White vs. Ivory
Many brides have the idea in their head that they have to get married in a WHITE dress because we've come to associate the word "white" with weddings and purity. But, did you know, that most dresses are actually not true white? A truly white dress is actually ivory fabric that's been chemically bleached to turn it white. Wearing white was a very common trend in the 80's, but just doesn't happen a lot anymore in the bridal world because of one very important thing. The bleaching of ivory fabric gives the material a cool, blue hue - which, wait for it - is typically less flattering on mostly any skin tone. I know, I know. If I blew your mind, I'm sorry - but keep reading!!!
You can still order a white dress in a lot of wedding gown styles, but some designers don't even have white fabric & lace as a color option. So what do all the brides wear nowadays? They wear the modern (and more flattering) white - IVORY!
Before I really get into it, I want to clarify something important...ivory does not mean *yellow* or *dingy*. Ivory is not cream or beige. Ivory is what you think of as white! Keep reading and I'll explain...
First, let's dive into the history of the white wedding dress:
The most popular wedding dress way back in the day was actually...BLUE! 💙 According to Wikipedia, "White became a popular option in 1840, after the marriage of Queen Victoria to Albert of Saxe-Coburg, when Victoria wore a white gown trimmed with Honiton lace. Illustrations of the wedding were widely published, and many brides opted for white in accordance with the Queen's choice." Prior to this, blue was considered the "most pure" color and therefore a popular dress color for a bride. White was chosen by the Queen as a status symbol, since white is more difficult to keep clean and therefore more expensive to maintain.
If this little bit of history teaches us anything, it's that longstanding traditions can be adapted as time goes on! You can still feel like a bride wearing an ivory wedding dress - because it's truly the modern white! (Also, no one will ever know the difference and your skin will GLOW!)
What color are most wedding dresses?
Most wedding dresses you've seen are actually ivory - and maybe even darker than ivory 😱. Although to the untrained eye they actually look white and no one would ever question that the tag on them did not read that way. If you choose a dress that is ivory, or ivory lace with champagne, blush, etc. underneath...likely Great Aunt Ethel or Grandpa John would never read into that and they would just think your dress is gorgeous and "white"!
Let's talk about some typical wedding dress colors:
In most gowns, the lace is ivory - so we are mainly talking about underlay colors here! (The fabric layer right under the lace)
Ivory - A warm white (without the blue undertone a bleached white has) - Ivory is more flattering than white for almost all skin tones! Ivory lace with ivory underlay will give you that traditional bride feel, and no one will question that your dress isn't "white"
Champagne - This color can be anywhere from light tan to a golden ivory - Beautiful on those who have warm or cool skin tones! Dresses with champagne underlay can give you a very regal vibe and look especially beautiful on brides with dark, golden skin! This color will allow that ivory lace to be in high contrast, so you'll see more of the lace than if the underlay were ivory.
Blush/Cashmere - A version of light, warm pink or nude - These can come in lots of different shades, but are the perfect nude/neutral! If you're a light skin bride, having blush fabric under ivory lace makes the dress seem like the ivory lace is floating on your skin. If you're a dark skin bride, ivory with blush underlay will still give you a bride feel - but you'll be able to see the detail of the ivory lace pop and your dress will have more of a pink-ish hue, instead of beige!
Grey - Yes, grey! - Can either be a light blue or traditional grey - Literally gorgeous on anyone. Hello Cinderella vibes? Great for a bride that wants her dress style to be traditional, but still have a bit of fun in her color choice!
Black - I know, I know. This isn't a style choice for everyone, BUT for those edgy brides that wear black on an everyday basis. Why should that be different on their wedding day?! A lot of black wedding dresses have black lace with a champagne or blush fabric underneath. This helps to keep that bridal feel, see all the detail and lighten up the black a tiny bit!
So, as you come in to try on dresses, be open to the idea that the dress color may not be called "white"! You may see that it looks amazing on you, while still looking as white as you'd imagined. Our staff is well trained to get you in the best and most flattering dress for you, so go for it!
The owner of Adore Bridal (and bridal wonder woman), Janice, talks about this topic of White vs. Ivory on our Illinois Facebook page, click HERE for the video to see the difference for yourself!
The Adore Squad