Many things come with age; as we get older and wiser, we usually develop a very clear idea of what suits us best when it comes to clothes.
However, when it comes to choosing a wedding dress as an older bride, shopping certainly isn’t so simple.
The choice can be bewildering and deciding what will flatter or disguise any areas of your body that you’re not keen on can be a tricky task.
So we’ve addressed some of the most common wedding dress woes of older brides to provide you with all the expert advice you need to find the gown of your dreams.
A constant source of frustration for women of all ages, a bride’s upper arms are often exposed in traditional strapless wedding dresses.
If you’d prefer to cover up a little on your wedding day, there are plenty of options available, but don’t automatically reach for a jacket:
“Ladies often believe that covering up is the best way to deal with the upper arms, but this isn’t always the most flattering way to conceal a problem area,” says Karen, owner of Rock The Frock Bridal Boutique. “Instead, opt for a sleeve with an interesting shape; a flutter sleeve, constructed from a delicate lace or tulle drape, is very flattering indeed.”
Summer cover ups
Endless images of famous women of all ages with enviably flat tummies has left many of us feeling a little self conscious in this area, but there’s one wedding dress style that’s guaranteed to make you feel fabulous from the moment you put it. Laura from Perfect Day Bride explains:
“The classic A-line gown is the perfect shape to hide any wobbly bits; it really flatters your feminine curves by fitting perfectly around the bust and cinching around the waist, before flaring out across your tummy and falling into a gorgeous skirt.”
If you’ve got a bigger bust, the prospect of a strapless dress can be a daunting one.
Luckily, wedding dress collections are no longer simply full of strapless gowns and most designers now include many designs that will provide the support you need and the gorgeous look you want.
“Opt for a dress with wide straps,” suggests Karen. “This will allow for a good bra underneath; alternatively, ask a reputable seamstress to advise on the best support that can be built into the dress itself.
“Extra support can also be added into the seams of your dress,” adds Laura. “Alternatively, if you’d like to wear a strapless design, a gown that comes with a corset style bodice will certainly help.”
Elegance for the occasion
Both Karen and Laura advise plenty of older brides in their boutiques; one worry they’ve noticed that always seems to crop up during appointments is the desire to look ‘special’ and ‘bridal’ without looking too young or flashy. These two experts agree that if this is how you feel, less is most definitely more:
“If you want to impress without showing off, think lace rather than sparkles and simplicity rather than show,” says Karen. “Grown-up elegance can be achieved through flattering shapes with perfectly placed detail.”
“Remember that you wear the dress and don’t let the dress wear you,” cautions Laura. “Go for a beautifully refined design and remember that this is your day, the dress is not the star!”
Fabrics that flatter
Finally, don’t forget to choose your fabric carefully to ensure your chosen dress makes you feel as confident as possible.
“Clingy fabrics such as silks and satins are very unforgiving and can create lumps and bumps on even the slightest of figures,” says Karen. “Lace is definitely a great option if you love a straighter shape and it will hang without the cling.”
“Chiffon is always our go-to choice,” says Laura. “It’s just so feminine and perfect for brides of all ages. However, if you fall in love with a design but not the fabric, do ask your boutique, as sometimes the designers will make a dress in a different fabric to make sure it’s perfect for you.”
So, when it comes to shopping for your wedding dress, there’s definitely nothing to worry about and absolutely everything to enjoy!
Wedding Dresses: The Older Bride's Guide