Some wedding styles are less timeless than others.elgreko/Shutterstock
Insider asked fashion experts about their least and most favorite wedding looks.
Ball gowns and mermaid-style dresses are popular choices but aren’t entirely functional.
Low-back numbers and long sleeves add style and drama to just about any occasion.
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Some wedding-day looks are fleeting, but others have the potential to become timeless styles.
Insider asked fashion professionals to share their least favorite outfit trends, and which numbers they’ll likely adore for years to come.
Puffy ball gowns often make movement difficult
wedding dress bride bridal gown
Ball gowns are not the most functional choice.Thibault Camus/AP
Creative director Sarah Johnson, the owner of Odette and Odile, told Insider that one of her least favorite wedding looks is the puffy ball gown.
“This style is impractical, as you’ll spend most of the night getting stepped on and adjusting your dress,” Johnson said. “It also creates so much space between you and your partner.”
Johnson recommended swapping the full ball gown for a slimmer style, like an A-line fit, or changing into a second dress for the reception.
Mermaid gowns can be uncomfortable
mermaid wedding dress
Mermaid-style dresses can be difficult to walk in.Ana Iacob Photography/Shuttershock
Nic Hyl, creative director and founder of her namesake fashion line, told Insider that mermaid gowns may be overdone and are often difficult to comfortably wear.
“For me, this style lacks originality,” Hyl said. “The silhouette can be flattering on the body, but you see it far too often, and it’s actually really difficult to walk and move in.”
Hyl suggested that brides looking for a figure-flattering dress consider an illusion gown, which features sheer mesh or lace accents that reveal a bit of skin.
Tiaras are difficult to keep straight
Johnson told Insider that brides should skip the glittery crown on their wedding day.
“I wouldn’t recommend a tiara unless you’re an actual princess,” Johnson said. “They end up being crooked a majority of the time.”
Those looking for a bit of sparkle can opt for jeweled or metallic clips as a more subtle way to embellish their wedding hairdo.
Designers said they can’t stand the idea of sneakers as wedding shoes
Formal flats may be a better choice than sneakers.4ER.NIKOVA/Shuttershock
Johnson said that she cringes every time she sees sneakers worn with a wedding dress.
“You can use gel inserts to make your heels much more comfortable,” Johnson said. “I die a little inside when I see brides wearing sneakers or going barefoot.”
Hyl added that opting for formal flats over heels can keep the look comfortable and wedding-appropriate.
“There are so many beautiful and comfortable shoes in the world that a sneaker shouldn’t be the final choice for such an important event,” Hyl told Insider.
Cropped wedding dresses may be overly trendy
The trend for cropped separates has morphed into wedding attire, but Johnson advised against sporting this look on your big day.
“This style never looks as good in practice as it does in magazines,” Johnson said.
She added that swapping the cropped gown for a chic jumpsuit could make for a less risky, yet still unconventional wedding look.
Puffy sleeves can be impractical and photograph poorly
puffy sleeve wedding dress
Puffy sleeves can often catch on things.RenataP/Shuttershock
Tina Zysk, creative director and founder of Grace and Ivory, told Insider that she dislikes the trend of exaggerated or puffy sleeves on wedding gowns.
“Bishop sleeves or puffy sleeves are prone to catching on and knocking things over, like cake or beverages,” Zysk said.
Zysk also added that large, loose sleeves can look odd when photographed outdoors due to the effects of the sun and wind.
High-low gowns can be tough to pull off
Wedding gowns with a high-low hemline often feature a skirt that is floor-length in the back and knee-length or higher in the front.
“This is a tricky silhouette for weddings,” Zysk said. “Wind and weather can wreak havoc with high-low gowns, and they often look very different when bustled.”
Brides who want to show off their legs or shoes could also consider a tea-length gown or a longer dress with a high slit.
On the other hand, low-back dresses look beautiful from just about any angle
Dresses with embellished backs are also a good choice.Emma manners/Shuttershock
Johnson told Insider that she loves wedding gowns with low backs.
“People will be looking and photographing you from every angle,” Johnson said. “A low back is also a great way to add a sexy element to your gown without showing a lot of cleavage.”
If your tastes or wedding location won’t allow for an exposed look, you can adapt this trend by choosing a dress with an embellished back.
Long-sleeved dresses often look chic
After having fallen out of fashion for several decades, wedding dresses with long sleeves have made a comeback in recent years.
“Sleeves on bridal gowns are underrated,” Johnson said. “They look great in photos and add sophistication, drama, and elegance.”
Long-sleeved gowns are perfect for winter weddings but can be adapted for warmer climates by using sheer fabrics or light lace.
Capes are a fun alternative to veils
wedding dress and cape
Capes can add drama and elegance to your look.LL_studio/Shuttershock
If you love the drama of a long bridal veil but don’t want to hide your hairstyle, wearing a cape could be the answer.
“Capes are a great new way to spice up your gown and ditch the traditional veil,” Johnson said.
You can find capes in all different sizes and styles, from floor-length pieces to options that drape to the elbow.
Crepe dresses can be flattering and comfortable
Crepe is a type of fabric with a wrinkled, textured appearance that can be made from a variety of textiles such as silk, wool, or polyester.
“I love how crepe dresses drape — they’re flattering on so many body types,” Zysk said. “Crepe fabrics can be luxe but also very comfortable to wear.”
In addition to getting top marks for comfort and fit, the fabric’s intentionally wrinkled nature makes it a sensible choice for outdoor weddings or receptions.
Mixing fabrics can keep a dress from looking boring
Johnson told Insider that she loves the visual interest that comes from mixing fabrics in a wedding gown.
“I love dresses that aren’t full lace or full satin,” Johnson said. “Having a nice element of both gives the dress dimension and character.”
Depending on your wedding location and season, selecting a gown with a mix of heavier and lighter fabrics may also keep you more comfortable on your big day.
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