Home » They Said No to the Dress: Brides Are Embracing the Wedding Suit

They Said No to the Dress: Brides Are Embracing the Wedding Suit

by Staff

Bridal stylist Kennedy Bingham—the influencer and TikTok star behind Gown Eyed Girl—has noticed a recent shift in the bridal fashion landscape. “In my early days in the bridal industry, you were hard-pressed to find a bridal suit,” she says. “Now, each designer has one in their collection.” It’s less of a trend, though, and more of an acknowledgment that every bride is different and, therefore, wants to express herself in the way that best suits her aesthetic. “I hesitate to call brides choosing suits for their wedding day a ‘trend,’” Bingham adds. “Brides rarely wear suits on their wedding day to follow a trend. They do so because it’s the truest expression of their individual style and identity.”

In recent seasons, design houses such as Galia Lahav, Savannah Miller, Mihano Momosa, Sahroo, Wiederhoeft, and many more have introduced suiting options (and celebrities like Emily Ratajkowski have even worn suits for their own nuptials). The options are as varied and infinite as they are for gowns, from sharp tailored tuxedos with clean lines to cropped wide-leg pants with a feathered details to draped suiting to colorful fabrics. There’s something for everyone. “Bridal is meant to be a reflection of your inner sense of style,” Bingham says. “Whether it’s a polka-dot neon suit or an ultra traditional ball gown, there’s no wrong way to do a bridal moment. The goal with a wedding outfit is to find something that’s going to make you feel the most you.” 

While there’s no right or wrong way to approach the look, here are are a few staring points to differentiate the types of suiting you might find in your search. 

The Straightforward Suit

Jeanne Foley and Diana Ganz started SuitShop in 2016 as a menswear brand, but quickly saw an overwhelming demand for women’s and non-binary suiting. “Having already developed a size-inclusive line of men’s suiting, and as female founders in a male-dominated industry, we knew we were just the brand for the job,” Foley says.

So, in 2019, they launched women’s suiting, and are one of the only companies with a fully coordinated suiting set for men and women. “Traditionally, men’s and women’s materials have been chosen separately for different reasons: more structure and neutral colors are typically desirable for men, whereas more drape and flow with brighter colors and prints are designated for women,” Foley says. “At SuitShop, we chose to use the same fabrics and materials for men’s and women’s suits.” Their signature fabric is a stretch yarn that offers structure without being restrictive. SuitShop has mastered the standard suit, and recently introduced the single-button women’s tuxedo, with satin detailing on the lapel, covered buttons, and waistband.

A straightforward suit offers the opportunity to go big with styling. “A suit or tuxedo is the perfect opportunity to mix masculine and feminine,” Foley says. She loves a structured suit with an ultra-romantic element, like a corset top. Stylist Kennedy Bingham suggests embracing the plunging neckline. “I’m a big big fan of foregoing a button-up underneath for something edgier, like a chest chain,” she says. And, since you’re departing from the expected already, Foley adds, “There’s also no need to limit yourself to white.” 

The Suit With Flair

Draped, belted, bedazzled, wide-legged, embellished—there’s no end to the way bridal suits can be personalized and punched up, and brands are taking note. When Brit designer Nadine Merabi first launched bridal in 2021, she included four suits in the collection. “I wanted it to feel like we were reinventing what constitutes bridalwear,” she says. “A bride who wears a suit is a bold, confident, powerful woman. Fashion is about being creative and showing your personality.” Merabi’s tailored pieces showcase signature details like subtle sparkle, pearl trim, and feathers; upcoming collections will feature beaded lace and diamante detailing.

Likewise Ines Di Santo, a high-end bridal designer known for her artistic touch, recently debuted suiting that has a strong yet feminine silhouette—a double-layer peplum on a shawl collar jacket, or flared trousers with a tailored top. “The suits are detailed with classic dressmaking techniques, such as satin-covered boning in the jackets, which gives them a fresh approach to traditional tailoring and structure,” the designer says. And, though her suiting is new, her inspiration was timeless: “My mother used to wear a tailored suit and red lipstick every day to work at a men’s atelier,” Di Santo remembers. ”I wanted to honor her memory by introducing suits as an option for brides.”

