I Hate Shapewear


Spring is almost here, so Victoria’s Secret is pimping out its new bridal lingerie. I LOVE lingerie, so you’d think I’d use my wedding as an excuse to drop big bucks for something lacy and flimsy for sexytime.

But I don’t really have that impulse, maybe because I don’t usually need excuses to waste money on lingerie, so the itch is already scratched, so to speak.  Plus, the common anti-lingerie argument of “you have to interrupt things to put on a costume that you end up tearing off within five minutes” resonates when I think about my wedding night. I’ve said that I think we’ll be too tired after our wedding for sex, but if I’m being honest with you, I want “wedding night” sex so much I bet we’re going to TRY. But I also bet it is going to be terrible, terrible, LAZY sex. There is no way I’ll have the energy to put a costume change into the mix.

[I just realized that I can totally wear some lacy piece of "bridal" lingerie for the night BEFORE our wedding, which we are totally spending together, "tradition" be damned. Man, I'm so good at convincing myself to spend money.]

Anyway, which leads me to the original point of this post: “foundation garments.”

Victoria’s Secret’s “wedding day” collection is mostly lycra and boning and shaping/slimming/smoothing.  Just looking at this stuff makes me feel hot and bothered, and not in the good way.

I’ve worn shapewear before, because my gigantic dress collection involves some sheer or silky numbers that require it.  I think it is hot and uncomfortable. Wearing shapewear is probably the only thing I do in compliance with the beauty myth that I TRULY hate. Well that and plucking my eyebrows. So I only do it very rarely. And under protest.

Yes, I do have swamp ass.

The idea of spending a long, busy, day, with all that drinking and dancing and getting hitched and stuff squished into a spandex tube is really, really unappealing.

My preferred wedding-day lingerie is this:

And maybe those stick-on boob pads. MAYBE. (My dress already has those “bra cups” sewn in from when a model wore it at a bridal show.)

But some tiny part of me thinks “It’s my wedding day! Everyone will be staring at me! If my waist isn’t cinched and my butt isn’t boosted, they’ll JUDGE ME.” This is part is related to the part of me that worries over not fitting into my dress.  That part of me needs to be stopped.

Did you/are you wearing foundation garments under your wedding dress?  Do you want to preach it’s life-changing virtues to me? Or should I resist the siren song of shapewear, follow my instincts and go with lingerie minimalism on my wedding day?

["Lingerie minimalism" just surged to the top of my search engine hits.]


  1. I will be wearing a boned long-line bra, because i have giant boobs and it’s the only way to keep them up where they are supposed to be. I actually really like wearing it (it’s like this one: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/91oX02VLfRL._SL1500_.jpg) because it is comfortable and makes my boobs look phenomenal.

    That said, I have given zero thought to sexy lingerie for the wedding night, and now that you mention it, I probably won’t be really into it. I think I’m mostly going to want to have a quickie, and I find the best way to achieve that is just to get nekkid. Fancy lingerie is for more involved escapades, imo.

    • I wore a long line bra for my sister’s wedding, and it made my boobs look InCRED. But it made sitting uncomfortable. Is it weird I’d make that compromise for my sister’s wedding but not my own? Probably. I don’t care.

  2. I LOVE shapewear. I feel so much sexier when I feel sucked, tucked and realigned. But that is the purpose of my comment – it is about what you feel sexy and good in. Ultimately, people likely won’t notice the difference in how you looked based on your undergarments but it is always noticeable when you feel like you look fabulous and confident. So wear what makes you feel best – I will be and you can be sure it will be as tight and structured as hell and I will love every second of it.

  3. Here’s a vote for the lacie thong (I love those things!!). I will probably be wearing a strapless bra (or sewn in cups) and a lacie or other comfy undies for my wedding. Fortunately, my dress has the structure to keep things where they ought to be more or less on its own.

    As for wedding night sexy lingerie, I haven’t given it that much thought. Maybe “morning after” wedding lingerie is a little more realistic though considering how hard I find it to stay up past midnight.

  4. You need to do whatever makes you feel confident and sexy.

    My dress does not hide my figure at all, so I’m going to be rocking some shapewear (“power panties” to be exact) just to smooth things out. I also have a huge problem with panty lines, even thongs cut into my hips and show through some of my more body hugging dresses or skirts. Plus I find thongs incredibly uncomfortable.

