Thursday, 30 September 2010

Knicker Diva Sarah Wells talks Wedding Day Undies!

Business woman, cupcake lover and most excellent bra fitter, Sarah Wells of Elizabeth Wells Lingerie, shares her expertise with me after one of my clients contacted me with a few of her own wedding day undie dilemas. I've also had the pleasure in meeting Sarah a few weeks ago just before she launched her online boutique.

Sarah works alongside many Bridal boutiques and has a fabulous reputation of having pretty things, bigger sizes, having a choice, quality, and giving practical advice.

Basically, Sarah is honest and all she is interested in is getting the customer what she wants.

So, I decided to ask a few of my own questions and here's what she told me.

When should you begin to look at wedding day underwear?

As soon as you like! That is looking. By doing this you’ll have a good idea of what you like, what you don’t and where to go when when its time to purchase. This early ‘looking’ is useful as it means you’ll be less stressed than if you started looking with no idea whats out there and not finding anything you like.Once you know your chosen dress you can begin to narrow down the list above, tailoring the lingerie to the needs of your dress - plunge front, strapless, thin material, corseted - these are important in the search, the underwear needs to sit properly under the dress!The key thing people mean when they ask when should I start looking is when can I buy it! Many brides want to slim down before the big day, so you don’t want to buy the bra too early (you may not loose any weight from the bust, you may loose it in the cup or loose it round your back). I recommend my brides to purchase in time for their first fitting - many dress boutiques ask brides to bring their underwear with them to the first fitting. By having your underwear at the fitting you also minimize stress - if you buy the bra last minute you may not be able to find the perfect underwear. Many dream dresses are impractical (sorry to sound a bore) so it will be a nightmare trying to find lingerie to go under it. The best thing to do in this case is to remember that you need something to under the dress (it may not be the most sexy thing in the world, but you can get something special for the night); go to an independent boutique who knows their stock, they may also know other styles they can bring in for you - bigger stores are often unable to do this and this is where Elizabeth Wells comes into her own - personal, understanding service.

I’m having my dress made and my seamstress says the gown could take up to 6 months to make and she requires my underwear at my first fitting. What would you say to this?

The answer to this is above, if you can get the underwear do it! You’ll save yourself time and stress in the run up to the big day. If you are planning on slimming down the thing to do is buy something you can adjust - a corset is perfect, you can pull it in & slight shape changes won’t affect its fit. You should buy underwear so that you do it up on the last clasp (thus being able to tighten it as it stretches), make sure you do this so if you loose weight you can tighten the back of the bra. The other thing worth remembering is your dress is being made - you have a seamstress! She can bring the back of the bra in & dart the cups if needed - make sure you check with you underwear expert where & how to do this on the bra though!

My gown is heavily corseted inside. Will I need a strapless bra or separate corset?

I deal with this issue a lot! A lot of the time brides come into the shop wanting a basque under their dress. Under a corseted dress you may not need anything - corsets are designed to shape & hold you. If you put underwear on you may affect the shape of the dress. More practically wearing a basque under a corset dress is going to be hot (in the summer or abroad), a pain to go to the loo in and not very maneuverable in sitting down, dancing etc. If you really want something go for a bra - the problems above will be minimized. I recommend you let your dress do the hard work and instead of a lingerie set treat yourself to some really gorgeous silk knickers instead! A sexy lingerie set can then be packed in your overnight bag...

I’m having a very slinky wedding gown. What type/style of underwear would you recommend?

I would recommend an all in one - not the most glamorous thing in the world BUT it will leave your dress sitting perfectly - no lumps, bumps and your curves will be smoothed out & looking awesome! At EW we have some that don’t look too scary; the dress shaped ones would be great under a wedding dress as they are strapless and easy to go to the loo in!

My wedding gown has a low back. I’m not too keen on a full corset. Is there something in between which is sexy yet supportive?

Depending upon how low the back of the dress is the answer may be no. However, again a seamstress is making your dress, she could customise the back of a well structured basque.We do have some excellent strapless, backless bras but these do not give enough support for bigger breasts.If you do have to compromise on your underwear - treat yourself (and the groom) to something slinky for the night!

Spanx and how can those 'hold me in pants' look anything but sexy?

Shape wear - say that and all you can think of are massive horrid nude coloured garments (garments is a kind word). EW is all about feeling good, and lets face it whos going to feel good in a giant flesh coloured monstrosity!?
We felt it would be hypocritical to have gorgeous lingerie and then unattractive shape-wear so we’ve done our best for you! Our favorite find is the hold in thongs. Rather than the knickers, which run the risk of VPL, the thong will sit under any dress or trousers perfectly. The collection is known as ‘slinkies’ slinky on the outside (clothes just float over the top) and a grippy texture on the inside.
Other best buys are our dress all in ones - an all in one slimming suit which is strapless and has easy access for going to the loo!
We also have an all in one with the thighs in which is multiway in terms of straps and quite a light material thus you shouldn’t get too hot in it!

Hestia basque

Hestia basque

You can contact Sarah for all your undie dilemas. Elizabeth Wells website

or contact her at

Thank you Sarah. It's been a privilidge.

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