Dress Trends to Try (And Which to Pass By)

It may seem like trends don’t apply to wedding dresses, but just look at Mom’swedding photos to see how much they do change. For a stylish but timeless look,know which trends to try -- and which to pass by.
  1. Love It: Pearls

    This classic gemstone has always been a favorite jewelry option for brides, but now it's becoming a go-to trimming for dress designers too. Unlike glitzier crystals, pearl beads have a more subtle sheen, so they can be the perfect embellishment if you're looking for a wedding gown with more understated glamour.

    Dress by Ines DiSanto.

  2. Leave It:  Extra-Deep V's

    We're big fans of the V-neckline. It's minimizing for bustier brides, and most styles offer straps wide enough for girls who want to wear a bra. While shallow versions of this neckline look good on most bust sizes, when taken too far, the plunging variety can be unflattering and, if you're not careful, cross into inappropriate territory. If you're attempting to wear an ultra-low version, just be sure to have tons of Topstick tape in your day-of bag. Another idea: Ask your seamstress if it's possible to put in a sheer modesty panel.

    Dress by Ines DiSanto.

  3. Love It: Ombre

    If you're not ready to fully commit to color but want something different than the usual bridal whites, this watercolor effect might suit your wedding style. Made of two or more tones gradually blended together, ombré can offer just a hint of your favorite hue. Look for dresses that are light at the top and darker at the hemline. This draws the eye upward, making your face and shoulders the focal point.

    Dress by Lazaro.

  4. Leave It:  Heavy Beading

    Don't let dazzling embellishments distract you from getting a gown you can actually move in -- a dress covered in oversize crystals or decked in giant pearls can be extremely heavy. While you're shopping, keep this in mind: The longest you'll stand in your gown at the store is about 45 minutes, so you may think, Hmm, not so bad. But at your wedding, you'll be in it for at least four hours! And regardless of how long you wear it, it's hard to be light on your toes when your dress is weighing you down. Your best bet: Stick to lighter embellishments (like sequins or seed beads) or less of them. If you do fall in love with a heavily embellished dress, you may want to consider a second, lighterweight option for the reception.

    Dress by Lazaro.

  5. Love It:  Hi-Lo Hemlines

    Short in the front and long in the back, these fashion-forward skirts offer all kinds of exciting possibilities other styles don't: better shoe visibility (for showing off fancy footwear), a spotlight on sexy legs (assets wedding gowns are notorious for covering up) and greater mobility on the dance floor -- all without sacrificing a stitch of volume. Created in fabrics from flowy chiffon to structured taffeta and organza, wedding dresses with these uneven hemlines can make just as grand a statement as any floor-length ball gown.

    Dress by Pnina Tornai.

  6. Leave It:  See-Through Bodices

    Though “sheer” was a big bridal-fashion buzzword this season, it's where you wear it that makes it a huge hit -- or a major miss. An illusion neckline is dainty and feminine, but a barely there bodice, with a clear view of your navel, will feel less sophisticated. Our advice: Save baring your belly for the honeymoon.

    Dress by Pnina Tornai.

  7. Love It:  Feather Details

    Dramatic but still whimsical, delicate plumes can make even the most basic silhouette eye-catching. Our favorite way to wear fanciful feathers is as an allover skirt accent (think: tiers of plumes) or as just a touch, like one large quill on the strap of a one-shoulder silhouette.

    Dress by Pronovias.

  8. Leave It:  Excessive Draping

    Grecian-inspired gowns (known for their toga-like draping) are the ultimate in beach wedding wear: They're lightweight and elegant, and look effortless. The key is finding one without too many drapes and folds, which can make your feminine form look shapeless. Look for a draped style with a definite waistline, like an Empire- or a natural-waist seam, which will draw attention to your smallest spots.

    Dress by Pronovias.

  9. Love It:  Sexy Slits

    Another leg-baring detail that has us excited is the slit. More risque than the hi-lo hemline, these cut-up-the-front designs are a great way to show off killer shoes and legs. You can bare a lot of leg with a thigh-high slit (just balance it with more coverage up top), or stick to a style that stops just above the knee. Another option that's the perfect mix of sexy and sweet: vertical cutaway seams lined with lace trim.

    Dress by Theia.

  10. Leave It:  Jumpsuits

    You may have noticed a '70s vibe here with the slits and sequins. And while disco-era threads are a definite wedding day do, you may want to think twice before selecting one of the all-white rompers we've seen on the bridal runways. One-pieces can be sexy, edgy and super-chic, but they'll always feel more casual and offer less wow than a traditional wedding dress. Consider a jumpsuit for cityhall nuptials or for a chic reception send-off and after-party look. Still, there is one major plus about these pantsuits: Unlike with big ball gowns, bathroom runs are a solo mission.

    Dress by Theia.

  11. Love It:  Mermaid Skirts

    This formfitting silhouette with a full skirt that flares below the knee offers a refreshing way to highlight curves. We particularly love the figure-flaunting look for petite brides and hourglass shapes, especially after a season where safer silhouettes, like A-lines, trumpet-style gowns and sheaths, reigned supreme.

    Dress by Vera Wang.

  12. Leave It:  Head-to-Toe Black

    The witchcraft-inspired collection that Vera Wang showed may have made Bridal Fashion Week headlines, but before you jump on board with the gothic color, consider this: There's a reason most of the gowns she debuted will also be made in white. You can don a black formal gown anytime, but your wedding is your big chance to wow in white. With that said, if you really love the look, go big and dramatic in a dress that will really stand out. If you want to express your darker side in a less obvious way, black accents like a brooch, a necklace or a sash are the ideal compromises.

    Dress by Vera Wang.