How to choose a wedding dress? Possibly one of the hardest wardrobe dilemmas you’ll ever be faced with, and not a decision to be taken lightly. Do you go for a high-street wedding dress or a designer? Full-on flouncy meringue or chic column style? Pure white or ivory? The offering of wedding dress styles out there is endless, and even the seasoned stylistas here at LOOK know that choosing the perfect wedding dress can be a minefield. So, to help you with the biggest sartorial choice of your life, we called on some bridal experts to offer indispensable advice.
The go-to wedding dress designer for fashion editors was a stylist for ten years and once had to source a shed-load of vintage wedding dresses for a campaign. She sold the gowns once the shoot was finished, and, after being amazed at how fast they were snapped up, launched The Vintage Wedding Dress Company in 2005. Then came a capsule collection of own-design made-to-order gowns, and the company was re-launched as Charlie Brear in 2013. At London Fashion Week SS14, Charlie was shortlisted as a ‘one-to-watch’ and now creates some of the most coveted wedding dress designs around, alongside a directional ready-to-wear line. Here, she reveals her top 10 tips for how to choose the perfect wedding dress…
1. Think anout the mood you want to create. Think of the venue, flowers, bridesmaids – the bigger picture can really help.
2. Have an idea of how much you would like to spend before you start trying on dresses.
3. Do you research. Spend time with a copy of Brides mag and tear out things of interest. Use Pinterest too – it will slowly reveal to you what it is you are searching for.
4. Take along only 1 or 2 people and try and have them at every appointment.
5. Don’t go to too many places. Choose 3-4 great boutiques and don’t be afraid to stop looking!
6. Don’t try on too many dresses either – 5-6 in each boutique is plenty! Create a top 3 and don’t exceed it.
7. Be brave! Its fun to be spontaneous too, so try not to over think. All that matters is that you feel beautiful and he will love it.
8. Be honest with your stylist as they have a wealth of knowledge and ultimately want to help you find The One.
9. Be willing to try on things suggested by your stylist, these are often the best surprise!
10. Try wearing your hair similar to how it may be on The Day and wear suitable underwear as it can really help.
Another firm favourite with brides-to-be is Ghost, whose affordable signature silk designs never fail to make wedding guests gasp as the bride makes her entrance. Creative Director Sameera Azeem shares her secrets for finding The One…
1. Try to go in with an open mind when trying on styles of dress. Sometimes what you think you want can change once you see yourself in a dress, so be sure to try on a variety of different designs.
2. Only go to try on dresses with people whose opinion you trust and who will be truthful with what they think – without being too harsh!
3. Keep your skin tone in mind. You may want a bright white dress but if you are very pale skinned a softer ivory will help warm up the skin.
4. Always take a pair of shoes in the height that you want to wear. This is a key thing – you need to make sure you can walk and be comfortable in your shoe and dress combo for the whole day!
5. Remember when you are trying on dresses that most stores only hold size 12 dresses so bear in mind you won’t be trying on your perfect fit right away – it will need to be pinned and altered before your ideal fit is achieved.
6. Once you have found your dress, don’t scrimp on underwear. Make sure you get fitted by a professional (Rigby & Peller are the best) to make sure that you get the correct bra that works under your dress. You want to achieve the best shape you can for the neckline and style of dress.
7. If you are opting for a veil make sure you try it on with the dress not separately. You may think you want a cathedral style veil but in reality a shorter one may work better with your dress choice. You also need to think about what kind of hairstyle you want to make sure the veil will work alongside it.
8. Keep jewellery and accessories to a minimum (unless you have a simple slip style dress where you can get away with a statement piece) to let your dress do the talking.
9. Make sure you do a hair and makeup trial and show the hairdresser the neckline and back of the dress so that they can help suggest suitable styles.
Happy wedding dress shopping ladies!
And speaking of weddings, why not check out the recently married Michelle Keegan’s top five beauty tips for some bridal make-up inspiration?