How to Find the Perfect Wedding Dress: Dress Trends

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Trying to find the perfect wedding dress can unleash your inner Bridezilla.

“It’s a special day and brides want to look perfect,” says Michelle Gunn, co-owner of MRS. Bridal Boutique in Toronto. “Dress shopping can be frustrating and bring out your insecurities.”

First step: give yourself enough time, says Andrea Anastasiou, owner of White Toronto. If possible, aim to buy your dress eight to 10 months in advance. This gives you the best chance of getting the style you want and you want a buffer of a couple of months for any alterations—or, any disasters (hey, they happen).

If you don’t have eight months, what are you doing? Read part one of our story (look for part two next Friday) and then get going.

How to Find the Perfect Wedding Dress


“This year is not about simple shapes,” says Kirsten Mogg, spokesperson for White on White, a Canadian bridalwear manufacturer. “We’re heading back to extravagant styles where there’s quite a bit going on. Bridal brands are experimenting with different shapes and layers.”

Sleeves and Straps

Strapless has been in for a few years but spaghetti straps and sleeves are coming back ever since Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, showed us that “you can wear sleeves without looking like an old maid,” says Gunn.

“We call it the Kate Effect,” says Anastasiou. “The day after Kate’s wedding, lace got shown and there was no new design that didn’t have a sleeve. We had brides calling the next day asking to add sleeves to their dresses.”

Lovely Lace

Lace has always had somewhat of a following because it nods to bridal gown tradition, but Kate made it the top fabric.

“In 2011, there was a bit of lace coming in,” says Mogg. “But now we’ve gone from touches to all-over lace, which we haven’t seen in a long time.”

You’ll find it in all dresses, from poufs to more non-traditional bridal silhouettes like sexy sheaths.


We’re seeing silk-satin a lot, says Gunn. It looks nice on the beach or for a summer wedding and looks great in a sheath. Silk-satin clings to the body, she says, but in a way that flatters.

Pouf In

Turn up the volume. Full skirts are still a strong trend, but they’re softer and frothier, in tulle trimmed with Chantilly lace, or petals cut by hand with raw edges. It’s textured with more of a couture feeling, says Anastasiou. The volume continues next year too.

The Long and Short of It

From knee-length to tea-length, going short is in. “[The looks is] ‘50s vintage, with nipped waists and tiny bodices with full skirts,” says Anastasiou. A popular bridge to the long-short extreme is the convertible dress, says Mogg: a traditional long gown with removable overskirt that turns it into a sheath.

Colour Your World

Designers always try to introduce blush or pink into their bridal collections. This year, thanks to actress Reese Witherspoon, who wore pink for her wedding last year to talent agent Jim Toth, people are actually buying it, says Anastasiou.

Colour is also appearing in details such as hair accessories, sashes, and shoes.

Next Friday: The best wedding dress styles for your body type and number one piece of advice from the pros.

By Doris Montanera

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