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The definitive step-by-step guide to preparing for your wedding dress shopping

Wedding dress shopping is one of the most exciting wedding planning tasks for a bride. We like to think of it as a wonderful and unique journey where brides explore diverse options and finally find a magical dress that transforms them into the beautiful brides they always wanted to be.

However, the path to finding this one and only perfect dress is not simple. It is fraught with challenges and the options are endless. So, it is essential to plan for the task and avoid drowning in the endless variety of dresses presented to you.

This is where we will help you!

This step-by-step guide will prepare you for your impending wedding dress shopping and the task will not overwhelm you.

Over the next chapters, we will tell you what to expect at each stage leading to wedding dress shopping. We will also tell you how to navigate potential issues so you can enjoy the shopping experience, just like you deserve to.

Let us begin!

Step 1: Factors to consider when shopping for your wedding dress

Are you unsure of how of begin planning for wedding dress shopping?

Don’t worry, for we know exactly what will help you set your shopping criteria. These are practical factors or constraints, that directly affect your dress decision. Start by considering these factors and you will be able to narrow down your search. So, here they are!

Venue and theme 

Have you decided on a wedding theme yet? Your chosen theme will determine your venue choice, and directly impact your wedding dress selection. We’ll tell you how.

Imagine you have your heart set on a beach wedding in summer. Would it be practical to wear a heavy satin gown with an elaborate train to this venue?

No!

Such a wedding dress will look inappropriate and it will also be uncomfortable.

Instead, you will have to limit your choices to dresses made from light fabrics in simple silhouettes that are comfortable for the venue and weather. Such dress choices will also tie your look to the theme of your wedding.

Budget

Wedding dresses are expensive. Nevertheless, there are options for every budget.

If budget is a constraint, you will have to stick to affordable choices. So, this is another factor to plan before you go shopping. Latest designer wedding dresses will be super-costly, while ones from previous seasons are usually cheaper in comparison. Keep this in mind when you go shopping.

Body shape and personal preferences

It does not matter how expensive or amazing a wedding dress is. It will not look good on you unless the silhouette flatters your body shape.

So, you should look for dress styles that flatter your assets and distract from less attractive parts.

If you are either plus-size or petite, you may have to tailor your wedding dress search to suit your specific requirements. Not all bridal salons stock dresses suitable for plus-sized or petite brides. So, call ahead to check whether options are available and you won’t waste time at places that don’t stock collections in your size.

It is also important to choose a style that feels comfortable since you will be spending several hours in your wedding dress. Steer clear of dresses that make you feel conscious, restrict movement or are too bulky to handle.

So, you are now aware of the different factors to consider before you step into a wedding shop.

Next, let us look at another key step of preparing for your wedding dress shopping—choosing the right time to shop.

Step 2: Choose the right time to go shopping 

Is there such a thing as right timing when shopping for your wedding dress?

Yes! And this is very important when making your shopping plans. We’ll tell you why.

When you place your order with a bridal salon, they pass your details to the designer. The designer then starts creating your wedding dress from scratch. Since wedding dresses are elaborate garments, the entire creation process takes months.

Once the dress is ready, it will be sent to the bridal store. However, it is not yet time to take the dress home.

You now need alterations to make the dress fit perfectly. This can take another month or so.

So, the entire process from when you place your order to taking the fitted gown home can take anywhere between six and nine months. So, this is how early you should finish your wedding dress shopping once you fix your wedding date.

If you shop too late, you jeopardize your chances of getting the gown you love. Although some designers undertake rush orders, they charge extra for it. And imagine the disappointment if the gown you love cannot be created at short notice and you must settle for something else.

Shopping too early isn’t wise either. New collections come out every six months. So, if you shop too early, you may miss looking at the latest trends.

Play it safe and plan your wedding dress shopping six to nine months before the wedding. This should leave you enough time to sort out everything and take your dress home in the weeks leading up to your wedding.

Step 3: Plan the wedding dress budget 

Your wedding dress is one of the costliest items in your wedding budget. Be clear about what you can afford to spend on it before you go shopping and you can avoid upsetting the rest of your wedding plans.

To come up with a realistic wedding dress budget, you should first understand wedding dress pricing and associated charges. Let us look at what they are in the following section.

Understand wedding dress costs

Most brides spend between $400 and $1700 on their wedding dress.  However, there are dresses that are more expensive or cheaper.

In any case, you should have realized that wedding dresses cost more than regular dresses. Wondering why this is so? Here are the obvious reasons.

