Transcript

What's New in Bridal Fashions?

Network News

X Profile
View More Activity
Monica Cotto
Fashion Editor, Elegant Bride
Tuesday, June 6, 2006; 11:00 AM

Monica Cotto, fashion editor of Elegant Bride magazine, will share her expertise, provide tips and answer questions about the latest styles and newest designers in bridal fashion on June 6 at 11 a.m. ET.

Monica Cotto: Hi everybody, thank you for inviting me to discuss your bridal fashion needs. Hopefully, I can be of help.

_______________________

Falls Church, Va.:

Veils! I'm at such a loss, I don't even know where to begin! I guess my first question would be length --I have an A-line gown with a train, should my veil match the length of my train? Or is waist length a better option? Second question is color--my dress is closer to a champagne color than ivory; will bridal salons dye veils to match? And where can I go to find veils that don't look like tutus stuck on top of my head?

Monica Cotto: If you feel the need to match the veil, I would suggest you try to find a dark ivory or champagne veil. As for length, that is really up to you. . Also, a silk veil will lay flat and hang down your back. The other option is having a hair style that allows you to put the veil at the lower bottom of your hair. That way it is not sticking out from the top. A more fashion forward option is a small net worn either over your hair or over your eyes. Think asymmetrical.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.:

I was wondering about the newest style of veils. Are people opting not to put the blusher veil in front of their face to walk down the isle? Or is it a "do what you want" option?

Monica Cotto: I feel that everything in your wedding should be a "do what you want" option. Decide how you want to look and whether or not you even want a veil. The way you look on your wedding day is totally up to you. The trend nowadays in bridal, as well as fashion, is individuality and personal style. I am a huge believer in this. Bridal magazines are here to suggest and show you options, not to dictate what you must wear.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.:

I will be getting married August 2007. I am just getting started and don't know where to begin. Should I start looking for my dress now?

Monica Cotto: You should definitely start looking at bridal magazines to get an idea of the look and style of dress you might want. There are many options from extremely elaborate to simple and chic. Once you have an idea of how you want to look on your wedding day, you can visit websites of designers you find in the magazines and make appointments at your local bridal salons.

_______________________

Arlington, Va.:

I found the dress of my dreams -- a simple, ivory, A-line Richard Glasgow. My first fitting is in New York in late summer. I need to find shoes before the fitting. The wedding, however, is in the winter, so I need to find shoes now that are winter appropriate. I don't want a very narrow heel, nor do I want a very tall heel (maybe 2.5 inches max.). I'd love if the shoe wasn't a traditional wedding shoe. Any suggestions? Traditional wedding websites and stores aren't of much help. Oh, and I'd like to keep these bad boys under $150.

Monica Cotto: If you do not want a traditional wedding shoe, go to your local department store and look at shoes in the evening section. Look into a metallic shoe that will coordinate with your accessories. You can also visit Zappos.com. They have a large variety of designer and mid to low end shoes.

_______________________

Rockville, Md.:

It seems impossible to find a modest wedding dress. When I got married two years ago, the in-style was sleeveless and it took quite some searching to find something with sleeves and a back. Don't people get married in religious and modest ceremonies anymore

Monica Cotto: A beautiful shawl, shrug or bolero could give brides the option of covering up during the ceremony. Many designers are also incorporating similar options that match their gowns for the more conservative bride.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.:

Any tips on where to shop for elegant but affordable hair accessories (headbands, tiaras)?

Monica Cotto: The only thing I can suggest is to look through different bridal magazines and look a the different headpieces they feature. Find the style you like that is in your price range and go on that designers website. They usually have quite a few options for you to choose from.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.:

I've found myself attached to a particular Angel Sanchez dress (Spring 06) that I have only been able to try on in a size much larger than what I would order. Though I realize that's typical, the dress is also in a style that I'm not sure will compliment my figure. Unfortunately, the boutique does not have any other samples by Sanchez in a comparable cut or even close to my size. It's stunning, but I am a stickler for wearing the dress, rather having the dress wear me and thus would prefer to get something that fits well over a runway jaw-dropper. How can I really tell if the dress will fit well when I can't try it on in my size?

