Meghan Markle in Givenchy. Grace Kelly in Helen Rose. Jackie O. in Ann Lowe. These iconic wedding dresses, while each individually unique, all share one key characteristic: timelessness. Unless you have a penchant for taking bold risks with your wardrobe (if so, more power to you!), a classic bridal aesthetic helps ensure you'll love your dress before, during, and long after the wedding day.
Classic wedding dresses are designed to stand the test of time, meaning you'll never cringe when looking back at those wedding portraits. Tried-and-true wedding dress silhouettes deliver by maintaining a sense of structural harmony that never goes out of style. These designs typically shy away from anything considered too ornate or trendy, but rest assured, classic does not translate to boring. Rather, it simply means relying on immaculate tailoring, sleek necklines, rich textures, and restrained embellishments. The finished look is always luxurious in that it commands quite a presence, regardless of the era.
To help you find your dream gown, we've researched the best options available. When scouring the web, we considered a wide variety of styles, keeping silhouette, materials, cost, and overall quality in mind.
Read on for the best timeless wedding dresses.
BHLDN Cali Satin Cowl-Neck Midi Slip Dress
Size Range: 0-26W | Material: Polyester | Delivery: Standard shipping | Return policy: Within 30 days
Keep things easy and breezy with a midi length dress that's both universally flattering and never goes out of style. Plus, this stunner comes in 11 beautiful shades, so your bridesmaids can match your personal style.
Price at time of publish: $168
Anna October Snowdrop Asymmetric Maxi Dress
Size Range: XS-XL | Material: Polyester, cotton | Delivery: Standard shipping | Return policy: Within 28 days
Nothing screams long, lazy days and summer romance quite like this structured, simple, yet striking dress. Pair it with a loose bun and a dewy makeup look to complete the laid-back, summertime vibe.
Price at time of publish: $790
Emilia Wickstead Charlotte Bow-Appliqué Cloqué-Crepe Dress
Size Range: 2-12 | Material: Polyester, cotton, elastane | Delivery: Standard shipping | Return policy: Within 14 days
Remember what we said about classic wedding dresses not being boring? This dress proves our point! While an oversized bow typically lends itself to more trendy aesthetics, this impressive cape gown is an undeniable classic and effortlessly chic.
Price at time of publish: $3,081
For the Minimalist Bride
Alex Perry Eliza Gown
Size Range: UK 4-16 | Material: Satin crepe | Delivery: Standard shipping | Return policy: Within 30 days
Strut down the aisle in this elegant gown. The weighty satin crepe of this striking gown hugs all your gorgeous curves in just the right way. Clean lines, slim straps, and a sharp neckline solidify the minimalist aesthetic.
Price at time of publish: $2,700
Galvan Hampshire Satin-Crepe Gown
Size Range: FR 34-44 | Material: Satin crepe | Delivery: Standard shipping | Return policy: Within 30 days
Simple elegance is always in fashion, and this square-neck design is as timeless as they come. We love the extra detailing in the boned bodice and chapel-length train for a more elevated silhouette. While it's understated in style, it's still gorgeous enough for a formal black-tie event.
Price at time of publish: $2,495
Lela Rose The Foley Gown
Size Range: Made to measure | Material: Satin crepe | Delivery: Made to order | Return policy: Within 10 days
All hail the slinky slip dress! This otherwise simplistic silhouette comes to life with exquisite seaming, a fuller skirt, a sultry low back, and covered button detailing. This would look stunning at a spring garden wedding surrounded by fresh flowers.
Price at time of publish: Available upon request
Grace + Ivory Elle Dress
Size Range: Made to measure | Material: Cotton, polyester | Delivery: 5-6 months | Return policy: Within 10 days for a partial refund
Delicate hand-beading, rich lace overlay, jeweled high neck, and dreamy scalloped train give this design quite the old-world presence. We love how the warm peachy underlay heightens the retro romantic appeal.
Price at time of publish: $2,095
Markarian Bernini Gown
Size Range: 0-14 | Material: Polyester | Delivery: 12-16 weeks | Return policy: Final sale
Structured and flattering yet dreamy and romantic, we can't get enough of this gown. The classic wrap dress, with all its movement and flashes of leg, gets a unique twist courtesy of a strapless neckline. We especially love the soft jacquard print for added richness.
Price at time of publish: $3,495
SAFIYAA Strapless Crepe Gown
Size Range: FR 34-46 | Material: Crepe | Delivery: Standard shipping | Return policy: Within 30 days
The timeless beauty of this strapless gown is in the absence of extra details. Nothing says exquisite quite like needing no additional embellishments to amplify your shine. Pair it with sparkling diamond earrings and tennis necklace for a touch of glam.
Price at time of publish: $1,125
Best High-Low Hem
Halfpenny London Jackson Strapless Asymmetric Duchesse-Satin Gown
Size Range: UK 0-16 | Material: Duchesse satin | Delivery: Standard shipping | Return policy: Within 30 days
With a traditional sweetheart neckline, satin finish, and full skirt, this is a high-low hemline with considerable staying power. Just look at how satisfyingly it graduates to the most perfect pooling in the back.
