7 Stylish Ways to Stand out on Your Special Day
— By Lorna Urwin
10 October 2016
If you’re not a fan of following the crowd, there are plenty of stylish alternatives out there to the classic white dress, whether as a replacement or an addition to your wedding wardrobe (for your reception outfit, for instance). Here are our top picks for unconventional bridalwear that will really help you stand out on your special day.
1/ Print Dresses
Image by An Rong Xu and cover image from One Stylish Bride
Bold and beautiful, the print dress is a classic yet laidback look that’s perfect for those who don’t want to wear anything too easily spoiled for their special day. Often knee-length with a sheath silhouette, they’ll ensure you meet the appropriate level of formality while also injecting a bit of personality into your look.
2/ Embellished or embroidered dresses
Images by Orange Turtle Photography and The Brauns
Are you unsure if plain white is quite your style? Delicately embellished dresses are immensely popular on runways and red carpets, and for good reason. They offer an ultra-feminine look combined with detail that verges on sheer artistry. They are definitely one to consider if you want a dress that can set you apart while still radiating glamour! There are plenty more adventurous embellished designs too, such as beaded flapper-style numbers or feathered skirts.
Embroidered dresses offer the same level of exquisite detailing, but with a folkier, more bohemian vibe. For a more understated look, incorporate embroidery or embellishments on your veil instead of your dress.
3/ Jumpsuits, pantsuits and rompers
Images by Pierre Teyssot, Lakum and Arnau Dubois Photography
Fashion forward yet dress-averse brides should consider nixing the dress all together in favour of something like an ensemble with trousers or shorts. Often bridalwear versions of these looks will be in classic white, allowing a strikingly modern silhouette while retaining the simple elegance and tradition of a white outfit.
4/ Skirt and trousers or shorts combination
Images by Rosa Clara and Tony Ward
Want the distinctiveness of bridal tailoring without completely dispensing with a dress? Take notes from Emma Watson’s covetable red carpet style and keep a look out for skirts that can showcase a trouser or shorts underneath. There are myriad of layering options with this look, whether choosing trousers with a train, a dress with a skirt that opens at the front or back or choosing a translucent material, like tulle, for your skirt overlay.
5/ Formal separates
Images by Tec Petaja and Angela and Evan Photography
Separates that match in colour and style are a great way of nudging into unconventional bridalwear territory without making a big statement. Often the effect is so seamless that your guests may not even realise you aren’t wearing a dress! Naturally you could take this in the opposite direction and embrace the unique look that separates lend. A popular boho trend is to bare a small amount of midriff and a slightly cropped top paired with a longer skirt is the perfect way to achieve this!
6/ Casual separates
Images by JenS Photography and Hilary Chan Photography
This look once again calls for a separate top and skirt (or trousers), but the focus is on embodying a relaxed and laidback look. This is ideal if you want to wear something elegant and pretty without compromising your own comfort, or if you feel a casual look is simply more in tune with your personal style. Even better, this option works wonderfully for brides who want the opportunity to recycle something they already own, or to wear something new that they won’t hesitate to wear again in the future. Though you could certainly wear a simple cotton t-shirt with a skirt if you desired, casual can also encompass luxurious fabrics in a more casual style, like a silk vest or a cashmere sweater.
7/ Coloured (or partly-coloured) outfits
Images by Aleksandra Semyonova photography and Carousel Fashion
The convention of wearing a white dress is a relatively recent one, sparked by Queen Victoria’s dress colour of choice for her wedding in 1840. Even so, the custom is so widespread that choosing any colour other than white or ecru is now seen as unconventional! There are countless hues to choose from, but pastels are a popular and delicate option whether you favour lavender, blush, pistachio or sky blue. Of course, brighter or darker colours can be just as stunning! If you’d rather underplay the colour, you could always go for two tones – one colourful and one neutral. This can look beautiful with separates or by choosing a dress that’s only partly coloured.