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

7 Comments on this post

  1. A late addition comment but I’m sure this comes up in a lot of searches.

    I’m going to take a contrary viewpoint and say, that while not for everyone and with a few particulars, a corset can be great under a wedding dress.

    Many of my clients come to me for that very thing, and usually because they have a full bust and may have picked a strapless dress. They don’t feel like they’re getting enough support and lift from even the best strapless bras, not for all day. A corset solves that.

    I do recommend single layers, traditional corsetry fabrics like the floral coutils and a gored or cupped shape for a natural line. Lots of care is needed to make sure the top-line isn’t too high for the dress and that there is no show through from the bones or busk if used. I don’t suggest too great a reduction either.

    All in all though, for full busted women in particular, a corset can work really well and remove a lot of worry about slipping strapless bras or rolling shapewear.

  2. A0 says:

    As someone who is a corset maker, I agree to a certain degree. Most women do not want to invest the money in a correctly made corset; with corsetry you get what you pay for. Even then you NEED to dedicate the time to break it and learn to wear it properly. If you don’t do these things you WILL be uncomfortable.

    You need to buy the corset first THEN the dress if you are dead set on a flawless look. It changes your body so dramatically that you need to have your gown tailored with the corset on. The biggest thing people forget is that corsets do not make you smaller, they just re shape your body; all that tissue needs to go somewhere! It can change your band measurement(if you are wearing an underbust) or your hip.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Try a full-line bra. This is a strapless bra, that follows down to your hips. They have hooks in the back so, while it may not cinch your waist in as much as a corset, it will smooth everything and still allow you to breath, dance, and most importantly, eat! David's Bridal carries two variations of the full-line bra; one with stays (boning) and one without.

  4. Womens Lingerie says:

    I also don't agree with wearing a corset under your wedding dress. Your wedding day is one that you want to remember but also enjoy. Your want to be able to dance and eat and just relax. A corset is a beautiful piece of lingerie but to my way of thinking, shapewear would be better suited for under your wedding gown.

  5. Hot Corsets says:

    Catherine has a good point, but a lot of modern corsets are quite comfortable now. I would suggest that the OP shops around a little and trys a few on.

  6. Catherine says:

    I've always been put off corsets at weddings because I want to be able to eat a great big meal and alot of sweets at any I've ever been too . . .

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