Maximizing Your Bride’s Customer Experience: Part 1

Maximizing your bride’s customer experience part 1

“Brides are a special focus for me because having the right lingerie can really enhance a bride’s big day”

By Michelle Broomes, Lingerie Consultant & Freelance Journalist

The advent of the Spring/Summer lingerie season is known to bring many a bride in its wake. This can be one of the most intense periods for lingerie shops and likewise, consultants.

Although I value all of the ladies that walk through our shop door, brides are a special focus for me because having the right lingerie can really enhance a bride’s big day.

Once a bride myself, and a busty bride to boot, I know that sourcing underwear for the big day can be a heart stopping experience especially when you are plus sized.

But while getting married comes with its own in-built stressors, picking the ideal lingerie for the big day doesn’t have to be one of them. Consultants can play a vital role in making this an adventure rather than adversity for the bride.

Consequently, I want offer fitters a few tips to help us get our brides in the right breeches and help us all get sanely through wedding season.

miss mandalay sejal ivory balconette bra

Above: Miss Mandalay sejal ivory balconette bra.

“The psychology of the bride can be quite complex but to sum it up in a nutshell – your bride wants everything to be perfect.”

First thing’s first: Understanding what your bride wants from her undies:

“I want something really supportive… that holds me up like this…and pulls me in like this,” the typical bride usually says to me whilst pushing her breasts up and squeezing her tummy in.

The psychology of the bride can be quite complex but to sum it up in a nutshell – your bride wants everything to be perfect. Her underwear is no exception. Unfortunately some of these demands may even seem impossible but must be professionally handled according to the bride’s needs and the shop’s ability to cater.

Helen, Director of UK bridal company Wedding Nites advises that the bride’s lingerie needs to be properly fitted, suit the dress and make the bride feel good. However, she warns that, “The three things are not as easy as you would think.”

Panache Lingerie's evie bridal basque and evie bridal strapless bra

Above: Panache Lingerie’s evie bridal basque and evie bridal strapless bra.

Echoing some of Helen’s view, UK bra expert and wedding lingerie consultant Geraldine Hurd of Betty & Belle in Cheshire helps us with a comprehensive view of what brides generally desire from wedding lingerie:

  • It needs to be sturdy and provide good structure under the dress: underwear can affect the way a dress falls into place on the bride’s figure so it needs to be sturdy. It needs to shape the bride’s body adequately so she can carry the dress how it’s meant to be worn over the hours that she will be wearing it. A basque/corset is usually ideal for this. Hurd explains that this type of underwear, “not only pulls in the waist, it also gives a bride great posture for the big day.”
  • The fit needs to be perfect: with cameras flashing all around her, the last thing the bride needs is an underwear malfunction. Her underwear needs to be fitted so that she doesn’t have to spend her big day fixing it constantly over her bum or boobs.
  • It needs to be comfortable: “They [brides] know they have a long day ahead of them which includes sitting, eating and dancing. Comfort is essential, especially when wearing a basque or corset,” says Hurd. Although comfort might at times seem at odds with function, believe me, your bride needs both for the blissful day ahead.
  • It needs to colour match the dress exactly: if it shows even slightly it will not be a grating contrast to the dress and show up readily in photos.
  • It has to complement the style of the dress: lingerie must sit well under the dress and not upstage the dress itself. For example, a low back wedding dress would need a low back basque or bra to sit discreetly under it.
  • It should be enhancing: the bride might want to add to her best assets or correct her less appealing ones. For example, she might want to add volume to smaller breasts. “Often a wedding basque with padded cups can give the best push-up effect for smaller boobs,” says Hurd.
  • It should provide a streamlined silhouette: the look under the dress should be invisible and smooth making the bride’s figure look naturally flawless. “Vintage, slinkier dresses are back in fashion and often require a really smooth silhouette under the gown. Shape wear is becoming more popular for brides and many brands are now specifically targeting this market with ivory and white shape wear,” Hurd informs. In fact, the bride’s need for shape wear looks set to overtake her need for fancier pieces. Figures released in April this year from popular UK high street department store Debenhams show that brides have been demanding Spanx shape wear over traditional bridal lingerie at a rate of six to one.
  • It should all match: all of the pieces should match each other. Even a compromise mismatch should be near perfect.
  • It needs to please her partner: this might be the first time she is buying undies with her partner in mind and wants it to be appealing. “Brides may buy one set for the wedding day and then a separate set of lingerie for the wedding night or honeymoon,” says Hurd. She may desire her day wear to be more sensible and comfortable but her night wear to be sexy and seductive.

simone perele olympe plunge strapless bra

Above: Simone Perele olympe plunge strapless bra.

