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Wedding Lingerie: Should You Wear a Corset Under Your Wedding Dress?

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Our celebration of all bridal lingerie continues in this week's "Ask the Addict" feature with a question from reader C. who writes:
I am getting married in July and my wedding dress doesn't have a corset built into it. What kind of corset can I wear that's not too heavy but will still cinch my waist? 

C. :)
This is a great question, C., and one I get asked surprisingly often. I did a bit of research and consulted with a few lingerie retailer friends of mine to come up with an answer. I hope it helps!

Hi C.Thanks so much for writing!I'm actually going to go against the grain here and suggest that you not purchase a corset for your wedding day. Corsets are gorgeous, and they do cinch your waist, but clothing today isn't really cut to allow for the extra bulk and period shape of a corset. At the least, you'll have odd lumps, bumps, and ridges under your wedding dress (especially if its already purchased). At the most, you'll be intensely uncomfortable as corsets require a bit of a breaking-in period before wearing, especially all-day.

Instead, I'd recommend investing in good shapewear. You'll be smooth and shapely under your dress, but still be able to breathe, dance, and, most importantly, smile. Kiss Me Deadly is one of my favorite brands, however What Katie Did and Secrets in Lace also carry functional, fashionable shapewear.

If you've got your heart set on a corset though (and I completely understand if you do!), then I suggest a short, smooth, no-frills underbust like this one from What Katie Did or this one from FairyGothMother. It's very important that you have the corset with you when trying on dresses and going to fittings; otherwise, the silhouette will not look right.

The absolute best solution for wearing a corset under your wedding dress is to go the custom made route. Either have the same person who made your dress also make your corset, or go with a reputable, experienced corsetiere. This breathable bamboo underbust from Electra Designs, might be a good option, for example as it's both light and comfortable. I hope I've answered your question, and please feel free to write back if you need anymore clarification.



Cora Harrington

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. Author of In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that everyone who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.