What to Wear Wedding Dress Shopping: 6 Essentials

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by  Kate Parker | Last Updated: 
what to wear wedding dress shopping

What to wear wedding dress shopping? It’s a loaded question. 

Do you go in comfortable clothes that you can move around easily in? Or do you dress to impress in order to get an idea of what the gown will look like on your big day?

No matter how silly it may appear, these six essentials for what to wear while wedding dress shopping are a must-have for an easy, smooth, and flawless shopping experience. 

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6 Things to Wear Wedding Dress Shopping

Your wedding dress represents many things. It’s often the wedding’s spectacle that will keep everyone talking before, during, and after your special day. 

Plus, there are no words to describe how you feel when you finally walk down the aisle in your dream wedding dress. 

At this point, you’ve probably given a lot of thought to how you want your wedding dress to look, right down to the most minute details. So, there’s simply no denying that this particular shopping spree will be unlike any other. 

And even though it may seem obvious, remembering to wear comfortable clothes or appropriate underwear can make or break a great day of wedding dress shopping. 

So, whenever you’re ready, here are six wedding dress shopping outfits you don’t want to miss.

Comfortable Clothes That Are Easy to Take on and Off

Wearing comfortable clothes that are easy to take on and off is a no-brainer. 

However, it could be an indecisive choice of what exactly will be easy to take on and off during wedding dress shopping.  Particularly because wedding dress shopping is often a whole day’s affair, where brides opt to make more than two stops at varied bridal stores while trying on as many wedding dresses as they want. 

No stress, though.

Do: Wearing something as simple as a skirt, a blouse (without buttons), and comfortable flat shoes is a great way to go. 

Alternatively, you could wear a simple dress that you can easily take on and off. A third choice is to wear a pullover top with a neckline that won’t mess up your hair too much. Or, rather, wear some pants provided they’re easy and quick to change into and out of.

Don’t: You don’t want to wear something too tight, like jeggings. Often, tight clothes will take a lot of effort to change in and out of.

Similarly, wearing heels might seal off a cute look, but by the end of the day, they could make your feet cramp. 

There are other clothes that can take time and effort to change in and out of quickly. 

Something like a buttoned shirt will eventually get tiring after buttoning and unbuttoning it up.

 If you’re feeling indecisive, simply ask yourself whether the clothes you wear are comfortable and easy to take on or off quickly, and you’ll have your answer. Plus, the fewer layers you wear, the better.

Shapewear or Neutral Underwear 

Your underwear is just as important when wedding dress shopping. You’ll want that flawless, perfectly-fitting look that shows no visible panty lines or vibrant colors peering through the dress. 

So what sort of underwear should you wear?

Do: To avoid any panty lines or colors showing through your dress, make sure to shop for neutral underwear to wear to your wedding dress shopping. Particularly if you’re looking for wedding dresses with light fabrics like sheer or lace, then wearing neutral underwear is a must-do. So you’re on the right track, shop for underwear that is in your personal shade of nude, and you’re good to go.

For shapewear, it’s not an absolute necessity but comes highly recommended, especially if you want extra support and smoothing on certain parts or are looking to buy a slim-fit wedding dress. 

When deciding on your shapewear, remember that it could make a huge difference to your fitting if you wear something else on your wedding day. You don’t want to have to alter the dress later, so make sure that the type of shapewear you wear for the first fitting is the same one you wear to every fitting and on D-day.

Don’t: It’s not uncommon for bridal consultants to help you in and out of your dress. Since there are all sorts of shape-wear or neutral underwear out there, you’ll want to wear appropriate ones that you’re comfortable with a bridal consultant seeing you in. For example, wearing a thong or a g-string may not be ideal. 

If you feel you want to feel comfortable around others, you could opt for high-waisted briefs or boy shorts. Of course, there’s no rule to strictly wear certain underwear styles. Simply wear the shapewear or neutral underwear you feel most comfortable in.

A Strapless Bra

Most brides will try on multiple dresses at bridal stores, some of which will have low backs, halters, or no straps.

Do: Since some wedding dresses may fit better in a bra, while others simply have low backs, halters, or no straps, you’ll want to bring a strapless bra or a convertible bra along with you. Make sure it’s a good-quality nude that won’t show through your dress.

Don’t: Although it’s good to bring a nude strapless bra with you, actually wearing it is a common misconception because, the truth is, you don’t always have to wear one. Most modern wedding dresses tend to have cups sewn in, so they fit like a glove even without wearing a bra. 

That said, sewn-in cups may not always offer the best support, especially if you have a fuller chest size. So, if you feel uncomfortable not wearing a bra, definitely have a chat with the bridal consultant for the best advice and specific recommendations for the dress’s bodice to fit you perfectly.

Your Wedding Shoes 

If you’re planning to wear heels on your actual wedding day, then you’ll want to carry them with you to get an exact picture of what your wedding dress height will look like.

Do: Bring your wedding shoes with you on your wedding gown shopping trip so you can try them on with the gowns. If you don’t have them with you, look for an alternative that matches closely to your wedding shoes, from the style to the height.

Don’t: Wearing heels, no matter how cute, on your wedding dress shopping spree is a no-no. Heels may cause your feet to cramp at the end of a day-long walking and standing gig. Instead, wear comfortable flats that easily slip on and off in-between tries.

Most bridal stores have try-on heels of varying heights. But a surefire way is to bring your own pair closest to the style and heel height you’ll wear to your wedding. 

