THE QUEST FOR THE LOW BACK
You've been doing research for what seems to be weeks (2 hours real time), and every time you do more wedding dress research you find yourself being drawn to e v e r y s i n g l e i m a g e that has a low back. You think it's beautiful, modern and sexy and you decide...YES, that is what I want for my wedding day!
So here is the problem. Most brides have an unrealistic view of how they want to look on their wedding day. They dream of being the most beautiful and stunning person on earth. They want their soon to be husband to be struck by lighting the moment they set foot down that aisle. They want their wedding dress to be the most exquisite piece of tailored couture. But the fact is that most brides don't consider their body type or shape before finalising their dream wedding dress.
Words by Naomi Peris
Despite what you see on Instagram or Pinterest, low backs are problematic. They gape.... and a lot. This is because we are moving beings that need to walk, dance and hug Aunty Cathy at the reception.
What I'm going to say next may break your heart, so take a deep breath. But low backs don't suit all body types (GASP). If you need support in the bust by way of a built in bra, which I do in most of my gowns, then having a low back will offer ZERO support in the bust. I have tried over the years to make busty brides happy by adding this and that, extra boning, more padding etc... But the fact is that when there is no strap across the back, there is no pull from the front, which means there is a lack of fit and support. Look at it this way, having a low back wedding dress is like wearing
a bra and unclipping it at the back. Notice how the cups don't quite sit right, and how they move when you start walking or doing anything. Sometimes you feel that one of your boobs could even POP out! God forbid.
The Art of Mesh
There is mesh panelling that has recently been used to create illusion necklines, sheer lace bodices and sleeves. But there is only so much support delicate 'tissue weight' fabric will offer. Mesh is a fabric that has a million tiny holes, and it only takes a slight hint of a sneeze to pull one of the holes and create a tear. However, I do use mesh a lot in my gowns, but it is never used to support or hold a bodice together. I use it to create closure, and the illusion effect for lace placement.
'Despite what you see on Instagram or Pinterest,
low backs are problematic. '
Now I know what you are thinking. Is there a win win? Is there any way to get a low back while still having a gown that fits in the bust and doesn't gape? And the simple answer is YES. But there will always be a compromise.
Basically my rule is the lower the back, the more fit issues you will have. So with every inch of fabric that you add to make your back higher, the better the fit will be.
If you need support in the bust you will need to have your low back as close to your bra strap line as possible. If you don't need that much support but don't want the dress to gape at the back, then 2 inches above the waist should lessen the gape. But this all depends on your shape, and how curvy you are. The curvier you are, the more the dress will gape. Some brides can get away with a low back that goes to the waist. And other brides go lower then the waistline as they are happy to put up with a little bit of gape.
When I talk about gaping, I mean that when a bride moves the dress will gape. Most of the time I can get a close to perfect fit when a bride stands still, but as soon as the client moves, this is when the gape will happen. This is normal garment behaviour.
I guess the question now is, are you prepared to sacrifice the fit for a low back? If no, then you might have to think about raising your back to achieve the fit you want.