Luxury Lingerie for Your Bridal Dreams
Every bride wants to look beautiful on her wedding day, from her luxurious lingerie to her dress. Spanx may be all the rage, but do you want to wear them on your wedding day and feel like a stuffed sausage?
Probably not. Though no one sees what’s under the dress, a woman knows and feels special when she has on luxurious intimates with lace trimming, faux fur, pearls or lavish embroidery. We’ve taken a peek at what every bride might select for that special day.
Corsets or bustiers are one-piece garments that include a bra and a girdle. Modern corsets are made in two types: the over-bust and under-bust. They will give you support and take inches off your waist. Training is required to achieve the full effect.
Bustiers end slightly above the waist and they’re constructed so that the bra cup gives you uplift. Bustiers are made to entice. Materials are resistant yet some have microfiber panels. Trims are made of ribbons, bows and different types of fastenings. Luxury bustiers run from $300 up. Less expensive but equally beautiful is Bare Necessities’ Elomi brand. For brides, Elomi has a cream bustier with satin and lace panels and garter straps for around $115.
Bras come in all styles and with a limitless array of adornments. From peek-a-boo bras that titillate to full cover-up bras, bras support our assets and help keep everything in place. Don’t worry if you are ample in the top. In 2013, retailers reported that the new size for the average American woman is 34DD, so full bust sizes are here to stay. Full bust refers to the actual letter cup size and is considered to be DD/E and larger.
Plus-size bras start with a 38- to 40-inch band. You can be plus-size, but not full busted and vice versa. If you are looking for elegance, Elomi’s look is sophisticated but not flashy. Elila is a company with possibly the widest range of sizes; the band size range is 34 to 52 and the cup size range is DD-N.
Panties are usually styled to match bras. Luxurious styles are made of silk with lace trim, flowers, bows, embroidery, pearls and peek-a-boo openings. There is a full range from tangas to briefs with thongs, bikinis, boy shorts, hipsters and all sorts of styles in between. Prices are reasonable for many panties, but the sky’s the limit when matching luxury brands bras and bustiers are added. Harlow & Fox’s luxury briefs begin at $100.
Lingerie runs the gamut from baby dolls to flowing kimonos with matching chemises underneath. Designers such as Carine Gilson use silk lavishly, create impossibly tiny hems, and apply lace appliqués with cutouts underneath that will wow you. Expect to spend between $1,500 and $3,000 for one of these robes. Even a baby doll chemise with exquisite Chantilly lace appliqués is around $1,200.
The investment in all couture wear can be substantial, and lingerie is no exception. “How,” you ask, “can a pair of briefs cost $100?” It is because of the materials, the labor, the detailing, minimum order quantities, lace, labels, hardware and decorations. A good bra has lots of hardware, such as the slider on the bra strap, the hooks on the band, the under-cup wire, and foam cups that hold up through wear and washings.
Women want really good materials, such as sheer netting that is soft and smooth and doesn’t scratch. Beautiful bows, pearls, sequins or embroidery add beautiful touches that might be done by machine on retail pieces, but in luxury designs, this work is frequently done by hand. Appliquéd lace is an exquisite and coveted detail, but to cut, place and stitch lovely lace on slippery fabrics such as silk is a difficult task requiring special skills; thus, labor costs are higher.
Fitting is especially important in intimates. Bras that don’t fit right are left in the drawer in favor of one that is comfortable. Designers must fit the bras and other lingerie on models. These costs are absorbed into the final cost of the garment. Samples are another hidden cost. Samples are often handmade because they are only used on runways to show prospective buyers, but their costs are absorbed into the final cost of the garment.
Other costs such as cutting, sewing and finishing methods are unique to fine lingerie. The pieces are smaller and the fabric is more delicate than outerwear. Fine lingerie often uses the French seam to hide raw edges and make the garment more comfortable.
If you can’t afford the fabulous Diamond Fantasy Bra from Victoria’s Secret, don’t worry. In 2000, Gisele Bündchen’s Red Hot Fantasy Bra and Panty set cost a cool $15 million. Just look for the best you can find at your local boutique and feel elegant all day long! ■
Sources: carinegilson.com, elomilingerie.com, lingerie.about.com and thelingerieaddict.com.