Can I Wear A Garter Under a Mermaid Style Wedding Dress?

bride putting on garter mermaid style wedding dress

Are you wearing a mermaid style wedding dress on your big day and wondering if a bridal garter will fit underneath it or, worse, show through your dress? You’ve come to the right blog post today, because we are talking all things bridal fashion when it comes to the mermaid wedding dress silhouette and what this dress style means for wearing your garter. I’ll tell you where on your leg to place your garter and what to do if you are worried about your heirloom showing through your dress.

bride putting on elegant garter

Photo Credit: Renee Hollingshead Photography

Welcome to my garter 101 blog series, where I talk everything you need to know about a garter and give loads of wedding planning advice on the side. This is pretty much all those wedding planning questions that you are too scared to ask or the tips that no one will tell you to your face. I got you covered, girl!

Before I forget, don’t you forget to get your FREE copy of The Ultimate Bridal Fashion Timeline. This e-book is packed full of all the wedding fashion choices that you need to make from bridal shower to honeymoon and all of those events in between. This tells you what to order when for your wedding so you don’t miss out! FOMO never looked good on any bride! Get your free copy of my ultimate bridal fashion guide - it is free and kinda awesome!

What Is A Mermaid Style Wedding Dress?

Before we get into it, let’s talk about what a mermaid style or silhouette wedding dress is and what it looks like. A mermaid style dress is often confused with a trumpet style dress. They are similar, but not the same. The big difference is where the dress begins to flare out. The mermaid flares out at or around the knee (more on this below) and the trumpet flares out higher on the body such as around the waist, hips or mid-thigh.

A mermaid style dress is designed to look like a, well, mermaid! I’m going to go there! Think about Ariel, the Disney mermaid, with her tight, fitted scales that hug tight all through her "legs" and then at the bottom there is a huge, dramatic flare out, which forms her fins. This "tight and then flare" is style just like a mermaid silhouette dress!

mermaid style wedding dress

A mermaid style is very fitted and body-hugging starting at the top or bodice, and fits tight very close to the body all the way through the hips and down the thighs, sometimes over the knees, and then right around the knees (or just below) the dress does a dramatic flare out, which goes all the way to the floor. The flair out or bottom quarter of the mermaid dress is almost exaggerated, compared to the tight-fitting top three fourths of the dress. This bottom portion is often referred to the “fins” of the dress, because of its resemblance to a mermaid’s tail.

Mermaid wedding dress styles are said to be “body conscious,” which just means that they fit very close to your body and “hug” your curves. It follows closely to the outline of your silhouette or shape and dramatically flares out at the bottom, right around your knee so you can walk and move around.

The mermaid flare or fin for a bride is very important for walking down the aisle and dancing at the reception, of course!

Can You Wear A Garter Under A Mermaid Dress?

If you’ve decided on a mermaid style dress for your wedding or are thinking about it and wondering how on earth you are supposed to wear a garter under such a tight fitting dress, I’m going to let you in on a few little secrets.

Many of my brides opt for mermaid style dress and wear a garter, it is possible and looks amazing!

There are two issues when it comes to a garter and wearing it under a mermaid dress. Will it show through my dress in terms of color and/or texture? By texture, I mean, will the garter create a bulge or rumple in the mermaid dress when you are standing or walking.

Obviously, you don’t want anyone to see your garter in terms of color or texture - this is something special just for you and for your partner, not for your wedding guests!

garter putting on under mermaid style dress

Photo Credit: Renee Hollingshead Photography

Placement Is Everything

If you are wearing a mermaid style wedding dress, the key issue will be the placement of your garter. You can’t wear your garter up very high on your leg, because your dress will be very fitted through the thighs. If you wear it too high, this will cause a rumple or bulge in your dress and that won’t look good! Plus, with your dress being so tight, if the garter is too high, it might run on your other leg when you walk because your legs will be so close together with the mermaid fitted style dress.

You’ll want to move your garter down your leg to below the part on your leg where the mermaid dress flares out. Put your garter just below the mermaid fin flare and this will ensure that the garter isn’t visible under your dress.

The color of the garter won’t matter as much under a mermaid style dress, because your dress will most likely be lined. When a wedding dress is lined, it is rare that you’d be able to see color through it.


So, that’s it! That is the scoop on where and how to wear a garter under your mermaid style wedding dress. All of your problems are solved! Now it is back to planning your wedding making lots of decisions!

Don’t forget to get your free copy of my Ultimate Bridal Fashion Timeline. I wrote this e-book so that you would not be stressed out when it comes to making all of your wedding fashion decisions. It has all of those little details and accessories that most brides forget about until it is too late!

Remember, you can shop for garter heirloom anytime in my garter shop or get in touch with me for information on custom designing a garter just for you! Also, if you have any more garter questions, check out my garter 101 blog series or find all of my wedding planning advice on my blog too!