If you think a wedding dress with long sleeves and covered décolletage look boring, I dare you to check out the bridal look of some prominent icons including Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy, Grace Kelly, and Kate Middleton. These women, who were blessed with such killer physique and flawless skin, chose to go modest on their big day. But oh boy, they looked stunning and elegant. They prove that it’s indeed possible for a bride to shine without having to bare much flesh.
Fast forward to the 21st century, modest wedding gowns are a rare gem. Most modern brides opt for designs that show off their strongest features, and the styles are often arm, chest, and back-baring. Without a doubt, these gowns work well with modern, laidback wedding themes and venues, like beach or garden ceremonies. But if it’s going to be in a traditional church or temple setting, you might want to cover up.
If you want to want to go modest and covered without skimping on style, here are some tips to make your wedding dress work for you.
Sleeves come in various types.
In a world of plunging v-necks and revealing tube tops, it’s refreshing to see a bride who chooses a classic, covered neckline. If you’re going for the modest route, look for dresses with high necklines. Bateau is one of the most elegant types which sits just below your collarbone and draws attention towards your neck and clavicle. Queen Anne, jewel, turtleneck and modest off-the-shoulder necklines are also elegant choices.
Don’t want to feel confined with an uncomfortable fabric? Go for illusion fabrics. These fine, sheer net fabrics usually used on sleeves and necklines show little peeks of your skin without sacrificing coverage. They are perfect alternatives for brides who don’t want to go heavy on their sleeves and for those who wish to have a lower neckline to flaunt defined collarbones without showing off their flesh completely.
If you want to go beyond the basic, think of adding delicate lace, intricate swirls of embroidery, and beading for enhanced visual interest. These details can transform high necklines and long sleeves from being stiff to being chic. Love lace? You’ll fall in love with the idea of using scalloped lace sleeves and neckline to polish your sophisticated look.
Silhouette is another crucial aspect when searching for a specific dress style.
Some would say that form-fitting dresses tend to be too revealing but the truth is it all boils down to symmetry. You should find the balance between coverage and showing off. In the similar way you tend to be conscious about revealing more, you should also be mindful about revealing less which may create a stiff and uncomfortable appearance from top to bottom.
You may apply some rules of thumb, like combining less and more. For instance, if you’re going for a more revealing silhouette like sheath or mermaid, you may complement it with long sleeves and high neckline. In the same way, if you’re having a modest A-line skirt, you may balance it out with a more skin-baring top like a moderate sweetheart neckline and cap sleeves.
Carmina Natividad is one of the enthusiastic writers for Jennifer Regan, a shop in Sydney that caters to women who are looking for the perfect bridal dress to wear as they walk down the aisle. Her articles mainly focus on fashion and beauty, which help soon-to-be-brides prepare for their wedding day.