What To Wear Under A Tight Fitting Bandage Or Bodycon Dress

Last updated on : December 22 2022

model lying on couch in white bandage dress

Article Summary

When choosing the proper undergarments for a bandage or bodycon dress, consider the specific style of the dress and what will provide the most support and shaping. Some options include buttock pads, adhesive bras, and waist cinchers.

It is also essential to choose the right type of bra for the dress style, such as a strapless or racerback bra for dresses with thin straps or an adhesive bra or sticky breast pads for plunging cleavage dresses.

For underwear, choose seamless options to avoid visible panty lines or consider shapewear for added support and shaping.

Investing in the proper undergarments is worth the extra effort and expense to ensure that the dress looks and feels its best on you.


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 visible 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 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 a look you dreamed of or want.. The traditional bra is our natural go-to but what happens when a regular bra won’t work? 

Also, it is common to spend a fortune on a dress but be apprehensive about spending a bit more on fitting 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 crisscross back and super high thigh split?

infographic - what to wear under bandage dresses

Undergarments for Your Bandage Or Bodycon 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 shapewear. However, if you want to give yourself more shapely proportions consider these:

Buttock pads - buttock pads come in a variety of styles and options. Mostly made from silicon they either come with ready-made underwear with pads inserted or by themselves, fitting into your underwear. Buttocks pads give you a Kim Kardashian fit and a sexy appeal that is hard to resist. 

Adhesive bras - adhesive bras are perfect for dress styles that make it difficult, to near impossible to hide your undergarments. They feature glue-like substance that clings to your breast. Padded adhesive bras give you a bit more shape in your bust and are often preferred if you don't like the idea of going without a bra.

Waist cinchers - if you want a very defined waistline then consider a waist cincher. For bandage dresses, ensure the waist cincher is made of a snag-free material and is relatively thin. Most bandage dresses cling to your body, and a robust corset-like waist cincher is the very last thing you want showing through your clothing. A good rule of thumb is to take your dress with you when you go shopping.

We've had so much interest in shapewear 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 Dresses: Naturally a strapless bra style or bodysuit is your best option. If you are comfortable with your tummy and not looking for added control, then opt for a strapless bra. Otherwise, choose a bodysuit to slim down your stomach and provide more support and control.

Racerback Dresses: 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 efficiently to a racerback style.

Plunging Cleavage Dresses: This dress needs an adhesive bra or sticky breast pads to help conceal your nipples. Adhesive styles come in flesh tones so check around to get a barely noticeable one.

Thin Strap Dresses: Thin straps on dresses are very common and are often called spaghetti or noodle straps. With these dresses, you have various options because many bras come with “clear” straps. However, most fashionistas choose strapless bras for thinner strapped dress styles.

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

For more information read our article on choosing the right bra size and style. 

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."

Different underwear works for different dresses, and you probably have more than one style of lingerie at home already.

Boy shorts are shaped just like men’s briefs and are more rectangular than other types of underwear. They come in different lengths, either cut high up the leg or extending to the thigh. They are also available in low-waist and high-rise styles and in a variety of fabrics from cotton to lace to seamless. Often they serve the same purpose as a thong – no visible panty lines when worn under form-fitting dresses.

Briefs or more affectionately termed, “granny panties” provide you with full coverage and a high waist. They may not be as attractive as lacy boy shorts, but they sure are comfortable. Surprisingly, if you are looking for pretty ones, then yes, lace or baby-ribs can be just as attractive too. Briefs are an option for most casual-wear dresses or turn up the heat by rocking a high-waist brief under a sheer dress!

Panties with a French-cut typically have a high waist and high cut sides. You can go for these if the regular waistbands make you feel uncomfortable. They are available in many fabrics including 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 low waistline, just like hip-huggers, with front and the back shaped like a triangle. You can wear them under a variety of dresses being small and not so visible. 

Thongs are one of the most sought-after women’s underwear (or used to be). They work best with bodycon or bandage dresses that are form-fitting. There are no panty-lines since they give 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, don't give any coverage at the back and even less in the front.

shape wear dress

Quality bandage dresses provide support similar to shapewear

Types of Underwear for Select Dress Styles

Bandage Dresses: There are many options for these dresses given the material is usually thick enough to conceal most panty lines. A thong or a traditional bikini panty are favorite choices or, feeling daring, then go bare. 

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

Office Dresses: Try appropriate shapewear (see below) to tuck you in all the right places. With thicker fabrics, visible underwear lines are unlikely to show.

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

T-Shirt Dresses: 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 Dresses: There is always a temptation to go commando, going underwear-free that is; but if you prefer to wear underwear, then boy shorts with more length and a high-rise is an excellent choice for those super-clingy pant-suits

Sheer Dresses: Opting for a silky or a lacy thong that is hardly 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 a perfect push-up bra, finding your go-to secret weapons to ensure your look is complete, sexy, and polished every single time takes patience and endurance.

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, shapewear. Although most quality bandage dresses are designed to double as shapewear, having a go-to number for other looks is essential.

Shapewear 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 at what you need to know about shapewear for women.  

History of Shapewear

The very first body shaper was probably the corset. Dating back to the early 1700s, women have relied on corsets to rein in their body and to give it doll-like perfection. The 16th-century corset is the version most recognizable today. 

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 shapewear 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 shapewear 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 amp up your confidence in your favorite dress. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Garner, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Tyra Banks amongst others swear by body shapers. However, for body shapers to work for you, there are a few essential factors that you need to consider.

The Right Fit

Perhaps the most crucial factor of all is to find a good shapewear 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 challenging 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 these items on and put them to the test quite rigorously. Put your body through a range of motions such as sitting, bending, hunching over, etc. When wearing your new body shaper for a special occasion, you are not going to enjoy yourself if you are slowly asphyxiating or are afraid to “pop-out.”

Choose the Right Color

We recommend shapewear options in neutral colors such as black, beige, nude, and pastel pink 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 the go-to options if you are wearing a white dress for your party. Similarly, black is better worn under dresses of a darker hue. 

Excellent shapewear lines for various skin tones include Leonisa, and Spanx.

bandage dress will act as shape wear

A properly fitted bandage dress shapes your curves without additional help

Best Body Shaper Options

Susan Orlean once said, "I remember thinking that a girdle was primitive and that never in a million years would I treat myself like a sleeping bag 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 shapewear options recommended by stylist around the world. We’ve created a shortlist below based on the shapers we love and support. 

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. Made of super-thin soft fabric Spanx shapers are breathable and a comfortable fit and 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, but it 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 for 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 bra. This bodysuit also provides 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 body shaper that works as a strapless bodysuit, a high-waist shaping brief, or as a skirt.

Made of 64 percent polyamide and 36 percent elastane, it does a great job smoothing away bumps and bulges in your silhouette. You can also wear it under a strapless dress because it has no straps. 

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. Yummie keeps style and fashion in mind when designing their shapewear. 

The Gretchen Bodysuit boasts a beautiful lace trim bra that is built seamlessly into the bodysuit. The lace trim is visible, adding an extra layer of polish to your style.

Cosabella Marni Low Back Bodysuit

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

They make their Marni Low Back Bodysuit out of fine gauge Italian microfiber that is 84 percent polyamide and 16 percent elastane. This bodysuit has a deep plunge neckline that easily sneaks under most dresses. The side panels of the bodysuit are a fine mesh and with a thong back and snap button closure between the legs is comfortable to wear.

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


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

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