The Perfect White for your Wedding Dress

by Jorunn Hernes (Norway)

The best way to choose the correct white for your season is to begin by accepting that perhaps your best ‘white’ is not white.


Your Wedding Day

If you are getting married, you know that this is the one day in your life when you want to look your very best. And if you have had a colour analysis, you will remember that not all whites are created equal.

If you haven’t had a colour analysis, book one ASAP, before you choose your dress.

If you need more reasons to have a colour analysis, read this article.

Each season has its best white. 

Choosing a wedding dress is not easy. It should be the perfect style for your body, but it is also important to choose a shade of white that complements your skin. A wedding dress that makes you shine like you deserve on such an important day, and not make you look tired (or sick). So knowing your season is important when shopping for a wedding dress. And bring your colour fan!

Winter – crisp, clear white

If you are a winter, your best whites are clear, crisp whites. 

Dark Winter will choose a white that has the faintest hint of smokiness to it, rather than the optic white of True Winter.

True Winter will look dazzling in a crisp optic white, and combining it with deep black is stunning (but if you are the bride, you will of course wear all white). 

The Bright Winter white is white like snow with sunshine on it, a sheen of yellow is what brings the sparkle to the eyes of a Bright Winter. 

Spring – rich and whipped cream delicious white

The springs will look for rich, creamy whites, almost to the point of looking like whipped eggs.

Bright Spring white is the cooler side of spring, so let that reflect on the shade of white also. But it is better to go for a creamier white than an optic white. 

True Spring needs to look for whites that are bathed in sunshine and dipped in vanilla ice cream.

Light Spring will be fine with a creamy white with a side of sunshine.

Summer – hazy, cloudy, kitten white

The hazy summer clouds will be your guideline. Creamy and hazy soft.

Light Summer can handle a little more of a yellow tinge in the white, keep it hazy and not too bright white.

True summer is also best in hazy, cool but not bright white.

Soft Summer can go even a little more hazy grey. White with a hint of lavender sounds kind of perfect for a Soft Summer.

Autumn – whites that are not white

Ah, white for Autumns – a dangerous territory. Pure white on an autumn is a disaster. Wearing bright optic white is a recipe for looking older and more tired for all three autumns. 

Soft Autumn will choose the white of antique lace, a white that is muted with a hint of beige.

True Autumn will look far better in a very light beige than in pure white. One look in the mirror will confirm this, trust me.

Dark Autumns white is almost never white. She will look stunning in a light caramel colour. It will be your best white even though it isn’t white.

Jorunn Hernes is located in Norway, where she offers in-person 12-Season Colour Analysis. Jorunn blogs in English and Norwegian about colour and style, with particular focus on minimalism and practicality. Please click the link buttons below for more information.
Jorunn Hernes

5 thoughts on “The Perfect White for your Wedding Dress

  1. Melina says:

    This is really interesting, but I wish there were images to illustrate the differences for each subseason too, especially for Winter whites, because “white with a hint of [something else]” is very difficult to visualize (at least for me)! I mean something still being white but not pure white, i.e. not yet veering into ivory, cream or other shades.

    • Jorunn Hernes says:

      Ah, yes. I understand that you bring this up! If you are familiar with my blog, you would notice that there are no photo examples in the original article. I have another article on Yellow, also with no photos. It is always a difficult choice, to concentrate on describing with words or to hunt for photos. It would be lovely if we could find photos to illustrate 12 different wedding whites. Perhaps a Pinterest board is the best place for that….
      In real life, you’re cruising wedding shops with your maid-of-honour (and your mum, probably, and very eager sales reps). Your guiding light will be the “bright white with a hint of yellow” (if you’re a BW) or “light ecru or beige” (if you’re a TA), and then using your fan, you will make the best possible colour decision between the dresses available in your size and style. And your secret weapon is you colour fan! Bring it out, take a deep breath and put the fan on top of the dress, just like you would with any other garment.
      Now, I’m off to start that Pinterest board…

  2. Jorunn Hernes says:

    I was inspired by Melina’s comment. As a companion to this blog article, I have started a Pinterest board with examples of bridal whites for the 12 seasons. It’s interesting to have a mood-board with examples that makes us think of the different seasons, but do take the images with a grain of salt. Images look very different from screen to screen, and the dresses might look totally different in real life, but I had a lot of fun collecting some images. You’ll find the Pinterest board here:

  3. Melina says:

    Oh, glad I could serve as an inspiration! 🙂 These are lovely examples illustrating the whites. Though my untrained eye still can’t see much difference between e.g. BW and BSp whites, but that’s surely just due to my being untrained (in seasonal colour). 🙂

  4. Jorunn Hernes says:

    Melina, the reason may also be because the difference IS very subtle, and a white that is perfect for BW will also be good for BSp, and worlds better for BSp than a TW white, if you know what I mean. With white, there are small nuances between the neighbouring seasons, and I’m not even sure I got them exactly right just from picking photos on Pinterest! Always keep in mind that the only sure way to determine is in real life, using your fan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *