What to Wear Under A Bandage Dress

Last updated on : June 04 2017

what to wear under a sexy dress

The advice in this article applies equally to bodycon dresses as it does to bandage dresses. 

Finding the perfect bandage dress is only half of our battles. Aside from the more obvious parts of our look like earrings, purse, and hairstyle we still have the challenge of finding suitable undergarments.

Depending on the dress you may be on the hunt for bras, seamless panties, or some sort of spanx to give you shape and support for the night. 

Every Dress Needs the Right Undergarments

Straps, bulges, and the like are never going to give you the look you dreamed or hoped for. The traditional bra is our natural go-to but what happens when the traditional bra just won’t work? Also it is common to spend a fortune on a dress but be apprehensive to spend a bit more on suitable undergarments - don't let this be a test of your commitment to fashion. 

The thing to remember about finding undergarments is that every dress needs the right undergarment. So finding the perfect one is worth the hassle, stress, and care. Naturally, some dresses are easy to figure out such as strapless designs but what about the sexy little number with a criss cross back and super high thigh split?

infographic - what to wear under bandage dresses

Undergarments for Your Bandage Dress

In many cases a high quality bandage dress does not need any undergarments. They are designed to hug you like a second skin and support your body like an all over piece of shape wear. However, if you are wanting to give yourself more shapely proportions consider these:

Buttock pads - buttock pads come in a variety of styles and options. Some are simply underwear with pads on each cheek while others are simply silicon (or something similar) pads that are inserted into well fitting underwear. The buttocks pads gives you a Kim Kardashian fit and sexy appeal that is hard to resists. 

Adhesive bras - adhesive bras are perfect for those hard to conceal styles that we all love to wear to the club and parties. Adhesive bras feature a glue like substance that clings to your breast. Padded adhesive bras give you a bit more shape in your bust and is often preferred if you loathe the idea of going without a bra.

Waist cinchers - if you are wanting a very defined waistline then you are likely going to need to invest in a waist cincher for your bandage dress. The key to purchasing a waist cincher is to remember that you must be sure that your cincher is made of a snag free material and is relatively thin. Most bandage dresses cling to your body and a hefty corset like waist cincher is the very last thing you want showing through your dress. A good rule of thumb is to take your dress with you when you go shopping.

We've now had so much interest in shape wear you can wear under your dress that we've added a brand new section to this article on the subject below.  

classic black bandage dress

The Classic Black Bandage Dress

Types of Bras for Select Dress Styles

Strapless Dress: Naturally a strapless bra style or bodysuit is your best option. If you are comfortable with your tummy and not looking for added control simply opt for a strapless dress. Choose a bodysuit to slim down your stomach and provide more support and control.

Racerback Dress: This dress style is the one with the criss cross style backs. You see it common in sports shirts and tanks as well. Many bras on the market today offer flexible strap options that convert easily to a racerback style.

Plunging Cleavage Dress: This dress needs an adhesive bra style or simply adhesive breast pads to help conceal your nipples. There are styles that come in flesh tones so check around to get an adhesive style that is barely noticeable.

Strap Dress: The thin straps of dresses are very common and are often called spaghetti or noodle straps. In these dresses you have various options because many bras come with “clear” straps. However, most fashionistas simply choose strapless bras for thinner strapped dress styles.

Backless Dress: As we mentioned earlier - investing in the best undergarments saves you time and money. As with more elaborate necklines the best bra for a backless dress is an adhesive bra or pads.

plunging v neck needs adhesive bra style

Plunging v neck dresses will most likely need an adhesive bra

Types of Panties and Underwear

Brad Goreski, once said, "When it comes to underwear, there's nothing worse than a visible panty line. Sometimes it seems like nobody knows that seamless underwear exists. But Calvin Klein makes them. Commando makes them. Hanky Panky makes them. You don't need a drawer full; a few pairs will suffice."

Before we can zero in on which underwear suits a particular type of dress, it’s essential to become familiar with the types of underwear worn by women. Different underwear works for different dresses and it is likely your have more than one style of underwear in your drawers.

Boy shorts are shaped just like men’s briefs; they are rather rectangular in shape, unlike the other types. They come in both low-cut leg and others that extend to the thigh. They are also available in low-waist and high-rise types and a variety of fabrics from cotton to lace to seamless. Often this style serve the exact same purpose as a thong – no visible panty lines when worn under form fitting dresses.

Briefs or as more affectionately termed, “granny panties” provide you with full coverage and a high waist. It may not be as attractive as a lace boy shorts, but they sure are comfortable! Surprisingly, if you are looking for pretty briefs, then yes, lace, baby-ribs are just as attractive too. Briefs can be the option for any casual-wear dresses or rock a high-waist brief on a sheer dress!