The Mix-and-Match Suit

Bianca Jagger wore it first in YSL, while Carrie Bradshaw followed suit with the “label-less” look for her courthouse ceremony. The skirt suit is one of countless ways to mix-and-match tailored pieces. High-end bridal labels are making it easy. AMSALE recently introduced a trio of expertly tailored tuxedo jackets that can be incorporated into its collections. Think: a tulle overskirt affixed to the interior of a tuxedo jacket and worn over tailored pants, or a cropped jacket over a Little White Dress. The label’s double-breasted jacket can be worn over pants or as a dress. The combination goes a long way. “Individual pieces can even be incorporated into an outfit after the wedding day,” says Amsale chief creative officer Sarah Swann. “They’re wardrobe staples that will evoke those special memories for years to come.” 

On the other end of the spectrum, brides can forgo the suit jacket altogether and pair beautifully tailored trousers—Danielle Frankel offers unique options—with a bodysuit or white top. Mixing and matching makes it easy to transform your look as the wedding day goes on, to piece together an “aisle-to-evening look,” Swann says. 

Keep scrolling to be inspired by 11 real brides who suited up for their big day, each in their own unique way.

A Laid-Back Suit

Celebrity colorist Cassondra Kaeding first saw her wedding suit on the Met Gala red carpet—donned by its designer, Fear of God’s Jerry Lorenzo, no less—and knew she had to have it for her wedding to Allison McNamara. “The color was perfect for a beach wedding and I was obsessed with the structured shoulders,” Cassondra says. “The trousers are tapered and high waisted for a perfect fit.” She styled the look with layered gold necklaces.

A Plunging Tuxedo

Married during the height of COVID, Parris Weaver-DuBose and her husband made it official in Washington, D.C., just the two of them. After, they used their chic ceremony photos to notify friends and family of their marriage. Parris didn’t try on a single dress for the occasion. “I knew from the beginning I wanted a different look, and I love to see women in suits,” she says. She opted for a tuxedo from SuitShop and had a specific vision in mind while shopping: “When I looked for a suit, I knew I wanted large natural hair with pearls cascading down, since I was not doing a veil. I accessorized with pearl hair clips from Amazon and Dior slingbacks. I love to mix high and low luxury.”

A Pearl-Embellished Suit

For her courthouse ceremony and luncheon, influencer Jeni R Greenhill wanted something different from what she planned to wear for the larger wedding in her home country of Brazil. “The idea of wearing a suit got fixed in my mind and I never looked back,” she says. She fell in love with Nadine Merabi’s Charlotte blazer and pants, embellished with oversize pearl adornments across the shoulders and down the sleeves. “I wanted something that would fit my personality: bold but still classic. But, as much as I was looking for something different, modern, and bold, I still wouldn’t give up the traditional white color for such a special moment.” She accessorized with a sparkly pair of shoes and Anna Concept pearl earrings that played off the suit’s detailing.

A “Something Blue” Suit

When the pandemic derailed Sanjana Rishi’s plans for a traditional 500-guest Indian wedding, it also gave her the opportunity to do something unique with her attire. “While I absolutely love intricately crafted Indian bridalwear, it didn’t feel like the right fit for an 11-person lunch,” she says. “I knew I wanted to wear something preloved because sustainability in fashion is really important to me, so I was looking through options when I found the pantsuit of my dreams. I’ve always loved how powerful I feel in a pantsuit.”

The secondhand Gianfranco Ferrè suit was powder blue, not the traditional red, but Sanjana did keep with tradition in other ways. “I added my handcrafted dupatta—the veil—and maang tika on my forehead, because I am passionate about celebrating and supporting Indian craft culture,” she says. “I wanted the look to represent the eclectic and somewhat chaotic nature of my personal style.”

