If you just started shopping for your dress for the big day, you already know that it’s nothing like shopping for a party dress or a pair of jeans. The moment you step into the boutique, you’re presented a motley crew of options: tulle, organza, brocade, silk, satin — the list goes on. All you wanted was a dress that makes you look pretty for your big day!
Confused? You’re not alone.
We took the most popular wedding dress fabrics and created a comprehensive (and, yes, totally easy-to-understand) guide for you to tag along to your next appointment. No more guesswork, girl.
If you’re thinking of a winter wedding (or at the very least, a wedding in a colder climate) opt for brocade. It’s thick and rich, usually intervowen with gold and silver thread and made of different colored silk. It’s a heavy fabric and will keep you ultra-warm.
Unlike brocade, chiffon is lightweight, soft and so breathable, that it’s practically transparent. It’s smooth, shiny and prone to fraying, so girl, you better be OK with seams. If you’re looking for an ethereal, airy dress, opt for good ‘ol chiffon.
No, we’re not talking about the dessert here. This kind of crepe refers to a fiber (usually wool or silk) that looks crimped. It’s puckered and almost gauze like, and pretty forgiving if there are any curves you’d prefer to keep on the down-low.
You rarely see jersey on wedding gowns, but it’s still a must-know if you’re looking to prioritize comfort for your bridal look. It’s stretchy, usually made of cotton and wool and is awesome for drape-y dresses. Fun fact: Coco Chanel herself made the fabric the big deal it is today (prior to her intervention, it was used exclusively for underwear).
Wedding dresses and lace go hand-in-hand, right? Lace can be made with silk, linen, gold and silver but is mainly made with cotton now. There’s different kinds of lace, too: chantilly, for example, is made with a tulle net, and eyelet lace is light and summery. Alternatively, giupure is heavier and works well on structured pieces.
If you dream of a princess-like wedding dress, you’re probably dreaming of the decadence of organza. It’s practically weightless, sheer and made from silk, so it’s perfect to use to add volume to skirts.
Satin is a favorite of wedding dress designers for it’s glossy, figure-skimming qualities. Like lace, there are different kinds of satin, ranging from charmeuse (a lightweight drape-y fabric) to extra-luxe (and extra-heavy) Duchesse satin.
Having a summer wedding? Don’t sweat too much? Silk should be your first option. It’s airy and light and drapes beautifully. It’s also a must for an outdoors wedding, as mosquitoes can’t puncture silk. Unfortunately, the material is prone to snagging and tearing, so be careful with storage.
It’s smooth and shiny, but be careful: a little too much taffeta can make your dress for the big day look more like a curtain. A little goes a long way!
Tulle is a form of netting that’s synonymous with veils and princess-y, poofy wedding dresses. Because of tulle’s light weight, you can have as many layers as you need without worrying about it weighing you down.
Velvet has been back in a big way this season and it can work really well for a winter wedding. It’s luxurious and sumptuous, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a wedding gown made entirely of the material.
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