Maybe it’s knowing that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, but my mind’s been leaning toward romance lately. That includes all the weddings that are going to happen in 2019, and (most fun of all) what people will be wearing to them.
And make no mistake: The bridal fashion trends (for the bride and her entire squad) this year are about as romantic as we’ve seen in a long time. Many come with forward-thinking, out-of-the box details, too — but are still always sophisticated and gorgeous.
The current designs include nods to all the most popular style genres, from classic or glam to boho and minimalist. And many of them are all aflutter — literally. With ruffles. Edwardian-inspired romantic sleeves are a dominant theme with designers such as Ines di Santo and Leanne Marshall. As are bows … big, big bows. For more perfect examples of these (plus lots of spectacular tiered skirts), look to Marchesa Bridal and Monique L’huillier.
Overlapping in those above collections are a new passion for off-the-shoulder dresses, a la Meghan Markle’s. Her Givenchy confection (of course) has launched a million new designs, and some of my favorites are being made by L’huillier, Marchesa and (much less expensively) by Oleg Cassini for David’s Bridal.
Then there’s minimalism. Remember Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s super-simple (but breathtaking) silk Narciso Roriguez dress? That kind of unadorned beauty is back. (Also see Markle’s similarly sleek, high-neck halter reception dress.) You’ll see those at their finest right now, made by labels like Theia and Amsale.
One of freshest new ideas — pantsuits. There are plenty for brides, like the oh-so sophisticated DB Studio Crepe Wide-Leg Jumpsuit with Crystal Neckline, $189 at dillards.com. And there are also gorgeous, sweeping designs that are perfect for changing into for the reception, like Catherine Deane’s Knightley Jumpsuit, with its wide-leg pants and sweetheart neckline-cami ($450 on bhldn.com).
But most pantsuits are being worn as dress alternatives by bridesmaids. And they look even better when worn (another trend worth exploring) in slightly different colors that are all in one palette — for example, lots of shades of blush, or lots of shades of violet, which look phenomenal when contrasted with the bride’s white dress.
The latest craze is a bridal party sporting all kinds of funky asymmetrical hemlines. Or, on a more traditional note, check out the enthusiasm for wrap dresses and popovers (those frocks with a layer of fabric over the bodice). All of the above lend a relaxed feel to the party’s overall aesthetic.
And then (mostly for brides, but a few bridemaids, too) along now comes — are you ready for this? — bridal athleisure. The trend was sort of inevitable when you think about just how many formal events see us wearing spiffed up, sleek and sequined yoga pants. So now this year we have bridal tracksuits like those from Theia and Gracy Accad. Hey, at least you’ll already be in a relaxed outfit for the after party, right?