Buying a bridal gown in Delaware

There is only one rule for brides choosing a gown: Make certain the bride is wearing the dress—not the other way around.

“We see girls who fall in love with a dress they see on a hanger or in a magazine,” says Pat Davis, owner of The Bridal Boutique Ltd. in Milford. “But the perfect dress is the one that makes the bride look so beautiful that all eyes are on her instead of just the gown.”

Platinum and pastels are fading as brides return to traditional neutrals. But instead of stark white, Davis often suggests ivory or diamond white, a slightly warmer shade that is midway between ivory and icy white.

“Ivory is softer and much easier to wear because it is so flattering to just about every complexion,” Davis says.

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It might run counter to logic, but a strapless gown is a good choice for a busty bride. “That strapless bodice will pull her in and make her look glamorous rather than top-heavy,” she says.

A flawless figure gives a bride a multitude of options. So why not flaunt what you’ve got with a form-fitting sheath or mermaid-style gown? Charmeuse, a soft, slinky satin, is a favored fabric for brides who have nothing to hide.

“Girls with great figures also look super in short dresses that let them show off their legs,” Davis says.

No curves? No problem, says Hope Mitchell, owner of Brides 2 Be in Lewes.

An A-line dress that skims the body creates a smooth line that doesn’t give away what’s beneath it. Conversely, that ladylike silhouette also is a good match for brides who are thick around the middle or have a pear-shaped body. Fabrics can be structured, as in crisp taffeta, or fluid, as in chiffon.

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“The empire waistline or an A-line also flatters the décolletage,” Mitchell says. “It draws the eye up and toward the bride’s face.”

A bride with a big bottom might ask her fairy godmother for a Cinderella-style ballroom skirt.

“A fuller skirt is great on a bride who is a little hippy, especially if she has a small waistline,” she says.

Many houses of worship dictate that the bride not show bare arms and shoulders during the service. Mitchell recommends checking to see if a veil that covers the shoulders is acceptable.

Otherwise, a trim, bolero-style jacket with full- or three-quarter length sleeves will suffice, with or without a collar.

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“It can be shear or lace, just as long as the skin is covered,” she says.  —E.S.D.

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