What to Wear Wedding Dress Shopping: 9 Essentials You’ll Need

What To Wear Wedding Dress Shopping

Planning a wedding may be a busy and stressful time, but it can also be a lot of fun and leave you with a lot of great memories.

If you want your wedding dress shopping experiences to be memories you’ll treasure, then knowing what to wear wedding dress shopping is a must. 

What you wear to go dress shopping may not seem very important but, trust us, it really matters.

What to Wear Wedding Dress Shopping for a Great Shopping Experience

If you want to look back with fondness on your shopping experience, we can help. Here are our nine essential tips on what to wear wedding dress shopping.

1. Clothes that are easy to change in and out of

Opting for your favorite jeggings, tunic top and boots may seem like a great idea due to the comfort factor, but you’ll eventually get tired of shimmying in and out of your tight pants. 

Maybe you’ll opt for a skirt, blouse and cute heels for a polished look but, by the end of the day, you’ll be tired of buttoning and unbuttoning your shirt and your feet will likely be killing you.

When choosing your shopping outfit it’s important to keep two things in mind: comfort and how easily and quickly you can change.

If you’re like most brides, you probably have at least two if not three appointments scheduled for the same day, so being comfortable is a must. Most brides will also try on a wide variety of dresses — and that means changing in and out of your clothes over and over again at multiple bridal shops. 

A dress that you can get in and out of quickly and some comfortable flats are an ideal choice when wedding dress shopping. If you’re not a dress person, choose a pullover top with a scoop or v-neckline to avoid wrecking your hair and a pair of pants that are easy to get in and out of.

2. Nude-colored panties

If you plan to try on slim fitting gowns or dresses with light fabrics, it’s important to wear nude-hued underwear that won’t leave any visible panty lines underneath. Choosing a seamless nude panty not only helps to eliminate unsightly lines under the gowns you try on, but ensures your undies won’t show through sheer or lacy fabrics.

It’s a good idea to try on a few no-show underwear styles before your bridal appointments to find a comfortable pair that will disappear under your clothing. 

When choosing what style of undies to wear, keep in mind that a bridal consultant will likely be helping you in and out of the dresses you try on. Wearing a thong or g-string might leave you feeling embarrassed and exposed. Unless you’re not at all shy, a pair of high-waisted briefs or boy shorts may be a better option.

3. A strapless or convertible bra

Even if you’re determined to buy a dress with thick straps and a high back, it’s still a good idea to either bring or wear a strapless or convertible bra. Once you start looking at dresses, you may find a strapless, halter or low-back gown that you love.

Or maybe you plan to go braless when trying on dresses because you don’t have an appropriate bra. Unless you are small chested, however, not wearing a bra in a dress without sewn-in bra cups will impact how well it fits you.

Brides who are a B cup or above should bring or wear a good quality nude strapless or convertible bra to their appointments. Wearing the right bra not only ensures your undergarment won’t be visible, but it will give you the support you need for each gown’s bodice to fit properly. 

4. Shaping garments or panty hose

Whether you’re partial to ball gowns, a-line dresses, mermaid silhouettes or sheaths, bringing a high-waisted shaping brief with you is a good idea. Not only do shaping briefs offer a smooth line under form-fitting or clingy dresses, but they will accentuate your waist in fuller-skirted styles as well. 

While high-waisted shaping garments won’t work with a backless gown, the bridal salon may have shapewear that you can borrow. If you do decide to go with a low-back gown, you’ll need a backless and strapless bodysuit, like this one from David’s Bridal.

If you aren’t a fan of shaping garments, a pair of control top panty hose can offer you some support but are less restrictive and breathable. If you plan to try on shorter dresses and are wearing high heeled sandals or peep toe pumps, make sure you wear sandal-freindly panty hose rather than those with an unsightly reinforced toe.

5. The right shoes (flats and heels)

Dress shopping can be a day-long affair that involves a lot of walking and standing. To keep your feet happy and your energy up, we recommend wearing comfortable shoes and bringing your heels with you for trying on dresses.

Shoes that you can easily slip off and on will also make your life easier because you could be changing your shoes several times throughout the day.

If you already have your wedding shoes, be sure to bring them with you. If not, bring a pair of heels that will be the same height as the shoes you plan to buy for your wedding day.

6. A tote bag

To keep your shopping day running efficiently, we recommend choosing your purse with care. Bringing a tote bag large enough to carry your wallet, phone, wedding shoes and the other items you’ll need for trying on dresses will be much easier than juggling two bags.

7. Minimal makeup

Wearing light makeup on the day of your appointments can save you a lot of grief. White, ivory, and champagne material will show even the smallest smudge — and you don’t want to be forced to pay for a dress you don’t want because your makeup stained it.

That doesn’t mean you need to go bare faced, however. Some tinted moisturizer and concealer dotted lightly on areas you need a bit of extra coverage will help you look polished with the addition of some waterproof mascara.

We recommend avoiding lipstick and lip gloss as well as liquid eyeliner, eyeshadow and non-waterproof mascara. Bronzer, powder and heavy blush should also be avoided.

8. Simple jewelry

Accompanying your minimal makeup should be very little jewelry. 

Bracelets, necklaces and earrings can all get in the way when you’re trying on dresses and can even snag certain materials, causing damage. To avoid running into problems, it’s best to stick with small, simple jewelry such as stud earrings, a thin, unadorned chain necklace and, of course, your engagement ring. 

Larger jewelry like hoops or dangly earrings, thick or jewel-encrusted necklaces, heavy bracelets and a lot of rings can not only catch on the material of dresses and veils, but can take away from the look of any gown you try on if the styles don’t match up. 

9. The right hairstyle

Yes, even your hairstyle matters when trying on wedding gowns. If you know how you plan to wear your hair on your wedding day, we recommend mimicking that style for your shopping day.

If you plan to wear your hair up, for instance, wearing it in a simple bun or twist is a good idea. Not only will it give you a good idea of how you’ll look on your wedding day, it will also help your consultant to find the right style of veil and accessories to complement your hair and gown.

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