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The Bridesmaids dress fabric glossary

There is more to bridesmaids dresses than just color and style. The fabric is an equally important factor. The fabric you choose has a huge impact on the overall effect of how your bridesmaids will look on your wedding day. The same color can be entirely different when done in two different fabrics. Similarly, the same dress pattern will drape differently depending on how structured or soft the fabric is.

Just like wedding gowns, bridesmaids dresses are available in different fabrics. When you know what your options are, you can find a dress that is better suited for the formality of your wedding. It is equally helpful to know what you will be getting, if you are ordering your dresses online, or aren’t attending the shopping session.

This primer on bridesmaids dress fabrics will provide you the information you need to make your decision.

Know the technical terms

You must have heard of terms like fabric, finish, fibers and blends, a lot. Unless you are a seasoned expert in textiles, all these terms may mean the same to you. However, each of these refer to different things. To understand what your options are, you should first gain an understanding of what each of these terms mean. Let us look at them now.

Fibers: Fibers refer to the strands used to make the yarn. They are the smallest or most basic unit of any piece of clothing. For example, a cotton dress is made from fibers of cotton, which comes from the cotton plant. Other fibers are wool, silk, and hemp.

Fabric: Fibers are woven or knitted together to create fabric. So, we can say that fibers are ingredients, that join together to make fabrics. Yarn can be woven together in different ways, with variations in the number of horizontal threads and vertical threads used, or in the way they are interlocked. Depending on the pattern, the thickness and structure of the fabric will vary.

Blends: Blend refers to the different combinations of fibers in a fabric. It isn’t always necessary to use the same fibers to make fabric. It is also possible to mix different fibers, so we get a better result. For example, cotton fibers may be mixed with synthetic fibers like polyester to create durable and wrinkle-free fabric.

Finish: We spoke about how fibers form fabric through the process of weaving or knitting. Finish refers to the final look and feel of the material, after the processes that render it ready for use in a garment. For example, satin is a finish that can be achieved by the combination of different types of fibers. So, when a dress is said to be satin, it will have the silky sheen that is characteristic of silk. Nevertheless, it isn’t necessary that it is made out of silk fibers. The same finish can be achieved by suitable combinations of other fibers too.

Where bridesmaids dresses are concerned, we are more interested in finishes, than the fabric, blend or fibers. So, let us start with the most common finishes that are seen in our collections at Best for Bride, and learn about each of them in greater detail.

Chiffon

Chiffon is light-weight, sheer fabric that is slightly see-through. It is light, slippery and softer than georgette, which it is often confused with. The main difference between the two is that chiffon is more lustrous and smoother. Chiffon doesn’t cling, and so it is a good choice for dresses with layers. It is commonly used in a layered style, to cover up the sheer effect that is characteristic of the material. This light fabric feels cool on the skin. Hence, we think this material is ideal for outdoor weddings in the warmer months.

Satin

Satin refers to weaves with smooth and shiny surfaces and dull backs. Although satin was originally made from silk, nowadays, it is also made with synthetic varieties as well. Satin has a luxurious look and is what typically fits the description of the word “silky.” It is soft and lustrous and drapes snugly. Hence, it is a good choice for dresses that are form-fitting. The light glossy surface has a characteristic sheen. This makes the material great for night time events. It may not be the best choice for outdoor events in the warmer months, as it quickly shows sweat. The actual thickness and weight of the garment will depend on materials that have been used to craft the satin finish. So, you can expect a silk satin to feel different from a satin that is made from rayon or polyester.

Georgette

Often confused with chiffon, georgette is also a thin, sheer fabric. However, the difference is that it is less lustrous but springier. It is dull in comparison to chiffon. Originally, georgette was fashioned out of silk. However, this finish is achieved using synthetic fibers like polyester these days. The characteristic feature of georgette is it’s crispy crepe-like structure, which is also the factor that distinguishes it from chiffon. It is also slightly heavier, but the drape is similar.

The dress featured here is the 8156 full-length bridesmaid gown from the Social Bridesmaids Fall 2015 collection. You can see how the fabric is more solid than the chiffon dress we saw earlier, while both fall similarly. This dress has one shoulder draped bodice detail and gathers at the skirt.

