Great Cover Ups: Bridal Shrugs and Boleros

Planning to walk down the aisle in a strapless, spaghetti-strap or other skin-baring gown design? You’re in good company. The vast majority of modern wedding wear is designed to show off a bride’s neck, shoulders and arms, creating a perfect picture of femininity and grace.

But what about comfort? Specifically, temperature. During Houston’s hottest months, indoor temps, aided by powerful AC, can dip down to downright frosty levels. Outdoor weddings during Houston’s milder seasons, meanwhile, can be subject to the occasional big chill. So what’s a bare-shouldered bride to do? Shrug it off!

The classic bridal shrug or bolero is a very short (think no longer than ribcage length), usually open-fronted sweater or jacket that complements but doesn’t overwhelm a bride’s wedding gown. In general, a shrug or bolero is a better choice than a shawl or wrap because it won’t slip off, and leaves a bride’s hands free for dancing, toasting and showing off her ring!

Bridal shrugs/boleros run the gamut of fabrics and complexity of design, from a simple chiffon number, like this sweet one from David’s Bridal, which would work with almost any gown material or style:

Photo courtesy of David's Bridal
Photo courtesy of David's Bridal

…to this lacey lovely by Forever Yours, which would coordinate nicely with a simple, luxe fabric and relatively unadorned bodice style:

Photo courtesy of House of Brides
Photo courtesy of House of Brides

Another of our favorite spots for beautiful bridal shrugs and boleros is haven-of-all-things-handmade, Etsy, which features a variety of unique designs, including cashmere, crocheted and dupioni silk styles.

If you have not yet purchased your wedding gown and are thinking about a cover-up, ask about matching shrugs and boleros when browsing dresses. Many styles come with coordinating or detachable shrugs. And even when they don’t, a savvy Houston bridal boutique associate can suggest a perfect pairing.

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