If you're looking for a wedding dress that's unique and sultry without exposing too much of your décolletage—one that's elegant and bold without overstepping into the daring zone, you might want to consider going for an off-shoulder gown. It's one of the easiest ways to inject personality into your gown. Additionally, it'll save you the worry of picking between a sleeveless and a sleeved gown. Since there's so much you can do with an off-shoulder style, you can design a gown that's somewhere in between.
Of course, there are an overwhelming number of styles to choose from, still—you'll have to decide on the embellishments, fabric, length, and neckline you want.
To help you out, we've rounded up eleven dress concepts that can serve as a jump-off point for you to pinpoint the gown of your dreams. Take a look:
Gorgeous Off-Shoulder Wedding Gown Inspirations You Can Wear Down the Aisle
1. Play with different sheer textures, and go for unconventional details.
This dress features a sweetheart neckline, flared tulle sleeves, and a tulle skirt with a regular slit. The netted bodice gives it a mermaid-like touch. The unique sheer relaxed sleeves gives the dress continuity, as it matches the skirt. Counting the lace-up details on the sleeves, the dress is quite busy, but it's a good peg if you want something bold yet youthful.
2. Serve full drama with off-white lace.
Those tiny sleeves make all the difference; without them, this gown would be an ordinary strapless dress. Just like the previous gown, this one has sheer sleeves with floral appliqués for added effect. The gown itself features an understated waistband that gives a slimming effect, and a flattering mermaid cut.
3. Go big with the sleeves.
The stars of this dress are definitely the dramatic, strategically draped sheer sleeves that resemble rising wisps of smoke. Some brands offer sheer sleeves like this that can be removed for the reception. They stand in stark contrast to the rest of the smooth dress, which features a heart-shaped neckline, a flared shape, and a middle slit. The gown manages to be ethereal without being overloaded with kitschy details—it's perfect for a minimalist bride who still prefers a touch of personality.
4. Channel a wind fairy with choice fabrics and floral appliqués.
Gauzy and whimsical without being twee, this gown contains a lot of movement and romance. The tactical use of sheer fabric creates mystery and dimension. The artistic way the floral appliqués are placed makes them look like flowers on vines draping overhead, as opposed to flowers on a bush, which is how floral details usually look on ordinary gowns. The details really are everything!
5. Lace can be bohemian, too!
Here's a bohemian dress for your walk down a sandy aisle. Yes, it's made of lace, but it manages to dodge the old-school look completely. The fence-like lace pattern on the skirt gives off a tiered appearance. It has a scalloped bardot collar, and a trumpet shape. It's laidback, but it's still a stunning wedding dress.
6. Go for fitted sleeves and a feather-light fabric.
If your outdoor wedding falls on a summer day, a light, breathable gown might be your best bet. This particular one has slimming, fitted lace sleeves, and a sultry nude lining. The lace pattern interestingly resembles a paisley print, yet it still looks stunning.
7. Opt for dreamy, dramatic sleeves.
Sheer sleeves seem to be something of a trend, and it's easy to see why—they're dreamy and classy. This gown features huge balloon sleeves, a beaded bodice, and a heart-shaped neckline with a sharp plunge running down the middle. The sleeves should be easy enough for a tailor to attach, so if you have a similar tube gown that you think needs more whimsical details, keep this design in mind.
8. Keep it simple yet elegant.
This gown features a classic bardot neckline, an A-line shape, and cascading layers of sheer fabric for a soft look. This gown is simple, but not plain—perfect for brides who are looking for a classic dress. If it's too simple for you, you can opt to have beading added, or you can pick out a different dress color entirely—off-white, creamy dresses are gorgeous, too, and don't stray too far from traditional hues.
9. Make a statement with contrasting fabrics.
For indoor urban weddings, this gown might work. It actually looks like a two-piece dress—you could easily take an ornate crop top and pair it with an impeccably tailored mermaid maxi skirt. For brides working with a limited budget, this style might be ideal, since both pieces can be reworn separately.
10. Heavy satin will always look immaculate.
Here, we have a dramatic, pearly-white wedding dress with an elegant bardot collar that gives the gown a vintage feel. It’s so flattering! The dart work on the skirt also ensures the best possible fit, which is of supreme importance if you'll be working with a similar fabric on a gown this tight.
11. Sweet and sultry go hand in hand in this corset gown.
Taking on a dominant contemporary trend, this gown features a corset-like boned bodice, plus a full princess skirt. The structured cups make it sultry, while the frilly fabric keeps it youthful. Deconstructed looks will always be chic, and, of course, a perfectly fitted bodice is always a win.
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