Mousseline

This is a lightweight sheer fabric, with a silky finish and lustrous texture. Originally derived from silk, mousseline is now also available in synthetic fiber blends. Although it resembles chiffon in look, it is more structured and heavier. It is sometimes also known as mousseline de soie. Mousseline is often paired with a soft overlay for a more dramatic effect.

The bridesmaid dress 6745 shown here, belongs to the After Six Bridesmaids 2016 collection. The sleeveless dress features a square neckline and an A-line skirt with soft gatherings. The back of the dress has criss-cross straps.

Tulle

The first thing that comes to mind, when we hear the term tulle, is tutus. This is similar to very fine netting. This finish is very lightweight and can be made from various fibers including cotton, silk, and nylon. It can be used to add a defining layer to a dress and is used as the uppermost layer in dresses. The sheer nature of this fabric makes it necessary to use it in several layers or as an overlay. It is a material that is commonly used in wedding gowns. However, we can also find many bridesmaids collections featuring this material.

This dress belongs to the After Six bridesmaids 2016 collection. Here, soft tulle is used throughout, and there is a defining criss-cross detail at the waist. Sequined embellishments are present on the bodice with a defined waistline, and the full-length skirt has a pleated detail.

Lace

The eternal vintage favorite, lace possesses a weblike structure formed of intricate details, done by hand or machine. Lace can be made from cotton, silk or even synthetic yarns. Depending on the design and motifs used, lace takes different forms and different names. It is sheer, and so has to have a thicker fabric layer beneath it. Lace can be used to create beautiful illusion styles on the neckline, sleeves, and back when used without a lining. Common laces include Florentine lace, alencon lace, Chantilly lace and the more recent laser-cut 3-D lace.

The Mori Lee 127 is a beaded lace gown with a sweetheart neckline, spaghetti straps, and modified A-line skirt. The beads encrusted on the lace used in this dress add a sparkling finish to the gown.

Dupioni

Dupioni is a crisp form of silk with an almost iridescent effect. this unique feature is achieved by the mixing of different colors of thread in the weaving. The surface of the fabric is lustrous and the tight weave doesn’t allow light to pass through. The fabric is quite heavy, making it suitable for cooler evening receptions and weddings in winter or autumn. The uneven texture of the surface makes colors pop, making it an excellent choice for bright colors. It is also stiff and holds its shape.

The D712 from the Alfred Sung Spring collection is a splendid dress with a soft sweetheart neckline and A-line skirt. The defined waistline and the illusion detail at the hem make it a brilliant and unique piece that every bridesmaid would love to be seen in.

Jersey

Jersey is a stretchy fabric, because of its close-knit structure. It is lightweight, and the characteristic feature is that it has one flat side, with the wrong side showing fiber piling. When more than two single jersey layers are knit together, the finish is heavier and the stretch is relatively reduced. Jersey has a beautiful drape, making it a fantastic choice for bridesmaids dresses. The interlocking knits make it very comfortable, and it may be the ideal choice if you are looking for a snug fitting garment that feels comfortable too.

Featured here is the JY500 from the Jenny Yoo 2015 bridesmaids fall collection at Best for Bride. The dress has a V-neckline fashioned out of ruched cap sleeves, that criss-cross across the bust. The ruched bodice ends at the natural waistline, from where the shirred skirt is easily distinguished.

Crepe

Crepe is a fabric with a crispy appearance, and it usually looks like it is crinkled. It can be made using different fibers, including silk and wool. Since the fabric is quite structured and rigid, it has a definite drape and doesn’t fall softly. However, it is lightweight and stretchy. The fibers that make up the crepe determine how heavy it is, and one form can be very distinct from the other in overall appearance and luster.

This dress belongs to the After Six bridesmaids collection. Crepe is the fabric that is used in this sheath cocktail length dress. It also has a removable shirred skirt fashioned out of lux chiffon. The dress features a high scoop neckline and the waistline is defined when the overlay skirt is chosen.

