Why it’s now the bride who wears the trousers


Women are ditching frothy gowns to make their vows in jumpsuits or white separates

Sophie Turner at her wedding to Joe Jonas (second left) in Las Vegas.

Sophie Turner at her wedding to Joe Jonas (second left) in Las Vegas last week.                                                      Photograph: TMZ/MEGA
By: Leah Harper/UK Guardian

 

When Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner married musician Joe Jonas in Las Vegas last week, she wore a pair of white, wide-leg trousers – and she’s not the first to ditch a traditional wedding dress for trousers or a jumpsuit.

Last week, British Vogue’s “ultimate modern bridal edit” featured three trouser options. And a report issued by fashion search engine Lyst earlier this spring said that online searches for white suits had increased by 43% over the previous three months.

On the high street, the latest wedding collection from Whistles features a wedding trouser suit as well as a cropped-leg lace jumpsuit, while Asos has a sequin-and-beaded trouser suit, two strappy jumpsuits, and trousers in its women’s bridal range.

On the catwalk, AF Vandevorst’s spring/summer ’19 collection included several bridal outfits, including satin trousers paired with wedding veils. Viktor & Rolf had a white, strapless jumpsuit as one of its 17 bridal looks, while Tadashi Shoji featured long-sleeve bridal jumpsuits in both white and pink.

“We’ve noticed a growing demand for less-traditional bridal outfits such as jumpsuits and separates,” said Amandine Ohayon, CEO of bridal brand Pronovias. “Nowadays, jumpsuits or two-pieces can have the same wow factor as a dress and can also be combined with trains, capes or gloves to provide a genuine bridal feel.”

Swapping a wedding dress for trousers or a jumpsuit is a trend that is emerging predominantly within western cultures, and particularly Christian, Catholic or non-religious ceremonies (trousers have long been part of traditional bridalwear elsewhere). In the UK, the rise in the popularity of wedding trousers coincides with the rise of registry office ceremonies, where brides are more likely to experiment with their look. Less than a quarter (24%) of all marriages were religious ceremonies in 2016 – the lowest figure ever.

More brides are now wearing several outfits over the course of their wedding day (about 23% of brides opt for more than one wedding look, according to Lyst), and there has been a rise in the number of weddings that take place over several days.

“Some brides choose a jumpsuit and a dress, so they can have the best of both worlds,” said Ohayon. “Something more traditional for the ceremony and a jumpsuit to dance the night away.”

Bridal designer Romona Keveža, who is best-known for dressing celebrities including Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga, has her UK flagship at The Wedding Gallery in London and included two jumpsuits in her fall 2018 collection. “I love the idea of a jumpsuit for a reception look, or even a civil ceremony or island wedding,” she said.

For some, of course, wedding trousers and jumpsuits may also be a small way to break with convention, while still taking part in this most traditional of ceremonies.

“They are a modern style statement for brides who want to surprise and stand out,” said Ohayon. “[Trousers and jumpsuits] may be a little more individual, while still being glamorous, stylish and aisle-worthy.”

Bridal trends
1900s

Corseted bodices with high ruffle necks and puffy sleeves. Trains and gloves are worn long.

1910s

With dancing at weddings fashionable, gowns are long but looser and easier to move in.

1920s

Flapper fashion seeps in, with dropped waists, lower necklines and higher hemlines.

1930s

The Depression, so silk is out, affordable rayon in. Figure-hugging styles more common.

JFK and Jackie Kennedy at their weddingA scene from the Kennedy-Bouvier wedding. Groom John walks alongside his bride Jacqueline at an outdoor reception, 1953. Newport, Rhode Island. (Photo by Bachrach/Getty Images)

1940s

Rationing means dress suits or Sunday best but, for those wanting a dress, long sleeves and flowing trains are in.

1950s

Tea-length dresses and sweetheart necklines, alongside lace, gloves and full skirts.

1960s

Empire-line silhouettes and mini-dress styles. High necklines, mutton sleeves and gloves also feature.

1970s

Bohemian fashion, with bell sleeves as well as hats and chokers. Skirt suits also return.

29th July 1981: Charles, Prince of Wales, with Princess Diana, on the altar of St Paul’s Cathedral during their marriage ceremony.

1980s

Puffed sleeves, long dresses and cathedral trains. Frilly hemlines and lace cuffs accompanied by oversized bouquets.

1990s

Streamlined silhouettes and minimalist dresses, a paired-back styles with little embellishment.

2000s

Gloves are out, strapless gowns in. Destination weddings become more popular, calling for dresses which “travel well”.

2010s

Mermaid silhouettes, “nude” designs and long sleeves gain early popularity, before brides branch out into jumpsuits and trouser styles.

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