Whether you’ve always dreamed of shopping for your wedding dress or you find the whole ordeal completely and utterly overwhelming, the ability to identify and communicate your bridal style will go a long way to ensuring that you have an enjoyable – and successful – experience when it comes time to purchase your gown.
So, how can you identify your own bridal style?
We spoke to the designers at the couture bridal house Kathryn Bass to learn the Top 5 Questions they ask when determining a bride’s style:
1. How do you imagine yourself on your wedding day?
You may assume that your everyday wardrobe should in part determine your wedding day look, but that isn’t necessarily the case. You might spend your days in jeans, yoga pants or office wear, but your wedding is an occasion that warrants something special. Your bridal style should represent who you are as a person, but in an extra-gorgeous and heightened way. This may be the only time you get to wear a full tulle skirt, a train trimmed with lace from France or a bodice intricately embroidered by hand. What’s more – you might not know that you like those type of standout details until you see them in the mirror!
2. What works well for your body type?
If you don’t know your body type, that’s perfectly fine. Each bride is entirely unique. The trick is to identify and highlight your favorite feature. What is your favorite outfit? You know, the one that makes you feel completely you? What do you like about it? If you love wearing halter-tops or boatneck t-shirts, you could incorporate those details into your dress. If your legs are your favorite feature, you could opt for a hi-low skirt or even a shorter dress. Do you love your back? Show it off! Ultimately, the right gown for your body and personality is the one that makes you feel happy, confident and extraordinary.
3. What are your hobbies?
What you choose to do in your free time can be indicative of the moods and aesthetics you prefer. If you like to spend your weekends sipping tea, reading books or watching classic movies, you may be more of a romantic. If hiking in the mountains or exploring unknown places is your thing, you may be drawn to a more bohemian style for your wedding day. How would you describe yourself? Remember that you might prefer a combination of different styles; you shouldn’t feel limited or obligated to stick with one look! If you work with separates, you can mix and match various textures, shades or shapes to custom create a gown that suits your nuanced personality.
4. Where and when is your wedding going to be?
Your chosen venue and date can reveal a lot about your stylistic preferences. Did you choose a distinctive downtown location? A church for your ceremony? A naturalistic outdoor setting? A casual beach elopement? If you’ve booked an outdoor garden venue in August or planned a New Year’s Eve soirée in a historic hotel, chances are you did so for a reason. Your venue and date might impose certain restrictions (you probably won’t want to wear a ball gown on the beach) but more than that, these are important components of your wedding day that you have chosen intentionally – they can help you determine whether your style is urban, traditional or laid-back.
5. Who are your style icons or go-to fashion brands?
Do you love Stella McCartney’s sportswear inspired looks, Chanel’s unorthodox yet lady-like designs or Dolce and Gabbana’s glamorous campaigns? Are you drawn to Audrey Hepburn’s iconic style or do you gravitate more towards street style mavens with eclectic tastes like Kate Moss and Chloë Sevigny? You might admire the tailored yet feminine looks worn by Kate Middleton or Zooey Deschanel. Perhaps you appreciate the minimalistic sartorial approach taken by Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lawrence. By considering your sources of inspiration, you can begin to envision the look of your ideal dress: sporty, quirky, refined, relaxed, luxurious, classic, bohemian, romantic or modern.