Price at time of publish: $1,860
DB Studio Crepe off-the-Shoulder Sheath Wedding Dress Style WG-4033
Size Range: 0-30W | Material: Polyester | Delivery: Standard shipping | Return policy: Within seven days
The gathered bodice and fold-over bust of this crepe sheath are as familiar as they are enduring. This dress is an iconic look that would look stunning on any bride. Note: Full-size availability is divided between two dress listings.
Price at time of publish: $300
Roksanda Garance Crepe Midi Dress
Size Range: UK 6-18 | Material: Crepe | Delivery: Standard shipping | Return policy: Within 30 days
These exaggerated sleeves certainly need no introduction, but we especially love the three-quarter length that makes this design more approachable. Plus, there's a stunning diamond-shaped back cutout that now lives in our minds rent-free.
Price at time of publish: $2,495
Jenny by Jenny Yoo Lawrence Square-Neck Open-Back Taffeta Gown
Size Range: 0-18 | Material: Polyester | Delivery: Standard shipping | Return policy: Within 30 days
That's right, this dress has pockets! This classic scoop neck, A-line gown got a major upgrade with the addition of concealed compartments to keep your phone close by or nonchalantly tuck your hands inside. Pair this beauty with an up-do to show off the low back.
Price at time of publish: $1,300
Jenny Yoo Adrienne Gown
Size Range: 00-32 | Material: Lace | Delivery: 20 weeks | Return policy: Final sale
There's nothing like a bit of Chantilly lace to give you all the feels. This skimming fit-and-flare silhouette keeps things simple, while the beaded floral appliqués layered over airy tulle give this gown a modern twist.
Price at time of publish: $2,900
Anne Barge Lamar Strapless Gown
Size Range: 0-22 | Material: Mikado scuba | Delivery: 5-7 business days | Return policy: Full refund within 7 days
A strapless sweetheart neckline is a classic pick every bride should consider, as it's at once timeless and flattering. Wear this gorgeous mikado scuba gown with shoulder-grazing earrings and keep other accessories minimal.
Price at time of publish: $3,400
Sareh Nouri Blaine Gown
Size Range: 0-30 | Material: Italian stretch mikado | Delivery: Free ground shipping | Return policy: Final sale
Make a statement that’ll last a lifetime in this bold gown featuring an off-the-shoulder neckline and a classic A-line silhouette. The glamorous full skirt adds some drama, while the structured bodice keeps things flattering and comfortable.
Price at time of publish: Available upon request
Reformation Ronda Silk Dress
Size Range: 0-12 | Material: Silk | Delivery: Free shipping | Return policy: Full refund within 30 days
Give old Hollywood glamor in this effortlessly elegant silk gown from Reformation. The liquid-like material adds dimension while the off-the-shoulder neckline adds a touch of sexiness. This gown would look stunning at any formal affair.
Price at time of publish: $748
Amsale Salem Gown
Size Range: Made to order | Material: Radzimir, Tulle | Delivery: Free ground shipping | Return policy: Final sale
The understated elegance of these sheer sleeves makes the whole gown feel ultra-chic. It's the perfect pick for the modern bride who still wants to stay true to classic styles and silhouettes.
Price at time of publish: $4,895
What to Look For in a Classic Wedding Dress
Silhouette and materials
Classic wedding dresses are designed to never go out of style. Timeless silhouettes like streamlined sheaths and columns or romantic A-lines and ball gowns have proven their enduring appeal. We love the Jenny Yoo Lawrence Square-Neck Open-Back Taffeta Wedding Gown.
If you're a bride-to-be with traditional tastes, opt for crisp and structured silks or dresses in all-over lace. For brides with a more daring aesthetic, sexy slip dresses and slim, body-hugging designs are always a striking choice. Remember: The beauty is in the details—or lack thereof.
Style and details
If you're looking for subtle or statement-making touches, consider eye-catching open backs, rich beading, or exquisite seaming that align with the look's more elegant vibe. If you think your decision might be steered by the latest trends, ask yourself if you'd still be happy to wear the dress in a few years or pass it down to future generations.
How do you style a classic wedding dress?
For an utterly timeless bridal look, pair your wedding dress with simple accessories like delicate personal jewelry and a classic shoe like an elegant pump or barely there strappy sandal.
What are the most classic wedding dress necklines?
Off-the-shoulder, bateau, high-neck, sweetheart, V-neck, portrait, and scoop are a few classic wedding dress necklines that have established their enduring presence within the bridal sphere.
What are the most popular wedding dress shapes?
Ball gowns, mermaid styles, fit-and-flare dresses, and A-line silhouettes are among the most popular throughout history and today. A-line dresses tend to be the most universally flattering.
Why Trust Brides
Brides contributor Nicole Kliest is a freelance fashion and travel writer with over 11 years of experience reporting on the latest trends.