Ahhh, the Meghan Markle effect. For any recently engaged bride-to-be, the debut of her ultra-minimal, three-quarter sleeve, boat-neck Givenchy wedding gown designed by Clare Waight Keller certainly served as inspiration for a modern bridal look. A fresh alternative to the traditional Alexander McQueen lace design worn by Kate Middleton (designed by Sarah Burton), the now Duchess of Sussex took a streamlined approach to her royal wedding day look not once, but twice with her second wedding dress by Stella McCartney (who recently launched her first official bridal collection). Similarly minimal, the high neck, halter gown was a refreshing second act to her pared-back ceremony gown, and a less conservative option for brides-to-be who want to show a little arm and shoulder at their wedding like Meghan.
A sleeveless wedding dress with a high neckline is a decidedly fresh bridal look and quite flattering in terms of silhouette no matter your body type. Whether you’re seeking a straight column, A-line, or mermaid-shaped skirt, a high neckline appears elegant with any dress style whether you go for a halter like Megan or neckline that hits at the collarbone. Higher necklines will feel sophisticated and slightly more conservative as opposed to a sleeveless wedding dress that shows your décolletage. Plus, a high neckline will serve as an elegant balance to bare arms, which while perfectly acceptable for most modern brides, adds a level of modesty to the look.
If you’re looking to re-create Meghan’s second wedding dress to a T, Stella McCartney and many other bridal designers have created near-identical versions at various price points. For a little more glitz and glamour, you can up the ante with a high-neck wedding dress with lace detailing, sheer overlays with appliqué, or glamorous beadwork. If the silhouette itself is all you’re looking to re-create and you want to go a little unconventional with your wedding dress, an illusion-style gown or glitzy sequin number will be a dazzling alternative.
Ready to shop for a sleeveless, high-neck wedding dress á la Meghan Markle? Ahead, shop our edit of 54 styles from super-minimal to classic to daring.