Gowns that come complete with fluttery capelets were a white-hot trend on the recent fall 2012 bridal runways for the likes of Pronovias, Angel Sanchez, Rivini and more. But before you say yes to this style of dress, there are a few fitting facts to consider.
Because capelets drape over the shoulders and bust-line, Chicago-based bridal stylist Marek Hartwig recommends them for tall, long-waisted fashionistas and vintage-inspired brides. “On a short-waisted woman, the capelet will have the effect of broadening her shoulders and distracting from the small of her waist, causing her to lose her feminine shape.”
Capelets also work well on brides with a teardrop shape by balancing out their lower half, notes Sara Dahlquist, a Portland, Ore.-based personal style consultant and owner of Dahlstyle. Shorter versions also can create a stronger shoulder if yours are sloping or rounded, she adds. “And for someone who wants their arms covered, but doesn’t want to wear sleeves, the capelet covers discretely and so elegantly.”
If the capelet is meant to be or look like a seamless part of the dress, the fabric should always have sheerness to it, says Hartwig. Silk gauze and lace are great options, and light colors – blush, ivory, nude – always are best.
As for the rest of the gown, you’ll want to make sure it has an elongating silhouette, such as a column, trumpet, fit-to-flare or sheath, says Hartwig. If the dress has a natural waist, empire waist or ball gown skirt, the capelet will likely have the undesirable effect of adding width to the torso.
To complete the look, Dahl suggests a simple, elegant up-do that won’t compete with the capelet’s drama or cascading shape. She also advises opting for a simple but still statement-making drop earring rather than any kind of necklace, since the capelet is telling enough of a dazzling décolletage style story on its own.
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