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Wedding dress colours and fabrics

So you look truly radiant on your wedding day, it is wise to understand what wedding dress shades and fabrics will flatter you most. Below is a straight forward guide to the different wedding dress colours and fabrics on offer and what complexions they suit best.

Related articles: wedding dress shopping wedding dress styles

wedding dress colour and fabrics

What is the best colour wedding dress for my skin tone

Picking a colour can be very simple for some complexions, but for others, it is worth trying out more shades in a shop. As a general rule; fair, pale or medium complexions should opt for an ivory or champagne hues. Brides with medium to dark complexions have more options as most shades will be flattering.

Wedding dress shades of white

  • Stark white tones will suit olive, black or dark brown complexions

  • Ivory and soft champagne shades will complement the above complexions and pale skin tones

  • Shades stronger than champagne will suit very dark or black skin tones
  • wedding dress colour and fabrics

    Is ivory or white better for a wedding dress?

    Both ivory and white are equally traditional and beautiful wedding dress colours. Therefore, it is wise to base your decision on which will make you look the best version of yourself on the day. If you aren't sure what colour will suit you best, below is a simple method to ensure you pick the right tone:

    • Review your wardrobe: Do you wear cream or white more and is there a reason for this?

    • Try on a white top and then cream one: Which one makes your skin look warmer and healthier?

    If you do not notice a difference when comparing, you will probably suit different shades of white and will have more choice when shopping.

    What is the best fabric for your wedding dress

    Below is a guide to wedding dress fabrics, which range from thick, structured materials to floaty, softer fabrics.

    Satin wedding dresses

    Satin is a crisp, high shimmer fabric that is weightier than others. It is often traditionally used for wedding dresses that have a structured shape and detailing. This material works well for most wedding dresses and also looks very elegant for short, more conservative dresses. Satin dresses are generally viewed to be the most luxurious and expensive dresses.

    wedding dress colour and fabrics
    Taffeta wedding dresses

    Taffeta is another weighty and crisp fabric that has less shine and also works nicely for bodices that have a side sweep or ruffling. Taffeta makes a rustling noise when moving, which some brides adore. This material works well for striking ball gowns and A-line dresses where a bold, flat colour is needed to complement detailing.

    wedding dress colour and fabrics
    Organza wedding dresses

    This fabric appears to look more floaty like chiffon but has a little more weight and structure to it. Certain organza fabrics can also have a soft shimmer. This fabric is used to give A-line dresses and mermaid styles an elegant, pristine finish. Organza is an excellent option for off-season weddings when dresses need to keep their shape in adverse weather.

    wedding dress colour and fabrics
    Charmeuse wedding dress fabric

    Charmeuse is a flowing fabric with a high lustre finish. This material creates slinkier column or sheath dress silhouettes. Due to the sleek nature of this material, charmeuse dresses can be less flattering unless coupled with seamless, shapewear undergarments. As such, charmeuse wedding dresses are best wore in low light for evening ceremonies or as a second more sophisticated evening gown.

    Chiffon wedding dress fabric

    Chiffon is the lightest wedding dress fabric, which gives a floaty yet comfortable feel. Chiffon dresses will have less lustre than other materials and may need additional beading or sequins to make them look a little more bridal. Alternatively, Chiffon dresses can be enhanced by a lot of accessories and a gorgeous veil. Chiffon dresses are fabulous romantic, bohemian-style dresses, which are perfect for hot-weather destination weddings.

    wedding dress colour and fabrics
    Tulle wedding dress fabric

    Tulle is a net fabric which is often used to add volume to ballgown or A-line skirts. This fabric can be quite rough against the skin but is perfect for creating a fairytale princess look.

    wedding dress colour and fabrics
    Lace gown fabrics

    Lace can be as intricate or as sparse in detail as preferred but will feel very soft and much lighter than tulle. Three main types of lace fabrics used in wedding dresses are:

  • Chantilly: very intricately detailed lace often with borders.
  • Alençon: a fine net with embellished patterns.
  • Venise: a more densely textured, warmer lace fabric.
  • wedding dress colour and fabrics
    Best fabric for summer wedding dress

    In the peak wedding season, it is essential to go for lighter breathable materials, such as chiffon, lace or tulle. These fabrics can be mixed or used alongside an organza bodice for extra elegance. Alternatively, a slinky charmeuse dress can create an understated elegant look for outdoor ceremonies.

    Best fabric for winter wedding dress

    In offpeak seasons heavier lace materials, such as venise or satin and taffeta, can provide extra warmth and look very striking against autumnal and winter colours. Alternatively, a slinky charmeuse dress can be teamed with fake furs in winter for a Hollywood wedding look.

    wedding dress colour and fabrics
    Best wedding dress fabrics for fuller figures:

    More crisp, thicker materials such as satin or taffeta that can hold and support curves in just the right places. An all organza dress with tulle layers in an A-line shape can also hold a larger bust perfectly in place.

    Best wedding dress fabrics for slim figures:

    Tulle can add a flare or volume to a wedding skirt where there may not be any. Alternatively, small intricate lace on a slim body can add interest, or a charmeuse material can emphasise a slender frame if your figure is well proportioned.

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