    But that’s just me personally. Do whatever makes you feel best. If that’s minimal lingerie, then that’s what you’ve gotta do.

    And I have no plans to wear lingerie on the wedding night. That will be something packed away for the honeymoon.

  5. No shapewear for me. Hot and itchy and not worth it. I say go commando. :)

  6. I obviously can’t comment on underthings re: wedding gowns. And I’ve never worn shapewear, so I’m not actually qualified to comment on it, and some of the comments here (the basic gist of “wear whatever makes you feel sexy”) make me rethink my instinctual stance, because wear whatever makes you feel sexy is something I can totally get behind.

    But my instinctual stance has always been viscerally opposed to the concept of shapewear. I love lingerie too, and there is no doubt a part of me that puts on my sexiest little things when I know they’re going to be seen (or suspect they’re going to be seen, because much like buying the big box of condoms, that often BACKFIRES). But mostly I love lingerie for myself. I love knowing that I have on beautiful ridiculous flowers and lace under jeans or whatever. So the entire concept of pouring and squeezing yourself into something ugly, because shapewear is always ugly to me, to make your OUTER self fit someone else’s concept of pretty, rather than wearing something YOU actually find pretty, is bizarre and anti-feminist to me.

    Anyway I’ve never seen a bride look anything less than stunning on her wedding day and I’ve never given a nanosecond’s thought to whether she’s wearing shapewear. Probably there was a mix, and they all looked great.

  7. I loath shape wear. Honestly, I would rather go to the gym every day then wear shape wear.
    I wore something lacey and minimal under my wedding dress. It was many years ago and I was very slim. I’m still slim but not very.

  8. Love that thong! Shapewear can be such an ass.

    P.s. You’re inspiring me to increase my dress collection and slinky undergarments. Thank you :)

  9. Dude! Under my gown I wore that very thong you showed (something blue, yo) and the sticky boob pads. Worked like a dream except that I sweated so much when I took off the dress the bra cups had unstuck and were down by my hips. I didn’t notice all night so apparently they weren’t necessary in thee first place. I was comfy.

    • I had the same thing happen to me when I wore the sticky boob pads one Halloween! They didn’t make it down to my hips but they were not even remotely attached to my skin anymore. My boobs still looked ok… I think.

  10. My dress was so sheer that I had to have some kind of slip or something on. I ended up getting Spanx half-slip tube thing in nude that started just under my breasts and ended somewhere around mid/upper thigh. Then I wore strapless adhesive cups that hooked in the middle to keep my boobs in place, and that same lacie but in nude for underwear (eh, I have this weird thing where I like my undies to match other things I’m wearing). I felt comfortable and tucked in, but in a completely breathable, movable way.

    The thing that really sold me on that half-slip tube, though, was that it would act as a barrier between my skin and my dress, so that all my anxiety sweat wouldn’t get absorbed into my bootyful special dress. The shop owner who sold me the dress suggested it to me, and boy am I ever glad I took it to heart.

  11. I have to wear a long line backless strapless thing under my dress because I’m allergic to the adhesive on those stick on bra cups and I can’t go braless because my boobs are ginormous. And then there’s what Lyn said, the flop sweat protecting factor of shapewear, since I tend to become ridiculously sweaty when I’m nervous. But I don’t find any of that stuff uncomfortable, so to each her own.

    • When I had big boobs I found is so much more uncomfortable to not be totally strapped in. I used to ALWAYS sleep in a bra. Like, if it had come off for sexy reasons, I would put it back on before passing out.

  12. To my mind, this is why man invented the A-line. No shapewear for me! (Although a will be wearing a similar lacey almost-nothing in white.)

  13. Hi, read your blog, but I’ve never commented…
    Anyway, I wore a corset type thing, but just didn’t really pull it very tight :) so it helped the dress lay flat without making me feel stuffy, and a lovely lace thong. Totally did not miss additional shapewear, and the two pieces together looked pretty darn hot, so no need for wedding night lingiere change!