  • Wedding dresses use expensive fabric. Most silhouettes also have several layers of fabric. This larger quantity of high quality fabric contributes to the price.
  • Wedding dresses involve intricate details like embroidery, lace appliques and beading. Most of these details are done by hand. The labor and time involved in creating such stunning gowns adds to the price.
  • Wedding dress construction is different from that of regular dresses. Internal boning is used in many designs and the structure has several layers of fabric. This involves more effort and hence the higher cost.
  • Finally, wedding dresses by famous designers are more expensive due to the designer tag accompanying it..

These factors justify the higher costs of wedding dresses. More details on why wedding dresses are so expensive is available here, on the Southern living blog page.

One important thing that you should know when buying a wedding dress is that your expenses aren’t limited to just the cost. There are some unavoidable additional charges that you will incur, and here they are.

Unavoidable additional costs—accessories and alterations 

Apart from the price of the wedding dress, expect to spend some money on the following.

Alterations and fittings: When you order a dress, you pick a size that is closest to your actual measurements. This means that once your dress arrives you will need custom alterations to have the dress fit to your exact measurements. These alterations are additional expenses. The actual cost will depend on the extent of changes needed. More information on wedding dress alterations are available in the following video.

Accessories: Your bridal look is incomplete without the right accessories. This includes your wedding jewelry, shoes, veil, head-piece and undergarments. You will have to set aside a part of your wedding dress budget for this purchase as well.

Here is a video that outlines how to accessorize your wedding dress.

For more tips on choosing your wedding day jewelry, take a look at this video we created for the purpose.

Dry cleaning and preservation: Whether you decide to keep your gown after your wedding or sell it off, you must have it professionally cleaned after your wedding. Otherwise, the quality of your gown will deteriorate over time and it won’t be suitable to hand down or sell. So, factor in this cost as well.

Now you should have a better idea of how to calculate your wedding dress budget and all the factors to consider.

What if you are on a tight budget?

Although wedding dresses are expensive, there are still ways to save money on your wedding gown. Read on to find what your options are.

When your wedding dress budget is small 

How nice would it be if you could shop without limitations for the wedding dress of your dreams!

Unfortunately, this is impossible!

When price is a constraint, there are some ways to maximize your wedding dress budget and find a fabulous dress for a bargain price.

  • Limit your dress selection to dresses that fall within budget. Resist the temptation to try on dresses that you cannot afford to avoid disappointment.
  • Remember that the more details a dress has, the costlier it will be. Choose from simple styles for better prices and dress it up with statement accessories to complete the effect. Low cost accessories like beaded belts, vintage veils, sparkling jewelry and shrugs can enhance your overall bridal look.
  • Look out for sales at bridal boutiques, where you can find great deals on wedding dresses. At sample sales, boutiques sell their stock at discounted prices to make space for new collections. You can score fabulous gowns at bargain prices at such sales.
  • Mix and match bridal separates to create your unique look at an affordable price. This not only lets you stay within budget, but is a modern and smart approach to wedding dress shopping.

The wedding dress budget is a critical factor concerning wedding dress shopping. Once you figure it out, it is time for the next step which is researching your options.

Step 4: Do your research 

A little planning goes a long way, and we want to make sure you are well-equipped with all the information you need to make the right choice. So, we will tell you all the different things you should analyze, understand and note down before you set foot in a bridal store.

Understand essential wedding shopping lingo 

When you attend your wedding shopping appointment, you will hear terms like mermaid, fit and flare, empire, butterfly sleeves, illusion necklines, organza, tulle and more. Do you know what these terms mean?

If not, spend some time trying to understand wedding dress lingo, so you aren’t lost and confused at your wedding shopping appointment. Here is an easy glossary of wedding dress jargon for the uninitiated.

Wedding dress necklines:

Apart from the silhouette, the neckline is another distinctive feature of any wedding dress. Apart from the square, round and V-necklines, here are the other types of necklines seen on wedding dresses.

Strapless: Bodice cuts straight across the bust and there are no supporting straps or sleeves

Sweetheart: Strapless style where the top part of the bodice resembles a heart.

Bateau: Designed in the shape of a boat and reveals collarbones, as it extends from one shoulder to the other

Illusion: Sheer or see-through neckline over underlying bodice. Often embellished with lace or bead accents.

