People say that when it comes to fashion, what’s old will become new once again. That’s basically a fancy way of saying that all trends (no matter how unlikely) will inevitably come back around again.
While in most cases that’s true — plenty of vintage looks are reintroduced into modern style — there are situations in which an old look remains firmly (and thankfully) buried in the past. We can all recall certain fashion trends that were massively popular in our youth but nowadays make us cringe to even look back upon!
This is the case with wedding wear as well. What a bride dons on her big day is, at its core, an immensely personal decision — but there’s no denying that a woman’s choice of wedding gown is in part influenced by what’s in style at the given time. Just think back to the immediate, massive impact Princess Diana’s iconic wedding gown had on bridal fashion!
Certain trends may be cyclical, but these 20 wedding style trends have fallen out of favor, probably forever.
1. Extremely Long Veils
While exaggerated veils were once in vogue, most modern brides now opt for something a bit more simplistic — or forgo a veil entirely.
2. Gaudy Embellishments
In the late 19th century, those who could afford a fancy wedding dress would opt for the most embellished one as a show of their wealth and status. Nowadays, hanging tassels are generally considered a bit much.
While some current wedding dress styles might feature a ruffle or two, you’d be hard-pressed to find many women who want to look like a tiered wedding cake on their big day.
4. Oversized Hoop Skirts
While subtler petticoats are still worn under some ball-gown-type wedding dresses, the very exaggerated hoop skirts of centuries past are out of fashion and have been for a long time.
Bridal chokers were once popular, particularly when high-necked dresses were in fashion. Today, women typically choose to feature other types of jewelry on their big day.
Wedding hats have seen a resurgence in several decades, first gaining popularity in the early 1900s and then making a reappearance in the 1980s. But they’ve been out of style for quite a number of years, and you’re unlikely to see them again anytime soon.
Layered wedding dresses mean more fabric, and more fabric once meant more money. When most modern weddings are followed by a dinner and dancing reception, brides are unlikely to want to be bogged down by such a heavy dress.
8. Juliet Cap Veil
While some recent brides (like Kate Moss) have co-opted this once popular 1920s/1930s Bohemian look, it’s rarely seen in a time when elaborate wedding hairstyles are all the rage.
Adorning an already busy wedding dress was popular near the turn of the century, but most modern brides would rather let their carefully chosen gown speak for itself.
10. Opaque White Hosiery
Garters and sheer stockings are still fairly common among brides today, but opaque white pantyhose (particularly ones clearly visible beneath the dress) has fallen decidedly out of fashion.
In theory, having a small jacket over your wedding dress makes sense, particularly if your big day takes place during a chillier season. But it throws off the silhouette of a gown, and they’re rarely featured anymore.
Some wedding dresses still have buttons up the back, but featuring buttons as a gown’s central and most visible embellishment isn’t as prominent as it once was.
13. Non-White Dresses
Back in the day, before wedding customs became all but set and cemented, many brides would just choose their fanciest dress for the big occasion — and it was rarely the “virginal” white. Today, you might see a few that are off-white or even ivory, but it’s exceedingly rare to find a bride wearing anything but white, let alone a burnt orange like the vintage look here.
14. Puffed Sleeves
Princess Diana was a fashion trendsetter throughout her entire life, and her wedding gown (featuring large, puffed sleeves) set noticeable trends following the 1981 ceremony. However, while long sleeves have been making a comeback, the quintessentially ’80s sleeve featured on the royal’s dress has remained a thing of the past.
Bridal gloves were once a must among most women, indicating a certain level of formality and showing off personal style. But now they’re only seen among brides who are going for a particularly vintage, throwback wedding vibe.
Minimalism in bridal wear has been in vogue for years now, and elaborate headpieces are essentially the opposite of minimal. They’re particularly obsolete now that bridal updos are standard and a major aspect of any bride’s wedding day look.
17. Mixed Fabrics
Modern brides tend to go for a more cohesive look, and gowns with many mixed fabrics were busier than those that stuck to simply satin or silk.
18. Prominent Tiaras
While Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton rocked royal bling at their weddings, many believe today that it’s a bit tacky and outdated to don a huge tiara on your big day if you’re not a duchess or princess.
19. Oversized Bows
While plenty of modern dresses feature subtle bow details, enormous and oversized ones that overpower the gown itself belong in the category of gaudy embellishments that fell to the wayside long ago.
20. High-Neck Collars
Though throat-covering gowns were a popular choice for modest brides at the turn of the century and again in the 1980s and 1990s, most modern women choose a gown that shows off a bit of décolletage — or even a fully strapless option.
What do you think of these outdated wedding dress styles from years past? Would you like to see any of them make a comeback?