7 best wedding dress trends to inspire brides in 2021
In the bridal world, trends tend to be few and far between, with traditional styles being the overarching theme. With the Covid restrictions over, the bride-to-be can finally focus on the most important thing: the gown.
Alongside this, lockdown brought a rise in conscious shopping. Throwing thousands at a dress that will only be worn once – and for a smaller affair – no longer feels like the norm. Frothy, extravagant gowns have become less commonplace, and minimal styles – often in midi or mini lengths – have taken their place. These styles of dresses are also much more practical for upcoming summer weddings.
It meant that thanks to their affordability and likely less outrè designs, high street bridal gowns have been hugely popular. Indeed, when lockdown rules allowed for weddings with between 8 and 30 at different points last year, ASOS.com sold one of its wedding dresses every three minutes.
British label Rixo launched its debut bridal collection in February this year, with 26 pieces that range from the traditional (think lace sleeves and high necklines), to party styles (feathered hems and Bridgerton-esque frilled collars feature). The collection was designed in lockdown by Rixo founders, Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey, who are both, aptly, newly engaged. Much like the label’s cult dresses, the bridal gowns feature figure-flattering cuts and of-the-moment details, which the brand notes ‘embodies the modern bride of today’.
Pinterest reported in late January that searches for wedding rings had multiplied by 27 times. There’s a backlog of brides who were due to be wed last year, and bridal gowns are set to be in high demand for ceremonies taking place now the rules around wedding guests have eased off.
For those planning post-lockdown nuptials, a dress that speaks to the times will be essential. Handily there are ample chic options with interesting design details around. A gown with a modern or unique flair doesn’t need to break the bank, however: all of these options are from the high street – whether your celebrations are grand or low-key, they’ll help to make your day feel extra special.
Here are the seven trends that post-lockdown brides should have on their radar…
Elegant back details at Whistles
For those who want their dress to look striking from every angle, search for delicate back details. Whistles is backing this bridal trend this season and has several gowns that feature lace details or scooped low backs to the reverse.
The Maria dress is balanced well, with a simple design to the front that means the cut out back with lace hems steals the show.
This tiered wonder from Phase Eight is an elegant party option that isn’t so statement you’d feel uncomfortable. The contoured tiers create a classic silhouette, and the length is ideal for showcasing pretty shoes.
The 1920s design would look equally lovely in a quaint garden venue or a glamorous hall, depending on your accessories.
Halter, sweetheart and bateau are often bandied about in the bridal world, but the sleek one shoulder is often overlooked. Reformation’s Evelyn dress serves as a reminder: the asymmetric neckline is modern and modest, and is nicely balanced with a thigh-split.
For those keen on a minimal style with a twist, this could be a great option.
For those who love a fancy flourish and are less keen on a minimal dress, look to Rixo. Giant bows, ostrich feather hems, sheer panels and luxe creamy jacquards feature throughout, and there’s a dress for every type of bride.
The Candice, however, is one of the standouts. The ’70s-esque mini features a high neck and fluffy hem, and is ideal for an evening ceremony or party.
Nightwear-as-daywear brand Sleeper launched its debut bridal collection last month. Its most popular styles have been reimagined in silk, and this pretty one features puff sleeves and lace panels.
The collection serves as an excellent example of how handy it could be to opt for a wedding dress that you can wear after the big day, too. Sleeper’s have been styled with leather mules and oversized blazers for a luxe daywear take.
During the first lockdown, ASOS shifted 14,000 units of this £135 Sophia plunge neck style. While the lace cap-sleeved, empire-line frock predates Bridgerton, we’ve no doubt its Regency-inspired details will make it even more popular among brides than it was last year.
While it has a glamorous full skirt, the pleats mean it drapes nicely and makes less of a bold statement,