A Sequined Set

As a personal stylist, Natalie Tincher knew she wanted multiple looks for her wedding day. “On the wish list was a pantsuit or jumpsuit—if I could find the right one that was comfortable, unique, flattering, and reflective of my personality,” she says. She found all that in a Steven Birnbaum stretch sequin mesh turtleneck bodysuit with built-in corset and wide-leg trousers. “When I tried it on, I knew immediately this was my dancing queen look—I just felt like the best, happiest version of me.”

As separates, the look was transformative. When the dance floor heated up, Natalie swapped the turtleneck bodysuit for a spaghetti-strap Helmut Lang tank with the same trousers—and she can rewear each individual piece in ways that feel less bridal forever. She offers a pro styling tip: Pair trousers with a pointy-toe shoe in the same tone to elongate the leg line.

A Bold Suit

For her surprise wedding (yes, surprise!), Kate Riney found a coral David Koma wool-crepe suit with embellished crystal snaps, structured shoulders, and sharp peak lapels. “I knew I wanted to do something unconventional,” Kate says. “Wearing white was never in the cards for me, so initially, I wanted something black. My photographer helped with the styling and proposed the orange suit to match the vibrant florals, and I said yes!” Going all in on color, she paired the look with fuchsia Amina Muaddi heels, artistic jewelry by Laura Estrada and—something white—a Bottega Veneta minibag.

 Trousers and a Train

Lola Wayne wore a top-and-trousers combo by Nadine Merabi for her intimate London wedding ceremony, the precursor to her larger, more traditional family wedding in Atlanta. “I saw it as an opportunity to push against what’s expected of brides, and to wear what I felt totally represented me,” Lola says. The ’fit checked all the boxes for for her “grounded goddess” aesthetic. She adds, “And, it passed my ‘strut test’ with flying colors.” She paired it with heels from Grace Loves Lace and pearl drop earrings. “I also had my hair in a braided high ponytail, because when do you ever see a girl in wedding braids?” she says. “Cornrows for the win.”

A Two-for-One Look

Kaila O’Connor wore two chic pants looks for her wedding. First, she eloped in a salmon linen pantsuit by Theory that she selected shortly before the big day. “I was trying to make a dress ‘work’ for the elopement, but nothing was sticking,” Kaila says. “The night before, I looked in my wife’s closet and saw the salmon suit next to her baby blue one.” She tried it on and it fit like a glove. For the couple’s La Jolla wedding reception a few months later, Kaila opted for white linen pants and a corset top from Zara, a look that meshed well with their “Bridgerton-meets-day club” vibe.  

A Sharp White Tuxedo

Ezinne Okpo shocked wife Marleni by opting for an off-white shawl collar tuxedo on their wedding day. “I couldn’t get past the vision of us both wearing white and knew Marleni would be completely surprised,” Ezinne says. Stylist Kennedy Bingham offers this piece of advice: “If you and your partner are both planning on wearing white, whoever chooses their outfit first should ask the designer for a swatch of fabric. Have your partner take the swatch with them when they’re shopping, so you know the whites won’t clash next to each other.”

Chic Structured Separates

Gretchen Tiernan knew she wanted something out-of-the-box and fashion-forward for her Beverly Hills wedding. She found exactly that in a Toni Maticevski top with train and tailored pants. “The look represented exactly who I was,” Gretchen says. “It was an outfit that I felt inspires and drives modern women’s fashion. It wasn’t traditional, nor was it stuffy. It felt like a sculpture that I got to bring to life.”

A Suited Second Look

For her classic black-tie wedding ceremony in Traverse City, Michigan, Hillary Raftery stuck with tradition in a chic and sophisticated gown—but she wanted to change up her look for dancing and the sparkler sendoff. She worked with Tom James on a custom white satin suit, and personalized it with details like a white floral lining and a monogram of her new name stitched inside. The best part? “I will 100 percent wear it again!” she says.

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