Simple, Elegant, Minimalist Wedding Dresses: Timeless Styles for Classic Brides
Dec 19, 2023
Real Bride Stories
While maximalist gowns have been trending in our post-Covid world, there’s something to be said for simple and elegant wedding dress styles. Clean dresses with a minimalist look have a timeless quality that modern brides appreciate. With this return to simplicity, we’re here to show you how you can achieve an effortless and classic look with simple wedding dresses in every silhouette.
Wedding dresses have evolved throughout history, with each era contributing its own unique flair—from the understated column gowns of the 30s to the extravagance of the 80s, brought on by Princess Diana. Despite these varying styles, wedding dresses have always remained a pivotal component of weddings, dating back to Chinese folklore, where a princess wore a red phoenix dress to bring her good luck and strength in her marriage. While the symbolism of the gown may change depending on your culture—with white wedding dresses being popular in the West to represent purity, prosperity, and a lifetime commitment—a wedding gown is a defining feature of a bride. In today’s modern world, a gown doesn’t have to be taken literally, whether you rock a full dress, chic pantsuit, or flowing jumpsuit, this special outfit helps give a bride her identity. One thread that can be found throughout all of bridal is an emphasis on elegance. Regardless of silhouette, a simple, yet timeless, design has always been in fashion. With a focus on fit, simple wedding dresses make an impact of their own, leaving you, the bride, to be the one to shine. The most important thing is to pick a dress that truly reflects your personality. The way to look and feel your best on your wedding day is to wear a dress that you can feel confident in.
An A-line dress is one of the most classic silhouettes, not just in bridal, but in all of fashion. While the silhouette has been around for a long time, the term A-line came to be in 1955, when iconic designer, Christian Dior, released “the A-line Collection,” featuring dresses with fitted bodices and flared skirts. These elements are what make A-line gowns incredibly popular, not only for wedding dresses but for all elegant wedding attire. A-line silhouettes can have any neckline or sleeve style, from long sleeves to strapless, but to meet the definition of “A-line” they must feature a form-fitting bodice from the shoulder down to the natural waist and a bottom that flares out—gradually increasing in width towards the hem. This look of emphasizing a narrow waist paired wide skirt creates a shape resembling the letter “A,” hence the name A-line silhouette. This style is loved by many because of how flattering it is. Great for brides of all shapes and sizes, an A-line’s nipped-in waist and flared skirt can both minimize any problem areas and maximize the look of curves with its shapely silhouette. If you’re looking for an elegant A-line wedding dress with minimal embellishments, our number one pick is our Pippa Wedding Dress. This modern A-line has a couture feel featuring a corset-boned bodice and a chic cowl detail on the strapless neckline for a sculptural look. The skirt flares out from the natural waistline for that classic silhouette with the sultry addition of a high skirt slit to spice things up. The petal satin fabric has a delicate luminosity and we love the traditional touch of buttons down to the hemline. If you’re a more modest bride, this dress can be ordered without the skirt slit. Another stunning option for a minimalist bridal gown is our Nancy Wedding Dress. This simple style shines in soft satin with a cowl neckline that has a fluidly draped quality to it. The banded waist helps to highlight the narrow look of the A-line silhouette, emphasizing the flare of the skirt as it floats off the body, with a front slit for added movement. Matching draped off-the-shoulder sleeves create a cool cold-shoulder effect, but are detachable if you prefer simple spaghetti straps. For an understated and embellished style, our top choice is our Phyllis Wedding Dress. This elegant A-line has a classic strapless neckline with a whisper soft sweetheart detail for a subtle nod to some added curves. The fitted bodice features boning for added structure and support, but our favorite part is the delicately beaded floral lace appliqués that cascade down the dress.
