To bra or not to bra?

Expert advice about choosing wedding lingerie by the experts at Guilt Lingerie


We were delighted to be asked by Caroline to write a guest blog and were so happy to find her interest in lingerie totally matches our own philosophy on the importance of fit, invisibility and comfort on your wedding day. Guilt Lingerie is a national award-winning boutique in West Sussex, with an online presence at Quite simply we strongly believe looking sensational stems from feeling sensational

Many brides visit us at Guilt and discuss their wedding needs with our lingerie stylists. It is rare to find a dress designer willing to coordinate the needs of what ‘goes underneath’ from the very start of the design process. Too often we at Guilt are faced with a near-impossible brief for seamless, strapless, backless supportive underwear after the dress design is already in production, Caroline totally understands this, which we believe will give her lucky brides complete confidence.

We thought it might be fun to give you Guilt’s practical thoughts on wedding lingerie.

Controversial though it may be, we have found that beautiful wedding lingerie and seamless invisible wedding lingerie are two different things.

Our best advice would be to have two sets, one for the dress and another sensational set for the traditional going-away – a ‘later’ set.

We recommend that whatever lingerie you purchase, try actually wearing it for a day before the wedding as well as trying it on with the dress. It can always be washed in scented lingerie wash and wrapped in tissue ready for the big day and you will have the added confidence of knowing that you will feel comfortable.

Here Are Guilt’s Top Bridal Tips:

From the start consider what is going to work best UNDER your ‘dream’ dress. Can it be achieved? Will it be comfortable enough for you to enjoy a happy, carefree day? The Big Four areas to consider when choosing wedding lingerie are: the bust, the waist, the bottom (especially from behind!) and the legs – often neglected.

The Bust

THE BIG DILEMMA: strapless or not?

For smaller busts, shaping and volume must be considered and we have lots of enhancements to help make the very best of the natural you.

For larger busts, realistic support must always be considered, as well as the ‘level’ the bust might sit and whether the bust will face forward or the dreaded ‘left and right’.

It is worth noting that weight loss in the bust will normally occur above the nipple rather than in the wire area.

The Waist

Smoooooth, cinched, hourglass or loose? Carefully selecting the style of underwear smooths the waistline, eliminates bulges and ensures nothing draws attention away from your dream dress.

The Bottom

One word – ‘Pippa’. We are experts at helping with this most visible part. Much depends on the shape of the dress, but our ‘bottom’ line would be that pants should not show. There are some fantastic new invisible fabrics and seams that help achieve this.

The Legs

Will you ‘go bare’, will you wear stockings or will you wear hold-ups? And if so, will the hold-ups fall down? There have been great advances in technology on this front and thus hold-ups might be worth considering. To give you confidence, try wearing a very good quality pair for a whole day before the wedding and whatever you do, do not apply body lotion anywhere near the tops, the whole area must be grease-free. Top hold- up tip – they must positioned on the narrowest part of the leg lower down, not at the soft top part of the leg where our bulges lurk. Buy a brand new pair for the big day. If your dress is loose and does not hug the bottom then bridal suspenders and stockings can make you look amazing and feel special.

Don’t forget the honeymoon and the future! Continue looking stunning in silk nightwear, beautiful lingerie and laid-back swimwear.

Guilt thinks the best thing of all to wear for your wedding is a smile.

Note from Caroline…and in answer to the question in the title – there isn’t a straight answer! I usually recommend my brides bring the bra they’re going to wear with their dress and try the dress with and without it. In my experience, more than a C cup usually looks better WITH a bra, but in reality, you just never know until you try it all together. Which is why we normally come with our brides to the lingerie store with a toile of the dress, to check it all works together. The dress can give some support, but depending on your tone and size, sometimes you need a bra. Confused? Sorry…there just isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” answer, so the best advice I can offer is for you to talk to the wedding dress shop or designer from whom you’ve ordered your dress for their advice about your particular style, and visit a really great lingerie boutique (like Guilt), and between them and you, you’ll find the solution which works for you.

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