Wedding style and fashion
Welcome to our style guide to your big day. We have advice on your all important wedding dress, from finding the right one for your body shape to the famous dresses in history. Learn how to find the right bridesmaid, maid of honour and mother of the bride dresses. This is your complete clothes guide for your wedding.
How to choose your perfect wedding dress
Finding the right wedding dress is about creating balance and harmony in your look. The One is different for every bride – ball gown, mini dress, smart suit, trouser suit, slip dress, simple dress, fancy dress, jacket and dress, tiara, veil, big hat, feathers, rosebuds, high-heeled shoes, smart shoes, flip-flops, full length gloves or even a bikini. The perfect one should make you feel and look confident and comfortable, because it’s accentuates your best features, builds on your strengths rather feeding on your body insecurities.
How to choose the perfect wedding dress for your body shape
We women come in all different shapes and sizes and even if we share the same dress size we still come in different interpretations. That means that the same wedding dress can’t and won’t look on all of us the same, because we might not share the same build and body shape. There is no such thing as an international sizing system- wedding dress designers are inspired by their muse and wedding dress retailers are designing dresses for their idealized customers. That means it is up to the bride to know which wedding dress silhouette complements your body shape.
The goal of finding the right one is about creating visual balance in your body shape and look, because this will build and create attention and focus on your body features strengths rather your body features weaknesses. Keep in mind when choosing wedding dress features, your dress fabric and embellishments as they create body attention and focus and if it is the wrong one they will add visual volume to your body shape, which means they will make you look visually fuller because they are cluttering the wrong body features!
- Neat Hourglass Body shape
The Neat Hourglass is considered the most perfect body shape, because it is the most balanced one. That means they can wear more or less what they like. Having said they still need to dress towards what is age and occasion appropriate. This body shape will look best in wedding dresses that are form fitting and body shaped, so it can follow their body lines to show off their perfect body proportions.
- Full Hourglass Body Shape
This body shape is similar to the Neat Hourglass Body shape. The difference is that they have a fuller bust and hips, which makes them curvier. That means they look best in wedding dress that highlights their curves without adding any bulk, clutter and volume around their fuller and feminine curves.
- Pear Body Shape
The general challenge with this body shape is that they are one to two sizes smaller on the top than on the bottom, which can make it a bit tricky finding a wedding dress that fits on the top as well on the bottom right. This body shape needs to choose a wedding gown that balances their broader bottom with their narrower shoulders in order to create visual balance.
- Apple Body shape
Generally this body shape has a fuller bust and a fuller tummy, which results in a small or no waistline. The Apple body shape has their fullest point in their middle part, so they need to choose a wedding dress that keeps the attention in the top and lower thirds.
- Inverted Triangle Body Shape
Your body shape guideline is in the exact opposite direction to pear body shape. You have a broader top than bottom. So, you need to choose a wedding dress that doesn’t make you look any more broader on your upper part, but instead keep all the attention and drama on your bottom half in order to create body balance in our body shape.
- Lean Column Body Shape
This body shape is lacking of female curves in the bust and hip area and has either no waist or only a very small waist definition. Therefore this body shape thrives on clutter and volume that makes them look fuller around their bust, arm and hip area to create the illusion of female curves and balanced silhouette in the bust, waist and hip area.
- Rectangle Body Shape
This body shape is lacking of a waist definition. Therefore they need to create the illusion of a waist and avoid any fitted waist styles in their wedding dresses in order to create the perfect visual balance in their body shape, which simply would only underline their boxy waistline.
Glossary of the different wedding dress Silhouettes
A line Wedding Dresses are as their name suggests an “A-shaped” dress with vertical seams running from the shoulders or waist to a flared skirt- meaning narrow –at the top and wider at the bottom. But there are number of possible variations in the fullness of the skirt, the type of bodice as well the choice of fabric will produce different effects on the A-line frame. This shape is one of the most popular wedding dress styles of the 21st century. It makes as well a great choice for a separate or two piece wedding dress.
Ball Gown Wedding Dresses are the ultimate “Cinderella” style, which are not only the most traditional style of skirt but as well favoured by the romantic and young brides. The ball gown skirt shape comes in different styles and appearances and can go from a structured heavy to a soft and light looking skirt- simply depending on the choice of fabric. This skirt shape can be combined with high waist, mid waist, low waist or dropped waistline. In order to keep the skirts plumped out and full they are worn with a hooped underskirt.
Empire Wedding Dresses start just below the bust and flare out over the waist and hips to the bottom of the skirt. This skirt style can vary in the fullness of the skirt as well in the hemline. It all depends on the fabric and hemline preference.