Panties with a French-cut typically have a high waist and high rise cut on the sides. You can go for these if the regular waistbands make you feel uncomfortable. They are availed in many textures such as cotton, lace and even spanx.

Hipsters, also known as hip-huggers have a very low-waistline and provide full coverage. They are ideal if you are trying to get away from granny panties but want the coverage.

Bikinis have a really low waistline, just like the hip-huggers. The front and the back are shaped like a triangle. Although they give you less coverage, they can be worn under various type of dress because they are not so visible.

Thongs are one of the most sought-after women’s underwear in the whole wide world of underwear (or used to be). They work best with bodycon dresses that are really firm-fitting. There are no panty-lines since it gives zero coverage and the waist is usually very low as well. Flesh colored thongs are ideal for those sheer-net dresses.

G-Strings, a sister to the thong, doesn’t give any coverage at the back and even lesser in the front.

shape wear dress

Quality bandage dresses will provide support similar to shape wear 

Types of Underwear for Select Dress Styles

Mini Dress: Speaking of skirts flying in the wind, wearing boy shorts under mini dresses will give you more coverage, than the popular choice of wearing a thong or a traditional bikini panty.

Office Dress: Wearing appropriate shape wear (see below) will tuck you in in all the right places and no visible underwear lines are likely to show because these are thicker fabrics.

Casual Dress: Those long, loose dresses have no restrictions for underwear. It’s a great opportunity to bring out the granny panties or whatever makes you feel comfortable.

T-Shirt Dress: Go for a seamless thong so there are no visible panty lines as t-shirt dresses can often be very figure hugging and revealing.

Jumpsuit Dress: There is always a temptation to go commando, going underwear-free that is; but if you rather wear underwear, then boy shorts with more length and a high-rise is a great choice for those super-clingy pant-suits

Sheer Dress: Opting for a silky or a lacy thong that is barely there works perfectly under a body-hugging slip.

The Best Body Shapers for Women

body shapers for women

When it comes to style and fashion we all turn to “helpers” every now and again (even if it is just a little bit). Whether help arrives in the form of our trusted falsies or an infallible push-up bra, finding your go to secret weapons to ensure your look is complete, sexy, and polished every single time takes patience and fortitude.

Figure hugging bodycon and bandage dresses may be your ideal option for date night or holiday parties, but how do you conceal any lumps and bumps from showing? The answer to this eternal question faced by women all over the globe is the right underwear (as we discussed above) or of course, shape wear. Although most quality bandage dresses are designed to double as shape wear, having a go too number for other looks is essential.

Shape wear should fit comfortably (after you get into it), support and shape your body, and smooth away bulges. In this guide we take a detailed look about all you need to know about shape wear for women.  

History of Shapewear

Perhaps the very first form of body shaper is the corset. Dating back to the early 1700s, women have relied on various types of corsets to rein their body in and give it doll like perfection. The version of the corset that is most recognizable now can be attributed to the 16th century.

In the year 2000, we welcomed an enterprising American woman named Sara Blakely, the inventor of the very first shaping body wear known as Spanx. Blakely’s passion for giving women confidence in their bodies has made her company the pioneer of shape wear for women around the world. Blakely was named the youngest, self-made female billionaire in the world by Forbes. Today, there are many more companies that continue to innovate and create slimming shape wear that we all have grown to love.

Finding the Best Body Shaper for You

Body shapers are known to have almost magical effects and they definitely amp up your confidence in your favorite dress. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Garner, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Tyra Banks amongst others absolutely swear by body shapers. However, for body shapers to actually work for you, there are a few important factors that you need to consider.

The Right Fit

Perhaps the most important factor of all is to find a good shape wear option that fits you just right—too tight and it cuts into your skin, too loose and it does not do your body any justice. An ill fitting body shaper is also uncomfortable and difficult to wear for extended periods. Take your measurements or get some help to ensure that the fitting is right.

Be Reasonable

You are sure to find plenty of adverts that promise you the sun and the moon when it comes to shaping your feminine curves. Be reasonable in your expectations. These are professionally-made shaping products that help you gain a sleeker and slimmer appearance. However, if you are looking to go down two to three sizes, they might not work as you expect. 

Try It On

It is important to try on the shapewear you choose quite rigorously. Put your body through a range of motions such as sitting, bending, hunching over, etc. You are most likely intending to wear your new body shaper for a special occasion, and you are not going to be able to enjoy yourself if you are slowly asphyxiating or are afraid to “pop out”.

Choose the Right Color

Shapewear options in neutral colors such as black, beige, nude, and pastel pink are recommended for most dresses and outfits. Nude and pastel pink shapers are easily hidden under light-colored dresses because they blend with your skin tone. These colors are definitely the go-to options if you are wearing a white dress to your party. Similarly, black is better worn under dresses of a darker hue. Excellent shape wear lines for various skin tones include Nubian Skin, Leonisa, and Spanx.

bandage dress will act as shape wear

A properly fitted bandage dress will shape your curves without additional help

Best Body Shaper Options

Susan Orlean once said, "I remember thinking that a girdle was barbaric, and that never in a million years would I treat myself like a sleeping bag being shoved into a stuff sack. Never! Instead, I would run marathons and work out and be in perfect shape and reject the tyranny of the girdle forever." 

