The past year and a half have been nothing short of transformational (to say the least!). The world experienced a massive shift, and we were all forced to quickly adapt to new ways of thinking and conducting business. However, and not unexpectedly, the wedding industry as a whole remained resilient, and love was the steady foundation for not only couples, but for the vendors, planners, and designers who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make all wedding dreams come true.
As we continue to approach a post-COVID life, it's important to note that, though the changes made during the pandemic were necessary for the time, some helped move the industry forward in a positive direction—especially within bridal fashion. In the past, traditional ballgowns, with lots of tulle and sparkles, were a huge trend due to the history of the white wedding dress. "Voluminous gowns, for a show-stopping moment, were a staple pre-COVID and [had] remained popular," says Charles Dieujuste, designer and founder of Scorcesa.
But, given the new era of celebrations and parties, brides are now leaning away from traditional fashion, to styles that express their personal aesthetics. The trends we saw in 2020, and now in 2021, aren't a thing of the past, but remain a glimpse into the future of bridal wear within 2022 and beyond.
So, to help shed light on "the new norm," we tapped a few bridal fashion experts to break down the future of bridal wear, and explain the dos and dont's of post-pandemic bridal fashion.
A Nod Towards More Color
Dresses incorporating color became extremely popular in 2020, and the experts agree it's a trend that's here to stay. "We have always seen brides think outside the box with their gown choice. We have quite a few bridal offerings with prints and color and have seen brides be more open to expressing their individuality following the pandemic," reveals designer, Monique Lhuillier.
This doesn't mean that white dresses are no longer a trend, though! White weddings gowns are still popular, but color is now seen as less unconventional, and more modern, approachable, and a form of self-expression. "I do think brides have realized how important their wedding day is to not only express themselves but also to have fun and enjoy such a celebratory moment," adds Lhuillier.
For those who would like to embrace this style but are unsure of where to start, we recommend starting small—like adding color to a veil or a bridal belt. You don't have to be overly colorful to enjoy this vibrant trend.
Embracing Non-Traditional Silhouettes
Let's face it, mini wedding dresses became extremely popular during the pandemic. "We have spent a lot of time listening to brides directly to understand what they are looking for from designers during this time—and we see a great mix of wants from more fashion-forward looks such as high slits, and non-traditional mini and midi dresses," reveals Georgina Chapman, creative director of Marchesa.
While we've seen an influx of minis walking down the aisle, there are even more non-traditional looks—like detachable skirts and sleeves, bridal suits, and jumpsuits—that have gained popularity in recent years. Silhouettes that were once seen as unconventional will be a bridal wardrobe staple and an option many brides may want to consider.
Creative Accessories Beyond Jewelry
Gone are the days when shoes and jewelry are the main accessories worn by a bride. With the emergence of non-traditional silhouettes and dresses, designers have also seen a shift towards different and more fashion-forward pieces. Gloves, removable capes, blushers, elaborate headbands, and even hats are common add-ons we can expect to see when it's time to say "I do."
"In addition, sleeves are important, [so] we have many removable jacket options so brides can have the ability to have two looks on their day by just removing the jacket to reveal a strapless or sleeveless gown," shares Lhuillier. What's more, jackets add a fun and playful element to any wedding day look, and can be customized and personally styled.
Bridal Fashion Tips
Even with all the new looks and trends to choose from, a wedding is a special event, and all final decisions are reserved for the couple. If none of the latest trends resonate with you, that's totally fine! "There are so many beautiful wedding concepts now. These trends are transcending specific types of brides, [and] they are more about your personal vision for your big day," highlights Chapman. What you choose to wear should be your decision.
In the end—and what's most important—is that brides should always stay true to themselves and embrace what makes them feel their best. There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to bridal fashion. "I always want my bride to find the dress that makes her feel like her best self on her wedding day and gives her confidence," notes Lhuillier.
One final piece of advice? "Break all the rules on your wedding day, your way!" shares Dieujuste.