Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Transparency is a clear trend in fashion right now, but it may not be the first style you had in mind for your wedding dress. While sheer lace panels and tulle layers are customary in the wedding world, bridal designers are offering more risqué options with illusion wedding dresses. Now, we know what you’re thinking: A naked wedding gown could read unsophisticated. But it’s actually a gorgeous and dramatic option if you embrace the look with thoughtful silhouettes and design details.
What Is an Illusion Wedding Dress?
An illusion wedding dress runs the gamut from ultra-sexy to subtly sheer. The raciest versions are often made from see-through fabrics skillfully adorned with glistening beadwork, appliqués, and embroidery.
Plunging necklines and low backs are a sexy reveal, too. Or, try a dress with lace over nude lining that matches your skin tone. For the moderately brave bride, peek-a-boo wedding dresses are illusory without feeling like you’re baring it all. Styles that are semi-sheer in the bodice, along the neckline, or lower down on the skirt are just showy enough. Likewise, fuller skirts with layers of see-through fabric will pull away from your body for more of a tease.
Think you're daring enough for an illusion wedding gown? Ahead, we’ve assembled 35 styles to push you towards saying yes to the dress.
Tadashi Shoji Anika Mermaid Gown
This mermaid wedding gown features hand-cut embroidered chiffon on the illusion neckline, cap sleeves, side panels, and skirt. The floral-inspired, see-through cutouts are paired with stretch crepe for a flattering silhouette.
SHOP NOW: Tadashi Shoji, $828
Jenny by Jenny Yoo Carson Dress
Available in ivory and ivory/chai, this allover lace fit-and-flare wedding dress with a deep V illusion neckline is elegant and flirtatious. It features beaded lace over nude lining (but is also available unbeaded), illusion tulle side cutouts, and princess seams for a slimming effect.
SHOP NOW: Jenny by Jenny Yoo, $2,500
Milla by Lorenzo Rossi Daisy Dress
This stunning strapless dress features a plunging neckline with illusion tulle and detailed floral embroidery. The top-to-bottom sheer effect is enhanced by a subtle shimmer.
SHOP NOW: Milla by Lorenzo Rossi, Price Upon Request
Hayley Paige Lorelai Plus Size Dress
A playful tiered skirt made from rosewater tulle with horsehair trim adds a bit of whimsy to this sultry illusion bateau neckline ballgown. The floral beaded and embroidered bodice is paired with a low, open back for just the right amount of sheer.
SHOP NOW: Kleinfeld, $4,875
Willowby by Watters Mikaela Dress
Intricately cut and placed Chantilly lace adorns this beautiful A-line illusion wedding dress. The bodice features a jewel neck, cap sleeves, and an open back that adds just a bit more drama to this bridal look.
SHOP NOW: Willowby by Watters, from $1,995
Grace Loves Lace Peaches Wedding Dress
This feminine mermaid gown is a modern take on the off-the-shoulder silhouette. Handmade with exclusive stretch rose lace over nude lining, this dress is designed to accentuate your curves. The train is hemmed with hand-placed rose motifs for a lovely extra detail.
SHOP NOW: Grace Loves Lace, $1,600
Justin Alexander Signature Carter Dress
This mikado ballgown features an embellished bodice with an illusion Sabrina neckline adorned with scattered beading. A V-back, pockets, and buttons down the chapel train add modern details to this classic look.
SHOP NOW: Justin Alexander Signature, Price Upon Request
Martin Thornburg Dolores Gown
Rock this multifaceted tulle and organza gown with a fit-and-flare silhouette. Embroidered Schiffli lace and corded lace appliqués overlay nude lining for a sensual look. A sweetheart neckline gives way to optional illusion lace sleeves, and you can upgrade the look with a detachable semi-cathedral train.
SHOP NOW: Martin Thornburg, Price Upon Request
Watters Sirena Gown
For the bride seeking something extraordinary, this fit-and-flare gown features a plunging illusion neckline and head-to-toe beaded lace topped with gorgeous floral cutouts. A flowing train completes this sexy and romantic look.
SHOP NOW: Watters, from $3,328
Louise by Liz Martinez Zoey Gown
This illusion wedding dress with floral appliqués and beading is a true stunner. Featuring a plunging illusion neckline, cap sleeves, an open back, and tulle godets on the fitted skirt, this sensuous gown is overflowing with gorgeous details.
