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Wedding bra – need advice and solutio…

Heidi_Chambers | Posted in The Archives on

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My basic problem is this: I am trying to figure out what to wear UNDER my wedding dress. The dress has two features which make the bra issue difficult. The first is a very large and ornate keyhole opening in the back that extends down almost to the waistline and leaves the back almost entirely bare. And because of the shape and symmetry of the opening in the back, it’s not really possible to close it any. The second feature is that the dress is made of thin organza fabric, which makes it rather sheer. My size (36F) adds another problem.

My basic problem is this: I’m trying to figure out what to wear UNDER my wedding dress. The dress has two feature which make the bra issue difficult. The first is a very large and ornate keyhole opening in the back that extends down almost to the waistline and leaves the back almost entirely bare. And because of the shape and symmetry of the opening in the back, it’s not really possible to close it any. The second feature is that the dress is made of thin organza fabric, which makes it rather sheer. My size (36F) adds another problem.

After a month of searching, I found a backless/strapless F-cup bra that fits me, but it still shows some in the back. In addition, the boning of the bra shows through the dress. I honestly don’t know what to do about these problems. Going braless is obviously not an option, and neither are the stick-on cups (which don’t exist in my size anyway). I tried one of those “bra converter” straps with my regular bra, but that’s unworkable because of the shape of the opening. I found a convertible bra possibility online, but it only comes in black and it looks like it would be hard to get it to go low enough. Finding another backless/strapless bra in my size is unlikely, although I’m still looking. And

Meanwhile, a few folks have suggested some sewing alterations, which I might attempt to make myself since I’m on a tight budget. Since I’m an amateur seamstress, I’d like to know from some experts, how feasible are the following alterations?

1. Sewing a liner in the dress. I don’t know if it’s dangerous to do that with a lightweight fabric. In addition, both the back and front of the dress have elaborately shaped cutouts which would make it very difficult (I would think) to make a liner look right. An alternative to a liner might be to create a slip-like garment to wear underneath.

2. Sewing a bra into the dress. There are a few potential issues here, I think. There’s the fact that the dress is see-through and lightweight, and there’s the fact that I’m an F-cup. A bridal salon I called didn’t recommend sewn-in cups for my size.

3. Lining the bra. This would involve covering the boning of the bra with some other fabric. It seems like this would be possible; I’ve just never heard of it having been done before. Although it would help with the see-through problem, it wouldn’t solve the exposed bra problem.

4. Covering up the exposed back strap with something – I’m just not sure what it would be. I’d need something that would cover about a 2 inch by 4.5 inch area, which is a lot. In addition, the opening in the back is symmetric with the top, and the addition, whatever it is, would destroy that symmetry.

5. Folding the top hooks of the back of the bra down and sewing them in place. I know I can do this, but I have a couple of big concerns. One is that the alteration would show through. The other concern is that, when I’ve just unhooked the top few hooks to try out this alternative, I lose a LOT of support because the bra starts to move around and pull away from my breasts.

I’m also wondering if it is possible to create or modify some other undergarment that might work? I’ve started to look for one of those lycra bodysuit-shapers, but the problem, as with the bra, is finding something that works for an F cup and that goes low enough in the back.

Thanks for reading this. Any thoughts, ideas and suggestions are appreciated!!

Replies

  1. Sarah_Kayla | | #1

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    I would call the Town Shop here in New York 212.724.2762. They are an old fashioned bra store. They know everything. They are very big on customer service. They are bossy, opinionated, and always right. They are a neighborhood store on the Upper West Side but they have close relationships with manufacturers because of the volume they sell. (A buddy of mine is a manufacturer and LOVES them ) I'm sure they will steer you right.

    I either make my own clothes or buy at thrift shops or at drastic reductions. I have gone into the Town Shop and bought five fancy bras at a clip (at regular price!) and am happy to spend the money. They really know what they are doing and have delt with bra issues harder than yours.

    Let me know...

    Sarah

    1. Martagon_ | | #2

      *Ah, this may be a silly question, but didn't you try on this dress before you bought it? What about the store where you purchased it? Surely they must have a solution, if they sell that sheer of a dress in that size.

      1. Martagon_ | | #3

        *Heidi, have you thought about tape.. I'm sure that models use tape to hold up their breasts for dresses. I'm not sure how easy it would be to find body-coloured tape, elastopast is beigey, but it is sure awfully sticky. Wouldn't make for a great honeymoon :'( Maybe you could use a stick-on cup as you mentioned above, and re-inforce it with tape. Might have to play with that solution ahead of time to see if it works. Good luck.

        1. Karen_Vesk | | #4

          *Heidi, you should find a bra that fits and doesn't show thru the keyhole before proceeding further... perhaps one which is a bustier in the front and is backless. I just hope you find one which will give you necessary support. Then, perhaps you could do a partial lining, with a lightweight fabric, which would only cover the bra, and leave the rest as translucent organza.In my opinion, having a strap cutting thru the keyhole opening, then covering it up, detracts from the beauty of having the open back.In parenthesis, the salesperson who sold you the dress should have his/her knuckles rapped for not helping you thru this! They should have seen that this could become an issue.Good luck, it sounds like a lovely dress!

          1. Martagon_ | | #5

            *Heidi, one more thought. You may have to take the dress to a professional. How far away is the wedding, is there time to re-work the top, sew in a lining from the very beginning? There should be someone close to you that you could take it to..

          2. Vida_Jones | | #6

            *Heidi, are you familiar with the concept of the bra strap holder at the shoulder? Why not have a vertical one at center back beside the zipper?. The ribbon would be attached to the dress at the top edge by the waist, then go between the bra back strap and your body, then attach again (big snap fastener, other ribbon for bow?) below the strap. This would keep the bra back below the waistline of the gown. I have used this trick numerous times over the years. I agree, you may need the services of a Custom Clothier on this one. Try http://www.paccprofessionals.org to find one in your area. Good luck!

          3. Martagon_ | | #7

            *Heidi, if you live where I think you live, there's professional sewer in the little town 5 mi. north of you. Reply if you'd like me to e-mail her name. Or check The B. Times, for the Pfaff ad. Anyway, reply and let us know what you're doing... please.

          4. Sarah_Kayla | | #8

            *Dear Heidi,While we were away I found the perfect catalogue for you. Unfortunately, I did not copy down the address - the company is called Lady Grace. They have bras in a huge selection of sizes, including bras that i beliebe would work for your dress. i know they have retail locations in the boston area. I even have yet another option for you.My sister's best friend owns a store called "Saxon Kent Lingerie" They specialize in very hard to find and fit bras. They make bras in size 60. their email is [email protected]. They are in CT, but it seems worth a try. I hope this isn't too late for you!Sarah

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