Fashionista Vista: Brights vs. Whites – The Great Debate

I am so dang excited to welcome back Fashionista Vista, who has been doing important things like getting married and going on her honeymoon. What gives? Anyhow, she has some really great post-wedding bridal advice for you all, which I’m going to share early next week. However, today we’re luck enough to get a new installment of our beloved Fashionista Vista. Without further ado…

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Fashionista Vista, back at it, with a real mind-bender today…

: : B R I G H T S  VS.  W H I T E S — T H E  G R E A T  D E B A T E : :

Joining the ranks of such intense rivalries as “Mustard vs. Ketchup,” “Chunky vs. Smooth,” “Thin Mint vs. Shortbread”  (hmmm or maybe I’m just hungry…) is one of those burning decisions you never knew existed but suddenly seem to be facing when planning a wedding…

What do I wear to my Bridal Shower? And Bridesmaid Luncheon? And Lingerie Soiree? And Engagement Photo Shoot?

Do I wear all white to every wedding event?  After all, I am (dum-dum-da-dum) “The Bride” – shouldn’t I milk it for all its freakin’ worth?   You know, get in on all those cute white sundresses while the gettin’s good?

Or do I spice it up with a pop of color?  Because I am (dum-dum-da-dum) “The Bride” – shouldn’t I stand out?  Make a statement that draws all eyes to me?

Before making a rash decision (heavens no!), consider this:

  • There are sure to be multiple events (aside from The Big Daddy: The Wedding) thrown in honor of You (oh, and you know, that cute dude, what’s his face… your fiancé)… showers, bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinners, brunches, etc.
  • Plus, there’s a high probability that you will be photographed more during this period of your life than any other (disregarding that whole “Mom took 872 naked pictures of me in my first bath” episode).

So what’s a girl to do?  Don’t fret, my pets – I’ve got you covered.

: : W H I T E S : :

Enjoy the idea of donning the official bridal color but afraid of potential fashion-wall-flower status?  Lucky for us, Marilyn Monroe’s moment with the subway vent and Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” video took care of that whole “white = demure and virginal” thing back in the day, so scout out frocks with a heavy does of flirt!


  • Ain’t no mistaken who you are, missy!
  • There is no better color to highlight that pre-wedding “glow” (yes, I know it’s hard-earned from the tanning bed / bronzing bottle / poolside, but your secret’s safe with me!)


  • A poorly cut piece in white can pack on the visual poundage
  • Two words: “cliché potential”

So, if you’re a “Go White or Go Home” Bride, here are some tips for picking the perfect ensemble. Hunt out your most flattering fit.  White is an unforgiving little sasspot, so give yourself a head start by finding the fit that best flatters your body type.  Cinch in a tiny waste; highlight killer legs; flaunt a full bust-line – just pick what works best for YOU!

  1. Hunt out your most flattering fit.  White is an unforgiving little sasspot, so give yourself a head start by finding the fit that best flatters your body type.  Cinch in a tiny waste; highlight killer legs; flaunt a full bust-line – just pick what works best for YOU!
  2. In the same vein… Choose top-end fabric.  Thin, clingy black fabric?  Eh, sometimes it works.  Thin, clingy white fabric?  Yep, you look like a poor-man’s Pretty Woman.  Two words, my dears: Double Lining.
  3. Its all in the details.  Yeah, yeah, we all know the bride wears white, but it’s the little embellishments that will set you apart from the crowd!   Ruffles, textures, and detailing will take you from “sweet” to “stylish” in the time you can say “saucy silk burnout!”

Maggy London Tiered Burnout Silk Dress


J. Crew – Printed Erica Dress in Light Pewter


Anthropologie – Galaxy of Dots Dress


J. Crew – Silk Tricotine Cecilia Short Dress in Champagne

Elie Tahari – Karalyn Dress


: : B R I G H T S : :
Coyly smirking in the face of bridal fashion tradition, you aim to be a tulip in a field of lilies!  And in a day and age where a bridal brunch doesn’t (necessarily) translate into white gloves and cucumber sandwiches (thank gaaaawd!), feel free to boogie into spotlight sporting something eye-catching!


  • Brights let a gal’s true personality really shine
  • Purchasing-wise, color is much easier to get right the first time


  • Overhearing a guest muttering “which one’s the darn bride-to-be?” would be a total buzz-kill

So… if you find yourself all choked up when the Muzak of Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors streams through the elevator speakers (nary a worry, it’s just the PMS!)… some tips to help you find yours:

  1. Stick with the theme.  Nowadays, pre-wedding events often come with a theme… Is a Mexican Fiesta being thrown in your honor?  Go with oranges and yellows with eyelet or embroidery.  What about a BBQ Rehearsal Dinner?  Pair up bright ruffles with boots.  Dressing the part is a sure signal your guest-of-honor status!
  2. Either keep the color shocking and simple…  Head-to-toe daring color in an unfussy silhouette screams Sass & Class.  But remember to keep the design simple – that pop of color will stand out even more if it’s uninterrupted by unnecessary trappings.
  3. Or surprise ‘em with a audacious print.  Prints can be trixy minxes – god-forbid you blend in with the upholstery or look like you’re attired for a Mommy & Me Outing.  Try bold and retro with an uncomplicated cut, or dazzle in a regal maxi dress.

T-Bags 3-Tiered Maxi Dress


Trina Turk “Bonita” Dress with Belt


BCBG MaxAzaria Ruffle Front Shift Dress


Nanette Lepore – Coming Up Roses Dress


Shoshana Circle Eyelet Dress


: : T H E  P E R F E C T  C O M P R O M I S E : :

What’s that you say? You like mustard and ketchup on your hotdog?  Well alright, Miss Thang! Have your freakin’ wedding cake and eat it too with the likes of these “I want it all!” looks:

Donna Ricco Keyhole Back Border Print Dress


Anthropologie – Coral Way Dress


Anthropologie – Krasna Dress


Shop strong and walk tall, ladies!



Filed under Fashionista Vista, Uncategorized

9 responses to “Fashionista Vista: Brights vs. Whites – The Great Debate

  1. Pingback: Go White….or Go Bright… « Run, Knit, Get Hitched!

  2. and another BONUS…you’re more likely to wear your non-white dress to other occassions post-wedding, a la mrs. fashionista vista herself, who wore one of her adorable wedding event frocks on her honeymoon…because the dress, quite honestly, was too fabulous to just wear once 😉

  3. i love it kate! i am so not a fashionista vista but now i am getting my much needed lessons! thank you!
    love, s

  4. Vicki Smalls

    I am now hoping even more that my RD dress (the pink BCBG one) fits when it comes in the mail, since it’s Kate-approved 😉

  5. OMG! I love this post. With a ton of pre-wedding festivities in the near future, I have been wondering what do about those darn white dresses.
    Wonderfully written post!

  6. carak

    Love love love these posts!!

  7. Pingback: jomygoodness » Blog Archive » Week In Review #14

  8. Slightly off topic perhaps, but a request for people to think about the ethics of purchasing things like designer clothes. Please try and consider, for example, the things your product is made from, the conditions of the employees where they’re made and the ethics of retailers. And try to recycle rather than throwing away. Thanks!!!!

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