charmeuse need simple lingerie that will reveal no lines underneath. Heavy materials like brocade or velvet can conceal lace, ribbons, or embroidered trim on seductively feminine undergarments. Although white is the traditional color for bridal lingerie, a nude shade, which creates the impression of skin, is preferable when the gown is of a sheer fabric.

Choosing the right panties and hosiery is also important. Panties should be sleek and comfortable, and should fit close to the body without any visible lines. Choices range from body-shaping styles that flatten your tummy and support your derriere to barely there bikinis. When it comes to hosiery, panty hose are the easiest and most familiar choice. They offer support and, when seamless, a smooth, sleek line. However, brides wearing a heavy gown laden with layers of crinolines may wish to forgo wearing panty hose because they can be too warm, uncomfortable, and difficult to remove. A more practical choice is a pair of stockings, which can look charming when trimmed with lace and fastened with satin garters. Some stockings are made with silicone bands that cling to the thigh and keep them in place, making garters unnecessary.

Hosiery
Stockings are the choice for a bride who doesn't want to be hampered by a waistband. Thigh-highs can be worn with or without garters. Lace edging adds a feminine touch, but should be worn only with embellished or heavy-fabric dresses so it won't show through. For brides who prefer the support of panty hose, there are a variety of styles, including seamless, sheer, or satin.

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