If you’re looking for a wedding dress that has a sleek silhouette, then a sheath wedding gown is for you. This style is known for its clean lines and tailored look, where—like the sheath of a sword— it is fitted to the body. The bodice will glide along your curves till about the hips where the skirt then falls in a straight line for a chic and streamlined look. The skirt may or may not have a slight flare, adding a touch more volume to the skirt. One of the most iconic sheath dresses is the little black dress Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, solidifying this as an iconic silhouette known for its timeless sophistication. A sheath silhouette is the perfect choice for the bride who wants to show body without the restrictions of the more fitted mermaid silhouette. The clean lines help to give a long and lean look highlighting the effortless simplicity of the minimal style. Our Psyche Wedding Dress is a stunning choice if you’re looking for a modern and elegant sheath wedding dress. The cool and classic gown has a sculptural off-the-shoulder neckline with subtle draping that has an artistic flair. The banded waist defines your figure, meeting up with the simple skirt that falls elegantly on the body. Duchess satin fabric offers a subtle glow, while buttons down to the hemline reinforce the classic feel of the dress. Our Nori Wedding Dress is the definition of a sleek and simple dress. The effortlessly chic gown features a modified sweetheart neckline that subtly enhances your curves on the fitted bodice, with defined seaming for a modern look. The banded waist highlights the sultry shape of the sheath silhouette with a minimalist soft satin skirt. The front slit not only adds a sexy element to the gown but creates more movement to the skirt. For those who truly want to embrace modern bridal style, consider wearing a chic mini dress. Mini dresses have been making power moves in the bridal scene, with celebrities like Anya-Taylor Joy wearing a chic, yet timeless, mini dress to her nuptials. Our Nikita Wedding Dress is simple, sleek, and sophisticated in luxe Larissa satin. The strapless sweetheart neckline has a romantic look, with darts along the bodice adding to the clean and streamlined feel of a sheath dress. For some added drama pair it with the detachable waist sash featuring streamers in back.
For our brides who want a simple, elegant, and minimalist wedding day look, you might feel wary about a lace wedding dress. Full lace gowns are often associated with traditional looks, but subtle touches of lace to your simple gown are a great way to add a touch of romance to a more modern dress. Elegant lace details along the bodice, sleeves, or skirt can enhance the look of your dress, whether it’s peek-a-boo lace at your neckline, a sheer lace cut-out, or understated embroidery cascading down the gown. If you want to incorporate the romantic touch of lace into your minimalist gown, we highly recommend our Peyton Wedding Dress. Sophisticated and stylish, this crepe gown features modern details like the straight off-the-shoulder neckline and oversized cuff detail. To soften the look of this sleek gown, we’ve added sheer panels starting at the sides of the dress that not only contour the body but create a more romantic feel with delicately beaded botanical embroidery. This stunning combination of feminine lace and clean minimalism makes this dress easy to love. Another romantic bridal gown is our Nyssa Wedding Dress, a slip-inspired gown, in soft satin, that has an effortlessly chic feel. The sweet, yet sexy, dress features a draped cowl neckline with peek-a-boo lace detailing featuring a delicate and dreamy motif. The slinky dress grazes the body, highlighting your curves, with a lace-lined skirt slit adding a sultry dose of leg. The open, v-shape back also has lace-edging, with buttons down to the hemline for a timeless look. Cool and clean, our Pura Wedding Dress uses swirling, crystal beaded embroidery to create an understated, embossed effect on the simple dress. The strapless neckline has a textured edge from the romantic appliqués that cascade down the dress, framing the breathtaking sheer corset back leading to the gorgeous cut-away lace train. The streamlined skirt balances out the dreamy lace details and for a more boho look, pair the gown with the matching embroidered bell sleeves.
Off-the-shoulder necklines have a unique allure, exposing the shoulder and highlighting the decolletage in a way that feels modest, yet elegant. This style has been a longstanding trend in bridal fashion as it can be easily paired with any fabric, silhouette, sleeve length, and even other necklines—like off-the-shoulder sweethearts. This romantic neckline flatters almost all body types, and because of the internal corsetry we add to our gowns, brides don’t have to worry about not having straps for added support. The beauty of an off-the-shoulder wedding dress lies in how it gracefully frames the collar bones, elongating your neck and drawing the eye towards your lovely face, adding an overall feel of romance and sophistication to any bridal gown. Whether you prefer a sultry look or something more demure, a simple off-the-shoulder wedding dress is a timeless staple. Our Nicky Wedding Dress is a top favorite, a sexy fit and flare that shows off your curves. The stretch satin fabric features textured draping for an ultra-flattering look with a front skirt slit for added movement and a pop of leg. The off-the-shoulder sleeves mirror the shape of the scoop neckline, adding an elegant flair to the seductive gown, and leading to the sheer corset detailing in back. If you prefer a more ethereal look, then check out our Pallas Wedding Dress. The airy English net gown floats off the body in an A-line silhouette. The bustier bodice features delicate ruching, while details like the beaded bow waistline and detachable off-the-shoulder sleeves are a dreamy touch. Our Marquesa Wedding Dress is the epitome of bridal sophistication. The timeless ball gown has a unique look in textured floral brocade fabric, but it’s the classic elements like the fitted bodice and off-the-shoulder cap sleeves that really make this dress magic. The pleated skirt adds volume to the silhouette, with buttons down to the hemline for that touch of tradition.
