Consider Not Wearing a Strapless Dress, Unless...
Dear beautiful bride-to-be! You know what’s pretty on a runway model or a movie star on the red carpet is not necessarily the same thing that works for your body in real life, yes?
And when it comes to selecting your wedding gown, I realize that it’s hard not to get carried away with some starry-eyed, romantic notions that sometime blur your vision! So when you’re trying on dresses, you’re not always thinking about practical considerations, like how it will “move” on you (or not move on you); or how revealing it is (the good, the bad, and the unflattering). The truth is that you can’t see 360 degrees of yourself, even in a three-way mirror, so you don’t really see some of the exposed body parts, or unflattering areas (like others can).
Plus, I understand that some unique feature of your body—like a well-endowed chest, or heavy upper arms, or long torso, or short torso—may cause a number of off-the-rack wedding gowns to not fit you well. (And having a gown custom designed and made just for you may not be in your budget.) So you opt for a comfortable, trendy style because you think it looks great on you. And I truly get that you want to be comfortable when dancing the night away at your wedding.
But, ladies—let’s talk about those strapless dresses! I appreciate that they have a sexy allure and offer some freedom of fit, but they simply don’t look good on many body types, and even when they do, they have their limitations. From years and years of observing this “strapless trend” that has lasted longer than most marriages, I ask you to please consider this:
Don't wear a strapless gown UNLESS...
I’m sorry to disappoint anyone, but I’m attempting to save you from yourself here! What this is about, dear beautiful women, is for you to not lose your good sense in the flurry of planning your wedding—nor lose an opportunity to look like a dream.
What I’ve found is that much of what you “imagine” (the key word here) that you gain by wearing a strapless wedding gown, more often than not, you lose in the reality of actually wearing it! (See 1 through 6 above.) Struggling and tugging at your gown all day or night is not what makes a beautiful bride, nor how you want to remember your wedding, or to have that be the image your guests remember. (Unfortunately, that yanking and tugging by the bride is what comes to my mind when recalling some otherwise beautiful and happy weddings!)
And again, I’ve seen many brides in person or in photographs that look attractive in their strapless gown—perhaps it was you! But I bet at some point during the wedding festivities, probably several times, they/you did that awkwardly unattractive little “yank and tug”! (See #3)
Okay, one more thing. You would have to have been wearing a bag over your head the last few years not to realize that showing off one’s décolletage is the norm these days—including at casual daytime outings or at business functions. But even if your wedding is not “religious” in any way (with some sort of dress code), it is still not a sexy beauty pageant designed to show off your “falling out of your dress” breasts! (Call me old-fashioned, but this ranks top as the “most unattractive” feature of the bride’s appearance in my “unofficial survey” of recent wedding guests of all persuasions—whether the dress was strapless or not.)
However, if you choose to wear a strapless gown, just be aware of its limitations and special requirements. Here are a few tips and suggestions:
Jason Hudson Jason Hudson
PHOTOGRAPHS (of beautiful brides) BY: Jason Hudson
Learn more about being a beautiful bride inside & out—no matter what style gown you wear—in Cornelia’s Amazon best seller book, The Bride's Ritual Guide: Look Inside to Find Yourself.
ps: Chelsea Clinton update!
Genevieve de Manio
As many of you saw, Chelsea Clinton wore a custom designed Vera Wang strapless gown for her wedding on July 31 in Rhinebeck, NY . The sumptuous silk organza dress had a draped bodice—with a waistline wrapped in crystal and rhinestone beading—and a wispy cloud skirt of swirls & poufs with an opulent train. She not only looked radiantly happy, but radiantly feminine. (This is based on the five professional photographs that were released by two of the official photographers soon after the wedding ceremony .)
From what I saw in the still lifes—distinct from in real life—Chelsea had the right body (including beautiful shoulders), posture, and proportion to wear a strapless gown. (And I’m sure the very professional Vera Wang put every bit of her design expertise into this custom project learned from fitting, observing and advising thousands of previous brides.) But even slim Chelsea has that underarm “wrinkle” that is indeed natural in all bodies, but do you want it “frozen in time” in a photograph album? (That’s the difference in wearing a strapless wedding gown and strapless or bare clothes in “real life.”) And in fairness, this part of the body is exposed even with some sleeveless gowns.
And since I didn’t see Chelsea in person, I don’t know if she passed the “yank & tug” test (see #3 above.) I’ll just intend that she did—and remember her as a bride looking beautiful in strapless!
The best thing about Chelsea and Marc’s wedding to me was the intimacy that came through in every picture I saw and in all the words of family and guests I read. Yes, it was a large wedding, but size and the nature of celebrity has nothing to do with intimacy—intimacy is a matter of the heart.
Congratulations to all involved in planning and creating this beautiful event.