When you’re trying on dresses, nothing spoils a good look more than a rogue bra strap, a visible panty line, or other flashes of underwear showing itself underneath your gorgeous outfit. Sometimes you need to put as much thought into your underwear as you put into your dress, in order to avoid a wardrobe malfunction. Feeling good about yourself and an outfit doesn’t begin and end with the dress – what’s underneath also counts. So for when you need some support but a normal bra just won’t do the trick, here is our handy guide to what underwear you should be pairing with which dress.
Mini dresses, a sudden breeze and a thong simply don’t go together. If you’re keen to show off your lovely long pins but aren’t sure what our British weather has in store, try some boy shorts or full briefs instead for maximum coverage in the event of a Marilyn Monroe moment.
If you’re opting for a crisp white number or a sheer dress but are worried about showing your knickers to the world, your first thought might be to wear white underwear. However, the best way to ensure your underwear isn’t visible under your clothes is to go for a neutral colour that matches your skin tone.
Strapless or off the shoulder dresses
For an off the shoulder dress it may be tempting to wear a regular bra and try to tuck the straps underneath the dress. However, it’s much easier and less worrisome to invest in a strapless bra. One of these will serve you well for most dresses except for backless – including off the shoulder and backless dresses. Once you have a strapless bra it’ll become one of your fashion staples and you’ll wonder how you managed without one.
For one-shoulder dresses, a strapless bra will work well. There are also bras available that have just one strap, but for ultimate versatility, a multiway bra will give you lots of options for almost any dress in your wardrobe. With these bras, you can use or remove one strap or both depending on the cut of your dress.
For some low-cut dresses, even a strapless bra just won’t do if it isn’t low enough to stay hidden. Plunge bras offer all the support you need with a plunging neckline so you can stay supported and show off your cleavage.
Backless dresses, such as halter necks, can be tricky. If you don’t want to go without a bra or you still need the support one provides, try a backless, strapless bra. These have sticky wings that hold them in place so you can feel supported and look fabulous. If your dress has criss-cross straps on the back, one strap, or another pattern on the back, you could try a multiway bra as these can cross at the back, and with some the straps can be attached to different parts of the bra with multi-position tape. Some also include clear straps or a low back converter so you can adjust them to each dress’s back or neckline as appropriate.
If you’re confident enough to pull off a bodycon dress, the right underwear is essential. Bodycon dresses are tight fitting and show every little hemline and bulge, so your underwear needs to complement your figure and also be discreet. For this kind of dress, you’ll need to lose the pretty details like bows and frills as these will stick out underneath your dress. Non-VPL knickers will give you that smooth look, and high-waisted knickers or tights can help tuck in your belly a little if you need it. Shapewear can also help to give you more confidence in these tight dresses. A full body shaper fits from your bust to your thighs, and this kind of underwear enhances your existing curves.
If you’re trying on dresses in a shop, it’s good to be prepared, so if you do have a multiway bra, or underwear suitable for the type of dress you’re looking for, be sure to bring it along. Whatever underwear you choose, make sure it fits well and is comfortable – a gorgeous dress with the right set of underwear can be a match made in heaven.