We not only need outerwear to protect us from the elements in winter, but we also need innerwear to give us the support and smooth silhouette that we want underneath our other clothes year-round. Let’s look at the best innerwear options for women’s dresses.
Innerwear has existed in some form for (almost) all of history. From pantaloons to corsets to bras, panties and hosiery, women have always wanted to be comfortable and feel stylish underneath their “regular” clothing.
The great news is that we have so many more options than our foremothers! Gone are the days when a lady always wore a corset in public (whether she could breathe in one or not). Corsets began to decline in popularity following World War I. As a result of the lack of clothing materials after the war, styles became both looser and simpler. Women got a taste of comfort in their innerwear and demanded it from thereon out. Brassieres and girdles gradually came to replace the corset, and our options have only multiplied since then. Today, corsets are making a comeback, but only as an occasional fashion statement and often as a style of “top” all by themselves.
Our bodies have curves, and sometimes those curves need support to feel comfy and have the coverage that we crave. Just like outerwear is designed to provide you with a protective shell from the elements, innerwear is designed to provide you with support and smoothness. For many women’s dresses, the only innerwear you will need is a bra and panties to feel covered and supported.
Both bras and panties come in a multitude of styles. When looking for the right combination to go with a specific dress, start with the measurements of your current curves. You may believe that you know your correct bra and underwear size, but if it’s been a while since you double-checked it’s worth it to be sure. The last thing that you want is to be wearing the wrong size of innerwear. This will lead to discomfort and a lack of support where you need it. When in doubt, get out your tape measure. A helpful salesperson at a lingerie store can be a great resource for questions, too.
Chances are, you will want to ensure the smooth look and feel of your clothing over your innerwear. The goal is to have the look and feel that you are most comfortable wearing. The heavier the fabric of a dress is, the smoother it is likely to look on top of your skin. Have you ever pulled on a light cotton dress during summer to realize that it “shows” your figure in more detail than your fall and winter dresses?
A great option to create smoothness is to choose a cut of the dress that will be flattering to your curves. A fit and flare dress has a fitted top and an A-line shape to the skirt. The built-in flow to the skirt is lovely for creating a smoother, non-clingy silhouette. Another option for smoothness is a pair of shapewear “bicycle shorts."
Another function of innerwear is to give you the opacity that you want with a specific dress. Have you ever tried on a lovely white blouse only to realize that you can see right through it and will need to pair it with a camisole for everyday wear? When trying on a new dress, be aware of the color and fabric it is made from and what type of light will be in the environment where you will be wearing it. It’s amazing what sunlight will reveal.
The level of opacity in your outfit is your choice (assuming that you are meeting any required dress codes for work or other reserved occasions). Some women prefer to wear lined dresses or slips to prevent any suggestion of what the outline of their body looks like separate from the silhouette of their ensemble. Others figure that the outline of a leg in bright sunlight isn’t noteworthy. An easy option can be to choose dark neutrals like black dresses.
Hosiery and women’s socks may not be the first garment that we think of when it comes to innerwear, but they are important. Unless you are going sans hosiery (a legitimate and lovely option with today’s styles), you will want to have hosiery or socks that are comfortable and stylish.
Hosiery can give your dress an added look of sophistication and style while creating a smooth look and feel for your legs. Black or charcoal hosiery can be a nice touch for evening. And don’t forget socks for casual dresses either. Tennis shoes and socks can create a cute and comfy look for everyday dresses. Enjoy your favorite dresses with comfy and stylish innerwear!