Bridal Underskirts: Everything you need to know!
Updated: May 12
Here at Taylors Bridal Boutique, we get asked a lot of questions about underskirts. Today all of these questions are going to be answered right here, in our handy Everything You Need To Know guide!
We are going to cover the following topics and questions,
Plus, many more!
What is an underskirt and what is its purpose?
Let’s start with the purpose of a bridal dress underskirt and what it actually is. An underskirt is exactly what it says on the label; a skirt which goes under your dress! We have a range at Taylors Bridal boutique from the Bianco Evento collection. These are made from strong nylon tulle with a Lycra waistband and lace trimmed hem. The Lycra waistband allows for a snug and comfortable fit, with sleek and smooth lines under your dress. You may hear an underskirt also being referred to as a crinoline, petticoat or bridal slip, but they all have the same purpose: to shape your wedding dress.
What are the benefits of wearing an underskirt?
With that in mind, let’s talk about the benefits of wearing an underskirt with your gorgeous wedding dress. Firstly, the right underskirt will enhance the shape of your dress as well as your figure! They are ideal for holding the weight of the material in a heavier dress without taking away the ability to “swish”. An underskirt will also stop your wedding dress from wrapping around your feet, making it easier for you to walk down the aisle and dance the night away.
If you have a huge, princess-style dress, you will be unable to reach the desired full, fairytale effect without the use of an underskirt.
Do I need an underskirt for my wedding dress?
The short answer is: it depends on your wedding dress style.
Most A-line and all ball gown dresses WILL definitely need an underskirt. Alongside many fit and flare, trumpet, mermaid and fishtail gowns which will need a mid-thigh underskirt to give the flare shape at the bottom. For these more figure-hugging dress types, it's important that the underskirt kicks out at the knee rather than the waist. Ideally, for a true fishtail shape, the kick out should come nearer your ankles but usually a mermaid style underskirt will work fine in a pinch.
However, as there are so many different styles of dress and underskirt, all you need to know is whereabouts your dress flares out. We, at Taylors Bridal boutique, are more than happy to do the rest!
Moving on now to those dresses that DO NOT require the use of an underskirt. These include:
Dresses that are intended to be sheer.
Dresses that are intended to fall with a very straight drop.
Dresses that have a thigh-split.
Slinky, slip style bridal gowns.
You can find more information about the need to wear an underskirt with your wedding dress and example dress pics on our sister site here: Do I need to Wear An Underskirt
Do underskirts come in different sizes?
Yes, they do. The Bianco Evento collection, stocked here at Taylor’s Bridal Boutique, caters from UK size 8 up to 24, so perfect if you require an XL or even XXL. Please refer to our handy Underskirt Size Guide, below, for help. We have you covered. Nearly all our brides worry about what will happen to their underskirt if they lose, or put on, weight before their wedding. As mentioned before, our underskirts are made with a Lycra waist, this allows the underskirt to fit either side of its stated size. Therefore, allowing for weight fluctuations in the lead up to the big day and NO alterations are needed.
What about different lengths?
Due to the Lycra used in the waistband, our underskirts are able to be pulled higher or lower accordingly. However, there is an option to order a “Tall” underskirt, which is longer than the standard range. We also have a very short underskirt available, which is perfect for any 50s/60s style dresses.
Do I need an underskirt for my dress’ train?
No. Train underskirts are unnecessary. Your train doesn’t need any extra support so the hoop would just drag along the floor and get under your feet.
To hoop or not to hoop?
There are a small number of underskirts that do not require a hoop. These underskirts have less benefits than ones with a hoop, such as they will not clear space from around your feet, etc. They do, however, give a softer finish to the style of your dress allowing it to be more flowy and floatier. If your dress is of this style, we do suggest that an underskirt is not needed, but if you feel like you'd still like one, a non-hooped underskirt will add a few more layers to your dress and shape it out very subtley.
The 50s/60s short underskirt that I mentioned previously does not have, or need, a hoop. This is because it has lots of material layers that are needed to provide the desired ruffle effect.
The hoops in an underskirt are what give your dress its shape. For example, fishtail and mermaid style dresses only need the underskirt to support the very bottom of the dress. These underskirts, therefore, only need one hoop. Larger style wedding dresses, of a ball gown or princess manner, will usually require at least two hoops. This allows the weights of the dress to be supported equally. Dresses made from materials such as heavy duchess satin would need a larger amount of support and, in turn, a higher number of hoops.
Why do I have extra wire left after inserting my hoop?
Allowing the length of the wire to finish when the wire ends meet would create a weak point the in hoop of your underskirt. This would not then give your dress the support that is required. The extra wire allows a crossover in the hoops, giving it full support around the entire circumference ensuring the underskirt will not collapse and ruin your wedding dress’ intended shape.
As this is a frequently asked question, we've made the video below explaining exactly how to put your hoop in! :)
Step by step underskirt hoop insertion guide.
1. Carefully remove your underskirt from its packaging. The bag will contain your underskirt, plus one or two hoops dependant on your requirements.
2. Shake your underskirt out and lay it flat on the floor.
3. Flip the bottom up so you can see the inside.
4. Find the hoop channel(s) and locate the colour-coded tab(s).
5. Go back to your packaging and very carefully remove your hoop(s). WARNING: They have a tendency to unravel quickly and pop open!
6. Slowly unwrap the hoop(s) and lay them on the floor.
7. Do not remove the plastic end covers. These are intended to help you identify which hoop goes into which channel.
8. If you have only one hoop, begin to insert the hoop wire into the opening which is indicated by the tab we found in step 4.
9. If you have two hoops, locate the smallest hoop channel first (this is the one higher up the underskirt), find its coloured tab, and match it with the coloured end on the corresponding hoop wire. Begin to insert the hoop carefully into the opening.
10. You are then going to carefully feed the wire through the channel. You will see the underskirt begin to take shape.
11. When your wire has gone all way way around the channel to the original starting point you will notice that there is still around a foot of wire remaining. This is correct and doesn’t mean you have an incorrect sized hoop.
12. Help the wire that's already inside the channel past the opening seams and across to other side. This allows you to continue pushing the excess wire through the channel until both ends are inside and overlapping.
13. If you have only one hoop, you may lift it up and shake it out. Your underskirt is now ready to wear.
14. If you have two hoops, you now need to locate your second hoop opening, which will be closer to the bottom of your underskirt.
15. Check the coloured tab matches the coloured ends of your remaining hoop wire.
16. Repeat steps 10, 11 and 12.
17. You may now lift your two hooped underskirt up and give it a shake.
18. Your two hooped underskirt is now ready to wear.
If, at any point, your wire becomes snagged in the hoop channel while you are feeding it through, gently pull the wire back slightly to free it. You can then continue slowly feeding it through again.
We really hope this guide has been useful to you and thank you for reading!
Appointments are available every Wednesday and Saturday with me at the boutique, located on Highfield Road in Blackpool. Please follow the link to book in: www.taylorsbridal.co.uk/bookonline
If you have any further questions, please leave them in the comments section below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Bridal consultant @ Taylors Bridal