Spanx my dress!
February 8, 2014 9:33 PM   Subscribe

What undergarments should I wear with my wedding dress?

I'm getting married to my love bird in the fall (yay!) and am searching for the right undergarments to wear underneath my dress. Details:
* I am plus sized with an exaggerated pear shape (44" 38" 53").
* My wedding dress that my aunt is sewing for me will be a satin sweetheart bodice with a lace overlay neck/sleeves (example), so my shoulders will be translucently visible.
* I have a very long torso amplified by my wide hips, large rear, big thighs; swimsuits are never long enough, even special long torso ones (the straps cut into my shoulders and my chest is revealed).

What undergarment would be the most effective to smooth lumps and give chest support? I'm hoping to have the tummy smoother also function as my bra for the dress. Ideally I want a piece with a strapless bra top like this one that also is a mid-thigh bodysuit like this one to prevent chaffing and too constricted leg openings like a traditional swimsuit. I haven't found many pieces that combine both of these elements. If I did, I would be worried that the torso wouldn't be long enough, and the cups of the bra would settle at my waist.

Any suggestions? Ideally, I'd like to spend under $75, but would be willing to spend up to $150 if it was perfect. I'm considering just wearing a corset/bra thing with a pair of tights, but those tend to either be too large in the chest area (I'm a 40C) or too small so it squeezes my hips, creates a bulge where the corset stops, and rides up.

I've read previous questions, but am looking for more specific suggestions. I would also love to hear what you wore under your dress on your wedding day, and whether it worked well for you or not. Thanks, Mefites!
posted by horizonseeker to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Congratulations! I am an apple, not a pear shape, but I am a bigger girl so hopefully my experience is helpful to you. I wore a strapless bustier on top and knee length spanx on the bottom, and I was happy with how I looked. There were two things that I think contributed to me being happy:
1) I went to a high end intimates shop in a big city and had a professional measure me and put me in the right stuff.
2) My dress had a lot of structure, which covered any remaining sins.
posted by slmorri at 9:47 PM on February 8, 2014

I would wear a strapless corset over top of a pair of high-waisted, long-lined spanx in the circumstances you describe. By separating the corset and the underwear, you avoid the torso length problem, and also make it easier to get out of at least some of the garments should you need to pee. If you've got a high-waisted spanx on, you shouldn't get below corset bulge, because the spanx will be keeping those bits in line.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:50 PM on February 8, 2014

I've got a long torso, too, and this is my vote for separate pieces. Corset/bustier/bra thing for support and shaping, spanx-like thing for smoothing. It's just so unlikely a one-piece will do everything you need it to do and fit properly. Also, be sure to check out the non-spanx smoothers because, in my experience, spanx is sometimes tighter than some women need for smoothing.
posted by stowaway at 10:39 PM on February 8, 2014

This plus size girl agrees with everyone above. I am a 40DD (now you know everyone) so a regular strapless bra would sag under the weight of my breasts because it wasnt structured enough, which meant the boobs appeared to have nothing on (because everyone needed a bit more TMI). I went with the high waisted Spanx up to right under my boobs and then what the called a "long lines bra" (which was a strapless corset with boning to give it structure) to corral the girls. It all worked, nothing sagged, and I actually looked a little perky up top. I had a smooth A line dress so the dress also gave me a smooth line as well.

Obviously try on different brands of shapers because some are way tighter than others, and too tight causes bulges in all the wrong places. You could also look for the bra in a Tall size if they make actual bra store or wedding store would know the options and might be able to order some for you to try on first. I am also long in the torso and I HATE having to choose between a long torso swimsuit or a good bra support swimsuit so I feel your pain!

I wanted to add that the bra had full cups as well but was still cut low enough to work. Those half cup whatevers in some corsets just won't work, so make sure you arent getting one thats too low cut to have correct support.
posted by MultiFaceted at 11:07 PM on February 8, 2014

Wedding dresses often require true foundation garments and not the all-over sausaging of Spanx. Try searching for the term full figure torsolette bra. If you're worried about thigh chaffing wear separate shorties.

I think I ordered every torsolette in my size and returned all but the one that fit best.
posted by 26.2 at 11:48 PM on February 8, 2014

Can your aunt incorporate boning? I'm a full figured girl too (34Eish) and the incredible seamstress of my dress added boning & cups such that I didn't have to wear a bra or spanx at all and it was GLORIOUS the day off.
posted by kelseyq at 12:17 AM on February 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

Your first stop should be to the reddit subgroup /r/ABraThatFits, because 40C is actually a pretty rare size, and probably not your actual size.

A bra that actually fits you provides 80% support from the band, and only 20% from the straps, so you may even be able to leave off the straps entirely. (I'm able to, in moderate amounts, and I'm a 36H.)
posted by snakeling at 5:57 AM on February 10, 2014

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