Single shoulder: Features a single shoulder strap and reveals other shoulder

Queen Anne: Neckline rises at the back of the neck and it has a V-neckline or scoop in the front

Halter: Straps wrap around the neck revealing a low-cut back and deep armhole

High neck: Neckline sits above the collar bones

Off-the-shoulder: Sleeves fall off shoulders to reveal décolletage and collar bones

Spaghetti straps: Thin straps support the bodice on either side

Silhouettes

Here are the most common wedding dress silhouettes.

Ball gown: Structured bodice and ample skirt with layers of fabric that fall to full length.

A-line: Fitted on top and flares away from the body at the waistline, resembling the shape of an A.

Sheath: Column-style dress that outlines the natural curves

Trumpet: Fits snugly along the bodice all the way down to the hips, from where it flares out into a full skirt. Also known as the trumpet

Mermaid: Silhouette structure similar to trumpet, but skirt begins below the knee creating a more dramatic effect

Sleeves

The terms full sleeves, half sleeves and three-fourth length sleeves are self-explanatory. Apart from these, there are other types of sleeve styles as follows.

Cap sleeves: Barely cover the shoulders and top of the arms, revealing the arm hole

Bell: Fitted sleeves that taper into a bell-shape as it reaches the wrists

Juliet: Fitted at the wrist and puffed in the area between the shoulders and wrist

Waistlines

Basque: V-shaped defined waistline

Empire: High waist that begins just below the bust and continues into a full skirt

Dropped Waist: Bodice extends to beyond the actual waistline

Wedding dress trains

The length of fabric that extends beyond the wedding dress contributes to the overall impact and adds to the attractiveness of a dress. Based on length, the following types of trains exist.

Sweep: Short train that just brushes the floor as you walk

Court: This train extends to a foot beyond the hemline

Chapel: Longer than the court train and usually measures three to four feet length from the natural waistline

Cathedral: Dramatic train that measures over six feet from the waistline

Royal: Long train that flows to twelve feet or more length.

Wedding dress fabrics

Fabrics like chiffon and crepe are lightweight and soft. Satin and silk are also soft, but have a distinguishing sheen. Taffeta is heavy with a lustrous sheen. Organza and tulle are stiff fabrics used in structured gowns. A variety of lace also appears on wedding dresses. Find out how to identify each type of wedding dress lace in our article here.

Although we have covered most of the terms you will come across when you go shopping for your wedding dress, this list isn’t exhaustive. If you would like to learn more of these terms and in greater detail, here is an article on the Brides website to help you.

Now let us move on to the next important part of your research—identifying your body type and suitable wedding dress silhouettes.

Identify your body type and shortlist best dress silhouettes

We already mentioned that not all gowns look good on all body. To improve your chances of finding a dress that is right for you, you should first identify your body type.

There are four body types: Triangle or Pear, Inverted Triangle or Apple, Hourglass and straight or Rectangle. Each body type has its own characteristic features.

Triangle or Pear: Small bust but wide hips and waistline that lacks definition.

Inverted Triangle or Apple: Broad shoulders and a slighter lower half.

Hourglass: Well-balanced upper and lower halves and defined waistline.

Straight or rectangle: Similar proportions in the upper and lower halves and waistline not well-defined.

The right wedding dress will flatter the positive aspects and hide less attractive traits of your body. So, find your body type and later use this information to choose the right dress silhouette for it.

This post on Who What Wear will help you use your different measurements and correctly identify your body type.  Check it out!

Here are some practical silhouette suggestions for each body type.

Triangle or Pear: Hide the larger proportions of your hips and waistline with A-line gowns and ball gowns that flare out at the waist. Avoid the trumpet and sheath, since these styles accentuate the hip and stomach area.

Inverted Triangle or Apple: A-line dresses and ball gowns with thick skirts that nip at the waistline are suitable for this body type. We do not recommend the trumpet and for this body type.

Hourglass: If you have an hourglass figure, you can carry almost any wedding dress silhouette with ease. Aim to show off your curvy figure and slender waistline with dresses that closely follow your natural curves.

Straight or rectangle: Increase your feminine appeal with ball gowns and sheaths that create the illusion of curves. Avoid fitted styles like the mermaid and dropped waist dresses that enhance the straight contours of your body.

Find the right place to buy your wedding dress 

Remember what I told you in the beginning about factors that affect your wedding dress selection?

Based on your personal preferences, specific needs and budget constraints, decide where to shop. The following are the options available to you.

Bridal salons: The traditional place to buy a wedding dress, you can enjoy a one-on-one session with a dedicated consultant who will take you through your choices during your appointment slot. Bridal salons have a variety of designer collections, and you can try dresses based on the ideas you communicate to your consultant.