So now that we know what the typical bride is looking for from her undies, join me again to look at “How to get her outfitted for the big day?” HERE.


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About the Author

Michelle Broomes

Michelle Broomes

Name: Michelle Broomes aka Shelly
Bra size: bigger than you’d imagine!
Email address: shellybroomes@thelingeriejournal.com

Favourite lingerie brands: Panache, Bravissimo, Curvy Kate, Freya. These, in my opinion, are built to carry weight.

Bio: In my early years I was always known to be an “academic” because I was good at the books and always got really good grades in school. I’d never been really good at anything practical until I became a lingerie fitter. Now I talk about lingerie nearly all the time and -ask my hubby- I am a fierce critique of bras and the like. Throw in matching knickers, jewellery and heels and I’m in lingerie heaven.

Lingerie philosophy: Well fitting lingerie is always sexy even if it’s from the bargain bin!

 

7 Comments on “Maximizing Your Bride’s Customer Experience: Part 1

  1. Thanks for the advice, just on question, any suggestions for the plus size bride? Brand recommendations, etc

    • Avatar shelly says:

      Hi Valerie

      Great question. I would say it depends on what you want to wear underneath as sometimes fuller busted ladies can be restricted by this, simply because basques and strapless styles can become quite limited in backs and cups for us. I am a big fan of Panache products because it’s a brand I have tested over time and found good results more often than not. They have a basque and strapless bra called Evie for brides that I have seen up to an H cup (see pics in article) and these can be worn as multi-way pieces. I have also seen Panache with a sexy lacy ivory strapless bra and an ivory body and basque called “Confetti”.

      Fantasie is a good brand to explore as well. I found the Fantasie strapless bra Ava to be generous. Last time I checked it went up to a GG cup and came up to a 40 back.

      Gossard has some lovely vintage feel products for brides as well, so you might want to have a look at that brand as well.

      The company, Bravissimo, do an attractive basque in ivory, up to a K cup. This company specializes in bras up to an L cup.

      I like this piece by Goddess by the way http://www.goddessbra.com/lingerie/bridal.aspx

      If you just want a simple inexpensive piece, sometimes just a well fitted bra in your preferred colour is enough. I wore the Panache Tango for my wedding (which goes to a K cup) and paired it with control pants. Some brides are into Spanx and its a good way of getting tummy control without being strapped into a corset all day if that’s not your thing(but be careful as some control pieces have seams that might not be so smooth under a tighter fitting dress, mine was a more A line dress so I was okay).

      I fitted a bride not too long ago in the Panache Andorra bra in Pearl (bra exists to J cup) and the Freya Deco shape multi-way plunge (up to a GG cup) which comes with control briefs. Once you get fitted first and have a good size estimate, then it’s a matter of exploring. My advice to brides is often to get their lingerie and then go dress hunting as doing it in reverse can make life difficult. And be realistic. I knew with my bust size I found strapless bras and basques impossible to find and wear so I knew that my wedding dress would have to accommodate bra straps so that made my life a whole lot easier.

      Hope this helps.

      Shelly.

  2. Avatar Tanya Hall says:

    A great post/ article on looking for the perfect wedding underwear for the big day. I can empathise with busty brides out there and as corny as it sounds was the reason why I started my lingerie business. It’s good to hear we all give similar advice to our future brides to be, when it comes to finding the perfect bridal lingerie!

    • Avatar shelly says:

      Hi Tanya

      great to hear from you. Maybe you can tell me more about your business sometime and please stay tuned for part 2 of the article.

      Thanks

      shelly.

    • Avatar shelly says:

      Your lingerie stock looks fab btw

  3. Avatar Lisa says:

    Thank goodness lingerie designers have taken a forward position with plus size lingerie. A large portion of our lingerie business is from plus size women who are looking for pretty, feminine lingerie and clothing as well!

    Thanks for the great information. The white strapless bra is beautiful!

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