By Alannah Sparks
Blushing brides need not apply: here is where you come when you want to have a naughty little secret underneath that big white dress. Book an appointment for the full bridal service: take over one of the opulent dressing rooms (swathed in silk chiffon roses) and allow one of Agent Provocateur’s expert pink ladies size you and fit you out. Whether you go for whispers of cutaway lace or an all-out Honesty Corset, it’s guaranteed to elicit a good reaction.
Best for: Wedding night playtime and honeymoon essentials
Don’t go for: Invisible underwear, shape wear
Pictured: Agent Provocateur' Teasle, Sidonie and Katherine sets
The lady who fitted me out in Harrods knew what size I was before I even undressed. And she got it bang on too. Every single person who works on the lingerie floor in Harrods is completely trained in lingerie so you’re guaranteed to get the right size. The staff know the vast stock inside out, too, so show them a picture of your wedding dress and they will scour the floor for the most suitable items: beautiful Chantelle basques and rare Japanese corsets. Lables stocked include Stella McCartney, Mimi Holliday and Wacoal Dia.
Best for: the widest range of bridal lingerie in town
Don’t go for: bargains
Pictured: Mimi Holliday 'Bisou Bisou' set
Rigby & Peller
Before I went to Rigby & Peller, I had been wearing a very wrong bra size so it is worth going here for a boost, both figuratively and metaphorically: you’ll come out two cup sizes bigger and once you wear the underwear you’ll look it, too. It ain’t for nothing these guys are the Queen’s official corsetieres, and you’ll feel regal yourself if you go to get fitted here (they even give you a silk kimono to wear between fittings). They also stock a great range besides their own, including Aubade and Simone Perele.
Best for: regal service, perfect fit
Don’t go for: kink
Pictured: Simone Perele 'Celeste' basque
As well as stocking the classics, Selfridges stocks a few of the bolder underwear labels, so you’ll find pieces from the amazing Bordelle (bondage-style strappy undergarments) and Marlies Dekkers (a favourite of Lady Gaga).
Best for: cool underwear labels that you see in magazine editorials, slinky little negligees
Don’t go for: bridal pomp and ceremony
Pictured: 'Josephine Marrying' corset and briefs
It’s all very well to go on about slippery little nothings from Myla that cost £200, but if you are looking for underwear that doesn’t cost the earth, or something that will flatter underneath your dress, then John Lewis is the place. Their own range is really lovely, as I discovered when shopping as a bridesmaid, and they also stock Wonderbras for the small busted, Freya for the big-busted, and almost everything in between.
Best for: practical underwear, affordable lingerie
Don’t go for: knockout, ‘you only get married once’ lingerie
Pictured: Elle MacPherson Intimates 'Spree' set
Also worth visiting – especially if you live outside London:
www.netaporter .com A beautiful and inspiring bridal section that will make you want to blow the budget on everything from silk kimonos for getting ready, to jewel-encrusted heels for later on. Stocking Stella McCartney, Jenny Packham and Kiki de Montparnasse as well as amazing corsetry by Ender Legard.
With a dedicated bridal section filled with surprises, Fox and Rose offers up alternatives to the big underwear brands. Gossamer fine negligees from Shell Belle and ultra-pretty garters from Florrie Mitton are the perfect antidote to Spanx.