Cotton is the ultimate in laid-back casual so we rarely think of it as bridal wear. Think again. Particularly about organdy and Swiss cotton. Two of the finest fabrics in the world are not just for kids' dresses anymore. Primo cottons like these have always been a chic option for summer brides and garden weddings. One of the most stylish gowns I ever designed was a dotted Swiss ball gown silhouette. Clued-up and confident, my bride amped her ‘look good’ factor by adding a dimity sash.  Not every bride wants the traditionality of silk on her wedding day so some designers are getting the message, offering at least one cotton option in their spring/summer collection. Bravo! Finally!

Eyelet-light to medium-weight cotton with cutout patterns of embroidery along the border. Pictured above, it is a classic summertime favorite for informal brides. Makes up into pretty long or short hourglasses, sundresses, chemises, shifts, shells, and A-lines. Perfect in colors for attendants.

Dotted Swiss-Lightweight to sheer cotton. Made up of a lappet or swivel weave with woven dots. Used for shirtwaists, A-lines, shifts, chemises, and hourglasses. Great in colors for outfitting the wedding party.  The image below is actually from the Michelle Roth collection and is silk organza.  Though dotted Swiss is not difficult to find as yardage, bridal gowns and dresses in this particular weave are right now.

Organdy-Organdy is a light, plain weave of cotton or poly that is transparent and permanently stiffened. Sometimes used for jacket interfacing and making lightweight hats. Lends itself well to the once popular daytime formal concept of afternoon garden receptions —the kind a Katherine Hepburn character would have attended. Crisp and pure, it makes up into lovely structured hourglass silhouettes and A-lines.

Voile-voile means ‘veil’ in French so you get the idea of how light it is. Sheer, plain weave of cotton or polyester. Dubbed ‘poor man’s chiffon’ because of its less formal appearance than its counterpart, silk chiffon. It is, however, in some cases, more expensive than silk chiffon for the reason it’s not as readily available as silk chiffon that you find everywhere.
Photos 1, 2 & 5 by Photo Chic
Photo 4: Bill Smoot Photo