Monica Cotto: Unfortunately, I don't think you can. If at this point you are not sure if the cut will flatter your figure, than I think you might have to move on. Before you do that, you should try to contact Angel Sanchez directly and ask them if the dress has been sold to a boutique, closer to your size, in your area. If not, look at his latest collection and see if there is another dress that would better suit you.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.:

Are sleeves against the law? I have been in several weddings and the strapless juggernaut seems to keep rolling on, regardless of the limited amount of people for whom it is flattering. As a broad- shouldered woman, I cannot wait for more options! Even the more '20s- style bias-cut dresses have very little coverage on top. I'm lucky if I can find a halter option. What do you think the next trend will be? Recently, I saw a Watters satin bridesmaid gown with long sleeves and a scoop neck and thought it looked very fresh and sophisticated--and the more structured style is much more flattering. Is a more formal '50s style of elegance on the rise?

Monica Cotto: Although I agree that the strapless dress is a harder shape to wear, it is what the majority of brides across the country buy. This is why the bridal boutiques stock such a large selection. However, individual designers show many neckline options during the bridal market runway shows. look to the designers websites and find the shape that will best fit your body type.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.:

Any tips for a two-bride ceremony? I think matching dresses would look odd, and we're not into one of us wearing a tux or something, but I have no idea how to coordinate so that we both look stunning in gowns that don't clash.

Monica Cotto: How about wearing dresses in similar colors or shades, but different styles that best suit your figures and personalities. I do not think that you should match, and a tuxedo might be too costumey. The other option is a beautiful bridal suit (pant or skirt). Many designers have very chic versions of this.

_______________________

Question about trains:

I'm sure the answer is do whatever I want, but just looking for an opinion. I have a straight dress with a long totally detachable train. I was planning on wearing the train for pictures, the ceremony (of course), but not for the dancing/reception time. My question is, do I wear it for the cocktail hour? On the one hand it could be kind of cumbersome, however I did buy a dress with such a lovely train and I'd like to have people see it for more than 20 minutes. Thoughts?

Monica Cotto: People will see the train during the most important time, the ceremony. You will also have it for the pictures. During the cocktail hour, you will be greeting your guests and many people will be coming up to chat and congratulate you and your husband. Your train may get in the way, or worse, ruined. You might either want to hitch it up in a way that it will still be noticed or remove it altogether.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.:

What interesting trends are you observing for the Fall 2006 lines? Do you see strapless styles becoming passe in the near future?

Monica Cotto: As I said before strapless will always be an option because that is what the majority of the brides buy. However, designers are creating more fashion forward dresses. The trend this past season was very romantic and feminine dresses with bows, ribbons and flowers. There was also a return to the ball gown. There were also sexier silhouettes including the trumpet style gown.

_______________________

Designing a Dress:

I'd really like to design my own wedding dress. I plan on looking in bridal magazines for what I like and then altering it to suit my individual style. It's very important for me to look unique. But I can't make the dress -- I have no sewing abilities. How on earth do I know who will do a great job? And am I going to have to pay a ton of money? Thanks so much.

Monica Cotto: You will have to research local custom tailors and custom dress designers. There will be ones in different price points. Ask to see dresses that they have made and judge the quality. Also ask for references to see if there customers are happy with their work and service.

_______________________

Chevy Chase, Md.:

I have a wonderful stylist who is requesting that I find a veil that attaches to my hairpiece by another method than the traditional comb. Do you know where these can be found? Thank you!

Monica Cotto: The shop where you purchase your veil from should have ones that are not already attached to a comb. Also, go on line to different designers site. you can order on without a comb.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.:

What are the current trends in engagement rings?

