June 06, 2020

Wedding-dress styles reflect both traditional and contemporary

Some bridal fashions have reverted to the styles of the 1960s and 1970s, and brides are choosing dresses to relfect their likes and personal styles, rather than tradition.

“We find brides being more flamboyant with their styles, especially the younger brides,” said Cindy Libby, who owns Osgood’s in Lincoln and Millinocket. “Silk-type fabrics over the satin gowns, in off-white colors for the wedding dress itself, but mixing up the colors for the bridesmaids and tuxedos.

“They’re going with what they like, rather than tradition. We’re providing dresses with the big puffy skirt for younger brides, the fairy-tale look. Older brides are being more traditional in their dress, going for the simple elegant look, but mixing colors for their attendants,” Libby said.

Thanks to Queen Victoria, white became the popular color for a bride to wear at her wedding. Today, wearing a wedding dress in a color other than white is simply the bride’s choice.

Brides are opting for natural colors, not the bright whites, choosing shades of ivory or champagne, even a rum pink. “The colors for bridesmaids’ dresses have changed, and many brides are choosing to dress their wedding party in pastel colors,” said Cindy Wilson, who owns the House of Brides in Bangor. “Coral, eggplant, mustard, and even lilac are becoming very popular.

The style for wedding dresses has been lace and beading, with often extreme necklines (very high or low-cut). The style has begun to shift to gowns with a slit up the back, a shorter V-neck, and a simpler, elegant, flowing dress. A-line dresses with empire waists are back in style, fueled in popularity by an elegant, simple look.

Howland resident Marisa LeBlanc was married in September 1995. “My dress was a white sheath style,” with a fitted skirt and “a slit up the back and a V-neck,” she said. “The gown was off the shoulder, and I had a detachable 7-foot train.

“I chose the gown because it was simple, and it had an elegant rather than fairy-tale look to it,” LeBlanc said. “I kept all the same style dresses for my bridal party.”

Cindy Wilson offered prospective brides several tips for finding the perfect wedding dress:

If possible, plan a year early. “We’ve done weddings in two weeks, but it makes it very stressful,” Wilson said. Allow sufficient time to find the right dress;

Allow the salesperson to help you try on other dresses than what you had intended to try. Many times, a bride will dislike a style until she wears it. To find the perfect dress, be flexible;

Determine what type of wedding you will hold: formal, semiformal, or informal;

The location of your wedding, as well as the time of year, may affect your dress choice;

Choose a bridal shop at which you feel comfortable. You may spend much time with the salespeople, and you need to feel at ease so you can say what you think as well as trust their advice. Obtain referrals from other brides or ask the bridal shop for several references.

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