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How To Find The Perfect Wedding Dress, Shoes And Underwear... By The People That Know

In Style picked the brains of Browns creative director Caroline Burstein, lingerie stylist for Rigby and Peller, Kelly Dunmore and creative director of Jimmy Choo, Sandra Choi to find out what brides-to-be should be looking for when shopping for the perfect bridal outfit


The Dress, by Caroline Burnstein, creative director of Browns and Browns Bride


Jamie Hince and Kate Moss




Visualise the day


‘Is the wedding at the Savoy for over 500 guests or will it be a boho affair on the beach in Ibiza? Your choice of dress should be influenced by that.’


The bridal world isn’t trend-led


‘It’s all about classic, flattering shapes – although I have noticed longer-length sleeves are making a comeback. Also floaty, ethereal dresses with a modern twist are very popular right now.’


Beware the high-fashion purchase


‘If the bride wants a very on-trend dress, I’d ask her to consider how she might feel when she looks at her pictures in five years’ time. She might have preferred to go for something classic.’


If you have a bigger bust…


‘You need a dress with good structure. I don’t mean something that makes you look and feel as if you’re wearing a coat of armour, but a well-constructed dress with bones. And it’s best to avoid a high neck – soft, sweetheart necklines are more flattering.’


Complement your skin tone


‘Olive or Asian skin will take a whiter shade very well. Paler tones look better in ivory, though it’s always best to avoid cream if you’re pale. Black skin tends to look wonderful in all shades.’


Don’t... ‘Make too many changes to the original sample that you fell in love with.’


Do... ‘Try on dresses within your budget. There’s nothing more disappointing than falling in love with something that’s out of your price range.’


Don’t... ‘Bring too many friends. The more people, the more opinions. Bring the ones that really love you and are not jealous of your happiness!’


The Underwear, by Kelly Dunmore, lingerie stylist at Rigby & Peller


Don’t leave it until the last minute


‘The most common mistake I see with brides is that they think about their lingerie last. Lingerie and your dress need to work hand-in-hand to achieve that perfect silhouette.’


It doesn’t have to be white


‘White doesn’t actually complement all skin tones. When the white tones of the lingerie and dress don’t match, we recommend blush pink or nude.’


It should follow the lines of the dress


If you have a slinky fishtail I would suggest shorts, or if you have something which pulls in at the waist go high-waisted. It is also important to ensure that pieces can’t be seen under certain lights.’


If your dress nips in at the waist…


‘Skinny Britches by Spanx are perfect. Or if you’re feeling self-conscious about your tummy, a basque will pull you in.’


If you have a big bust


‘The Marie Jo “Jane” strapless bras are very popular for B-D cups. For a fuller cup size, Empreinte’s “Melody” is a big hit. And this season, we’ve introduced a new Spanish brand called Ivette to our boutiques, which has been flying out.’


Buy two sets instead of one


‘Then you can do a quick change in the evening – a supportive set in the day then a “wow” piece for the wedding night. Very few brides want the grand reveal on their wedding night to be shapewear!’


Can’t find the perfect set?


‘Try made-to-measure – it’s more affordable than you might think, and is often a great way of getting something that ticks all the boxes.’


The Shoes by Sandra Choi, creative director of Jimmy Choo


Comfort is key


‘On your wedding day, you’ll be standing up for a very long time – and if you’re anything like me you’ll be dancing the night away, too. The last thing you want is to feel distracted by uncomfortable shoes.


Work out what heel height works for you.


'I know that 10cm is the height I can wear from day to night.’


The dress comes first


‘But your shoes will complete the look. I secretly think all girls love glitter and metallics – I know I do – but you need to make the shoe work with your dress, rather than the other way round.’


Classic is best


‘The best wedding shoes are all about simple glamour – styles that complement the dress rather than compete with it. If in doubt, try an elegant, pointy-toed shape.’


For something really special…


‘Get your shoes personalised. What bride doesn’t want to have a special pair of shoes that really means something to her on the day? Our Made To Order service allows brides to customise the sole of their shoe with their initials or the date of their wedding.’

read more: formal dresses

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