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The many shades of white

A few years ago, a friend told me this story: “When my husband and I put our home up for sale, we decided to repaint the entire interior white and asked the contractor to choose the paint. After all, white is white, right?"

"I walked into the newly painted house and I practically had to grab my sunglasses! I was shocked at how bright the walls were.”

White can be as vivid or a soft as any other color thanks to undertones and tints. When you choose the color for your gown, look at it in the type of light that will be present at your ceremony and reception.

True white This is a white with no undertones. It's bright! It makes a statement, but can be overwhelming next to some skin tones. And it might may your teeth look less than pearly white.

Warm white When white has a yellow or brown undertone, it's considered a warm white. It will have names like ivory, antique white, champagne or even vanilla. Gowns with a vintage or rustic feel may look best in a warm white. If the undertone is red the resulting color may be a white hint of pink.

Cool white On the other hand, white with a hint of blue, green or violet is considered cool. This is a good choice for more contemporary styles, but do make sure it flatters your skin tone.

Gray-white Gray can be warm or cool, so a gray-white gown can lean either way. Gray-white has been a trend for more than a decade and delivers a very sophisticated look. Go for a simple gown design and hair style.

Not white! Brides can choose pasel shades of pink or blue, and even bright colors and rainbows. So let your ceremony and reception point you to the right color and style of gown.

The only rule every bride needs to follow is this: Have your gown professionally fitted. You'll feel and look your best in a perfectly tailored dress, whatever color you choose.


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