Wedding Dresses: How to Achieve a Timeless Look

Choose your wedding dress wisely. When you’re looking at your wedding photos in years to come, the difference between “What perfection!” and “What on earth was I thinking?!” often comes down to the gown.

Your wedding dress is far more than a fashion choice. In many ways it sets the tone for the entire occasion, and it will definitely play a big role in your memories of your wedding day. An ultra-trendy wedding dress may be appealing today, but how will you feel about it when that cutting-edge style looks distinctly dated?

If you want your wedding gown to be memorable for all the right reasons, go for a classic look. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect timeless gown.

Select a simple silhouette. High-impact features like huge puffy sleeves, an oversized collar, or a high-low hem might seem right at home on the pages of the latest fashion magazine, but they’ll definitely date your dress. To achieve a timeless look, consider gowns that have a traditional cut. A beautiful ball gown with a fitted bodice and full, floor-length skirt, a simple sheath with either a fitted bodice or an empire waist, or a fitted sheath with a mermaid skirt will always look good. And remember, a beautiful bride needs a beautifully fitted gown, so make sure your dress is perfectly tailored to conform to your curves with no pulling or bunching.

Choose a classic bridal fabric. Nix the trendy material of the moment in favor of traditional fabrics like lace, satin, silk, organza, and tulle. And save the colors for your bridal party; a gown in white, ivory, or cream will always stand the test of time.

Go for a modest neckline. A deep plunging cut that reveals a lot of cleavage or dips super-low to showcase a well-toned back could be perfect for a night on the town, but they’re never going to be considered bridal classics. That doesn’t mean you can’t opt for a strapless style; a well-shaped and fitted strapless sweetheart neckline can be classically appropriate. Look for a gown that reveals just enough to be appealing without being appalling.

Avoid too much embellishment. A dress with an abundance of adornments can quickly cross the line from classic to campy. Corset bodices, oversized bows, and heavy overlays of pearls, rhinestones, and ribbons go in and out of fashion, but simple lines with just a few well-chosen embellishments are timelessly beautiful and never look dated or out of style.

Choose carefully but buy what you can afford. You don’t have to pay top price to get a classic, timeless gown. It’s the bride, not the price tag, that makes a gown special.