20 Timeless Wedding Dresses for the Classic Bride

These stunning gowns will never go out of style

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timeles wedding dress

PHOTO BY KELLY GIARROCCO

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 the presence, regardless of the era.

Read on to discover our 20 favorite gowns with an enduring aesthetic.

Best Midi: BHLDN Satin Midi Dress

dress

Courtesy of BHLDN

Size Range: 0-26W | Material: Polyester | Delivery: Standard shipping | Return policy: Within 30 days

Keep things easy breezy with a midi length that's both universally flattering and never goes out of style. Plus, this stunner comes in 20 beautiful shades.

Price at time of publish: $168

For a Backyard Wedding: Anna October Bustier Satin Dress

Anna October dress

Courtesy of Moda Operandi

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 dress. Pair with a loose bun and dewy makeup to complete the laid-back, summertime vibe.

Price at time of publish: $805

Most Unexpected: Emilia Wickstead Bow-Appliqué Cloqué-Crepe Dress

dress

Courtesy of Emilia Wickstead

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? Here's proof: While an oversize bow typically lends itself to more trendy aesthetics, this impressive cape gown is an undeniable classic.

Price at time of publish: $3,800

For the Minimalist Bride: Alex Perry Eliza Gown

dress

Courtesy of Net-A-Porter

Size Range: UK 4-16 | Material: Satin crepe | Delivery: Standard shipping | Return policy: Within 30 days

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

Most Customizable: Fame & Partners Gathered Belted Gown

dress

Courtesy of Fame & Partners

Size Range: 0-22 | Material: Satin twill | Delivery: 8-10 weeks | Return policy: Within 30 days

This belted gown is the stuff preppy dreams are made of. Options to choose your own back style, length, fabric, and color ensure those dreams come to life on your big day.

Most Understated: Galvan Hampshire Satin-Crepe Gown

Galvan Hampshire Satin-Crepe Gown

Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

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.

Price at time of publish: $2,495

Most Wearable: Alaïa Cotton-Gabardine Maxi Dress

dress

Courtesy of Net-A-Porter

Size Range: FR 36-44 | Material: Cotton | Delivery: Standard shipping | Return policy: Within 30 days

With a demure neckline, fitted bodice, and full skirt, this just might be the wedding dress you wear again and again. And did we mention it's 100 percent cotton?

Price at time of publish: $3,310

Best Slip: Lela Rose The Foley Gown

dress

Courtesy of Lela Rose

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, fuller skirt, sultry low back, and covered button detailing.

Best Off-the-Shoulder: Torrid Ivory Off Shoulder Lace & Sequin Dress

dress

Courtesy of Torrid

Size Range: 10-30 | Material: Nylon, spandex | Delivery: Standard shipping | Return policy: Within 60 days

Romantic brides, rejoice! This off-the-shoulder lace gown with poetic pooling train was made with you in mind. The subtle sequins and beading will surely amplify that bridal glow.

Price at time of publish: $298

Best Vintage-Inspired: Grace + Ivory Elle Lace Gown

dress

Courtesy of Grace + Ivory

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

Best Modest Option: Roland Mouret Ella Gown

dress

Courtesy of Net-A-Porter

Size Range: UK 8-16 | Material: Wool, silk | Delivery: Standard shipping | Return policy: Within 30 days

This full-coverage sheath definitely has our attention with its intentional details and front slit to add fluidity. Keep in mind that wool silk is a heavier material best suited for cooler temperatures.

Best Allover Lace: Jenny Yoo Simone Gown

dress

Courtesy of Jenny Yoo

Size Range: 00-32 | Material: French 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, so all eyes are on the pièce de résistance.

Price at time of publish: $4,500

Best Strapless: Markarian Bernini Gown

dress

Courtesy of Markarian

Size Range: 0-14 | Material: Polyester | Delivery: 12-16 weeks | Return policy: Final sale

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

Most Pared-Back: Safiyaa Strapless Gown

dress

Courtesy of Net-A-Porter

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.

Price at time of publish: $1,125

Best High-Low Hem: Halfpenny London Jackson Strapless Asymmetric Gown

dress

Courtesy of Net-A-Porter

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.

Most Iconic: David's Bridal Crepe Off-Shoulder Sheath Wedding Dress

David's Bridal Crepe Off-Shoulder Sheath Wedding Dress

Courtesy of David's Bridal

Size Range: 0-34W | Material: Polyester | Delivery: Standard shipping | Return policy: Within seven days

The gathered bodice and fold-over bust of this crepe sheath is as familiar as it is enduring. It's an iconic look. Note: Full size availability is divided between two dress listings.

Best Sleeves: Roksanda Garance Crepe Midi Dress

Roksanda Garance Crepe Midi Dress

Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

Size Range: UK 6-16 | 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

For the Fashion-Forward Bride: Elliatt Kate Dress

Elliatt Kate Dress

Courtesy of BHLDN

Size Range: XS-XL | Material: Polyester | Delivery: Standard shipping | Return policy: Within 30 days

This is how you incorporate fun accents into a timeless design: with intentional restraint. The textured panel of wispy feathers acts as a playful flourish, not a competing focal point.

Best One Shoulder: ML Monique Lhuillier Lionel One-Shoulder Dress

ML Monique Lhuillier Lionel One-Shoulder Dress

Courtesy of BHLDN

Size Range: 0-16 | Material: Polyester | Delivery: Standard shipping | Return policy: Within 30 days

This one-shoulder knockout is proof that asymmetry is no passing fad. Those crisp, clean lines, statuesque silhouette, and contemporary bow are as chic as can be.

Best Pockets: Jenny by Jenny Yoo Lawrence Gown

Jenny by Jenny Yoo Lawrence Gown

Courtesy of BHLDN

Size Range: 0-18 | Material: Polyester | Delivery: Standard shipping | Return policy: Within 30 days

That's right, we said pockets! This classic scoop neck, A-line gown got a major upgrade with the addition of concealed compartments to keep your phone or nonchalantly tuck your hands inside.

Price at time of publish: $1,300

What to Look For in a Classic Wedding Dress

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.

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.

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.

FAQ
  • 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 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

Nicole Kliest is a freelance fashion and travel writer with over 11 years of experience reporting on the latest trends.

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