Trunk sales: The perfect option if you want dresses only from a particular designer. New collections are introduced to such customers at highly reduced prices, so you can choose a dress at a lower price than you have to pay otherwise.

Sample Sales: This is when bridal salons sell off old stock to make space for new collections. The dresses in this case are either floor samples or those in the store inventory. So, there will be limited sizes and you may have to clean the gown before using it on your wedding day.

Consignment shops: This is the perfect place to find designer dresses on a discount. Good consignment stores will have dresses that are good-as-new, available at a fraction of the cost of a similar original gown.

Online: Consider this option if you have no way to shop at a real store. Online wedding dress shopping is risky and many brides have terrible experiences when choosing this route. This post sheds some light on why online wedding dress shopping isn’t a wise idea.

Compile all information and shortlist your options 

A quick question—What do you think was the idea behind all this wedding dress research?

It was to collect all relevant information and use it to narrow down choices to the right selection criteria.

As you do your research and understand about wedding dresses, collect and compile information on dress styles and features that appeal to you. Start a Pinterest board and start collecting pictures of dresses you like.

Don’t worry if you seem to fall in love with all the dresses you come across when you first begin. To narrow down your options, ask yourself the following questions

  • What features of this dress are suitable for my wedding theme?
  • What makes it suitable for the weather at the time of my wedding?
  • Why is this dress a comfortable choice for my wedding?
  • What is the stand-out feature of this dress that is most appealing?
  • Will this dress flatter my natural figure and best features?

Soon enough, you will see a pattern emerge and this will help you identify what dress features appeal most to you. This information will be of valuable help when you go shopping.

Step 5: Get ready for your shopping session 

By this stage, you have all the information you need and are ready to go shopping. So, here is what is left to do.

Choose your entourage

Your wedding dress is the most important dress you will ever choose, and you must make this decision wisely. So, invite two or three of your closest family members or friends to help you. The reason we tell you to limit the size of your party is because too many people will do more damage than good. Take along only those whose opinions really matter to you, and who can actually contribute to your decision

Book your appointment

Find a convenient time and date for your shopping appointment at the boutique you choose. Preferably have your appointment on a weekday when the salon will be less crowded.

Get everything you need for your appointment ready

Make sure that you are prepared for dress shopping by carrying all that you need for the day with you. Wear clothes that are easy to change out of . If you will be wearing heels on your wedding day, carry a pair to your shopping appointment. For more tips, visit this post. 

Understand what to expect at your bridal appointment

Every bridal dress shopping appointment is different. The better prepared you are for what to expect, the more likely you are to have a productive and pleasant shopping experience. We suggest that you read the information here, to obtain a fair idea and prepare well for your shopping trip.

Set your expectations correctly

It is easier to find the perfect gown when you are flexible and open-minded. You will have experienced bridal consultants directing you, so listen to them. Try on their suggestions even if it isn’t something you would pick. You may be lucky and find your dream wedding dress this way. Trust me, this happens all the time!

Remember that you may not always find your wedding dress on your first trip to the store. This is perfectly normal. Be patient and flexible and you are sure to find the perfect dress that completes your bridal vision with perfection.

As you prepare for your wedding dress shopping, don’t forget to visit our bridal gallery at Best for Bride for inspiration. Find an immense variety of jaw-dropping designer collections in every price range and with every feature you may seek in our collection. Shortlist your favorites and get ready to go shopping. With expert consultants, excellent infrastructure facilities and all associated services under one roof, Best for Bride is the best destination for you to find your wedding gown, whenever you are ready.

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Bridal pant suits, tiered skirts and other unique wedding dress styles we love

One of the best things about wedding fashion is that it is constantly evolving. Although the traditional layered wedding gown is still popular, bridal dress designers also impress us with unusual and unexpected trends for brides who want something different for their wedding day. The latest trends in wedding dresses are so unusually interesting that I wouldn’t be surprised if many of them would continue to be favorites season after season. Take the 3-D floral trend for instance. It made its appearance several years ago, and still continues to be a big hit. This charming design feature has been played with in different ways, extended to other motifs of nature and even tried out in colors and bigger proportions. And one thing is clear, the trend is here to stay.

There are many more design features that have been bookmarked by many brides and wedding fashion enthusiasts, long before they set their wedding dates. Let us explore this list of the unique and interesting wedding dress styles that are anything but traditional, but impressive enough to stay.