The two main factors to be remembered when choosing the finish for your bridesmaids dress are

  • how suitable the material will be for the weather, and
  • how it drapes on your bridesmaids.

Depending on the body structure of the different girls in your bridal party, you may like to play around with fabrics to find the best choice for each of them. While slim and well-toned figures can carry off figure clinging fabric finishes, it is better to go with more structured drapes when your girls don’t want to highlight certain parts of their body. A structured fabric will allow them to camouflage the less desirable aspects while drawing attention to their best features.

To explore more options in bridesmaids dresses, or to take a closer look at any of the dresses we have featured here, visit our online bridesmaid gallery at Best for Bride, or walk into one of our stores. With leading designer collections that feature every fabric, finish, and design, you will have no trouble finding every dress that you need to complete your vision of the perfect bridal party to compliment you on your special day.

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10 Top wedding dress tips for your destination wedding

Destination weddings are adventurous and fun, but come with their fair share of challenges. The logistics of planning a wedding from far away is seemingly complicated, as you have to do most of the things based on an instinct and trust, instead of seeing or checking everything in person. Nevertheless, many couples opt to get hitched this way, and have their minds set on getting married in a faraway, exotic land as this once-in-a-lifetime occasion has to be as special as possible.

Choosing a wedding dress, however, is one thing that you can do in person even when you are having a destination wedding. Even so, choosing a destination wedding dress is usually more complicated than choosing it for a wedding held in town. Not all wedding gowns are travel-friendly, and with many more factors to consider, making the right choice can be a little tougher than you can anticipate. So, here are our top tips to help you choose the right wedding dress for your destination wedding and to get it there.

1.Before going wedding dress shopping, know your destination well

Whether you are getting married in your own backyard, or in an exotic beach in the Caribbean, you will always benefit if you research the general conditions at the place, before you go shopping. This is especially important if your wedding is to be held elsewhere, where you aren’t familiar with the place, weather and any other factors that should affect your choice. So, find out all you can about the place before you begin looking for your dress. This will help you narrow down your choices to just those that will work. Check on the internet to find out all you need to know. Additionally, consult the venue manager and hotel where you will be staying, for any other information you may require. If you have friends who have visited the place, or are currently living there, gather information from them and find out what options will be practical.

2.Start shopping early

Just the fact that you are getting married abroad, shouldn’t limit your wedding dress choices. Every bride has a certain idea of what she should wear on her day, and if you always wanted to dress in an elaborate gown, you shouldn’t forego your dream because of the destination. Wedding dress options are numerous, and if you start your search well in advance, you will be able to find a choice that appeals to you and will also be practical. Make sure you have enough time to scour through the collections available at boutiques, research and attend dress appointments where you get to see your shortlisted choices in person, and pick a dress that is fully satisfying.

3.Know what you should about fabric

Not all fabrics are equally suitable for all types of weather. Your dress choice should also be based on fabrics that are suitable for the weather at the destination. If the location is particularly humid, you may be better off choosing fabrics that don’t show sweat. On the other hand, if your dream destination is really cool, you may have to cover your shoulders to feel comfortable, or at least accessorize with a warm stole or jacket. Another thing to remember is that some fabrics are more resistant to wrinkling than others. This becomes important when your dress has to travel with you, so it looks fresh on your big day. Here are some tips to help you decide on the right fabric for your wedding dress

  • Natural fabrics are best for hot climates. However, materials like cotton can wrinkle easily. Lightweight, natural fabrics like silk are better as these breathe. Consider mixes where the fabric doesn’t show sweat, and is light and less prone to wrinkling.
  • When getting married in a cold destination, choosing a heavy gown may make transportation a pain. Instead you can go with natural fibers like cotton, silk and wool blends that may be layered to keep you warm. The other option is to consider accessories like stoles, boleros and jackets to keep you warm when you are outdoors.
  • Don’t rule out the possibility of rain or snow. If your destination is particularly prone to showers, your fabric choice is very relevant, as some fabrics will stain on contact with water. Duchess satin is one such example. So, make a suitable choice based on this aspect.

