Much like the rest of the fashion world, wedding dresses have gone through some major trends over the years. With all the options available today, it can be overwhelming to try and narrow one down for your own wedding. Necklines, silhouettes, colour hues, and any other detail of a dress can make any bride-to-be want to pull her hair out. The good news is there are resources wedding out there that can help narrow the choices down, all thanks to the trends of wedding dresses in the past. Today’s fashion has evolved from more than a hundred years of bridal gowns. So the next time you go out shopping for your dream dress, think about all the trends that have come and gone over the years that have inspired your perfect gown.
Early 20th Century
In the first half of the 1900s, wedding dresses were all about simplicity and utility. The majority of people simply could not afford to purchase extravagant gowns. Instead, women would hand-make their gowns with lace and cheap white fabric. Sometimes, the dress worn at a wedding would be a dress the bride already owned and planned on using again. The results were beautiful, elegant dresses that defined the period by their quality design. They also were quite modest; no strapless gowns for these crafty ladies!
Middle and Late 20th Century
The 1950s saw a huge turning point in bridal fashion. Bridalguide.com documents these changes in detail, but the most significant changes to wedding dress trends during this time period are the additions of accessories (beaded veils, gloves, bolero jackets, etc) and the introduction of the sweetheart neckline. Gowns during the latter half of the 1900s were still relatively modest. Full-length sleeves were very common. The defining aspect of this time period was the introduction of many different necklines and silhouettes. It became respectable and fashionable for brides to show their ankles and draw attention to their bust lines.
As the world turned over to a new century, wedding dress styles saw a sudden change. Strapless gowns became not only acceptable, but common. Today they are still the most common type of wedding gown. It has been in this century that Mermaid and Sheath silhouettes were introduced.
Touted as being some of the most form-fitting gowns available, these styles changed the world of wedding fashion forever. Another big trend in wedding gowns became popular during these years: buying gowns second-hand on sites like Gumtree and Preloved. Second-hand wedding dresses became a necessity as extravagant additions, quality fabric, and hand-sewn details drove the prices of wedding dresses up. With the average wedding costing somewhere approaching the £18,000 mark some expense prioritisation is required these days.
In recent years, it has become common-place for dresses to accentuate and celebrate a woman’s sexuality, rather than cover it up, as was common in the 20th century. See-through bodices, short hemlines, and curve-hugging gowns have become popular for daring brides who aren’t afraid to show off their femininity.
Another emerging trend is to wear a bridal gown that isn’t white! Blush and ivory tones are common, but some brides even choose to wear bold colours or black. In the current world of bridal fashion, anything goes!