Choosing the perfect wedding dress can be rewarding, but narrowing down the list can also be frustrating. Brides need their dress to check off multiple factors, including budget and functionality, as well as style. If you love more than one style of dress, look at convertible wedding dresses!
A flowing train for an elegant ceremony can be a hazard while dancing at the reception. Or maybe you dream of a Cinderella entrance in a ball gown but want to transform into a mermaid style to make hugs less of a stretch. Whatever your reasons for considering a two-in-one wedding dress, there’s something out there for every bride.
Add on, take off, or tie up, convertible wedding dresses feature a variety of surprising tricks to make the most out of your special day glow up. You might think of a traditional two-in-one wedding dress as a removable skirt or a bustle, but dress design has evolved. So, you won’t need a fairy godmother to wave a wand to change your dress with the flick of a wrist.
Check out our list of the best convertible dresses below!
Two-In-One Wedding Dresses with Detachable Skirts
We’re overviewing convertible wedding dresses that feature skirt changes and upper body covers. Most of the options below are available for any wedding dress, whether picked from a rack or bespoke.
However, these are guidelines, not rules. You can mix and match, be creative, and take ideas from the list to inspire your convertible wedding dress.
Stunning Overskirt Wedding Dresses
We’re starting our list with the classic idea of the quick-change with the overskirt wedding dress. The overskirt outer layer is attached at the waistline, usually through hooks and eyes, snaps, or a hidden zipper.
Overskirts can accommodate most waistline types but are typically constructed for a natural waistline. Sometimes adding a belt or other disguising feature can help sell the look.
As an inherently flexible design, overskirts can suit any body type, budget, or dress style. However, overskirts tend to sit open at the front, leaving a gap for a peek at the underneath skirt.
The dress underneath the overskirt is commonly narrower, such as a mermaid, sheath, fitted, or fit and flare. In most cases, wedding dresses don’t include an overskirt. Instead, it must be requested and ordered separately.
Lace Overlay Wedding Dress
Brides often pair overlays with strapless dresses or low necklines. It’s like wearing a lace jacket. From capped sleeves to full sleeves, a lace overlay can help satisfy the dress code requirements of a church wedding and then shed for the after-party.
Lace overlays might be one piece that slips over your head or use a tie, buttons, or hidden snaps. They can add extra bling to a conservative design or more cover when you need a new look.
It’s an excellent budget option, especially for simpler overlays. The best styles for overlays are skirts with natural or higher waistlines rather than dropped. In addition, dresses can be fitted or flared.
Wedding Gowns with Detachable Trains
Another classic convertible wedding dress option is a wedding gown with a detachable train. Like an overskirt, dressmakers attach the detachable train at the back of the dress at the waistline.
Trains can glamorize any dress style, but it’s best to match your body shape to the train type for the most satisfying results.
For example, more elaborate trains, such as a chapel or cathedral style, are better for pear-shaped bodies. The Watteau train attaches at the shoulders and accentuates the shoulders and upper body.
Plenty of brides love the combination of train and veil. Veils are already fairly detachable, depending on the number of bobby pins, and can add extra drama when you make the switch to trainless and veilless.
Short Convertible Wedding Dresses
A flowing skirt makes a beautiful entrance, but it can be challenging to maneuver while dancing. Why not add the convenience of a short skirt with this two-in-one wedding dress?
Brides create this look by wearing a wedding dress with a short skirt, often fitted, with an overskirt, detachable train, or detachable skirt. The skirt worn overtop is attached at the waistline.
The skirt overtop must disguise the dress underneath. Usually, the exterior layer has more volume, such as tulle. However, it might be less structured layering, such as lace or sheath fabric for more romance.
Remember to accessorize with particular attention to your shoes. Once you reveal the shorter skirt, your legs and feet will be completely exposed. Statement jewelry and headpieces, from birdcage veils to eye-catching hairpieces, are encouraged.
Ball Gown to Mermaid Gown Convertible Wedding Dresses
Many little girls dream of a princess gown for their special day but grow up appreciating the flattering and sexy mermaid gown. Good news, brides. You can have the best of both worlds.
Most brides attend their nuptial ceremony with the ball gown and show off the mermaid gown at the reception. However, if you want to break convention, you can try the reverse.
The two-in-one wedding dress features a ballgown skirt over a mermaid dress. The change might feature an overskirt with an open front, which means adding an accessory or belt can help disguise the effect.
Mermaids are recommended for hourglass body types, while ball gowns are best for pear-shaped. You can easily meld accessories that match both or switch over.
Wedding Dresses with Tulle Overskirts
Tulle is a lightweight material with fine-netting that creates resilient volume. As a result, ballerinas and ball gown wearers alike can move and groove without losing volume or risking crumpling. Of course, tulle can be expensive, but it’s ideal for layering without weighing down the wearer.
Tulle is frequently the go-to material for wedding veils. Often, a tulle skirt and veil can be a perfect match, furthering the illusion of a convertible wedding dress.
A tulle overskirt is best for wearing over a fitted dress. The transformation is wonderfully dramatic, and your wedding guests will notice.
Wedding Gowns with Detachable Sleeves
The overlay isn’t the only option for extending your skin coverage. Whether you’re worried about the heat getting to you or want to differentiate a day look from a night look, detachable sleeves are an excellent way to add a budget-friendly change.
Sleeves can complement any body type or dress style. Short or long, flared or fitted. Even strapless dresses can feature removable sleeves. You might sew snaps or use elastic or ties to keep your sleeves temporarily in place.
It’s best to pair your sleeve with the theme of your dress. For example, if your full-skirted dress features lace, consider long snap-on lacey sleeves. Maybe attach a delicate beaded design to your sleeveless mermaid.
From capped to puffed, extra-long split sleeves to fitted three-quarter length, detachable sleeves help create a distinct two-in-one wedding dress.
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