Monica Cotto: There seems to be a return to the plain band as opposed to one with pave diamonds. More modern than estate. Also, people are going for non-traditional shapes and colored stones. Again, I always say it depends on your personal style and preference. It should be something you will want to wear every day, as opposed to what's currently in fashion.

_______________________

Wedding dress style:

What is the best style for someone with a big chest, but small shoulders and waist? Also, where does one go to look for wedding dresses that are not traditional colors?

Monica Cotto: European designers often have dresses in non-traditional colors. The all white dress is more of an American tradition. As for the style of dress, do you want it to be sexier or more modest? I wouldn't suggest strapless because you might not have enough support. Think of the type of evening dress best suits you. I think a halter (not a high-neck) might be flattering. The other way to go might be a corset dress with straps. it would show off your small waist and also give you support.

_______________________

New York, N.Y.:

I am wearing a dress with a rather wide v-neck and spaghetti straps, so regular bras show their straps and strapless bras show the sides of their cups. I need a strapless option that will stay hidden and give me the lift I need-- I'm a 36 D! What do you recommend?

Monica Cotto: Is it possible to have a bra built into the dress? try to find a low cut strapless corset.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.:

I have eight bridesmaids and I want them all to have a different look. Would it be better to try to go for the same material, different color/style dress? Or should I keep the same color and just have each bridesmaid choose a different style dress. My colors are fuchsia and orange.

Monica Cotto: It might be difficult to to get all the girls to have dresses that have the same material on their own. Jenny You Bridesmaids and Saeyoung Vu are two designers that you can order dresses from that you can pick a fabric and color and let your maids decide on style which might make your life easier. I can't decide for you if the girls should all be in different colors, but what if the majority pick one color over the other, it might not look balanced.

_______________________

Milwaukee, Wisc.:

Bridal shops give me hives. I'm in my late 30s, getting married for the second time, and I have no desire whatsoever to be a fairy princess or spend $4000 (or even $400) on a dress I'll never wear again. No veils, no trains, no poof...and don't get me started on crinoline. I'm not having bridesmaids either -- we're having a big party (heavy hors d'oeuvres, desserts, cocktails) and getting married in the middle. Any suggestions? I'd just as soon buy a cocktail dress I can wear again, but my mom does have a point about being semi-recognizable as the bride.

Monica Cotto: Go for a white evening dress that will set you apart from the crowd, but suits your needs and is something you might wear again in the future. Many designers sent white dress down there runways, I'm sure you will be able to find an affordable option.

_______________________

Virginia:

I'm wearing a vintage, brocade gown with a structured boat neck. My hair is short. What kind of earrings would look best? Should I wear a necklace? (I have a strand of family pearls, but it's very long. I'm thinking of wrapping it around my wrist instead.)

Monica Cotto: Long necklaces are very in fashion right now and might look fine with your neckline. If you do decide to wear them, go with small stud earrings. If not, I would go with a more dramatic earring, large drops or chandeliers.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.:

I am getting married next month in Philadelphia. It will be a Sunday afternoon wedding, during July. As the groom, can I wear a suit? Or must I wear a tuxedo as my wife-to-be wishes? Please tell me that it is socially acceptable to wear a suit to an afternoon wedding in hot, hot Philly in July. Thanks. Also, is it socially acceptable to wear cummerbunds anymore? Or are vests the only accessory for a tuxedo?

Monica Cotto: It is a perfectly acceptable option to wear a suit. Explain to your bride that a groom who is perspiring profusely or worse, passed out from heat exhaustion, might not be a pleasant on her wedding day. I am sure you both can find a beautiful evening suit that will work. As for the cummerbund and vest, I don't think you need either.

_______________________

Monica Cotto: Thank you again for your questions. I hope my answers were helpful.

_______________________

Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.


© 2006 The Washington Post Company

Discussion Archive

Viewpoint is a paid discussion. The Washington Post editorial staff was not involved in the moderation.

Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity