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You may feel, by late enough into your planning journey, you know all there is to know about how to throw a perfect wedding: Which flowers will stand up to the elements, everything about frame and pole tent construction, all the right songs to get guests out onto the dance floor. Then the time will come that you have to figure out how to use fashion tape to keep your strapless wedding dress in place, and, oh crap, you realize you suddenly know nothing. Because not enough people talk about this fine, albeit sticky, art form. Yet it can make or break your wedding day (well, maybe it’s not that severe, but take it from someone who didn’t tape herself in right and has regretted it every day since, it’s kind of a big deal).
Follow these tips on how to use fashion tape for a strapless wedding dress like a Kardashian-stylist-level pro.
Get the right tape.
Believe it or not, there are a lot of options out there when it comes to double-sided dress tape. You can buy it in precut strips or entire rolls, wide or slim, colored or clear, the list goes on. Some rumors even say that certain celebs use plain ol’ duct tape. (Do not do this, it does not work.) I myself used toupee tape (when you think about it, it kind of makes sense that toupee tape would be great at sticking clothes to your body, considering its original intent). Whatever you do, do your research, read reviews, and think about both the fabric you’re trying to stick and the environment of your wedding. Will it be hot and humid? Spring for the extra-strength model. Are you trying to stick on gossamer silk or tulle? Choose a clear, ultra-low-profile option. This a matter of keeping your dress from falling off in front of your 150 closest friends and fam—this is not the time to choose the first thing you find at the drug store.
Practice and plan.
One of the most important parts of how to use fashion tape for a strapless wedding dress: Do not let the first time you apply your body tape be the morning of your wedding. You’ll want to vet your tape, and assess its placement, its performance and its staying power. This means practicing—wearing your tape out and about with different outfits, finding out how it holds up in different environments—and planning—creating a roadmap for your tape so you know the most effective places to stick it, and how much you need. You’ll need to use your actual dress for that second part, and while it may seem scary to put it on and tape it up before your wedding day, it’s essential. Every garment that needs taping needs it in specific areas to keep everything in place perfectly, and your wedding gown is no exception. If you want, bring your tape with you to your final fitting at your tailor, and ask them to help you figure out the best places for tape. They understand the inner workings and fit of your dress and are the perfect people to help with this.
Tape all the right spots.
If you’re trying to use fashion tape to hold your strapless dress up, you’ll need to configure your tape differently than if you’re trying to hold your boobs in. And a very different configuration from those is needed to secure the bodice of your dress against your midriff. Creating the right infrastructure of tape, rather than just sticking two pieces against your chest and hoping for the best, will mean the difference between your dress staying perfect all the way till the last dance, and your dress drooping halfway during your walk down the aisle. No matter what your dress dilemma is, there will be a double-sided tape solution somewhere on the Internet. Just do the research!
Beat the heat.
Even a perfectly executed tape job will fail you if the heat and humidity is too high. Sweat is the enemy of body tape. Before you sticker yourself up for the big day, shake on some baby powder or talcum powder where you’ll be applying tape. Wait a few minutes, then dust off the excess. The powder will absorb any residual moisture from your skin and whisk it away, helping your tape stick better, and longer. Still, you’ll probably want to bring extra tape with you in your clutch, or give some to your MOH for safekeeping. If it’s a hot and sweaty night, you’ll likely be retaping no matter what.
Let sticking tape lie.
Even the best tape in the world will lose its power if you keep readjusting it. That’s why it’s important that you do the above preparatory steps to ensure every strip is placed just right. If you make a mistake, toss that piece and try again with a fresh one. It’ll feel like a hassle, but you’ll be glad you were extra careful when you’re crowd-surfing over your dance floor and your dress doesn’t budge.