Going hand-in-hand is to bring any accessories you’re planning to wear to the wedding, including jewelry, veils, belts, and hairstyle. 

It doesn’t have to be an exact match, but wearing a bun if you’re planning to tie your hair up is a good idea to get the most accurate picture of your final look, which brings us to…

Hair Clips or Hair Ties 

It’s easy for your hair to get in the way while changing in and out of your clothes. 

Do: To avoid messy hairdos, bring hair clips or a hair tie. Along with helping you change, hair clips or ties are great for trying out different hairstyles that could go perfectly with the wedding dresses you try on. 

If you want to try out a high-neckline dress, you may want to experiment with tying your hair up. It’s certainly not a must-do to have several hair clips or ties on hand, but it’ll definitely come in handy at some point.

Light Makeup 

While wedding dress shopping, you may be tempted to wear more extravagant make-up than usual. After all, it’s not every day you go out wedding dress shopping. You may even want to wear heavy make-up to get an accurate picture of your final look. But here’s a thought.

Do: It’s advisable to wear light makeup while wedding dress shopping. You’ll be changing in and out of quite expensive wedding dresses at several bridal stores. You don’t want to smudge or stain a white, champagne, or ivory wedding dress and possibly have to pay for it regardless of your final choice. 

Wearing light makeup doesn’t mean showing up to your appointments looking like you just rolled out of bed. Instead, wear very minimal makeup that you feel beautiful in and comfortable in. For instance, some tinted moisturizers, waterproof mascara, or light concealers.

Don’t: Heavy makeup can easily leave a smudge on the wedding dresses you try on. Avoid lipstick, non-waterproof mascara, liquid eyeshadow, or heavy powder and blush. Any self-tanner is an absolute no.

Little Jewelry

Similar to makeup, jewelry can easily get in the way of your wedding dress shopping by catching onto some delicate dresses and damaging them while you try them on.

Do: Wear very little or no jewelry. If you must, stud earrings or a thin necklace work fine. Of course, your engagement ring always counts.

Don’t: Avoid obscuring jewelry like hoops, heavy bracelets, or many rings. Plus, heavy jewelry may take away the ideal look you’re going for.

What Else Should I Bring Wedding Dress Shopping?

Aside from what to wear, there are essential items you’ll want to bring with you while wedding dress shopping. 

Tote Bag

Tote bags are great for holding any number of essentials you’ll need while wedding dress shopping. Just make sure it’s large enough to hold onto your essentials like your wallet, phone, wedding shoes, hair clips, jewelry, and any other items you need for trying out wedding dresses.


Bringing a camera is not always permitted in some bridal shops. So, check beforehand if the bridal shops you’re going to allow you to take pictures so you can document the wedding dresses you’re interested in. Alternatively, you can simply take notes on the name of the dress so you can do more research about it when you get back home.


It may sound corny, but inspiration is a must-have if you’re going wedding dress shopping. 

You don’t have to know the exact style of dress you’re looking for. But, at the very least, you’ll need to research past weddings extensively on Pinterest, Instagram, and wedding dress designers to know what wedding dress style will make you the most happy.

Without inspiration, a bridal consultant will make guesses for you that may not necessarily reflect what you want. 

A great place to start is to find details like the venue, decoration, or theme ideas for your wedding. From here, your bridal consultant can find wedding dresses that match your ideas.

Reference Photos

Like all other industries, the wedding industry is not without its jargon, especially when describing different types of wedding dress silhouettes. To make your work easier, why not bring with you a couple of inspirational photos of the exact wedding dress you’re looking for? 

That way, the bridal consultant will know exactly how to narrow down your options and help you find your dream dress so you leave the bridal store happy and satisfied. Just make sure not to bring with you a thousand photos. Picking out your top ten favorites should work perfectly.

Dream Entourage

It’s always a great idea to have your close friends and family tag along with you on your wedding dress shopping. You can even make it an afternoon tea date, with the main focus being on assisting you in deciding which wedding gown to say yes to.

There’s, of course, a limit to the number of guests you can bring into a bridal store. A maximum of three guests works just fine. Plus, having too many guests can add to the pressure and overwhelm you with too many opinions coming your way.


Ahead of the wedding dress shopping day, make sure to come up with a realistic budget to help guide you through your shopping. It’s easy to get swept up in awe of it all and end up overspending. 

But when you know how much you’re willing to spend on the dress, alterations, and accessories like jewelry, headpieces, and veils, you can stick to trying on dresses within your budget and hold firm on your final decision. 

Remember to Eat!

As exciting as wedding dress shopping is, it often takes up a whole day of standing, walking around, and changing in and out of multiple wedding dresses. 

Some wedding dresses even weigh quite a bit. Being hungry can affect your mood and excitement about the dress. You could wind up the day feeling exhausted.

You’ll no doubt need your strength and energy before heading out. So first, make sure to fuel up at breakfast with some deliciously filling meals. 

Following that, you can bring a snack(s) to eat to save time walking up to a restaurant, or plan a lunch at a nearby restaurant when possible. 

Scheduling for a lunch break will also help you regain your strength and even chat with your dream squad about the wedding dresses you have seen so far and those you hope to see later in the day.


Wearing comfortable clothes and nude underwear is a surefire way to have an easy and enjoyable wedding dress shopping experience. 

With these essential tips on what to wear to your wedding dress shopping, you’ll be well on your way to finally enjoying that special shopping spree everyone keeps raving about.

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