Bridal Pant Suits

With same-sex weddings growing common these days, bridal pant suits which rose to fame in 2014 continue to be favored by many couples. It is not only for lesbian brides though. There are many brides who choose them for their practicality and style factor. In fact, the chances are high for any bride who isn’t used to wearing dresses to choose a pant suit over a poufy wedding dress. And the modern designs are stylish and dressy enough for the bride to look special on her big day. One of the most popular choices is divided skirts, where the pant suit looks super-chic and very bridal. Well-tailored suits with elegant embellishments are equally attractive. We have also noticed the unusual pairing of the pant suit with the very feminine veil as the accessory of choice for a “tradition meets modern” bridal statement.

Two-in-one wedding dresses

We have lost track of the number of times we have been asked for dresses that allow a bride to easily transform from a traditional bride at the wedding ceremony to a stylish diva for the wedding reception. Two-in-one wedding dresses are our go-to solution in such situations. Dubbed the two-fer, these dresses feature an overlay skirt over a figure-fitting silhouette like the mermaid. The overlay skirt is often elaborate and richly layered, so it has the appearance of a rich ball gown. This is usually perfect for a traditional wedding ceremony and a princess-look for the bride. Post the wedding ceremony, all the bride has to do is take off the overlay skirt, and she has a new look for the reception. Much easier than changing into a whole new gown, don’t you think? Also, it is more economical than spending double on two gowns.

Tiered wedding skirts

Tiered wedding skirts are the happy balance between ball gowns and modern wedding dress styles. They have the drama of the ball gown, but are more sophisticated and look contemporary. Tiers can be seen mostly on A-line and fit and flare silhouettes like the mermaid or trumpet. They are beautiful in every fabric, although they are common in lace, satin and tulle. Tiered skirts are often paired with sweetheart and strapless necklines, that add to the dramatic effect. They may also be embellished with scalloped details at the edges or ruffles. Designers have also tried unusual embellishments like feathers and fringes in tiered wedding skirts. However, these choices are better suited for bold brides than conventional brides.

Muted shades of pink

Ever since blush became a widely sought-after bridesmaid dress color, muted shades of pink have stolen many a bride’s heart. Blush, in particular, is a favorite as it has a delicate, feminine charm. The color is soft so many brides can safely choose it in their bridal dresses and not deviate too far from traditional white. Another charming factor about this color is that it looks good on most complexions. It is also the perfect base color for lace details like floral icons and others to pop up against. Blush renders itself beautifully to both modern and vintage wedding dress designs. Whether it is in a ruffled wedding dress skirt or a modern minimalist silhouette, this dainty color as well as other subtle shades of pink are big hits in the bridal world. We do not see them disappearing from the scene anytime soon.

Plunging necklines

Definitely a choice for the bold and daring bride, plunging necklines are no longer the fashion statements of celebrities on the red carpet. Plunging V-necklines, daringly low scoops and deep keyhole designs are all hot trends on the bridal fashion scene. The widespread interest in the reinvention of these styles and number of collections featuring this detail simply tell us that more and more women are choosing to sport this bold style feature in their wedding dresses. To avert any potential disaster, all that is necessary is to add a sheer modesty piece to the neckline. Nevertheless, after the daringly low back details that were once a hit on the bridal scene, plunging necklines are a hot and happening thing. Plunging necklines are often featured with straps or sleeveless dresses that add a finishing touch to the glamorous detail.

Asymmetrical hemlines

Interesting elements like high-low wedding dress hemlines instantly add a touch of drama to the bridal look. This is a feature that has not just gained favor in the general fashion scene, but has influenced wedding fashion as well. High-low hemlines may be used in short or long gowns. It can also be added as an additional feature that appears over the regular wedding skirt. Asymmetrical hemlines usually involve more fabric to create the flowy effect, and are commonly paired with A-line dress styles, sheaths or fit and flare silhouettes for maximum impact. This is a great choice for casual-theme weddings where the bride wants a dress that isn’t too formal, but looks bridal enough all the same.

Off-the-shoulder neckline

A sexy dress feature that allows the bride to show off her well-toned shoulders and collar bones, the off-the-shoulder neckline looks beautiful on wedding gowns. The exposed shoulders and neckline balance out poufy wedding dress skirts. Off-the-shoulder necklines are very feminine, and may be paired with any dress silhouette. When paired with ball gown skirts and A-line dresses, it has a princess look, whereas it looks stylish and modern when paired with sheaths and fit and flare silhouettes. The neckline may either feature short sleeves or be combined with long full-sleeves for a vintage look. This neckline feature has been added to both lace gowns as well as satin and silk wedding dresses. It may also be paired with a draped bodice or an embellished one in different designs.

