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How do I know if my dress is white or ivory?

Choosing the perfect wedding dress is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when it comes to your big day. After browsing through countless bridal boutiques and online stores, you’ve finally found a dress that’s caught your eye. But now, you’re faced with a tough question – is it white or ivory? And how can you tell the difference between the two?

White vs. Ivory: What’s the Difference?

The first step in determining whether your dress is white or ivory is understanding the difference between these two colors. While both are popular choices for wedding gowns, there are distinct differences between the two.

White is a bright, pure hue with no undertones or shades of any other color. This means that a white gown will almost have a slight bluish tint to it in full light. It’s a very classic and traditional choice for a bridal gown.

Ivory, on the other hand, is a much warmer color. It has a slight tint of cream or yellow, which gives it a softer, more romantic look. Many brides opt for ivory because it can complement a variety of skin tones and is often more forgiving when it comes to stains or wrinkles.

How to Determine Your Dress Color

Now that you know the difference between white and ivory, how can you tell which color your dress actually is? Here are a few tips to help you out:

1. Look at the Fabric

One of the easiest ways to determine your dress color is to take a closer look at the fabric itself. In most cases, white fabrics will be much brighter and crisper, with no visible hints of other colors. Ivory fabrics, on the other hand, will often have a slightly yellow or cream-colored tint to them.

2. Compare to Other Whites

Another method is to compare your dress to other white swatches or fabrics. Holding your dress up to a piece of paper or a true white fabric can help you distinguish whether it has a slightly yellow or blue undertone to it.

3. Take a Photo

If you’re still not sure, taking a photo of your dress under different lighting conditions can help you determine its true color. This is especially true if you’re shopping for a dress online and can’t see it in person. Taking a photo outdoors in natural light and indoors in artificial light can help you to see any differences in shade or tone.

Why Does it Matter?

While the color of your dress may not seem like a big deal, it can actually play a big role in the overall look and feel of your wedding day. White and ivory both have their own unique qualities, and choosing the right color can help to enhance different aspects of your wedding aesthetic.

For example, a white gown can give your wedding a more traditional, formal feel. It can also make a statement against a dark or moody color palette.

On the other hand, an ivory gown can help to create a romantic and dreamy atmosphere. It’s a more versatile color that works well with a variety of wedding themes, from rustic to bohemian.


In the end, the choice between white and ivory comes down to personal preference and the overall style of your wedding. While it’s certainly important to know the difference between the two colors, it’s ultimately up to you to decide which one looks best with your skin tone, venue, and overall wedding vision. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to confidently choose the perfect color for your dream dress.


What counts as a white dress at a wedding?

When deciding what to wear to a wedding, it’s essential to consider the dress code specified on the invitation. Usually, there are guidelines provided to make it easier to determine what attire is appropriate for the occasion. In general, you want to avoid any attire that may overshadow the bride or disrupt the wedding’s decorum. Of particular concern is wearing a white dress, which is traditionally reserved for the bride. But what exactly counts as “white” at a wedding?

The answer is, it depends. There are many variations of the color white, from pure white to ivory, cream, champagne, and eggshell. In some cultures, red and other bold colors are also preferred over white. Therefore, the first thing to consider when deciding what counts as a white dress at a wedding is the cultural context. For example, in some Western cultures, wearing a white dress to a wedding is considered unfavorable for guests as it may take the attention away from the bride.

Apart from cultural context, there are other things to consider when determining what counts as a white dress. For instance, floral dresses that have a white or light pattern and/or white background can be easily mistaken for white. Therefore, it is best to avoid these types of dresses altogether to be on the safe side. However, plain white dresses with colored patterns or details can be acceptable, but only if it is clear from a distance that the dress is not entirely white.

If, on the other hand, you’re planning to wear a dress with a white base, you want to make sure it’s not the main color. Dresses with white accents, such as lace details or white embroidery, can be acceptable as long as the color scheme is primarily different from white. Furthermore, white dresses with colorful prints or embellishments that don’t cover most of the dress can also be suitable for wedding guests. Still, it’s crucial to choose an outfit that’s sophisticated, elegant, and respectful of the wedding’s theme.

It’S essential to use good judgment, common sense, and respect for the bride when deciding what to wear to a wedding. When in doubt, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and opt for formal attire that doesn’t overpower the bride. When choosing a dress with a white base, it’s crucial to check for cultural context, color scheme, and pattern to determine whether it’s appropriate to wear to a wedding. “As long as the outfit incorporates a colorful pattern or white only as a small accent color, you can wear it,” says Shawne Jacobs, President and Creative Director of Anne Barge, a leading bridal fashion company.