The truth of the matter is that most of us cannot reject a little bit of help. So we search for the best body shapers for our body type. It can be a long and tiresome search. 

To help, we’ve tested and tried on some of the best shape wear options recommended by stylist around the world. We’ve created a shortlist below based on the shapers we simply love and recommend. 

Spanx Bodysuits and Slimming Shorts

From mid-thigh shorts options like Oncore™ to the Thinstincts™ bodysuits, Spanx is right up there when it comes to body shapers that offer you loads of options. Perhaps what sets Spanx apart from other companies is that you are allowed to narrow your search parameters based on specific body parts that you would like to target. Made of super-thin soft fabric, Spanx shapers offer breathable fabric and a comfortable fit that is not as restrictive as most other options. This multi-faceted company also provides slimming leggings and innerwear for men; introduced in 2010.

The Spanx Shimmer & Shine Open-bust bodysuit is your best friend if you want to alter the shape of your muffin top. Not only does this body shaper reduce the size of your tummy pouch, it also works to slim your hips down, and give your booty a lift.

Ultimo Shapewear

Providing light, medium, and high control options in shapewear like briefs, contour slips, bodysuits, and more, Ultimo is a UK-based company that has made a name for itself in the shapewear industry. What sets Ultimo apart is that they do not just create functional shapewear; they focus on designing “uber sexy” body shapers that look sensual to the last letter. Available in sizes that go from 8 to 16, Ultimo body shapers make perfect additions to your lingerie wardrobe as well.

The Ultimo Signature Black Body is one of the most popular options offered by the brand. This bodysuit fits just right around the waist area, and has a low coverage bust which gives you the freedom to wear a bra that works for you. Furthermore, this bodysuit comes with a thong fit at the back so you do not need to worry about any visible panty lines.

Maidenform Body Briefer

Manufacturer of women’s innerwear, Maidenform was founded in 1922 by seamstress Ida Rosenthal. Almost a century later, the company produces best-in-class shapewear to women all over the world.

The Sleek Smoothers™ WYOB Body Briefer is an open-bust laser cut body suit that offers light control, and the flexibility to wear your own bra. This body suit also offers 360 degree smoothing, and the adjustable straps make it a cinch to get the fit you seek.

Triumph Second Skin Sensation

Internationally-acclaimed lingerie brand Triumph offers a line of shapewear called Second Skin Sensation. The 3-in-1 bodysuit is a strapless body shaper that is worn in a number of ways. It is a versatile shaper that works as a strapless bodysuit, a high-waist shaping brief, and even as a skirt.

Made of 64 percent of polyamide and 36 percent elastane, this shaping garment fits snugly at all the right places, and does a great job of smoothing away bumps and bulges in your silhouette. Since this shape has no straps, it can also be worn under a strapless dress.

Yummie Gretchen Bodysuit

Founded by fashion designer and entrepreneur Heather Thomson in 2008, Yummie was inspired by Thomson’s own experiences after childbirth. The Yummie Tummie patented 3-panel tank was a huge success, and was followed by a long line of shapewear products. What works for Yummie is that their shapewear is designed with keeping style and fashion in mind.

The Gretchen Bodysuit boasts a beautiful lace trim bra that is built seamlessly into the bodysuit. The lace trim is designed to be seen and adds an extra layer of polish to your style.

Cosabella Marni Low Back Bodysuit

The word “Cosabella” means “beautiful thing” in Italian. The brand was established by Ugo and Valeria Campello in 1983. Cosabella products are made in Italy, and designed to fit and feel like a second skin.

The Marni Low Back Bodysuit is made of fine gauge Italian microfiber that is 84 percent polyamide and 16 percent elastane. This bodysuit has a deep plunge neckline that makes it easy to sneak under most dresses. The side panels of the bodysuit is made of fine mesh that hold your silhouette in and smooths it out. With a thong back and snap button closure between the legs, it is easy to wear and manoeuvre even if you have to wear it for long stretches of time.

Using body shapers is one of the easiest ways to obtain an hourglass figure or minimize a curvier one.


This article covers in detail the underwear options available to wear under tighter fitting dresses like bandage and bodycon dresses. It covers traditional bra's and underwear and devotes an entire section to body shapers.  

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About the Author

Sasithon Bella is the kewl in The Kewl Shop. Co-founder, chief buyer, bandage dress guru and a lot more. If you like what you see at The Kewl Shop it is because of Sasithon Bella. You might know her better as Sasi.



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