A vintage wedding dress, of the 1950s, is the perfect way to add class to your wedding. Find out more about bridal dress of the 1950s.

1950s Wedding Dress

A wedding is one of the most important events in a person's life. It is a special day, when both the bride and the groom want to look their best. In effect, attention is paid on the minutest details, to make the wedding a memorable event. This also includes the wedding dress, which is greatly emphasized upon. The selection of the bridal dress is something very personal, which solely depends upon the choice of the couple. While, some of them choose fashionable attire, there are some who stick to vintage dresses. If you are a fashion freak, there are a number of dresses that can make you look hip and happening. From halter dresses to low neck, from off shoulder gowns to strapless designs, there is much that can be worn by a new generation bride. All these dresses give her the perfect opportunity to exude her beauty with confidence and style. However, if you are looking for a subtle, yet elegant and classic wedding, then a 1950s vintage wedding dress is the best attire for you. Explore this article to learn more about the different types of 1950s wedding dresses.
Image: Samantha Jade Royds@flickr
1950s Vintage Wedding Dress
Typical Characteristics Of A Vintage Bridal Dress
A 1950s bridal dress should typically include on or more of these features. Here is a brief overview of what you should be looking out for in a classy, vintage bridal dress.
  • Upstanding gothic style collars.
  • Lace boleros on top of a strapless dress (opaque ones became popular later in the decade).
  • Ankle length gowns, rather than floor-length.
  • Flutter hems.
  • Layered materials.
  • Three-quarter or long sleeves, with a wedding point.
  • Scooped neckline.
  • Dropped hemline.
  • Stiffer, more opaque fabric than the Chantilly lace of the earlier phases in the decade.
  • Luscious materials such as silk organza, for the gown.
  • Bolero jackets were a huge hit then and can be worn over sleeveless dresses.
  • Most of the dresses from 1950s have Basque waistlines.
  • As the skirts to the dresses were much filled, it is necessary to wear a separate petticoat to accentuate the fullness.
  • The 1950s style dress had veils attached to 'clamp style' hats, worn very close to the head.
  • Vintage 1950s jewelry is ideal to provide finishing touch to the style and look.
Bridal Dress Of The 1950s
Tea Length Dresses
Tea length wedding dresses are basically ankle length dresses, which became widely popular in the mid-50s. These dresses would come with tight bodices and would flare out from the hips till the ankle. Flirtatious yet dainty, these dresses exposed just the right amount of skin and were popularly worn as strapless, low-neck dresses. Tea-length dresses added definition to a bride’s waistline and were best teamed with short gloves, known as ‘shorties’, flutter hems and lace, lots of it!
All Lace Dresses
Lace echoed the rise of affluent European tradition. It also reflected an immense style variation from the previous World War II period, when lace trade was terminated during Hitler’s aggression. In the post-war age, Belgian and French lace made a comeback as the fabric of choice unlike any other wedding dress in history. Lace exuded oodles of feminine appeal and became the call of brides all over the world. Ball gowns, wedding dresses, be it full-length wedding gowns or strapless tea-length ones, had to be manufactured with the choicest Chantilly lace from France or Belgium.
Full-Length Virginal Gowns
As the name suggests, full-length virginal gowns were manufactured to hide every part of the woman’s body, to make her look every bit the demure, classy bride. These gowns displayed little or no skin and were usually manufactured with tight bodices, long-sleeves, long trains and the finest ivory or white silk. White symbolized ‘virginity’ and this was the only color that was allowed on a full-length, classy virginal dress. These dresses would also come with full veil, covering the head/face as a mark of a ‘virgin’ bride.
Strapless Sweetheart Dresses
These dresses became extremely popular towards the late 50’s and captured the fancy of many women around the world at the time. Every bride, towards the end of the 50’s, wanted to wear a strapless sweetheart dress on her wedding day. The neckline for these dresses would be in the shape of heart, near the bust and would come with a tight-fitted bodice. The remainder of the dress would flow out in a beautiful, seamless manner, accentuating the bride’s curves at the waist and flowing to the ground. These dresses were best teamed with a long veil, white gloves and a classy pearl necklace.
The Duchess Dresses
Just as the name suggests, a Duchess dress would make the bride look like a duchess, with dropped hemlines and a full skirted wedding gown. These were far more structured than a regular wedding gown and would come with hedges to support the dress and to make it flow in an umbrella shape. These dresses usually restricted movement, because the structure was heavy and were actually very expensive at the time. The influence for these types of dresses came around with the surge in mirroring Grace Kelly’s style, which was a major factor in the changing taste for expensive, full-bodied fabrics and hedges. Duchess dresses usually used fabrics such as heavy satin, silk taffeta and rich duchess satin lined with pellon. These were often teamed with tiaras, duchess hats, bouquets, shorties and vintage jewelery. 

The dresses mentioned above are some of the classic examples of bridal wear that women used to popularly opt for during the 1950s.

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