Wedding Dresses
Article thanks to Sue Featherstone Bride Online Columnist

Break the Rules: Wearing a Coloured Wedding Dress

A white, strapless gown is the quintessential wedding outfit, and we admit – it does look beautiful. If, however, you’re a non-traditional bride, and you want to express your quirky side, your sense of style, or you just want to be different, then you’ll be thrilled to know that the latest wedding trend is all about colour.
Singers and celebs are tying the knot, wearing a range of pantone shades, and designers are dressing their models in anything from bronze to black. We’re here to give you the help you need, to pick the perfect colour for your wedding dress. 


(Courtesy weddingpartyapp.com)

A white, strapless gown is the quintessential wedding outfit, and we admit – it does look beautiful. If, however, you’re a non-traditional bride, and you want to express your quirky side, your sense of style, or you just want to be different, then you’ll be thrilled to know that the latest wedding trend is all about colour.
Singers and celebs are tying the knot, wearing a range of pantone shades, and designers are dressing their models in anything from bronze to black. We’re here to give you the help you need, to pick the perfect colour for your wedding dress.

Skin Tone

You’re contemplating wearing a trendy metallic number on your wedding day – to really sparkle – but before you select the dress, you first need to know if the colour is going to complement your skin tone.
By now you’ve probably realised that some shades look fantastic on you, while others leave you looking a bit lukewarm. The reason for this, is that not all colours support your skin tone. We’re not talking about how you tan, what we’re referring to is the undertone, and people generally fall into one of two categories: warm or cool.

Warm:

Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Alba and Eva Mendes – these are the famous faces of celebrities with warm skin tones. Your skin has apricot, or golden, undertones and the colours that best suit you are autumn inspired: deep red, burnt orange, sunny yellow and rich brown. Earthy neutrals also look great on you, such as: beige, gold, camel, caramel, ivory, cream and champagne. For a pop of colour choose green – sage, olive or moss – or pink, provided it’s orange-based, like coral and peach. You should avoid pastel pinks, greys, blues and black.


warm skin.png(Courtesy sydney4women.com.au; primped.ninemsn.com.au; fashionbombdaily.com)

Cool:

Scarlett Johansson, Anne Hathaway and Kiera Knightly are popular stars with cool-hued skin tones. Your skin will be rosy, or have bluish undertones, and the colours that look great on you are bright and bold blues, pinks, purples and greens. You can confidently wear fuchsia, magenta, burgundy, raspberry and blue-based red, or you can opt for light pastels like dusty grey, lilac and pale blue. You can pull off wearing black, but you should shun brown and beige and colours in the orange range like apricot, rust and mustard.


cool skin.png
(Courtesy popsugar.com; allure.com; reveal.co.uk) 


It may surprise you to learn that Nicole Kidman, with her pale complexion, actually belongs in the warm category, while Alek Wek is dark-skinned but is a cool tone. This is because it’s not the surface of the skin that’s important, but the tone underneath. There are always exceptions to the rule, and so you can find women who are a mix of cool and warm. We envy the women in this neutral category, as they can generally wear anything that they like.

What Undertone Am I?

There are a few simple tests you can do, to figure out your undertone.
- Stand in natural light and look at the veins on the inside of your wrist. Do they look green or blue? Veins that seem greenish mean that you have a warm, yellow-based skin tone, and veins that look purple or blue, point to a cool undertone, and skin which is usually pink or rosy.

- Take two bracelets, one silver and one gold, and hold them against the inside of your wrist. The gold highlights a skin with more yellow hues, but the silver works better if your skin tone is cool.

- Eyes that are amber, hazel and dark brown are typical of the warm category, and blue, grey and green eyes are commonly cool.

- Hair colour (natural, not from the bottle!) is another good indicator of skin tone. Strawberry blonde, red, dark golden brown and auburn are warm-toned, while blue-black, dark brown and blonde – think wheat or ash - are cool.

- How you sunburn is also a gauge, as skin that quickly goes a golden brown is a warm skin tone, and those unfortunate ladies who simply burn and go pink, have a cool skin tone.

What Colour Do I Covet?

Now that you know which category you fit into, you need to select the colour that supports your undertone, and that flatters you the most. Of course you can pick your favourite colour, a sentimental one, or anything that grabs your attention. Here are some of the most popular options for 2014:

- Pink: Blush and rose are great places to start, if you’re easing into the colour spectrum. Women love these shades because they’re feminine and look good on most skin tones.
- Lilac: Purple is considered the colour of royalty, and this pale hue is subtle but effective.
- Dove grey: This understated colour is romantic, but dramatic, and it works perfectly with your silver or platinum jewellery.
- Metallic: From glimmering gold to sparkling silver, these shimmering shades are safer options than a bright colour, but still allow you to make a statement.
- Blue: Darker tones are the ideal choice for a winter wedding, while pale and aqua blue are perfect summer options.
- Red: Make a statement wearing the colour of romance and passion. In Eastern cultures it also symbolises good luck.
- Black: This is the most daring and defiant option, but it doesn’t have to feel like you’re attending a funeral, so add embellishments or lace to soften your appearance.

There are a few colours that are universally flattering, so why not try on a teal, eggplant, true red or soft pink gown, and see how you like the effect. Your other option (if you’re not brave enough for a full dress!) is to add a splash of colour by wearing a petticoat that’s slightly visible, a sash around your waist, or strategically placed accents.


coloured wedding dress.png
(Courtesy frostedpetticoatblog.com; flickr.com; wedluxe.com)

Pick a Colour With Care

Colours can evoke strong emotions and they definitely affect your mood, but the shade you choose for your wedding dress also needs to work with your venue, the season and your bridesmaids. Think about the walls, floor and décor where you’ll be getting married, because you don’t want too many clashing colours. The time of year will usually influence your decision, as yellows work well in summer, while blues are more common in winter. If you’re in a coloured dress you may also be wondering what your bridesmaids will wear, but this is easily solved by putting them in patterned frocks, complementary colours or shorter skirts. Not to worry, you’ll look like the bride because you’ll glow like the bride.

Conventional Colours

The tradition of wearing a white wedding dress is only 174 years old and, contrary to widespread opinion, the colour was worn as a sign of wealth, not purity. Most brides couldn’t afford new dresses, so they simply wore their best outfit, which was often a dark colour, as it hid the stains. It’s now so common for a bride to wear white, that any deviation is regarded as an act of rebellion.

Make your wedding as unique as you are, by getting married in a coloured dress. It’s a refreshing choice, and it’s the perfect opportunity to express yourself, and to show off your personality and style.

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