Illusion lace, cut outs, daring necklines — what's not to love about wedding dresses with more than a little sex appeal? But as much as we heart these looks, grandma and a few other family members may think otherwise — especially if you're having a religious ceremony. A sexy bridal style does mark a departure from traditional bridal wear. While you might find the look sizzling, others may find it… well, offensive. Never fear, dear brides, because it is possible to nail the perfect blend of sweet and spice that suits both you and your guests. The key is balance.
Less is more — pick just one revealing look.
If you want to show a bit of skin, go for it — just make sure it's in the right place and doesn't go too far; your dress should ride the line between sexy and modest. A general rule of thumb is to opt for one revealing style and keep the rest of the dress subtle to focus attention on the one place you're showing off some skin. If you like a V-neck, pair it with a full coverage back or a collar neckline featuring a keyhole. If you're feeling a plunging back, pair it with long sleeves. Feminine accents, such as bows and ruffles, which are featured on today's dresses everywhere from hemlines to back details to scattered adornments, also go a long way in balancing out the sexiness of a dress. Lace is also a good complement to illusion fabric or a skin-baring cut-out.
Opt for a sophisticated alternative.
Love a plunging neckline? Choose a gown that features the design with a mesh or sheer overlay. Want to show a bit of leg? Instead of a mini dress, go for a gown with a split or a gown with a sheer lace skirt at the bottom — both options have a fun peek-a-boo effect. A low back can be made more refined with subtle, pretty details, such as a bow or illusion lace. Likewise, mid-section cut-outs, a trendy choice, can be covered in a mesh or illusion fabric for a more toned down look — you can still see skin, but a bit more is left to the imagination.
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Choose a flattering silhouette.
Any dress that fits you in just the right places will make you feel sexy and confident, which will easily translate to your appearance — it doesn't have to necessarily be a fitted, body-tight number. When you're trying on wedding dresses, think in terms of what makes you feel comfortable and also flatters an asset that you want to highlight, coupled with smaller hints of sexiness — a relaxed silk gown with a low cowl neckline, an off-shoulder dress that shows off the shoulders and décolletage, a dropped waist to elongate the torso. Even if a bit of skin is showing, the right silhouette for your body will make it look nothing but elegant.
At the end of the day, you'll want a dress in which you feel at ease — even if that requires a lot of fashion tape for extra security!