The reason why brides dress in white

It’s a seemingly timeless custom that’s often the focal the brides’ wedding dreams. In 2018, around eighty percent of wedding brides donned white gowns on their wedding day, as per a study conducted by Brides Magazine. The overwhelming number of brides begs the question, why do we think of white as a color for wedding gowns? How long has this custom been around?

Godey’s Magazine and Lady’s Book, the most renowned 19th-century women’s magazine, discussed this issue in an article about the ” Etiquette of Trousseau” in the August issue of 1849. “Custom, from time immemorial, has decided on white as [a wedding gown’s] proper hue, emblematic of the freshness and purity of girlhood,” they wrote.

While this may suggest that there is a long tradition of bridal white, it’s not the case. The time was when white was the most popular bridal dress for around nine years, only among the wealthy.

Where and when did the wedding dress with white sleeves come from? As curator of Ohio State University’s Historic Costumes and Textiles Collection, I’ve often been asked about this, and my study included seeking out the answer.

The practice is likely to go more than 2,000 years ago, beginning from early in the Roman Republic (509 B.C. – 27 B.C. ), the time when brides wore white tunics. White was a symbol of purity, a symbol of the purity of a woman and her transformation into being a wedding Roman matron. It also symbolized Vesta as the virgin goddess of home, hearth, and family, who were served by priestesses of the temple dressed in white attire.

Following the fall of the Roman Empire, white marriage wedding attire ceased to be fashionable. From the Middle Ages to the mid-19th century, brides dressed in their most elegant gowns or bought the latest gown, which could be worn over and over. The white dress was not an option in a world with no running water or in a world where laundry was cleaned by hand.

The Queen Victoria Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on their return from their wedding ceremony in 1840. Rischgitz/Getty Images

A royal wedding set off the trend for bridal attire that was white. Queen Victoria did not follow the royal custom of wearing coronation gowns when she got married to Prince Albert in February. Ten the 10th of February 1840. Instead, she wore a chic white dress, which was prominently featured in magazines and newspapers across the globe.

The design and color of her dress were copied across the globe as women sought to appear like the attractive, young queen, much as the people of today idolize celebrities. A white wedding dress was a symbol of class and wealth instead of virginity. Only brides with wealth could wear a white silk dress because they were married in elegant, clean places that were free from the grime and dirt of the 19th-century Industrial Age.

The dresses were made of ivory or cream that were more pleasing to the face. The stunning white wedding gown did not gain popularity throughout Europe as well as North America until the 1930s, and it would not be part of the consciousness of the general public up to World War II.

The classic 1950s-era dress worn by the bride, Rita Jane Elliott, is an excellent example of postwar fashion. The dress was purchased from Madisons, which is a luxury women’s clothes store located in Columbus, Ohio. The Ohio State Historic Costume & Textiles Collection

Close-up of Rita’s white silk dress that included taffeta, silk, sequins, and pearls. Ohio State Historic Costume & Textiles Collection

In the wake of U.S. wartime rations of fabric as well as a surge in weddings after Americans returned soldiers from war the, war brought about changes in the style of wedding gowns. In 1943, when the war was still in full swing in the United States, it was decided by the Federal Limitation Order 85 specified that just one and three-quarters yards of material could be utilized in the creation of dresses.

The American Association of Bridal Manufacturers has lobbied for an exemption in the belief that it was essential to the morale of all citizens. They claimed that after researching 220 brides, “American men are heading to war, but what exactly are they fighting for, other than the right to marry in a traditional fashion? We’re fighting to protect our way of life and this is a part of our lifestyle.”

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *