The rising trend of the short wedding dress

When we think of wedding dresses, we imagine traditional flowing gowns made of satin and lace, with a long train and perhaps a little sparkle. While some brides still prefer the classic wedding gown, in recent years there has been a steady rise of short wedding dresses showing up on bridal catwalks.

A short history of short wedding dresses

Short wedding dresses are not a recent invention, though. Brides have been opting for short style wedding gowns for nearly a century. French fashion designer Coco Chanel first introduced the short style wedding dress back in the early 1920’s. The dress designs in the roaring twenties were rather simple, made with white or ivory silk in shift style and were either tea length or just above the knee. The bridal look was usually finished of with a long veil and dramatic headdress. The bride would typically carry a bouquet of white lilies.

The short dress trend continued through the decades, with famous designers such as Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent catching on, creating some of the most stunning and iconic gowns in wedding dress history.

Famous brides who opted to wear a short style wedding gown include actress Raquel Welch. She chose a crochet mini dress for her Parisian wedding to Patrick Curtis in 1967. 1990’s supermodel Cindy Crawford opted for an ‘off the peg’ short slip style wedding dress by John Galliano for her Caribbean beach wedding.  Actress Keira Knightly wore her knee length wedding dress three times. The pretty tulle gown designed by Chanel was not only worn on her wedding In May 2013, but she had already worn it previously in 2008 at the BAFTA awards, and then again in December 2013 to a charity event.

Why you should be embracing the short wedding dress

Wedding magazines are loving short wedding dress designs. They are practical, comfortable and less expensive because they do not have as much material as long and elaborate wedding gowns.

Taylah Brewer from The TrendSpotter says:

“Although bridal wear tends to err on the side of tradition, it does go through trends. Like any type of clothing, styles come in and out of fashion as tastes change and grow. Currently, one trend is dominating the world of wedding dresses both on the runway and in the boutiques. Short wedding dresses have emerged as a new favourite amongst designers and stylish brides alike. Whether they’re cropped just above the ankles or cut to a daring cocktail length, short dresses are appearing on aisles everywhere. Not only is the short wedding dress a refreshing departure from the traditional floor-length or train gown, it’s also completely practical and versatile. Whether you’re having your wedding at the beach, are opting for a vintage theme, or are looking to be the most fashion-forward bride, there’s a type of short wedding dress to suit your needs.”

A short dress is ideal for an exotic beach wedding too. The perfect length is somewhere between mid-shin and mid-thigh. By keeping fabrics light and designs unstructured, it will help a bride stay cool and comfortable on a hot day. A vintage short dress offers charm and elegance, like a 1920’s flapper girl or a classic tea length style for a 1950’s look. A lace dress will have a traditional wedding look and is beautiful and timeless. The best thing of all about a short wedding dress is that you can wear it again and again.

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Katie Davies

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