Do You Need To Wear An Underskirt With Your Wedding Dress?
We get quite a few enquiries from brides wondering if they need to wear an underskirt with their particular wedding dress, and if so, which one?
There are some wedding dresses that you absolutely need to wear an underskirt underneath to give it its shape and create the full-skirted look the dress designer intended it to have.
Then there are other gowns that have a more natural, body-hugging drape. These are meant to flow freely and swish around in a more organic way.
Then there are some dresses that it would be preferable to wear an underskirt with, but they have design elements that make that tricky.
Every dress image in this article other than the main banner image is by the gorgeous and supremely fabulous Essence of Australia. They have such an amazing range of dresses offering every possible shape and design of gown you could imagine!
I feel like it’s going to be easier to first eliminate the dresses that you don’t need to wear an underskirt with so that any brides reading this can know straight away if they need to read on to see which one they would need.
Dresses You Don’t Need To Wear An Underskirt With
1. Sheath & Column Dresses
The first type of wedding dress you wouldn’t need to wear an underskirt with is a straight-falling sheath or column gown. For the simple reason that the skirt is intended to fall in a straight drop from the hip and not flare out.
Adding an underskirt under this kind of dress would make it look strange and rather forced as the skirt hasn’t been cut with enough fabric to accommodate a hoop pushing it out.
2. Extreme Low-back or Cut-Out Dresses
This is the tricky one I mentioned above because, ideally, a mermaid underskirt would work great under this dress. And as we mention below, if you can wear an underskirt, you definitely should wear an underskirt because it’s 100% easier to walk without your dress wrapping around your feet. However, on this dress, the cutaway lace side panels make it very difficult as they extend below the natural waist, which is the point where your underskirt’s waistband would naturally sit.
There are some possible workarounds for this conundrum if you have a good seamstress on hand who could help you. He/she may be able to attach the underskirt directly to your dress’ underneath layers to work around the cutaway or low scooped back. (Some low backs are fine as long as they are above the waistband level).
3. Thigh Split Dresses
Dresses with a thigh split are not compatible with an underskirt. The whole idea is to see a little flash of thigh, not an underskirt peeking through.
You can also add into this category any dresses with sheer parts to the skirt. I’m actually slightly obsessed with sheer dresses at the moment. If you look at our Pinterest board Wedding Dresses We Love you can see how I’m naturally drawn to that look at the moment in my pinning!
4. Crepe Wedding Dresses
Okay, so it might be a stretch to say that you wouldn’t need to wear an underskirt with ALL crepe wedding dresses without even seeing them. But it’s a bit like the spelling rule ‘I’ before ‘E’ except after ‘C’. That’s a good rule until someone says, “Oh yeah, what about ‘neighbour’, or ‘height’, or ‘weird’?” There are obviously going to be a few exceptions for both rules … but they’re still pretty good general rules.
Crepe fabric can be problematic for underskirts. Because it’s such a heavy-draping, slinky fabric, it’s often used on very figure hugging dress designs with smooth, sexy lines. Because of this, it rarely has any underneath layers of netting or tulle which help to hide an underskirt. And so you might see the hoop line of the underskirt showing through around the bottom or the elasticated waistband around the top.
Do you have a crepe wedding dress you think breaks this no underskirt rule? Tell us in the comments!
The Benefits Of Wearing A Hooped Underskirt
Let’s move on now to the types of wedding dresses that do require an underskirt.
If you have any of the following kinds of dresses you should actually count yourself lucky. That’s because it’s so much easier to move around in a long dress that has a hoop holding the many layers away from your feet. A bit of walking room is a blessing, especially since everyone is turned around, watching you walk!
The other benefits of wearing an underskirt under a dress with many layers is it will keep those layers away from your legs so you’ll feel much cooler. It also helps your dress settle back into a beautiful shape no matter how you move, sit, dance or twirl.
The Types of Dresses That Do Require An Underskirt
1. A-line Dresses
A-line dresses are designed to flare from the natural waist in a gradual slope, creating a shape that resembles a capital A.
There can be varying degrees of size of the bottom circumference of the skirt, which is why we have quite a few options for this style in our underskirt selection. But generally speaking, A-lines should be on the smaller end of the scale.
Below you’ll find a couple of suggestions for this type of gown.
2. Ballgown Dresses
Ballgown dresses are on the other end the scale completely. These are much fuller and tend to flare right from waist level. They have more material in the skirt to allow them to be extra full and voluminous. Think Cinderella.
There’s just no way this kind of look can be achieved without an underskirt. You can pick your level of fullness. Our underskirts go up to a 370cm circumference like our BP5-370.
Below are a couple of suggestions for really full underskirts for a ballgown dress.
3. Mermaid/Fishtail Dresses
Most Mermaid, Fishtail, and even some Fit & Flare gowns need a little extra shaping at the bottom.
A lot of these types of dresses may already have lots of stiff net layers at the bottom, and if this is enough for you and you feel like you can walk okay, then that’s fine. Otherwise you will need a mermaid style underskirt. This is an underskirt that flares out from below the knee, not from the waist or hips like an A-line style.
Our bestselling underskirt is a mermaid style called BP18-190.
4. Tea or Knee Length
Shorter wedding dresses like Tea length which stops at the ankles or calves, or shorter Knee length styles are quite vintage-looking gowns. And as such, they tend to look better with an underskirt or petticoat. It helps to give them that full and fluffy retro look.
Ready to find your perfect underskirt? Check out our full range here: Wedding Dress Underskirts
We hope this blog article has cleared up whether you need to wear and underskirt with your own dress. Please get in touch if you want us to recommend one to you specifically.
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