Chic Column Choices
Column wedding dresses are a chic choice for brides who want to look sleek and sophisticated. Similar to a sheath, a column silhouette falls off the body in a straight line, mirroring the clean lines and simple shape of an architectural column. Unlike a sheath, a column bridal gown is cut slimmer with a narrow skirt that does not flare. The more narrow shape does not mean that a column dress is restrictive. While this silhouette can be fitted, it isn’t skin-tight like mermaids or fit and flares often are. Some column gowns hang loosely on the body, like the shift dress that first gained popularity in the iconic 1920s flapper dress with a revival of the style in the 1960s. And with 2024 wedding predictions seeing the rise of groovy, vintage-inspired weddings, the simple and narrow cut elegance of a column silhouette might be the style for you; because this silhouette is so simple, luxurious fabrics help to elevate the look of this silhouette. Fabrics like silk and satin—with their expensive look and feel—enhance a column wedding dress adding a subtle luminosity and have a beautiful drape to them. Our Nesta Wedding Dress is exactly this, a sleek wedding dress in fluid silky satin fabric that drips down the body for a luxe look. The elegant gown has a modest bateau neckline on a sleeveless bodice contrasted by a breathtaking open back featuring a soft cowl detail and a 3D floral strap for some added drama. Our Mindy Wedding Dress has a modern and on-trend design, with a timeless feel from the column silhouette. Empire bodice has a romantic sweetheart neckline with intricate pleats and chic criss crossing detail. The straight shape is enhanced with side seams that help to contour the body in luxe crepe back satin, while tied streamers add a feminine, yet dramatic, feel to the keyhole back. For a truly minimalist look, there’s our Maddie Wedding Dress. Perfect for the no frills bride, the crepe, column gown hugs your curves, with princess seams to help define your figure. The square neckline adds a classic feel, but our favorite part is the open back with sheer detailing, creating a cool cut-out look.
Minimalist Satin Glamour
While most people think of satin as a fabric, it’s actually a type of weaving pattern. Satin can be made out of a variety of raw materials including silk and nylon, so when you’re wedding dress shopping you’ll often see dresses described as “silky satin,” “duchess satin,” etc. Known for its delicate sheen and luxurious feeling, it’s easy to see why brides love a satin wedding dress. Because of its clean and glossy look, satin fabric is a great choice for brides who want to achieve a modern and classy appearance, we also recommend considering dressing your entire bridal party in elegant satin attire for a cohesive wedding day look. To let the beauty of the satin fabric shine, we recommend picking a minimalist design that lets the intricacies of the satin details, like draped and pleating, be front and center. The perfect example of this is our Mischa Wedding Dress. This timeless A-line ball gown has a wrap-style bodice that cinches in your figure with delicate pleating. The strapless neckline has a chic v-notch detail and a full box-pleated skirt with a sultry slit that takes this classic dress into the modern era. If you want a more fitted style, check out our Noelle Wedding Dress. The luminous Larissa satin highlights the clean lines of the structured mermaid silhouette, from the chic square neckline to the defined seaming. For a playful touch to the minimalist bridal gown, we’ve added sheer satin organza pouf sleeves. But nothing embodies minimalist satin glamour like our Nadine Wedding Dress. The stunning satin fit and flare features a sculptural sweetheart bodice with intricate draping that works its way down the skirt for elegant texture and an ultra-flattering silhouette. The pearl and crystal beaded straps add a luxe sparkle, while sheer sides give the dress a sultry edge. For extra drama wear the dress with the matching detachable satin train.
Regal High Necklines
High neck wedding dresses have seen a resurgence in the past few years, with celebrities and royalty alike loving this vintage style. Considered elegant and ultra-feminine, high necklines transitioned into a fashionable design element back in the 1600s when Queen Elizabeth I and other members of high society began wearing this regal style. Not to mention icons like Audrey Hepburn and Grace sporting high neck gowns for their weddings. A high neckline wedding dress adds a level of sophistication and gives any bride a refined and timeless look that will never go out of style. If you’re looking for a simple high neck wedding dress, we have some options for you. First is our Nigella Wedding dress, a vintage-inspired sheath that drips down the body in liquid satin. The cuffed bishop sleeves and ruched high neckline feel both modest and high fashion with a draped waist detail to cinch you in and define your figure. We love the pairing of the high neckline and simple flowing skirt, giving you an elongated silhouette that embodies timeless elegance. Our Lucy Wedding Dress is true regal bridal style. The classic ball gown features a high bateau neckline that sits above the collarbones but won’t feel as cloistering as a turtleneck. Defined seams highlight the look of a narrow waist and emphasize the flare of the A-line skirt. The pleated satin gives the gown more volume and we love the look paired with the gauzy satin organza bishop sleeves with a classic cuff at the wrist. Buttons down to the hemline add that timeless and regal feel brides are looking for.
