Not every bride dreams of wearing a romantic lace fit and flare dress or glamorous beaded ballgown. As more and more brides are opting for a smaller, scaled back affair with a limited guest list, classic styles and plain wedding dresses that exude understated elegance are becoming increasingly popular. What’s more, they can be accessorised to suit unique styles and look fabulous teamed with statement jewellery pieces.

Back image of woman standing in front of Barcelona cafe bar in crepe wedding dress with long train

Whether you want a classic style that stands the test of time, something simple and structured to suit a second wedding or a fuss-free, lightweight look you can pack into a suitcase, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the popular plain style. 

With so many styles to choose from, we’ve whittled down our favourite picks across our Ronald Joyce and Victoria Jane collections to help you choose the perfect plain wedding dress for your needs. 

Plain wedding dress styles for older brides

If you’re seeking a plain wedding dress style that’s more structured, opt for Mikado dresses. Mikado has the perfect properties for moulding and more architectural designs, making it the fabric of choice for dressing more mature brides. Three structured styles suited to second weddings are 69651, 69656 and 69565.

Back image of a brunette woman standing in museum in mikado ballgown wedding dress with v neck back with bridal buttons Brown haired woman standing in museum with sculptures wearing off the shoulder v neckline ballgown dress with belt

Our first structured plain wedding dress is Fabienne (style 69651), an off-the-shoulder A-line wedding dress with 3/4 sleeves, a lapel v-neckline, buckle waist belt and cascading bridal buttons to the hemline. We think it’s perfect for older brides who still dream of wearing a big white dress.

Man and woman walking down quaint backstreet while woman wears mikado fit and flare wedding dress with beaded cap sleeves and embellished waist belt Woman stands in quaint European back street wearing fit and flare wedding dress with bridal button detail

Next in focus is the fabulous Farah (style 69656), a sophisticated Mikado fit and flare wedding dress with exquisitely beaded capped sleeves and a matching beaded neckline and delicate waist belt. As with style 69651, it has cascading bridal buttons to the hem. The striking embellishment and back detail means there's minimal need for accessories other than a pair of earrings.

Woman and man stand outside villa with columns detail while woman wears fit and flare wedding dress with peplum detail and unique waist belt Blonde lady stands outside villa wearing fit and flare wedding dress with off the shoulder detail

Our final pick is Denise (style 69565), a structured Mikado off-the-shoulder fit and flare wedding dress with 3/4 sleeves, a gentle v-neckline and a flattering detachable buckle belt. Cascading bridal buttons lead to a bustle and gentle train for a picture-perfect back profile. We particularly love the skirt suit look of this unique style which is proving very popular for second weddings and vow renewals. 


Classic, plain styles that will endure the test of time

Brides seeking plain wedding dresses that will stand the test of time should opt for simple styles and tailored silhouettes made from structured fabrics like Mikado over floaty chiffons. Timeless styles shun fashionable details and exquisite embellishments and rely on immaculate tailoring and an understated look of luxury a la Meghan Markle in Givenchy. Less tailored slips like the understated silk crepe Rodriguez dress worn by the late Carolyn Bessette at her wedding to John F. Kennedy Jr also offers a classic style for brides who seek less structure. 

Four timeless plain wedding dress styles that will look picture-perfect in years to come are 18614, 18417, 69153 and 69570.

Brunette woman stands in European plaza wearing simple and classic fit and flare wedding dress with detailed neckline detail Lady stands in Barcelona plaza wearing classic crepe fit and flare wedding dress with unique back detail

First in focus and suited to the most sophisticated of brides is style 18614, a classic chiffon and crepe fit and flare wedding dress with an exquisitely beaded halter neck collar and distinctive keyhole open back complete with cascading bridal buttons to the hemline.

Brunette woman stands on porch beside the sea wearing simple and classic strapless wedding dress with fishtail skirt Brunette woman standing on porch in classic mikado wedding dress with low back and bow detail

Our next favourite is also from our Victoria Jane collection. Wanita, style 18417 is an elegant strapless satin fit and flare wedding dress with a sweetheart neckline, open back and bow back detail that’s perfect for fashionistas who want their dress to be both simple and stylish. With this dress you could add a touch of sparkle with a wedding dress belt, such as our 69542 chunky beaded belt or the more delicate thin 69544 wedding dress sparkle belt.

Woman standing in ballgown wedding venue wearing princess style mikado ballgown with off the shoulder detail and embellished waist belt Back image of woman standing in ballgown wedding venue wearing simple and classic princess ballgown wedding dress with low off the shoulder back detail

Our third pick is Doliana, style 69570 from our Ronald Joyce collection, an elegant Mikado off-the-shoulder ballgown wedding dress with a bold collar, delicate beaded belt and cascading bridal buttons to the hemline. We think it’s perfect for bridal princesses who want a timeless ballgown style without too much sparkle or detailing. 

Woman standing in house with white background wearing mikado off the shoulder wedding dress with embellished waist belt Woman standing in house with white background wearing off the shoulder fit and flare wedding dress with back bridal button detail and train

Our final plain style is Amana, style 69153, a Mikado off-the-shoulder fit and flare with a sophisticated bateau neckline, beaded waistband, v-shaped open back and cascading bridal buttons to the hem. If you‘re seeking a stunning profile from all angles, it doesn’t disappoint.  

Plain wedding dresses that are perfect for packing

Crepe is a sophisticated fabric suited to every season thanks to its ability to keep you warm in cooler climates and cool in the heat. What’s more it doesn’t crease easily and works well in simple styles that are better suited to intimate ceremonies. Three contrasting crepe styles we think are worth every gram of luggage allowance are 18310, 18610 and 69573.

Brunette lady leaning on bike next to pink flowered bush wearing bridal jumpsuit with plunge v neckline and chiffon overskirt Brunette lady standing in front of pink flowered plant wearing bridal jumpsuit with plunge v neckline and embellished waist belt

Ibiza, style 18310 is a plain bridal jumpsuit with an open back, plunging illusion neckline and a sparkle belt that’s perfect for party-loving brides or a second evening outfit. A detachable organza train also creates an A-line silhouette that effortlessly takes the look from day to evening.

Woman standing in Barcelona street next to bright blue doors and outside garden chair wearing classic crepe wedding dress with fit and flare skirt and illusion v neckline Woman sitting on patio chair on Barcelona street with Aperol spritz drink wearing crepe classic and simple wedding dress with illusion v plunge neckline

Our next style is 18610, a classic plain fit and flare wedding dress with a plunging illusion v-neckline, lace up back, shoulder straps and puddle train.  As with style 18310, a matching chiffon overskirt also provides an alternative A-line silhouette (sold separately as style 18622).

Blonde woman standing in ballroom wedding venue wearing crepe wedding dress with lace applique detail, plunge v neckline and long lace applique sleeves Lady standing in ballgroom venue wearing crepe wedding dress with lace applique sleeve and illusion back

If you’re a full sleeve fan who desires discreet embellishment, look no further than Doris, style 69573, a plain ivory fit and flare wedding dress featuring a deep plunging v-neckline accentuated by bold pearl- beaded lace embroidery. A necklace back, lace hem train and long sleeves with an elbow to cuff illusion add further detailing while the plain crepe skirt ensures the overarching style remains timeless.

We hope you found this blog on the different types of plain wedding dresses informative and inspiring so you’re confident to hit the bridal boutiques. 

If you’d like to view more plain styles, you can browse our whole wedding dress collection and filter by detail.

You can also find our latest timeless wedding dress styles and real bride photos on Instagram and Facebook

Written by Lucinda Bell.