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Wedding wow: Bride and groom fashion trends for 2017

Close up of young bride in wedding dress1 / 3
Stefani Carmany of LeeAnne’s Bridal says lace is the most popular fabric and comes in thousands of designs. Courtesy of Dan Francis Photography / Special to Forum News Service2 / 3
Illusion dresses can give the appearance of an open back without the risk of exposure. Courtesy of Dan Francis Photography / Special to Forum News Service3 / 3

FARGO — Fashion is ever-changing — just look at faded family wedding photos.

"Society as a whole has gotten more casual," says Chad Herring, owner of Straus for Men in Fargo. The pendulum swings back and forth throughout time and trends come and go.

"In the '50s, everybody was buttoned up in a suit and tie. Then, in the '60s and into the '70s, it was more casual again — we had leisure suits," he says. "In the '80s, everybody was all buttoned up again. Now we've gone more casual and I think that pendulum will eventually swing back toward dressy."

When it comes to the bride, styles lean toward traditional.

"It's very family-opinionated — they really want to find something their mom approves of," says Stefani Carmany, store manager at LeeAnne's Bridal. "Maybe one in six girls comes in without a mom."

Bridal beauty

For newly engaged brides, here's a 2017 look at the latest trends in dress styles, colors and accessories.

Style

Dress styles have changed significantly over the years. "I used to do A-lines all the time and now girls are going more for fit and flare or drop waist that fit a little more around the hip," Carmany says.

Ten years ago, strapless dresses were all the rage, but not in 2017.

"Ninety percent of the dresses we (sell) now have straps," Carmany says. "For the girls who are bustier, they just feel more comfortable and can wear the dress all night, not having to worry about all these undergarments."

Not only do modern brides prefer straps for comfort, straps are necessary in order to get the low back and low front style that is so popular today.

"There's a lot of illusion cut-outs on the sides, low backs with illusion, necklines are illusion — where when the bride puts it on it looks like the lace is just laying on her skin," Carmany explains.

In the textile industry, lace has taken over.

"It's probably more popular than still any other fabric today," she says. "Satin is also slowly making a comeback."

Color

"A ton of people are doing more like a champagne (hue)," says Regan Burton, a sales associate at LeeAnne's Bridal. "Ivory is a big color this year. I've always thought girls just wanted a white dress, but I put a ton of people in ivory."

Rather than white on white, brides are choosing dresses with more than one color. "A lot of dresses will have an ivory lace with a color underneath like antique or light gold," Carmany says. "I think a lot of these color trends are popular because they look prettier on girls' skin tones. They put a white dress on and they don't like how it looks on their skin, then they put a light gold dress on and they love it."

Accessories

Belts and sashes are still very popular and add a touch of bling, Carmany says. Jewelry — like studs or long, dangly earrings and bracelets — also add flare in gold and rose gold hues (rather than the previous silver tones).

"People are doing more combs and clips," Carmany says. "Tiaras are a thing of the past, but we do still carry a lot of headbands."

After Kim Kardashian's wedding in 2014 — showcasing a unique bridal headpiece — there was a demand for something similar. Today, the halo — what looks like a long necklace that sits like a crown on your head — is the modern equivalent.

Veils are also still popular in the Fargo-Moorhead area. "Most girls are sticking with the fingertip (length)," Carmany says. "A lot of them are doing the sparkle edge. We still do some cathedral veils but not as many."

In the past few years, shoes have become less of a focus. Today, comfort trumps style. "Here, we see a lot of boots because girls are doing the rustic theme with barns and outdoor events — sneakers, Converse, Birkenstocks," she says.

Groom glam

Groom fashion changes less from year to year, although 2017 has brought subtle changes.

Suits versus tuxes

Though the difference between a suit and tux is slight, it's notable.

"A suit will have a plastic or wooden button and no satin on it, where a tux will have a covered button and satin trim on the lapel or the pockets," Carmany says.

"We are seeing a trend toward suits — more casual attire for weddings," Herring says.

"Tux-suit hybrids" have also become a good in-between option, having no covered buttons but satin trim features on the lapel.

Color

"Colors don't get too wild, but we've seen interest in everything from black suits to a light gray," Herring says. "We've had grooms come in and buy a french blue suit — not quite royal but not quite navy either, a bright, vibrant blue."

Black is no longer the front-runner in groom fashion.

"Charcoal is still probably the No. 1 color, but navy is like neck-and-neck with it right now," Carmany adds. "The blue is definitely coming up. And the brown shoe trend with the charcoals, grays and blues — that's big."

Add-ons

In 2017, traditional ties are still the hit, coming in various colors, textures and patterns like from plaid, paisley and houndstooth. Iridescent hues add life — and light — to a wedding.

"Depending on which angle you look at it, they change color," Herring explains.

Texture such as woven silk ties from the 80s add dimension.

"This fall we have some wool ties coming in, which is really a neat detail because it's not the sheen of silk — it's a rich texture," Herring says. "It's a little bit warmer a cozier feeling. It's a neat way to bring a little bit of personality to what you're doing."

Socks and pocket squares also vary in texture, fabric and patterns, adding a unique pop of color to the outfit.

Believe it or not, suspenders are back in the game. "They're not just for old guys anymore," Herring says. Paired with pants and a button-up shirt — no vest or jacket — suspenders give off a casual vibe for hipster-esque photos.

Shoes

While the traditional black wing tip or cap toe was the go-to dress shoe in the past, brown, antiqued leather is popular to pair with gray or navy suits today.

"Another option for the dark and gray suits or blue suits is a burgundy shoe," Herring says. Adding a little personality with shoes can complete an outfit.

Saving money, spending smiles

Arguably one of the best changes to hit wedding fashion in recent years is the decrease in cost.

"Price points have come down significantly," Carmany says. "Girls are more in the $1,000 and below range (for dresses) where it was probably more like $1,500 before."

Designers are recognizing brides' budgets and designing more affordable lines to coincide. "Most designers have come out with another collection of their brand," she says. "Maggie Sottero just came out with Rebecca Ingram which are all at $1,000 or under, and they're just as pretty."

Alexandra Floersch

Alexandra Floersch has worked for Forum Communications since February 2015. She is a content producer and photographer who enjoys writing about finance, fashion and home.

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