For more practical tips on what will work in different weathers, we suggest you take a look at this article on the Weddings Abroad Website.

5.Be aware of customs to consider

There may be customs that you are unfamiliar with, at the country where you are to be wed. So, make sure to check in advance. Certain places of worship make it necessary for the bride to cover her shoulders and knees during the ceremony, and you do not want to be unprepared for it. In other cases, certain dress styles may not be suitable according to the local customs and norms, and it would be disrespectful to not consider them. When you do your background research, you should learn of any such customs or expectations. You can plan your dress choice accordingly.

6.Discuss alternative options with your bridal salon

Some designer collections allow you to choose between two fabrics, for certain designs. Discuss this possibility with your dress consultant, so she can direct you to dresses that can be done this way. Also do your homework before-hand, so you know which materials make the list. If the bridal boutique also has their own dress collection, it may be easier to get a dress custom-created in a fabric or design of your choice. So, check this out. Most bridal design boutiques will be open to considering your specific needs. If you find a dress that matches your vision, discuss whether you can have it made in another fabric, so it will work for your wedding. Your consultant should be able to give you a general idea of how it will look in the chosen fabric and perhaps show you other pieces in it, that will give you a fair idea of how the end product will be.

7.Make your dress dreams come true with the help of a talented dress maker

If you are unable to find a dress that meets your expectations, while being practical too, turn to a dressmaker for help. Custom creating dresses is a great idea, especially when you want something specific. This allows you have a dress that matches your exact measurements, that will also contain all the features you desire. A talented dress maker will can even work with existing dresses or fabric from heirloom wedding dresses to recreate a gorgeous dress, based on your specifications. If you already have chosen a dress, but you think it is necessary to make a few adaptations, let your dressmaker know as early as is possible. Not only will a good dressmaker be able to guide you on what should be done to render a dress suitable for a particular condition, they will also be able to implement these changes appropriately so it isn’t uncomfortable to wear.

8.Contact your airline to find how you can transport your dress

It would be ideal if your dress salon can deliver your dress to the destination. This may, however, not be possible unless the company has a branch in the location. In this case, you will have to find the best possible way to get your dress to the wedding safely. Although most airlines allow you to carry your wedding dress in your hand luggage, how it will be handled is a matter of concern. Most airlines will agree to hang it in their first class wardrobe space, if they have one. Consider yourself lucky, if this facility is available. Your dress will most likely arrive with minimum possible damage. If your airline doesn’t have this provision, things get complicated. If this is the case, there is an option you should consider seriously and this brings us to the next point.

9.Book your dress a seat on the flight

No, we are not joking! Although we know that this can be expensive, at times this is the only way to get your dress to the destination with minimum possible damage. Brides are always advised to carry their gown on them, and not check it in with the rest of their luggage. Even while you have it with you, there is the risk of having it stashed in an overhead compartment, due to lack of space. Now, if you are lucky enough to be able to hang it up beside your seat in a garment bag, you will still risk it getting crinkled in the cramped space or stained from an accident. So, unless your bridal salon is able to ship your dress directly to the destination after all the works and alterations are complete, consider flying your dress to the location in style, on its own ticket. The only other option is to get yourself a special wedding dress carry box, and choose a dress that will pack perfectly. Chiffon wedding dresses usually fit the bill. So, if a separate ticket is off-budget, take this route.

10.Get yourself insured

When it comes to wedding insurances, it is largely a matter of choice. Although you may feel it is a waste of money, taking an insurance on your wedding is a good idea when you are getting married away from home. The chances of things going wrong, and your dress being damaged are higher when you are traveling with it, than if you just had to take it home from the salon. Finding a solution for the mishap may not be as easy either. So, be wise and insure it. This will not only cover any likely unexpected expenses, but will also allow you reduce your stress to a certain extent.