SHOP NOW: Louise by Liz Martinez, Price Upon Request
Hayley Paige Remmington Gown
Utterly bridal, this rosewater A-line gown is sure to turn heads with its illusion floral beaded bodice, front and back bateau neckline, and lacy long sleeves. The layered English net circle skirt flows beautifully for a look that's both soft and sexy.
SHOP NOW: Hayley Paige, Price Upon Request
If you want to play with transparency but still incorporate a bit of modesty, long sleeves are a great way to balance a dress with sheer elements.
Rosa Clará Couture Elba Dress
For the boho-chic bride seeking something classy and vintage-inspired with just a bit of drama, this full-length gown is sure to tick all your boxes. It's made from tulle and lace inlays and features details like an illusion floral lace bodice, an open back, and dotted long plumetti sleeves. The round neckline, flowing skirt, and chapel train are ultra-romantic touches.
SHOP NOW: Rosa Clará Couture, Price Upon Request
Sincerity Bridal Illusion Bodice Gown with Allover Lace
This allover lace fit-and-flare gown features a striking illusion bodice with lovely floral details and charming cap sleeves. Details like buttons to the end of the zipper and a chapel train add timelessness to this subtly sheer bridal look.
SHOP NOW: Sincerity Bridal, Price Upon Request
White by Vera Wang Ruched Illusion High-Neck Bandeau Sheath Gown
This ultra-chic yet affordable gown features a ruched high neck and three-quarter-sleeve illusion overlay with a sequined lace bandeau-style sheath underneath. Fitted with a sweep train, this dress is daring with so much class.
SHOP NOW: David's Bridal, was $528, now $478
Willowby by Watters Nikola Gown
This fitted gown featuring illusion tulle side panels and an illusion V-neckline is perfect for the bride seeking something subtly sheer. Floral lace is cut and placed from top to toe over nude lining, and the whisper-soft skirt completes the boho look.
SHOP NOW: BHLDN, $1,495
Alon Livné White Lexi Wedding Dress
This sheer illusion wedding dress is glistening with allover beaded lace and silver sequin details. Wide sleeves and gorgeous embellishments balance out the barely-there fabric and deep V-neck.
SHOP NOW: Alon Livné White, Price Upon Request
Justin Alexander Allover Lace Illusion Long Sleeve Fit-and-Flare Gown
Vintage-inspired with a modern flair, this long-sleeve gown with allover lace is elegant as it is bold. The illusion bodice is detailed with lovely lace that extends down the flared skirt featuring tulle godets. A sheer illusion back with buttons from the back neckline to the end of the zipper ensures drama from every angle.
SHOP NOW: Justin Alexander, Price Upon Request
Berta Bridal Napoli Style 20-110
This allover lace fit-and-flare gown is a gorgeous blend of modesty and sexiness. The high neck and long sleeves juxtapose a wide-open back and nude lining under intricate floral lace. Figure-defining and oh-so-bridal, this illusion gown is a total stunner.
SHOP NOW: Berta Bridal, Price Upon Request
Alexandra Grecco Germaine Gown
A mock-neck bodice and long sleeves pair perfectly with this gown's wide open back, side cut-outs, and silk crepe skirt with a high slit to show off some leg. The sheer bodice and sleeves are adorned with embroidered abstract floral appliqués that create a look so sophisticated and sexy.
SHOP NOW: Alexandra Grecco, Price Upon Request
Galia Lahav Florence By Night Cherry Blossom Gown
This gown is for the bride with nothing to hide. The column dress features a geometric cutout bodysuit and puffy shoulders atop a pair of sheer, lacy long sleeves. Cherry blossom embroidered tulle with a floral motif provide most of the coverage on this ultra-sheer gown for only the most daring.
SHOP NOW: Galia Lahav, Price Upon Request
If you love this look but want more coverage, invest in a detachable overskirt with a slit, and have your seamstress sew it on. You can customize the amount of sheer underskirt still visible to your liking.
Georges Hobeika Fall-Winter 2020-21 Collection Look 4
This wedding gown's sheer bodice and skirt are covered with shimmery, beaded floral embellishments. The high illusion neck and three-quarter sleeves give way to a layered skirt with a high slit and a flowing train. A defined high waist with floral detail creates a super slimming effect. You'll radiate nothing but confidence in this dress.
