The Wedding Dress – An Intriguing and Charming History

Maybe one of the most appreciated kind of dress there is – the wedding gown – has a long and intriguing history behind. And the reason behind is the significance, and the memorable context women end up wearing this garment. 

Besides the décor of a wedding setting, the gown the bride chooses to wear is a statement of their personality and style. Celebrities can choose not one, but two or three dresses to change during their special day. 

Brides all over the world have worn gowns in all styles and shapes throughout the years. Some choose to swap the traditional white dress for less conventional colors, but white wasn’t even the traditional color, for a while. The western bridal apparel has gone through a series of changes over the years. Most of these changes were caused by a series of historical events, but also by female empowerment movements.  

Below are some turning points in terms of wedding outfit styles, throughout history. 

The 1800s

The wedding gown during this time was not even white. American brides wore, instead, what was their best dress, no matter the color. 

During those times, white clothing articles were impractical and nearly impossible to wear. White cloth was impossible to wash and maintain white. Only women of higher social classes wore it, as a status display. The 1900s were more thrilling in this department, we promise. 

The 1900s


During the 1900s, these were solemn events, where two families brought their wealth and social status together. The events were organized to show the family’s wealth and affluence. 

In this clothing article department, precious fabrics were used only by wealthy brides. They also wore rich colors, with intricate patterns and designs.

 Lower-class women wore articles in cotton during their special day. 

But, what all women in that era shared was the attraction toward the white dress, regardless of how wealthy and affluent they were. All this thanks to Queen Victoria’s choice on her wedding day

At the beginning of the 1900 century, brides chose to display their style and personality through white and light pastel elements. Little to no skin was showing, with respect to the era. These articles were designed with long sleeves and high collars, but also high waistlines. 

To accessorize their dress, brides chose long trains, loud bouquets, long gloves, and fancy corsets. Since makeup options were little back in the day, brides chose to work with their hairstyle the most.  

According to, the wedding dress history is tumultuous and follows historical events. Closer to the first World War, women started to get creative with their attire. They chose pieces with flower embroidery, with less restrictive corsets, unlike at the very beginning of the century. The cuts also became more permissive in terms of movement. They cut closer to the body started to be the go-to option of brides-to-be. 

The 1920s and 1930s


In the 1920s, women already enjoyed a new status, as war offered them the perfect opportunity to fight for their rights and liberties. The Suffragette movement was the Firestarter in women’s fashion sense change. All silhouettes were cut even closer to the body, and the fabrics, more natural and comfortable; the “Flapper” style became the focal point even in these events. 

To accompany the new female empowerment revolution and to showcase their new fashion sense, women gave up their long hairstyles in favor of short bobs that were so popular in the ‘20s. What entered the scene was the embellished headpiece, an element that women held dearly during the following decades. These emphasized their femininity and sense of style like nothing else before. 

But what stirred the bridal fashion waters in the ‘20s was the Juliet Cap Veil, a veil tightly placed on the bride’s head, flowing in a natural fashion. 

The 1930s and 1940s


In the ‘30s, at the beginning of the Great Depression, brides returned to wearing the nicest dress in the wardrobe on the most important day in their lives. Needless to say, weddings weren’t as important as in the past during these times. 

The ‘40s came with some big changes, together with the beginning of the Second World War. But, brides still rocked their hourglass figures in fitted gowns. Made in satin and showing long sleeves, the gowns have never been classier and trendier until these times. But once again, when times got harder, brides returned to the best items in their wardrobes. The war and fabric shortage, shotgun weddings, all these prevented brides to enjoy the dress style and cut they would have in the last decades. 

But, as the war ended and the western world became more affluent and industrialized than ever before, the bridal dress regained its well-deserved place under the spotlight. The new bridal look promoted by Dior won women’s hearts. Each of them was dreaming about that tight-fitting bodice and full skirt, the well-defined waist, and precious fabrics. 

The 1960s and 1970s


The ‘60s came with fun and playful bridal attire designs and styles. Wedding dress fashion now became more of a personal style statement. This is one of the reasons you will see so many different styles. From swinging cuts to straight ones, to miniskirts and ball shapes, the sixties have everything, for everybody. 

In the ‘70s, dresses started to resemble what we know today, more and more. And – fortunately for desperate women all over the world – grooms started to coordinate their outfits with the love of their lives. What we can identify as the trademark of this decade in terms of wedding gowns was the boho-chic, hippie gown. 

The modern age of wedding dresses

In the eighties, any sort of fashion restriction disappeared. And brides took full advantage. Puffy dresses and tiaras were the rules, and all women were dreaming to get wedded in a similar article. The ‘90s were marked by a swing towards simpler designs and simpler events. These events became minimal affairs. 

In the 2000s, we witness a complete wedding revolution. The events are becoming more personal, the attire reflects the bride’s personality more and more. Strapless items decorated with intricate embroidery and decorations were staples for women all over the world.