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Amy-Jo Tatum Bridal Couture/Photo by Stephanie Williams

Thinking of spring perchance?  Since cotton is the ultimate in laid-back casual, we rarely think of it in terms of bridal wear. Think again. Especially about organdy and swiss cotton. These are some of the finest fabrics in the world and not just for kids dresses anymore. First-rate cottons like these have always been a stylish option for summer brides and garden weddings. One of the most beautiful gowns I ever designed was a dotted swiss ball gown with an asymmetrical neckline. Savvy and confident, my client amped her ‘look good’ factor by adding a dimity sash. Since not every bride wants the formality of silk on her wedding day, some designers are getting this message, offering at least one cotton option in their spring/summer collection. Bravo! Finally!

White cotton eyelet gown with satin ribbon sash, $1,975, by The Cotton Bride by Chris Kole who offers an entire collection of cotton dresses in various weaves

Eyelet-light to medium weight cotton with cutout patterns of embroidery along the border. Pictured above, it is a classic summer time favorite for informal brides. Makes up into pretty long or short hourglasses, sundresses, chemises, shifts, shells, A-lines. Perfect in colors for attendants.

Dotted Swiss-Lightweight to sheer cotton. Made up of a lappet or swivel weave with woven dots. Used for shirtwaists, A-lines, shifts, chemises and hourglasses. Great in colors for outfitting the wedding party.  The image below is actually from the Michelle Roth collection and is silk organza.  Though dotted swiss is not difficult to find as yardage, bridal gowns and dresses in this particular weave are right now.

Michelle Roth


Organdy-Pictured above, organdy is a light, plain weave of cotton or poly that is transparent and permanently stiffened. Sometimes used for jacket interfacing and making lightweight hats. Lends itself well to the once popular daytime formal concept of afternoon garden receptions —the kind a Katherine Hepburn character would have attended. Crisp and pure, it makes up into lovely structured hourglass silhouettes and A-lines.

Salvage Life
Voile-The above dress is voile which means ‘veil’ in French so you get the idea of how light it is. Sheer, plain weave of cotton or polyester. Dubbed ‘poor man’s chiffon’ because of its less formal appearance than its counterpart, silk chiffon. It is however, in some cases, more expensive than silk chiffon for the reason it’s not as redily available as silk chiffon that you find everywhere.

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