the variable fictionalization device (custardpringle) wrote in little_details,
the variable fictionalization device

1938 wedding dress

Setting: Britain, 1938
Googled: various permutations of "wedding dress" or "white wedding dress" with "history" or "1930s" or "virginity"

I've mostly come up with fashion history pages, which isn't really what I'm looking for-- and a lot of modern forum posts along the lines of "should brides wear white" which just started making me really mad, so I decided I'd better just come here. What I'm interested in is more an issue of social history or anecdote, I think.

The character in question, a woman of 23, is getting married in 1938. She's been in a sexual relationship with her fiance for some time before they actually get married, and while they've been making an effort to be discreet and respectable about it anyone who knows them well at all could probably guess that neither of them is remotely virginal.

Now I know that around this time a white wedding dress had come to be associated with purity, even though that isn't where the custom originated, so I'm wondering: would a woman in such a situation generally have worn white anyway to be tactful, even though many of the guests would know or suspect she wasn't a virgin, or would it be considered better to be honest and wear a nonwhite dress? Might she be a little more subtle about it and forgo a veil instead, or fudge the issue by wearing a pale color? (I do know that colored wedding dresses came back in somewhat during the 1930s because of the Depression, but the woman in question is independently wealthy, so that isn't necessarily an issue unless she chooses to take advantage of it.) How much about her sexual history would other people be likely to read into her decisions about dress color and whether to wear a veil?

Man, this is a lot of questions about a really picky thing :( Thanks a bunch, guys.
Tags: 1930-1939, ~clothing, ~weddings

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