11.Find a local dry cleaner for last minute touch-ups

Even before you set out for the wedding, check if there is a reliable and recommended dry cleaner at your destination. This information will come in handy, should your dress require any last minute touch-ups. Make sure that the person has experience handling wedding dresses, and will be able to steam or press your dress, without damaging it. If your dress isn’t too disturbed during the journey, simply hang it up in the bathroom and run the shower for few minutes, till the room becomes steamy. All the while, make sure that the dress is nowhere near the water, so it can’t get wet. Most of the crinkles will come out within minutes of it being in the room, and your dress will be in top-shape for your wedding day.

12.Quickly prepare it for preservation after the wedding

Whether you choose to keep your wedding dress as a keepsake, or intend to sell it off after your wedding day, it is imperative to attend to your wedding dress soon after the wedding. Your dress may have stains or show signs of damage after all the wear and tear it undergoes on the day. So, you should get it dry-cleaned and preserved within minimum time. If you have a long honeymoon planned, send your dress home with a trusted bridesmaid who can get it to the cleaners as early as possible. Meanwhile, pack it into a clear plastic bag and hang it up just like you did before the wedding, so there is no further damage to it.

Are you planning a destination wedding for yourself? If so, enlighten us about your wedding dress shopping experience or ideas that helped you choose your dress.

With a little care and planning, it is possible to find the perfect dress for your wedding and get it intact to the destination. At Best for Bride, you can find collections that are specifically created for the destination wedding. The Mori Lee Voyage Collection is one of these, and you will find a fabulous selection of dresses in this collection. To check it out, or browse through all the other collections we feature in our inventory, visit our website by clicking this link here.

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Trends we love: Brides in Pants

There is a certain image that is associated with our idea of a bride—a beautiful woman draped in yards of fabric that flows into layers of a stunning skirt and culminates in a spectacular train. She is a vision in white as she gracefully glides down the aisle in her wedding attire, complete with veil and a scintillating tiara.

As times have changed, so have women. The modern bride doesn’t always conform to this traditional idea. Take a look at the bridal catwalks and you will see designers breaking bridal traditions with show stopping designs. More recently, we have been noticing the wedding dress facing stiff competition from modern pant suits as you can see on the 10 biggest bridal trends for spring 2016 at Fashionista.

via Best for Bride

Join us as we explore all about the types of weddings where this attire is appropriate, the body types that it is most suitable for and more.

Pant suits for the stylish bride

Every bride wants to look different and special on her wedding day. Sure, you can achieve this by choosing a different colored dress or a short hemline. But, nothing screams unique like a bridal pant suit. It allows you to fashion a unique style statement and helps you stand out as a bride who will be remembered for long because of her unusual outfit choice. A chic, well-tailored pant suit is not only stylish and modern, but practical as well. You will not feel weighed down by heavy layers of fabric and can let your smart and stunning personality shine through on your big day.

via Best for Bride

Who can carry it off?

The answer is anyone. Just like there are wedding dresses for every woman, there are bridal pant suits too. You just have to find one that suits your body type and build. Narrow pants are slimming and look great on hourglass figures and women who want to look lean. Petite and slender women can choose pants that flare at the base or those that are loose-fitting and stylish. The spotlight is on minimalist white designs as they look impeccable and show off your best features. If you rather prefer a feminine and soft look, you can choose divided skirts or pair your trousers with lace or peplum tops.

Accessories

The best accessories that add a hint of glamour to a white pant suit are colored gold. Consider pairing your outfit with a stylish hat for classic glamour. High heels and peep toe sandals work for your feet. If your wedding is in winter, pair your pant suit with a fur stole or wrap and add a blazer. Keep your accessories simple, but stylish as you do not want to divert focus from your spectacular dress choice with overbearing accessories.

When is the pant suit appropriate?

The type of pant suit you choose determines the type of wedding it is appropriate for. For a casual, outdoor affair, tactile and light breezy fabric tops would be suitable. You can wear it for a formal event also (although not for a traditional one). We suggest well-tailored wedding pant suits in elegant silk for a formal wedding.

The wedding pant suit surely isn’t for everyone. So, are you ready to experiment with this trend, or would you like to stick to the traditional wedding dress? Take a look at the various designs that we have at Best for Bride and find out whether this trend is as interesting as it sounds for yourself.