Buy the Basics
Regardless of size, every woman needs a few key pieces to get through her round of wedding parties -- and her life, really! Most important is a bra that smooths, is seamless, and conceals back fat and the “bat wing” (or underarm fat). For the best fit, lean forward and scoop your breasts into the cups (that will pull forward any back fat, too). Everyone should also have high-waisted shaping underwear; go for a pair that’s comfortable and not too constricting, and you’ll wear them all the time.
Step It Up
Think of these as investment pieces. The average bride is looking for extra compression, extra lift -- extra miracle workers, basically. She wants something that really sucks in the tummy and lifts up the tush. Most popular are waist-cinchers, especially for mermaid gowns. And though some people think it makes them look even slimmer, Altman doesn’t recommend layering shapers on top of one another -- it’ll feel dreadful, and who wants that on her wedding day?
Decide Where You Want Control
If you’re curvy, a bra is super-important; you might ask your seamstress to sew one into your gown. If you want support for your stomach too, a long-line bra, which continues down to the waistline like a corset, will contain your whole torso. And for allover help, you could wear a shaper that extends into leggings, which is great for a slinkier dress.
Focus on Fit, Color, and Material
Do not buy undergarments that are too small. Some women think the smaller the shapewear, the smaller they’ll look; not true! If it’s too tight, it will cut into the skin and create overflow, à la muffin top. Secondly, if your dress is very sheer, don’t wear colored or white shapers underneath it, no matter how dark or light your complexion. Anything other than nude will show through a very light gown. Finally, skip cotton pieces. A dress won’t glide over them, and that’s what your figure needs to appear smooth.
Wear Shapewear to Your Fittings
Once you have your gown, buy undergarments for it to make sure they work together. Plus, you’ll need your bra well ahead of time if you do decide to have your seamstress sew it into the bodice. Even before you know what style you’ll get, you should always have a good strapless bra on hand to wear while trying on dresses. If you don’t own one already, now’s the time to buy it! You’ll get so much use out of it, it’ll pay for itself.
Get more of Jenny’s tips at iloveagood.com.