Image via Agent Provocateur
Estelle Puleston is a lingerie designer, the founder of Esty Lingerie and a happy bride-to-be who doesn’t have a clue how she’s going to narrow down her bridal lingerie choices down to just one set! Unless, of course, she wins the lottery and can afford the Agent Provocateur Gene corset.
When it comes to wedding-night lingerie, every bride wants something that’s beautiful. In fact, for many women what they buy to wear under their dress will be the most luxurious lingerie set they’ve ever owned.
However ‘luxury’ often equates to ‘expensive’ and for brides on a budget that’s simply not always a reality, especially when you factor in all of the other costs of a wedding. Personally, I have my heart set on the ivory Gene corset by Agent Provocateur but at £950 it’s just not going to happen!
The great news though is that you can still get beautiful, bridal-esque pieces no matter how small your budget. I’m going to share 5 such sets that all cost less than $70, plus a tip to customize each one for an extra special touch…
Image via Hanky Panky
1. Hanky Panky Peek-a-Boo Bra and Panties ($67)
I love the flirty ribbons on this bra and tie-side panties set, and lace is always a beautiful choice for bridal lingerie. However, it seems to be missing that ‘special something’ that would take it from boudoir to bridal lingerie.
Customize it: Whenever I see sheer lace, I just want to sprinkle it with beads! When you see an intricately beaded piece of lingerie you instantly assume it’s expensive, but the truth is that you can pick up a packet of small, pearly beads for a few dollars at any craft shop.
You’ll also need elastic thread, then simply sew beads either trimming the edges or dotted randomly across the fabric like this. Use ivory or cream shades for a subtle but beautiful look, or go for a mixture of pale blues for your something blue!
Image via Ann Summers
2. Ann Summers Pure Lace Bra, Thong & Suspender (£34, approx. $52)
I own this bra in red and the unique boning detail and small ribbon bows across the cups are lovely. At this price, it’s no more expensive than your typical everyday lingerie! However, whilst the bra might be gorgeous the suspender and thong both seem a little on the plain side to me, more everyday than wedding-night.
Customize it: My solution would be to replace the central bow on the bra with a large, pale-blue one and to add the same bow to the center of the suspender belt, or at the ends of the suspenders where they attach to your stockings.
You could even add a super-sized bow to the center-back of the suspender or thong so the lingerie looks just as good from the back as it does from the front!
Image via Inés Perpiñá
3. Inés Perpiñá Vanilla Lace Bodysuit (€45, approximately $58)
I adore this lace bodysuit which is hand-made in the Netherlands by designer Inés. The scalloped elastic trim is a lovely finishing touch, and I think the floral print on the lace is super pretty. In fact, it could be worn as it is, but as someone who wears lace bodysuits on a regular basis I don’t think it would qualify as special enough without a small addition…
Customize it: Add suspenders! You’ll be able to team the bodysuit with your most special bridal stockings (I recommend Leg Avenue for great styles at a low cost) and the great news is that they’re extremely easy to make.
Just follow my guide to making suspenders but instead of using hooks at the top to clip them into existing loops for detachable suspenders, you simply sew them directly onto the bodysuit. The elastic, grips and optional bows will cost you a few dollars at most, but the effect looks like you spent a lot of money on it!
Image via Boux Avenue
4. Boux Avenue Misha Robe (£40, approximately $61)
Probably not suitable to actually wear under the dress, this gorgeous ivory satin robe (which has ‘Mrs’ on the back in sparkling crystals) is nonetheless the perfect loungewear for the ‘morning after’ and all honeymoon long!
Customize it: I think that satin and silk robes always look elegant, ethereal and definitely expensive, but the most luxurious ones of all like the Agent Provocateur Nova robe and the Myla Siren kimono always have a lace trim. Lace can range from around $1 a meter to ten times that (and more) but you’d be surprised at just how pretty laces at the cheaper end of that scale can be.
For this robe, I’d pick out a lovely, ivory eyelash lace (eBay is a great source, or try your local haberdashery) and sew it around the cuffs, hemline or both. It’s just sewing in a straight line so you really don’t need any expert sewing skills, or even a sewing machine. It’ll take about an hour to hand-stitch and it’ll be time very well spent!
Image via SLC
5. SLC-SLC Cream Silk Panties (£23, approximately $35)
Corseted wedding dresses are extremely popular, and you rarely need to wear anything underneath the top part of the dress since it’s so structured and supportive itself. In this case, a beautiful pair of high-quality, silk panties can be more than enough – simplicity is elegant, after all!
Customize it: Personalized lingerie is a popular bridal choice and it’s no wonder, since this is the first day you’ll be able to show off your new name! These silk and bamboo knickers are beautiful, but why not add a truly personal touch by adding your new name or initials across the back in sparkling diamante gems?
You can buy iron-on diamantes or hot-fix ones that are applied with glue (you’ll also need a special tool, so this option costs a little more but it does last longer) but be warned, having attempted this myself I can safely say it’s a ‘medium difficulty’ customization! Be sure to try it out on a scrap of fabric before moving onto the panties.