I don’t know about you, but we are loving the trend towards open back dresses and tops. It’s so breezy and feminine! As we’re looking forward to spring and summer, baring more skin with a youthful low back is not only stylish, but also comfortable and cool. Luckily, open back wedding dresses are becoming more and more popular every day, which means you can easily find the perfect gown to rock this gorgeous trend!
This style trend is pretty self-explanatory, but if you’re on the fence about the chic fashion statement, here are some reasons why you’ll love this type of dress. We’ll go over certain styles to look out for, plus how you can accessorize and get yourself ready to wear such a daring design (hello, special undergarments!) so you’ll look and feel radiant and comfortable on the big day.
Style Basics of Open Back Wedding Dresses
Open back styles fit with the festival/bohemian vibe, while remaining classy.
Fashionistas everywhere are all over the bohemian and “music festival” style trend. Bohemian fashion can mean looser fits, flowing fabrics, and draping that shows off your skin—which a backless dress definitely does. It’s a youthful and sexy trend that gives off a carefree and airy vibe. Don’t be turned off, though: wedding designers purposely pair an open back gown with elegant fabrics, crystals, intricate necklines, and flattering silhouettes to create a gown that is just as classy and sophisticated as it is fun and trendy.
Open back or backless gowns can be informal or ultra-glamorous.
Like we previously mentioned, there are tons of different low back styles. Not only are there different levels of back-baring designs—from totally backless to more modest options—the style of the rest of the gown also contributes to the specific vibe each gown has. An open wedding dress beautifully complements a laid-back and informal style (think looser bodice paired with a flowing sheath silhouette). If you’re going for a formal look, however, a backless style amps up the drama of a fit and flare skirt or a structured ball gown silhouette. The options are really endless!
This style can add an unexpected element to a traditional garment.
Even the most non-traditional bride is probably getting—or at least considered—a wedding gown. It’s just one of those traditions! But what if you’re someone who has a trendy sense of style and doesn’t want a gown that just anyone could pull off? Enter the backless wedding dress. Showing off your back is a seductive and sexy element that balances an otherwise traditional gown; or adds even more contemporary flair to a dramatic style. It’s a very versatile element. Along with the silhouette and embellishments, a backless wedding dress can be combined with long sleeves—like lace or illusion net—to add modesty. Or try an open back dress with thin straps for a bold look. It’s totally up to you and your preferences!
Don’t be afraid to show off your skin…or your tattoos!
For some reason, people often think you have to find a gown that covers up your tattoos on your wedding. Your tattoos obviously mean something to you and they’re just as much a part of you as anything else, so if you want to show them off on your big day, go for it! If you have tattoos on your shoulders or back, this style of dress is the perfect way to highlight them. Since an open back is a minimal and clean look, your natural beauty and tattoos will be complemented instead of overwhelmed. Even if you don’t have tattoos, this point still holds true—your gorgeous skin will be beautifully on display.
15 Open Back and Backless Dresses We’re Loving This Year
Before going into ways to accessorize, we want to highlight some specific styles and designers to really illustrate the points above. Plus, if you had any doubts about how many different open back options are out there, this will hopefully squash all of your worries. Here are a few of our top selections:
1. Elegant and classy: Rebecca Ingram’s Brooke
If you’re looking for a romantic, classy backless gown, take a look at Rebecca Ingram’s Brooke. This dress features an eye-catching double-keyhole back, a lacy sleeveless bodice, and a bateau neckline to show off your arms and shoulders.
2. Modern and lacy: Rebecca Ingram’s Hope
Another one of our favorites from Rebecca Ingram is the Hope bridal gown. This fully lace-embroidered gown is sleek and form-fitting, featuring scalloped short sleeves and train. The double-keyhole back is a popular style for 2018, and for good reason—this modern feminine gown is absolutely gorgeous!
3. Timeless and romantic: Sottero and Midgley’s Bristol
This floor-length beauty features sexy criss-cross straps against the lower back, coupled with dreamy lace and beaded tulle throughout the gown. Sleek and form-fitting, this classic dress will show off your curves in all the best ways. And it’s lined with Inessa jersey on the inside—super comfortable!
4. Boudoir-inspired: Mori Lee’s Mallory
Mori Lee’s crepe and crystal-beaded Mallory gown is a unique take on a modern, slinky wedding dress. The flattering scoop back is supported by tank-style straps to give you support and style. One of our favorite parts of this dress? The sheer lace and illusion fabric over the sides of the waist!
5. Traditional and sophisticated: Mori Lee’s 2871
We love the dramatic skirt and lacy train on this gown! The sweetheart-style neckline, tasteful lace appliqués, and low scoop back are a perfect fit for a shimmering wedding celebration. Whether you’re petite or tall, ask about the different lengths offered for this gown to find your most flattering fit.