SHOP NOW: Georges Hobeika, Price Upon Request
Berta Bridal Style 18-120
A combination of intricate embroidery and sheer fabric creates a stunning look that shows off all your best assets. A high neck and long sleeves contrast with a cutout illusion V-neckline and a partially sheer skirt with lace detailing at the hem.
SHOP NOW: Berta Bridal, Price Upon Request
Inbal Dror Look 19-7
This barely-there illusion wedding gown is as bold as they come. For the whimsical bride seeking a totally sheer look, this gown features a plunging V-neck and a layered skirt adorned with floral embroidery and silver sequins.
SHOP NOW: Inbal Dror, Price Upon Request
Allure Bridals Style 9771
This fitted sheath gown features just a touch of illusion detailing at the neckline and unique racerback. Nude lining under ornately beaded fabric adds a touch of modern to a classic bridal gown.
SHOP NOW: Allure Bridals, Price Upon Request
Maggie Sottero Chevelle Lynette Plus Size Wedding Dress
This off-the-shoulder sheath wedding gown is enhanced by sequined rose lace motifs and subtle illusion at the neckline and long sleeves. The embellished sheer bodice gives way to an illusion bateau and back for a touch of risque. This gown also comes in all ivory if you would prefer to do without the nude illusion.
SHOP NOW: Maggie Sottero, Price Upon Request
Isabelle Armstrong Positano Gown
This couture-inspired wedding dress is a showstopper. The A-line gown features allover 3D floral embroidery, an illusion bateau neckline, and bell sleeves for an added flair.
SHOP NOW: Isabelle Armstrong, Price Upon Request
Margaux Tardits Orféo Wedding Dress
This long-sleeve dress with a plunging neckline features a sheer tulle illusion bodice with seashell embroidery. The defining waistband is complemented by a scalloped peplum at the hips, giving way to a romantic silk chiffon skirt.
SHOP NOW: Margaux Tardits, Price Upon Request
Pronovias Claudette Wedding Dress
This mermaid dress is movie-star glamorous. The crepe skirt falls beautifully beneath the Guipure lace bodice featuring a V-neck and back. The sheer illusion three-quarter sleeves and detachable tulle train add a romantic touch.
SHOP NOW: Pronovias, Price Upon Request
Maggie Sottero Quinley Gown
An illusion beaded lace bodice with tank straps adds romance to this sparkly tulle A-line wedding dress. Beaded lace motifs over patterned glitter tulle adorn this boho gown featuring a deep V-neck and back.
SHOP NOW: Maggie Sottero, Price Upon Request
Pnina Tornai Style #4516
Nothing says classic like a bright white ballgown with a satin bodice and a dramatic tulle skirt. This dress boasts a modern touch with its plunging illusion neckline.
SHOP NOW: Kleinfeld, $5,000
Rime Arodaky Blair Gown
Hand-embroidered flowers decorate the bust and skirt of this high-waisted dress in embroidered tulle over skin-colored tulle. Show off some skin with this gown's open back and fitted crepe skirt with a high slit.
SHOP NOW: Rime Arodaky, $5,794.94
Wtoo by Watters Camden Plus Size Wedding Dress
This voluminous ballgown is as bridal as can be. The illusion bodice and long sleeves are accented with romantic lace detailing, while the sheer illusion back features button enclosures. A satin belt separates the top from the dramatic full net skirt fit for a princess.
SHOP NOW: Wtoo by Watters, from $1,529.50
Allure Bridals Style 9522
This lace halter gown features an illusion neckline and an overskirt embroidered with intertwining vines and geometric patterns. The open back and plunging neckline show just the right amount of skin, while the skirt is just barely see-through.
SHOP NOW: Estelle's, Price Upon Request
Morilee by Madeline Gardner Sasha Wedding Dress
This gown's sheer off-the-shoulder neckline with a deep V features frosted, embroidered appliqués that extend down the net skirt. Long sleeves add a lovely detail to this figure-defining mermaid dress.
SHOP NOW: Morilee by Madeline Gardner, Price Upon Request
Jenny by Jenny Yoo Conrad Gown
This A-line gown features an illusion neckline and back accented with covered buttons. The deep V adds drama while the airy skirt gives way to a beautiful flowing train. Add a bejeweled belt to really define your waist and glam up this otherwise simple bridal gown.
SHOP NOW: BHLDN, $975