  14. As far as my wedding underthings, I wore a longline strapless thing with boning in it and blue hanky panky boyshorts — my dress had a quite full skirt, so it didn’t matter a damn bit what was going on from my waist down, which was great not to have to worry about. Wedding night-wise… I honestly think I just went to sleep in my underwear. :) I think I forgot to pack anything more exciting/didn’t care.

    In general, I have to agree with Tracey above… I love shapewear! Yes, it’s a pain to put it on, but I just feel like my dresses fit and look better when everything is smooth underneath. I guess it has to do with liking the iconic hourglass figure and knowing the silhouettes that flatter me. My waist can look pretty tiny with an assist from shapewear, which I like. As someone with curves I definitely appreciate that kind of sexy, and it suits my body, so when I can achieve that look with a little bit of hidden trickery I am all for it. :)

  15. i gotta tell you, i hate shapewear too. i also think that the reason it’s easier to sacrifice for another wedding rather than your own is…i don’t know, maybe it’s the obsessive-showerer in me – it would be all sticky and you’d have lines somewhere because of it…and something like that doesn’t scream WEDDING NIGHT SEX, you know?

    HOWEVER, the pictures last forever, so i don’t know. i hadn’t thought about it until now and i think now that’s all i’ll think about between now and the wedding…gah! kidding.

    • Yeah, I mean, I hate to say this because I’m all about body positivity, but sometimes when I look at photos my eyes zero in on my stomach bulge, even though it is barely bulgy. I guess I’ll have to wait for my dress fitting to know for sure where I’ll stand on shapewear.

  16. All I wore under my dress was a pair of white bridal panties =D

  17. I just got my dress back this weekend and…. shapewear it is. I can see every line under the darn thing, even with the lacy nude thong I was wearing. It’s not about weight AT ALL since the dress fits perfectly now. It’s the pantylines. Also, I want the warmth from my boob-to-knee spanx getup (also wearing a strapless bra). That extra layer of warmth when it’s 40 degrees at night and I’m always cold anyhow will be very much appreciated.

  18. I did wear shapewear and it ended up being a pretty good investment since I have worn it a bunch since. I think it was worth it, I wasn’t too hot and I felt ‘controlled’ so I could pig out on bbq but still feel contained within my dress. it’s nice when someone else is helping me suck in my stomach

  19. Your idea of wedding lingerie = what I actually wore under my wedding dress. I had a really lightweight, flowy dress (and I refuse to wear shapewear, ever – I’d rather buy something in a bigger size), so I just wore stick on pasties and a nude bikini brief. And although we were *determined* to “do it” on our wedding night… it was pretty lazy/sleepy (but nice). No costume changes happening–then. ;-)

  20. I’m with you on this one…

  21. I feel super creepy de-lurking to comment on this post in particular, but I feel the same way. I never wear shapewear, but I thought “every bride wears shapewear!” Then my husband told me shapewear is the opposite of sexy (duh). So I wore it during the ceremony, just so to reassure myself that I’d look hot in photos. Then I dashed off to the bathroom and changed into something lacy and felt eleventy-billion times better (husband liked it too)

  22. I wore red lace panties under my dress. All hail the A-line ballgown!

  23. After buying shapewear, I freeballed it and it was awesome. I got too hot in my (not even big and poufy) dress anyway, so I’m REALLY glad I made that choice.
    I had told my husband I was going to do this, but when I reminded him right before the garter stuff, he had forgotten and was quite a bit peeved. So we have an hilarious (to us only b/c we have not publicized this detail) picture of him trying not to look too mad and me trying to look too cute to be in trouble. (He remembered shortly after that I’d warned him and was no longer annoyed.)

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  25. I unfortunately have to wear shapewear for my rather bulky middle but my question is: what colour do I get? I found a really lovely white pair of high waisted panties with no lines but some slight lace decoration which looks lovely on. I just wonder whether it will show under my rather tight tafetta gown. Any ideas? Should I instead get the beige spanx that squeeze me so hard that a new roll appears on my back? I do love the white…HELP!

    • My suggestion is to try the white ones on under something as similar as possible to your gown, and see if they show. If it looks good, buy ‘em, but be prepared to buy a backup in beige once you try the white ones on with your dress. Good luck!

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