On the very important importance of underwear

Guest post by rosesinister

before and after appropriate underwear

My dress arrived, and I loved it. This is always good, but it didn't button properly in the back… which was problematic, as you can see here:

on the very important importance of underwear-2

One of my bridesmaids took me to one of those faaaaaaancy pants lingerie stores — the kind where the staff can look at you and tell immediately if you are wearing the right bra size or not, with chandeliers in the dressing rooms and all that.

I tried on a couple of different bras, and after we put on this number, I knew it was the one:

on the importance of wedding underwear

I cannot stress enough the importance of proper foundational garments. They absolutely do make or break a dress. This bra cost $120, but I'll be able to wear it more than once, and it still cost less than getting my dress altered that dramatically.

I'm still going to have a tailor add a small placket behind the buttons, and maybe adjust the straps a bit, too. And the dress needs steaming, badly. But for all that, I am now very very very happy with the results.

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Comments on On the very important importance of underwear

  1. This reddit feed has all of the foundational information to properly fit yourself and find bras that work well for everything. It’s amazing. Totally changed my life.


    When possible, I do prefer being able to try things on, but better to go to those fancy pants lingerie stores armed with solid information about yourself!

    One of the most dramatic incorrect assumptions that it erases is the idea that cup letters are directly associated with volume – they’re not! It’s the combination of band size and letter size that equate to a certain volume. So a 36B, 34C, 32D, and 30DD all have the same volumes, but different letter cup sizes. Amazing stuff.

    • This subreddit is amazing. I found it a couple years ago, back when I was wearing a 34A bra (and looked about what most people would expect “an A cup” to look like, because they don’t know better). Turns out I was 32DD and shallow (which means that my breast tissue is spread out over more area, instead of projecting forward), and wouldn’t you know it, they were right. I’ve since lost weight so I’ve moved down to 30DD (so, smaller band size and smaller breasts, as the “sister size” with the same volume cup would be 32D). All of my clothes fit better and it made fitting my wedding dress easier too.

  2. I went to a fancy-pants lingerie store for my wedding also and it made all the difference for me too!!

    I’m the girl who’s never dressed quite right – who’s always having swim suite malfunctions (so much so I just skipped triangle tops and went straight to sports bras this year) – who REALLY just wanted everything to go right this once…

    We had to alter the corset (stitching down the tops of the cups)AND the neckline of the dress (to a swoop instead of a v) to make it perfect – but it was indeed perfect. I wasn’t worried about popping out – or looking droopy – or anything really. I just got dressed that morning and forgot about the rest…

    I highly recommend some fancy-pants lingerie to any bride with concerns similar to mine!

    And I have used that corset a handful of times in the 2 years since my wedding. So it’s still paying off.

  3. For high school prom, I ended up buying a dress from a local store that also sells higher end lingerie. They fitted me there for a strapless bra and it was the most comfortable and slip-free night ever.

    We ended up back there for my wedding dress and I fully intend on getting the proper undergarments when I get the dress hemmed with her. I trust her to make my dress look perfect and still feel comfortable and secure. I spend most days in bargain sports bras and won’t pay over $15 for a bra normally–but I highly recommend getting quality undergarments to support your wedding outfit. You will not regret it.

  4. I wouldn’t even know where to start! How does one find a good super Fancy (under)Pants lingerie store?

    • Ask friends & moms, look on Yelp, or just go to the local big (slightly expensive) department store & ask if they have a professional bra fitter. For example, Nordstroms has professional bra fitters on staff, they’re trained, & will spend a lot of time with you finding the right bra. I recently bought a fantastic strapless bra there for a special occasion, & while it took an hour to get the right one, wow, that bra fits & works like a dream.

    • Also search for mastectomy bra shops in your area. The woman who owns the high end bra shop in my town was doing mastectomy bras and regular lingerie for a long time before she had a store front (she did it out of your house and you ordered through her). She always had regular bras but everyone knew her as the mastectomy bra lady.
      And if they don’t do it, they probably know someone who does.

    • I second the recommendation of Nordstrom if you have one near you – the consultants in the lingerie department are usually really well trained and they will fit you (and even help you put the bras on if you’re comfortable with that).

      If you (or anyone else reading this) is in/near NYC, you should definitely check out Town Shop, an amazing bra shop on the Upper West Side.

      • I live in the US, but I’ve totally ordered from Bravissimo. It’s definitely worth the cost to get quality support for those of us who are more top-heavy!