6. Modernized classic sheath gown: Blu by Mori Lee’s Marquita
Take a classic sheath-style wedding gown and dress it up—that’s what the Marquita gown by Blu by Mori Lee is like. The slinky crepe skirt and train are coupled with a lacy embroidered bodice. The sheer, tank-style straps give way to a keyhole back, wrapping your upper shoulders in a beautiful flower motif and exposing your lower shoulders and spine gracefully.
7. Sheer, shimmering layers: Allure Couture’s C488
This simple A-line dress is sophisticated with a slight bohemian feel. The embroidered lace of the bodice and skirt are layered with a sheer tulle to create a unique and flowy texture. Enjoy a deep V-neckline and V-cut back on this comfy, danceable gown choice.
8. Modern ball gown-style: Allure’s 9523
Allure’s 9523 gown is a perfect fit for a modern-yet-classy wedding ceremony. This gorgeous, strapless dress has it all: a sweetheart neckline, lovely lace, beaded lace appliqués, full English netting over the skirt, and an A-line silhouette that will make you look like a Disney princess!
9. West Coast-inspired: Wilderly Bride’s Adele
The Adele is an airy, beachy gown with a halter neckline and a sheath-style silhouette. The English net and lace fabric give this dress a unique texture, and the effect is modern and laid-back.
10. Intricate and stunning: Angelina Faccenda’s Kahlo
Say hello to a jaw-dropping mermaid silhouette with sculptured lace appliqués over illusion fabric decorating the bodice. The Kahlo comes with detachable lace cap sleeves, giving you the option to remove them pre-rehearsal or forgo sleeves altogether.
11. Chic and floral: Blu by Mori Lee’s Kaira
Looking for a gown with sleeves? The Kaira gown offers full-length sleeves with illusion fabric, giving you the look of having white wedding flowers painted on your arms and shoulders. The floral motif continues onto the back, opening into a large keyhole, framing your spine in lace.
12. Curve-flattering and traditional: Madison James’ MJ405
Another dress featuring the V-line scoop back, this gown by Madison James includes illusion fabric and lace, which give a classic and vintage touch. The flowy full-length skirt and fitted bodice are sure to hug your curves to make you look and feel great on your big day.
13. Ornate and magical: Maggie Sottero’s Benton
Maggie Sottero’s Benton gown might be just the thing for you, if you’re looking for a princess ball gown silhouette! The Basque waistline and mild scoop back give this dress an innocent and romantic vibe, and we just love the classic layers of tulle.
14. Simple and delicate: Maggie Sottero’s Giselle
Another Maggie Sottero gown to try is the Giselle: this classic ball gown silhouette is decorated with dainty lace motifs on the bodice, a bead and crystal belt, and a simple skirt that doesn’t distract from the rest of the dress. Also, who wouldn’t like a dress with a secret pocket?
15. Sweet and contemporary: Voyage by Mori Lee’s Kassidy
The form-flattering Kassidy is another option heavy on class and romantic touches. The curved V-neckline is supported by beaded spaghetti straps, and the bodice and skirt blend crystal-beaded Alencon lace with Chantilly lace.
How to Style:
Jewelry and hair
So, you’ve found the perfect backless gown for you (or at least have some idea of what to look for), and now you’re ready to accessorize it to truly make it your own and show off your personal style.
Depending on the neckline of the dress, you might choose to do a necklace and stud earrings, or forego the necklace and go for statement earrings. Any of these options would work great. If you’re really going for the bold and trendy look, however, try layering a long necklace with the strands hanging on your back for a 20’s-inspired and distinctive look.
In general, an updo or a side-swept hairstyle works the best with a dramatic back; after all, you specifically chose to show off your skin, so why cover it with your hair? If you choose a simpler gown like Maggie Sottero’s Giselle wedding dress, for example, a pair of statement earrings and a soft up-do would be the perfect complement.
However, style your hair the way you’ll be most comfortable!
Finally, the dreaded dilemma: what kind of bra do you wear with a backless dress? Some brides might choose to forego a bra altogether, but for some that might not be an option.
Don’t worry, though! Just because you have a bigger chest does not mean you can’t or shouldn’t opt for an open back!
Nowadays, there are so many options when it comes to alternative bras. Try the strapless bra that sticks on—it doesn’t have a back strap so you won’t see it—for an easy and minimal appearance. Or, depending on how low the back is, you might be able to convert a regular strapless bra with an extra strap that wraps around your waist to lower the band (there are plenty of Pinterest tutorials on how to do this, trust us). Another option would be to check with your tailor and see if she can sew a bra into the bodice of the gown, so you can get built-in support without worrying about straps or anything falling. Don’t let the fear of finding the right bra keep you away from this fun and trendy style!
Whether you go bold and opt for a completely backless design or choose a more traditional style, we hope you’ll consider choosing one of these trendy open back wedding! It truly is the perfect dress, as it shows off your skin and modern tastes without becoming too revealing or risqué. No matter what type you choose, you are sure to look stylish, radiant, and gorgeous on the big day.
Do you have tips or ideas on rocking an open-back wedding dress? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!