HEM­LINES – RAIS­ING THE BAR

My Wedding - - CONTENT - By Anita Turner-Wil­liams

Un­til the twen­ti­eth century, hem­lines worn by up­per and mid­dle class women were never shorter than an­kle length, and it’s only since the 1960’s that hem­lines were re­ally raised. There are now some who swear that hem­line fash­ions rise and fall in sync with the stock ex­change.

What can be said is that it is pretty much up to the wearer to de­cide on an ap­pro­pri­ate hem­line these days, al­though there is still a pref­er­ence for longer skirts for more for­mal oc­ca­sions.

Hem­lines come to mind when choos­ing brides­maids gowns. Apart from the for­mal­ity or lack thereof, you should con­sider body shape and height when de­cid­ing be­tween long or short skirts. Brides of­ten opt for long gowns for for­mal wed­dings as they pro­vide a clean, el­e­gant line that in turn com­pli­ments the bride.

When not full length, brides­maid gowns gen­er­ally skim the knee giv­ing a flat­ter­ing line to the leg whilst not putting too much brides­maid on dis­play! Fabrics are of­ten ‘floaty’, so this length works re­ally well. Re­mem­ber that brides­maids are of­ten bend­ing down to at­tend the bride’s train and other needs, so too short a skirt can pose a prob­lem. I’m a great be­liever in that if you have a low back or strappy neck­line, you re­ally don’t need too much leg show­ing. High­light one part of the body or the other! It just looks tacky for ev­ery­thing to be on show!

With a shorter hem­line, brides­maids’ shoes be­come a fo­cus. They are very much part of the out­fit so they have to be per­fect. As colour matches are hard to find in the right style un­less dye­ing them (an­other story), a nude or metal­lic shoe works beau­ti­fully.

Brides, mostly, choose their venues be­fore de­cid­ing on what to wear. It’s good to con­sider what you plan to do in the gown and the for­mal­ity of the wed­ding first.

Whilst a full-length gown with a train is usu­ally the pre­ferred op­tion, it would be just wrong in some set­tings! Hav­ing said that, you can make pretty much any­thing work if the style flat­ters the bride. Some of the big­ger, ro­man­tic gowns may look out of place in a small set­ting un­less the train can be put up and got out of the way.

If a bride has amaz­ing legs, she may well want to show them off. A gown to the knee works mag­i­cally and, cou­pled with some floaty fabrics, can be a fab­u­lous look that’s fun and not too for­mal.

An­other way to re­veal a bit of leg (taste­fully) is with a split ei­ther front or side of the gown. I like to mix it up with soft chif­fon so the top lay­ers sort of hide the split. This way, the leg is on show when the bride walks, but not all the time.

An­other hem­line I’ve been work­ing with lately is sheer lay­ers of fab­ric on the leg line, usu­ally made with silk chif­fon and soft em­broi­dered tulle. Thus, tech­ni­cally the gown is long, but lightly sheer and gor­geous to wear es­pe­cially in trop­i­cal lo­ca­tions. Brides who try this style of­ten com­ment on how beau­ti­fully dreamy it feels to wear. It also makes the gown a lit­tle sexy, so is not for the shy bride!

What­ever you choose, if it flat­ters you you’re al­most there. How you feel in the gown will re­flect on the whole wed­ding. If a bride feels beau­ti­ful there’s usu­ally a seren­ity and calm­ness about her, and with that comes the con­fi­dence and joy to make your wed­ding the best day of your life!

Missie Brown’s Vinka De­sign gown was ac­com­pa­nied by Trelisse Cooper brides­maids’ frocks.

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