One of my favorite parts of wedding planning is buying the bridal gown. There are so many choices — necklines, sleeves, fabrics, silhouettes, even colors.
A classic element in dress history is the sheath gown. In everyday life, the style goes back to the ancient world, and it gained and held popularity again in the 19th and 20th centuries. The style is a timeless design.
Personally, I appreciate how — when chosen well — the sheath works on almost any body shape. And it perfectly matches with my favorite wedding fabrics: tulle, chiffon, and lace.
For a simple, delicate aesthetic, I love this dotted tulle gown pictured below. The pleated crisscross bodice is an element I adore in bridal gowns and bridesmaids dresses alike, not only because of the look (a personal favorite) but also its practicality. It works well for many body and bust shapes and sizes.
Brides on a tighter budget seeking a similar look might try a chiffon gown with a ruched bodice. The dress is as soft as the dotted tulle and just as delicate, with the same lovely sweetheart neckline, but at a price under $200.
If you have areas on the body from which you want to gracefully guide the eye away, chiffon is your friend. This pleated plus-size gown with bead details flows over the figure. I love how it looks paired with a long, simple veil, too, as pictured.
In all areas of life, but especially weddings, I’m completely in love with lace.
This lace and tulle gown, above, features an illusion off-the-shoulder neckline with sheer elbow-length sleeves. The ivory dress has a button-back closure and is fully lined.
You can really embrace all the beauty and unique patterns available in lace with an allover lace sheath, like the off-the-shoulder plus-size design below with eyelash lace scalloped hem edges (that’s what gives the fluttery fringey look).
If your dream day calls for something with more sophistication and structured elegance, this sequin-appliqued lace dress has the shine and sparkle to catch eyes and turn the heads of everyone in the room. Beaded spaghetti straps also offer more security for brides who find strapless to feel a little too exposed.
For a bohemian style, try the ivory tulle Degas gown from needle & thread, below. The ruffled asymmetrical piece includes crystal-lined ribbon straps and waistband. The skirt is designed to move in a dramatic waterfall fashion inspired by dancers, which the artist Degas often portrayed in his works.
The sheath gown is an ancient fashion staple which has rightfully gained access to wedding styles in recent decades. Whether stitched in chiffon, tulle, lace, or any of the other options available to today’s brides, the sheath is a timeless look. With this silhouette, you can’t go wrong.