Allure of the V-Neck
A v-neck wedding gown is a universally flattering dress, great for both small chested and busty brides. This simple neckline can come in a variety of shapes, from a modest v to a deep plunge, and can be paired with any dress silhouette in basically any fabric. Named for its triangular “V” shape, a v-neck wedding dress is a classic choice, especially for a simple and elegant look Choosing a dress with minimal embellishments allows the clean lines of a v-neck to shine, drawing the eye downwards for an elongated silhouette. This style strikes a beautiful balance between a sexy allure with its display of cleavage, especially if you have a scandalously plunging v-neckline, and its understated simplicity with a plain v shape. If you’re looking for the simple elegance of a v-neck wedding dress, check out these choices. Our Mara Wedding Dress has a carefree feel in billowing chiffon with delicately draped details. The A-line silhouette is ultra-flattering and we love how the v-neckline on the surplice bodice compliments the clean lines of the dress. Additions like the sultry skirt slit and detachable bishop sleeves make this gown look absolutely effortless. Our Lianne Wedding Dress is a stunning option for a curvy v-neck wedding dress. The understated A-line features lovely crystal beaded, embroidered appliqués on romantic Chantilly lace. The v-neckline helps to draw the eye down the body for an elongated look, guiding you to the relaxed chiffon skirt with a slit for added movement and a sexy pop of leg. Simplistic and utterly stylish, our Josette Wedding Dress is a sophisticated fit and flare designed in soft net that is asymmetrically draped. This delicate draping creates beautiful lines, which are enhanced by the wide v-neckline and cap sleeves. For an added dose of drama, we’ve added a fly away front drape adding even more texture.
Mermaid gowns are known for their sexy style with a fitted bodice that hugs your curves down to about mid-thigh, where the skirt then flares out in a fishtail effect. Some mermaids are more subdued, elegantly following the lines of your body, while some are very dramatic with full, flared skirts; regardless, a mermaid wedding dress is always sleek and glamorous. This silhouette is great for our fuller figured brides who want to show off their curves, but can absolutely work on slimmer, straighter body types, as it can add more curves and swerves for their wedding day. While known for sometimes being over-the-top and sexy, this glamorous bridal gown can definitely be paired down for a more simple mermaid silhouette. Choosing a mermaid wedding dress without excessive embellishments puts your figure on display. Perfect for the brides who are all about showing body, a simple mermaid will put you and your curves on full display. With a history spanning back to the late 1800s, the mermaid silhouette has always been a timeless and elegant choice, especially with the allure of its fitted silhouette, which wasn’t common at the time. Experiencing moments in haute couture fashion and even an iconic 1950 Vogue feature, the mermaid gown has always been an elegant and fashionable look. If you’re looking for a modern and minimal mermaid wedding dress, we’ve got you covered. For the ultimate couture look, there’s our Nastasia Wedding Dress, which embraces the work of traditional ateliers by putting chic corsetry on display. The structured bodice features a sculptural sweetheart neckline with a subtle cowl detail and angled boning that enhances the look of the mermaid silhouette. The petal satin fabric keeps the gown simple and sleek with a dramatically flared skirt and buttons down to the hemline for that classic touch. Our Malia Wedding Dress gives you a softer, more feminine look. The sophisticated mermaid glows in Larissa satin with contoured seaming that creates unique shapes that highlight your curves in the fitted silhouette. Delicate details like the spaghetti straps and back bow round out this simply stunning dress. Artistic and effortless, our Jodi Wedding Dress is a modern mermaid that feels uniquely bridal. The angular strapless neckline has an interesting draped, crisscrossing detail that helps give the illusion of a narrow waist. The intricate seam work creates elegant curves, enhancing the fitted shapes of the gown in smooth Larissa satin that glides over the body.
Regardless of details like silhouette or neckline, simple wedding dress styles have an elegance that is loved by many. The classic quality of these more understated gowns has proven to span the test of time, with brides always coming back to the effortless simplicity of timeless bridal style despite ever-changing trends. Something that never goes out of style in wedding attire is timeless beauty; gowns that embrace elegance in simplicity, designed to complement the bride rather than overpower or overwhelm her. Reflecting on your personal style will help guide you in the right direction to finding your dream wedding dress. Envisioning how you want to look and feel on your wedding day is the best way to start. If you’re ready to find your perfect wedding dress visit one of our expert retailers.