Wedding Dress 101: Choosing the Right Shade of White

When it comes to bridal dresses, white isn’t necessarily have to be pure white. From ecru to champagne to ivory, they can all be the appropriate white dress for you. The style and silhouette aren’t the only things you have to consider when searching for the right wedding gown, but the shade of white must be taken into consideration as well. Here are the essential points to keep in mind when looking for the most flattering white wedding dress.

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Photo by Affinity Pictures

Season of the Wedding

Brides who have had their “perfect white” analyzed may have been advised to use the season as their guide. Each season has a palette of flattering hues that often bear a resemblance to the actual season. For instance, colors of new blooms and grass completes the spring palette, the colors of changing leaves for autumn palette, pristine white represents winter, and a touch of blushes and tans for summer.

Skin Complexion

Another consideration you may want to consider when choosing the perfect white dress is your skin complexion. Here’s a guide to help you remember.

• Fair Complexion. If you’re a bride with fair complexion, steer clear from whites that are too stark as it will only drain the natural glow of colors on your face. Opt for off-white or natural white dresses as they have the most flattering undertones for your skin type, which are yellow and gold. Natural fabrics, like silk, can make variants of white look more subtle and, therefore, a flattering choice for fair-skinned women.

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Photo by Chris Ling Photography

• Medium Complexion. Shades from stark to creamy white with hints of yellow will make medium complexioned women look glowing, as they help down town the redness of your skin tone. For women with pink undertones, go for cream white dress. If you have yellow undertones, a shade softer than stark white, which is known as diamond white, will flatter your skin best.

• Dark Complexion. Brides with dark skin tone, you can wear the whitest of white gowns in all sorts of fabrics. If pure white gown isn’t your choice, shade of white with a slight touch of brown, or a latte-shade white, looks equally stunning on you. You can also pick a gown in cool white shades with hints of blue instead of choosing warm shades of white.

Lighting of the Venue

A minor consideration though, the lighting of the venue is also an aspect when choosing the shade of white of your wedding dress. Soft evening lighting is much easier to handle than fluorescent lighting. However, natural lighting is the most flattering to all types of dress color and skin complexion. Fluorescent lighting makes your choice of shade more critical. Moonlight and candlelight is also flattering to everyone, allowing for a wider range of options for you. Request for color swatches and check them in outdoor lighting if the wedding is outdoors and in artificial lighting if wedding is indoors.

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Photo by French Wedding

The “Almost White” Options

White wedding dresses became popular after Queen Victoria of England wore one on her wedding in year 1840. But years before that, brides simply wear any dress, in any color. If you wish to wear a colored gown but don’t want to trash entirely the traditional white dress, a good compromise is the “almost white” wedding dress. Pick a dress in a very pale color that flatters you best, like blush pink, banana yellow, or ice blue. A good material for these dresses is chiffon. Chiffon is a lightweight fabric that can be used create layers and subtle color effects. For example, a layer of pastel-colored chiffon underneath white layers of chiffon gives off soft colors that the gown appears “almost white.”

Common Shades of White

• Bright White or Stark White
This is the whitest of all whites. It can give brides a glowing effect is particularly striking when worn by brides with darker complexion. This is also considered as the hardest color to wear as it can drain the color of ladies with fair to medium skin tones.

• Ivory
Under ivory, there are more variations that brides may have to consider. However, this is considered as the most flattering shade for almost all brides. Just be sure though to examine how a variant of ivory accentuates your eye and skin by holding a color swatch next to you face. Some ivories, have warm undertones while other have pinker tints.

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Photo by Kent Wong Photography

• Candlelight
This shade is a deeper shade of ivory with slight hints of beige and cream. As the name denotes, this shade meant to reflect the color of candlelight under the influence of white hue. This variant of white looks exceptionally beautiful for evening weddings, when the color’s richness matches the formality of your evening event.

• Ecru
This white is the deepest shade of ivory and looks almost beige or tan. Ecru is how an unbleached linen looks like. If you wish to wear something less traditional but with depth and richness, ecru is one of the shades of white to consider.

• Champagne White
This is a romantic shade of white with a slight hint of pink. In low light and photos, this shade appears nearly white but accentuates well an olive or sallow skin. A deeper shade of this color is often called as rum white.

When looking for the right shade of white for your wedding dress, you don’t have to stress yourself over again like you did when you were still on the hunt for the prefect wedding dress style. All you need to do is to know your complexion and follow the guidelines above.

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Photo by White Link

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