Pantsuits are a strong wedding alternative to the bridal gownby Anne Chertoff
The pantsuit is no longer limited to City Hall weddings. Sleek and tailored looks can be found on almost every bridal runway, with designers creating a variety of separate looks as well as one-piece jumpsuits offering a contemporary look.
“There are no rules. A bride can wear whatever she looks and feels beautiful in,” says Beth Chapman, founder of Beth Chapman Styling and owner of the White Dress by the Shore, a boutique based in Clinton, Conn. “Pants are chic, sophisticated, very elegant and appropriate for any bride.”
For women who wear pants daily, this look will better reflect their personal style choices. “We have many brides who want to wear something that reflects their lifestyle,” explains designer Lela Rose. “A gown might not feel like a natural fit for her.”
Brides can choose from a variety of styles: slim cigarette pants or wide-flared legs, a single or double-breasted blazer, a bustier or bandeau top instead of a blouse, a jumpsuit or even a convertible look where a removable skirt is worn over pants.
Consider comfort in both fabric and fit. “A formal fabric, such as silk faille or silk wool, can hold a structured silhouette and clean lines yet still have a traditional bridal feel to it,” says designer Alexia María Esquer, known for her separates, jumpsuits and convertible looks.
“Stretch in the fabric is helpful because it’s comfortable to move in, whether you’re sitting or dancing,” says Chapman.
A bride can shop for mix-and-match options or complete outfits from one designer, but shopping for separates can be challenging. “There are pros and cons,” says Chapman. “If you are a different size on the bottom than the top, separates are a great option as you can size accordingly, but it can be challenging to find the perfect bottom to go with a top that you’ve fallen in love with, or vice versa.”
After you find what you want, make sure it fits beautifully. “The tailoring has to be impeccable, especially with pants,” Chapman says. Ask for the in-house seamstress, or have a custom pant made so the proportions fit perfectly.
This crepe tuxedo-style pant, “Renata” by Wtoo, has grosgrain ribbon accenting each leg and is paired with a strapless lace corset with a sweetheart neckline. Add the “Romeo” floor-length coat for a more dramatic look.
$2,164 to $2,387, RK Bridal, 619 W. 54th St., 5th Floor; RKBridal.com
For brides who want to wear a color that pops, Hayley Paige’s lilac silk pantsuit pairs a bandeau top and cape with wide-legged pants.
$4,250, Kleinfeld Bridal, 110 W. 20th St.; KleinfeldBridal.com
“The Maldives” by Lela Rose Bridal has a strapless top with bow, pearl trim and slim pants.
$3,380, Gabriella, 155 Wooster St., Suite 3W; GabriellaNewYork.com
Inspired by 1970’s glam, Galina Signature’s flare-leg, spaghetti-strap V-neck jumpsuit glistens thanks to the sequins embroidered throughout the lace and tulle. Available in sizes zero to 30W.
$799, David’s Bridal, 45 W. 25th St.; DavidsBridal.com
Justin Alexander Signature’s “Uptown” design has 3-D floral applique accents. A matching veil is also available.
$2,200, Lotus Bridal, 1822 Avenue U, Brooklyn; LotusBridal.com
Elizabeth Fillmore’s flared silk satin “Cleo” pants can be worn with a sweetheart bustier with side drape or one with butterfly appliques and cascading ribbon trim (shown.)
$3,410 to $4,235, Mark Ingram Atelier, 110 E. 55th St., 8th Floor; MarkIngramAtelier.com