Illusion details on sleeves

Illusion necklines were and continue to be a bridal favorite. Although the sleeve length has varied from full-sleeves to strapless styles and those in between, there are always brides who want to look modest and sport wedding dresses with sleeves that cover their arms. Then, there are also those brides who want sleeves because their arms are too thick or too skinny to show-off. Illusion sleeve details are a happy middle ground between fully covered and very modest styles and the strapless style that reveals arms all the way from the shoulders to the fingers. Illusion sleeves are usually executed in lace, and have a delicate feminine appeal. This is a feature that is great for formal wedding styles and looks good on both slender and curvy brides. The details may range from intricate lace structures to widely dispersed and scattered details. It can also have embellishments or be simple.

Modern minimalist

Less is more for the modern minimalist bride. Non-fussy, uncluttered wedding gowns do not have to be simple and boring. Instead they can be stunning and splendid, despite the simplicity. Minimalist wedding dresses allow brides to draw focus to other aspects of their wedding trousseau, like their jewelry and accessories. Sleek and simple modern silhouettes usually focus on enhancing the natural beauty of the bride by drawing attention to her best assets in an obvious way. The most popular silhouettes are fit and flare and column, that either snugly fit the body curves or create the illusion of more curves than the lady possesses. Minimalist dresses may also feature selected embellishments that are vivid and stylish. This is a great pick for the bride who wants her personality to shine through the attire she sports on this important day in her life.

Defined waistlines

More brides today are determined to get in shape and look their best on their wedding days. And when they have great bodies to show off, it is only imperative that they draw attention to the smallest and most attractive of their assets, like a slim waistline. Wedding dresses with emphasized waistlines are just as popular as accessories like bows, sashes and waistbands that define the waistline clearly. This feature is common on not only poufy wedding dresses, but the demarcation of the waistline is even incorporated into fit and flare dresses where there usually is no clear waistline. One of the most interesting factors about defining the waistline specifically is that it gives the dress a youthful appearance. So, although dropped waistlines and empire styles are still sough after by many brides, dresses which highlight slender waists and even draw attention to it are favored by brides who are in good shape in time for their wedding.

Fantastic back details

This is one trend that we simply cannot get enough of. Every year, wedding designers outdo themselves by presenting us with wedding dresses featuring fantastic back details. The mysterious charm of an ornate back detail is unbeatable, and it is a must-have for every bride on her special day. From fabulous illusion detailing to tasteful lace cut-outs, embellished details, low-cut backs and keyhole designs, details in the back easily impress. It is also an interesting way of showing of your sexy side without worrying about a wardrobe disaster. To highlight back details, the bride must ideally choose a hairstyle that doesn’t cover up the essential details. It may also be hidden when you wear a veil. So, if you choose a dress with a fantastic back, make sure to take off the veil after the ceremony and give it the attention it deserves. Fantastic back details are also stand-out features in bridal and couple portraits. So make sure your photographer pays attention to this detail, if your dress features it.

Over the recent years, many trends have appeared and disappeared. While going with the trend is fun, remember that your wedding dress will be the focal point in your wedding album in years to come. It may perhaps even be passed down generations, and you always want to look classic and timeless in them. We believe that the trends we listed here today, are those that will help you look stylish. In short, these are the trends that are bound to be repeated time and again, and never go out of fashion.

So, tell us which of these dress features do you like the most? Have you chosen any of them in your wedding dress?

And for more wedding dresses and a fantastic selection to make your pick from, check out this link to our wedding dress collections at Best for Bride. From traditional and vintage to modern and contemporary dresses, we have all the dresses you can dream of. Book your appointment with us today, and visit any of our locations in Canada to make your wedding dress dreams come true. And if you are a bride from outside Canada, try our online shopping option for a reliable experience.

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How to choose evening dresses for different seasons

One of the things we look at when choosing an evening dress is whether it flatters our natural figure. Apart from finding a dress that flatters your figure, it is also important to choose one that is appropriate for the weather at the time you will be wearing it.

Social events happen all round the year. So, the perfect dress for one season may not be the right one for another. Having said this, we must tell you that there are no hard and fast rules on what should or shouldn’t be worn during a particular season. Nonetheless, choosing a dress that is suitable for the season will ensure more comfort and colors that look right at the time.