Fishtail Wedding Dresses are similar to the mermaid wedding dress. The main difference is that the spray out in the back is not pleated and that the fishtail wedding dress has often a contrasting fabric at the back to create attention and to underline a feminine silhouette to simulate a fishtail.
Mermaid Wedding Dress is figure-hugging gown that is fitted on the top, goes in the waist and flares at the bottom of the skirt. This shape demands perfect proportions and curves since this dress won’t hide anything.
Sheath (or Shift) Wedding Dress is a slim style that goes straight from the shoulders, straight to the waist and from the waist straight to the hips and finishes straight at the bottom of the skirt. This style is a modern chic style and a very popular choice for going away and beach weddings.
How to choose your perfect wedding accessories
The hunt for your wedding dress may be over, but your shopping is far from over. Now you have to decide what type of accessories you would like to complement your wedding dress from your underpinnings for a perfect fit for the big day, to the headpiece, veil and gloves that will add glamour, drama and formality to your wedding look. Also your wedding shoes should be fabulous and comfortable. Last not but least your wedding bouquet needs some consideration due to its spotlight position and therefore needs to “be the icing on the cake”.
When assessing and choosing the right wedding accessories, please keep in mind less is more. Meaning too many accessories can either take the attention away from your wedding dress or might be competing with each other, so the emphasis has to be on complementing the wedding dress. The general rule is either the wedding dress is glamorous and so the accessories are tuned down by choosing simple designs or you are choosing a classic and simple wedding gown and accessories with glamorous and eye catching accessories. When it comes to thinking where the money goes you should spend it first on the dress.
The history of the wedding dress
The colour white was the colour of celebration and an emblem for joy or a sign for paying tribute to the god of fertility and marriage in ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt.
The tradition of a white wedding is commonly credited to Queen Victoria’s choice of wearing an all-white bridal ensemble at her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840. Her veil was made out of Honiton lace as a sign of support for the Honiton industry. In the years to come she often wore their lace and insisted her daughters also order Honiton lace for their wedding dresses. Incorporating Honiton lace into the wedding dress was seen as “something borrowed” and a new wedding tradition was born for the next generation of brides.
The tradition of “Wearing also “something old” and “something blue” were devices to baffle “ The Evil Eye” as well wearing “something old” and “something new” were signs to redirect the bride to a new life. Often the “something borrowed” was an undergarment of a woman that had been blessed with children. While the “six pence in her shoe” was a sign for wishing her good luck.
The manifestation and popularization of choosing the colour white for your wedding dress was helped by the fact that American women still followed cues and trends from English and French fashion and being as well a British Queen it certainly set a royal trend spawned across the globe which is lasting to this day.
Until then, because of the limitations of laundering techniques, many brides wore red, blue or yellow wedding dresses in Western Europe. The colour that was never chosen for a wedding dress was green, because it was considered unlucky.
Therefore, wearing a white dress was considered expensive and only wealthy women could afford the luxury of a specially made wedding gown . Only the rich bride could afford a dress simply for leisure reasons that could be ruined by any type of work. Most commoners chose to wear their best dress – their ”Sunday dress” or borrowed a dress from other female members for that special day.
In 1920 big changes manifested how women were choosing their wedding dresses. The reason was to social changes that altered the status of women around the world. In 1920 women were given the right to vote and they celebrated the new won freedom by cutting their hair into bobs, wearing their dresses shorter and looser and abandoning any fashion that was seen as restrictive such as the corsets, high necklines, long sleeves and hemlines. Coco Chanel was instrumental in introducing knee length wedding gowns.
The time since 1930s were difficult and dark times where white elaborated wedding dresses were replaced with simple and unadorned wedding gowns, which often were not white. When American divorcee Wallis Simpson married Edward VII in 1937, she created a fashion moment in history, because she wore a simple floor-length gown with matching jacket in a soft blue, that was dubbed the “Wallis Blue”, because it was matching her eye colour. She paired her outfit with a pink and blue-feathered hat. Though she was not considered the most popular woman, she was to become a worldwide fashion icon starting with her wedding outfit, which became to be the most copied dress in fashion and wedding history.
When Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles in 1981 she wore the next most influential wedding dress . The bridal gown was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel. Her wedding dress would become one of the most famous dresses of all times and was considered one of the most closely guarded secrets in fashion history.
Today bridal fashion is a blend of new and old customs, traditions and fashion influences, but mostly it is what the bride wants it to be. Though there are influences from the fashion world, the biggest influences are coming from the celebrity fashion. There are no exact guidelines of right or wrong-it is all about what you want to include or leave out on your wedding. Today the modern bride chooses her dress to the theme, location and budget of her wedding. Anything goes and anything is possible- today a wedding and wedding dress is ruled less by custom than making it to the best dress of your life.
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