Ask The Expert: Va Bien's Marianne Gimble Answers Your Shapewear Questions

February 11, 2011 by Justine Schwartz
shefinds | Weddings

BRIDEfinds sat down with Marianne Gimble of Va Bien, a 30-year veteran in finding the perfect shapewear for brides. Marianne answered some of our burning bridal foundation questions:

I’m just starting out – what should I look for when choosing a foundation?

Choosing the right foundation for your body type and dress will be driven by the features of the dress, specifically: neckline, back, strap styling, cut design, and fabrics. A long list, but all are important. If the cut of the dress is form fitting, like a mermaid style, a shapewear piece that accentuates an hourglass figure will be best. Regarding fabrics, the main idea is to eliminate show-through:

For a thin, light-colored, satin dress, you’ll need something nude and seamless like this Fanny Fabulous High Waist Brief ($56)

How far in advance to my wedding do I need to get fitted for my foundation? And do I need my gown at the appointment?

Before the first dress fitting. You should wear it during each dress fitting and I do suggest bringing the gown to the foundation fitting, or at least some clear pictures (front and back). I also suggest buying a foundation that fits on the loosest hook if you plan to lose weight as the wedding approaches – that reduces the chance that it will have to be altered later on.

I’m on a budget. Are there any cost-cutting tips you can share when it comes to choosing shapewear?

The right shapewear will actually save you money by helping you fit into a discounted dress. If the dress does not fit perfectly, the foundation can help.

For a great deal, this Va Bien Smooth Couture Brief ($33.75, down from $45) is 25% off on Bare Necessities.

I hate wearing strapless bras. Have you found any that stay put?

Everyone knows the problems associated with strapless bras, such as slippage and drooping. Va Bien’s research and development team determined that the root cause of these problems was in the foam bra cup. Va Bien developed a patented process called Ultra-Lift, whereby three thin plastic stays are invisibly sealed within each foam cup – the stays, called “magic fingers,” hold the bust high.

The Ultra-Lift strapless bra ($55) is your best bet for the big day.

My body type is apple shaped – any tips? Also, I’m big-busted.

I would recommend a bustier for the apple or pear shaped woman, to create as much of an hourglass silhouette as possible. For the large busted woman, certainly something with extra-supportive bra cups – and if a strapless bra is not up to the task, a bustier can do an even more effective job holding the bust high, as the boning inside the bodice helps hold up the cups.

Create an hour glass figure with this Va Bien: Ultra-Lift Seamless Bustier ($75).

For more wedding day solutions, check out our guides to the best cheap wedding invitations, customized wedding favors, and strapless wedding dresses.

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