Here are some style tips to help you choose the best dress depending on the weather at the time.

SPRING

Spring is one of the best times of the year, weather-wise. The days are pleasant after a cold winter. The natural landscape takes on bright colors, and you can draw inspiration from this when choosing your dress. This is also the time when many events are held outdoors, making the most of the pleasant weather and attractive scenery. So, your dress for such events should preferably be lightweight.

Here are some points to consider when choosing a dress for a spring-time event.

A cover from the cold: While a warm wool coat may look out-of-place at a spring-time event, the weather can still be windy this time of year. So, we suggest that you choose a dress with short sleeves to keep your shoulders covered and warm. Cap-sleeve dresses or three-fourth sleeves are great to cover up your arms, while allowing you to look smart and stylish too. The other option is to choose sleeveless or strapless dresses, and carry an accessory like a stole or shrug that you can wear it if gets chilly.

 

Smart necklines: Spring in general has a casual, fun feel. So, instead of looking overly dressed up and sophisticated, the better option would be to look smart. Off-the-shoulder necklines, halter necks and slits in skirts add thrill to a dress. So, explore these options.

 

Simple silhouettes are best: Simplicity is stylish, and minimal no-fuss dress silhouettes pack an instant impact. The sheath and A-line are better than ball gown and fishtail styles, when you choose a floor length gown. For more impact, add sparkling accessories. If you choose shimmery fabric in your dress, avoid bling elsewhere, so your look isn’t too cluttered.

Stylish skirts with interesting hemlines: Soft, breezy skirts in chiffon, voile and organza with a lot of liquidity are ideal for spring. Asymmetrical hemlines make a skirt casual, yet stylish in an instant. Cocktail and tea length dresses would normally be better choices than full-length gowns.

 

Flower power: Flowers are synonymous with spring, and they are the perfect print for spring dresses. Choose dresses with soft floral designs on them as an ode to nature, and look fresh and feminine.

Soft and neutral palettes:In spring, soft muted colors are a great choice. Take inspiration from the colors of the natural scenery, and choose hues with touches of blue and green in them. Soft pastels, pinks, yellows and greens are suitable for this weather. You can also consider intense floral and nature prints on light backgrounds, if patterns are your thing.

SUMMER

Summer starts with warm weather, and then goes on to become hot and humid. Base your dress choice on the intensity of heat you expect at the time of the event you will be attending. During the first half of summer, choose heavier and elaborate fabric, but transition to light, breathable and airy fabric as the weather becomes hotter.

Here are some tips to help you choose your summer event outfit.

Relaxed dress code: Summer is the time to dress down, get rid of layers and stick with minimalist dress patterns. Focus on colors instead of design details. Look to bright flora and fauna for inspiration. Even at an evening party, it is best to choose an outfit that is more informal than strictly formal. It will not only feel comfortable, but will look good too.

Strapless and sleeveless for indoors, but full-sleeves for outdoors: As the temperatures rise, we wold all prefer to shed layers and stick to the bare minimum pieces of clothing. However, if the event you attend is outdoors fully covered tops are recommended to stay sun-safe. You can still choose fabulous designs that don’t look frumpy, by keeping colors light and the design balanced in the silhouette.

Time to play with pattern: Polka dots, chevron, stripes, floral prints; any pattern looks great in summer and is apt for the season. This is the time to pick vibrant colors and rich prints that look cheerful when the sun shines on them.

Short hemlines are in: Short hemlines are best in summer, for obvious reasons. Experiment with different lengths, varying from above the knee to ankle length. However, avoid full length gowns as they look out-of-place in this weather.

Simple silhouettes: A-line skirts and column style dresses are great in this weather. Sheer and illusion necklines and sleeves feel great and refreshing. Avoid layering unless it is in fabric with a smooth drape, or you can end up looking bulky.

Make sensible fabric choices: Cotton, satin, tulle and organza are ideal for summer events. It may be a good idea to avoid satin finishes and silk as these stain with sweat and can look terrible when it does.

Light and bright colors look good: Stay away from intense dark colors, as they are overly warm for the hot weather. Instead stick with light, pleasant colors or tropical colors that pop. Oranges, yellows and reds are all great for this time of year.

AUTUMN

The weather becomes cooler, as winter is near. Warm and cozy outfits look good in autumn, and you don’t need really warm accessories as you can still walk around without feeling too chilly. Here are some fashion tips to consider when choosing your autumn evening dress.