  5. @ROSESINISTER. What was the name of the bra/corset you purchased? Where did you you purchase it from? I was just researching bras this morning. I am confused there are sooo many out there.

    • The store I went to is called Bra Genie in Mandeville, Louisiana, in the Greater New Orleans Area.

      The exact make and model of the bra would honestly likely be irrelevant to you. One of the things I learned while there was how differently my breasts could look from one bra to the next. Everyone’s boobs are different; some are fleshier than others even in the same cup/ band size, and also fit could vary even within the same “size” not just from manufacturer to manufacturer but also from style to style from the same manufacturer.

      I cannot stress enough how important it is to try on bras, preferably with a fitter present, at least until you know what to look for in good fit.

      The corset I am wearing is custom, made by Jupiter Moon.

      • You look AMAZING, I love your dress, and I’m so jealous of that teeny peek of your corset that I’ve just spent a long time browsing the Jupiter Moon site, where I can see myself eventually spending a lot of money…

  6. Your dress is beautiful, I love how simple and pretty it is.
    I’m the same – I can currently only zip my dress if I have no bra on, but I’m a G cup and I am NOT going to be comfortable going braless on the day, I think a trip to a fancypants underwear store is definitely needed!

  7. This is so timely! I just posted something on the Tribe the other night about my freakout when my dress wouldn’t zip when I tried it on without magic underwear. You have no idea how comforted I am by those pictures!

  8. Wait I’m confused! I saw above someone asked how to find a fancy shmancy panty shop, and the obvious answer is to google it, but google what? “fancy underware store”? And how do you know if it’s a good one, compared to say, Victoria Secret?

    • Google search “bra shop” instead of “lingerie store” and you’ll hit closer to your mark, and have to weed through fewer adult-oriented businesses. Also a higher-end department store will likely be able to help and maybe even have recommendations for other places.

      Also, Bra Genie advertises in a number of local magazines here, so your local area mags may be a good start as well.

  9. I love this post!

    I would recommend Intimacy as my “Fancy pants lingerie store of choice” – I buy my regular bras through them and they’re great. You pay for it, but you pay for having a bra that fits you the way that it’s supposed to.

  10. I wholeheartedly agree that assuming you know what bra size you are doesn’t do you any favors. For nearly a decade, I bought 32 and 34 Bs and once or twice a 32C but never fully understood what these terms meant. I thought 32C = more breast volume and smaller waist-ish than 34B. Also, I was really frustrated by the inconsistency of sizes between brands. I never knew if something I bought was actually going to make it through a whole day of _actually_being_supportive. When I finally sat down and read all about it online shortly before my wedding day, I discovered that I was actually a 30D, which was a bit hard to find in stores, but afforded lots more options online (some brands specialize in plus size lingerie and thus don’t offer anything below a D cup, which was upsetting to me because their styles were so beautiful and classy compared to some other “skinny girl” brands). I ended up falling in love with a UK-based lingerie store (and their amazing customer service) on eBay, and getting some really fancy stuff for really great prices, even with shipping to Boston!

  11. I have nothing dramatic to add to this thread – although getting properly fitted has rescued my boobs from misery – apart from to say that pants in the UK = underpants, so ‘fancy-pants lingerie shop’ is extremely apt and makes me giggle!

  12. I went to a fancy lingerie store and found the perfect corset for my giant boobs….then ended up getting a dress with a built in corset that gives perfect support on its own and looks best with nothing underneath.

    Whoops. I got a super pretty bra out of the trip too, though!

  13. I had sort of the opposite problem – I tried on my dress the first time with a regular bra, and then purchased a fancy-pants longline strapless / corset bra for the second fitting. The seamstress had to take the dress in, and now I am terrified that perhaps I’ve done myself a disservice with the new bra (which is super tight…) Ugh. Last fitting tonight, fingers crossed!

  14. My problem? Small size. I got measured about 2 years ago and discovered I was a 32B – not the 32AA I’d calculated by myself.
    I’m currently wearing a cheapo 34A (boobs don’t fit right at the sides). I’ve tentatively bought 34C bodysuit from the same cheapo store to go underneath my dress (boobage fits properly, comfortable vest-like fit around the rest). But as soon as I have time I’ll be going for another fitting as I’ve put on weight since the last one. And I don’t want to put my awesome friend/seamstress out that much by asking her to re-do the bodice alterations on my dress… :-/

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