Jewel tones and prints are a hit: As the weather becomes cooler, increase the intensity of color in your chosen outfit. Deep jewel tones are wonderful, and can be paired with metallic accents for a sophisticated and stylish effect.

Aim for style and elegance: Just like outdoorsy looks are great at summer and spring events, style and elegance are statement signs for autumn and winter. Formal gowns in earthy or intense colors are perfect for formal events, and they can either be cocktail length or full-length. Accent colors like orange, brown and red work well with most neutrals.

Choose longer sleeves: As the days grow shorter, let the sleeves grow longer, for both practical and style reasons. High necklines like bateau, scoop or half-collar styles with a V-dip in the center are refined and sophisticated.

Elaborate silhouettes work well: This is the time when both long and short dress styles work well. You can either choose bold and elaborate embellishments with short hemlines, or long gowns with plenty of details. Layer up with a gown that adds volume to your frame and it will look just right in this weather.

Luxe embellishments: Hand embroidery, elaborate crystal work, sparkles and gems are all appropriate in autumn, especially when they are paired with deep, intense colors. Other accents that look good in this weather include ruffles and feathers. Animal prints, Aztec prints and leafy prints are other prints to choose from.

Experiment with necklines: With the weather relatively pleasant, you can consider all types of necklines for this season. While off-the-shoulder necklines and strapless styles are fun and flirty, fully covered high necklines, cowl necklines or those that skim the collarbones and expose no more look polished and perfect. In case it gets too windy, you may like to carry a stylish accessory like a pashmina wrap, that will not only look stylish but will also be a practical solution to stay warm when outdoors. Similarly, add style to your outfit with interesting footwear like knee-high boots that are in-keeping with the weather at the time.

WINTER

Winter is the holiday season, and there will be many functions to attend. This is the time when you should go shopping, so you have a great dress for every occasion that comes up. Refined elegance and bright colors should be the highlight of your look, so you look festive and blend in with the colorful extravaganza that is typical of winter partying. Here are the dress ideas that are good for winter.

Bring on the sleeves: Winter is the season when long sleeves are a good option. However, you can also choose shorter sleeves or sleeveless styles, as long as you have an accessory like a bolero or sash to cover up your shoulders and arms when you step outdoors. Illusion necklines and sleeves are dramatic and chic, perfect for the ambiance at a winter party.

Bold and modern accessories: Dress up a simple silhouette with big and bold accessories. Winter is the time to choose dramatic jewelry and makeup. Think in terms of gold, sparkles, pearls and colored gemstones which are big enough for a statement effect. For a modern look, it may also be fun to add an accessory like a belt or sash that adds greater impact to a simple color and design. Finally don’t forget a shawl, cape or jacket to stay cozy in, when traveling to and from your event venue.

Unexpected elements are fun: There are simple ways to add more oomph to an outfit. This includes ruffles, scalloped lace lines where you least expect it and powerful motifs as embellishments. A short skirt with an abundance of ruffles is youthful and interesting, while a two-piece dress with ruffles at the waist renders an informal touch to a formal dress.

Prints in one color tone: Although monochromatic color schemes are popular in winter attire, you can experiment with prints, as long as they don’t look like they belong to the summer. Prints in intense colors and with smaller motifs spanning over the entire length are the ideal choice. Don’t forget to mix it with plenty of plain colors for more drama. Alternately, look to shimmering fabric for an overall effect that isn’t cluttered. Color blocking with autumnal colors like browns and red are also a good idea.

Thick and flowing fabric: Layered dresses and thicker fabric are perfect for winter. Not only does this keep the cold at bay, it also helps you look dressed up. Voluminous skirts, embellished sleeves and decorated necklines are best sported in winter. Fabrics that work in this weather include velvet, velveteen and silk. The smooth finish of silk makes it ideal for night-time affairs.

Dressy silhouettes: The trick is to balance your overall look with a silhouette that complements the color of the dress and the embellishments on it. For a simple silhouette like the A-line or sheath, make sure you look good with the right choice of bold accessories to go with it or with a dress that is embellished aplenty. However, this is the time to sport modern silhouettes like the mermaid, as it is appropriate for the weather and looks glamorous. Ball gowns are good on women who want more impact with the dress and not bother too much about accessories.

At Best for Bride, apart from wedding dress collections, we have a wide variety of designer evening dress collections to satisfy all your expectations. Take a look today and you are bound to find many that will catch your eye. Dressing up for any event, be it in any season, has never been easier!