I Tried Wedding Dresses Through History

(upbeat music) – Hello friends and
welcome to another video. Today we’re going to be trying on five historical wedding dresses, because I wanna play
dress up, just a little. Now as some of you might know, I am engaged, betrothed, affianced. Am I going to say that at the beginning of every wedding related video? Probably, and Tyler and I are in the midst of planning our own wedding, which by the time this video goes up may have already happened. We’re In the last couple of weeks of wedding planning over here. It’s fine, I’m fine. But while we’ve been
planning our own wedding, the fashion history enthusiast
inside of me has become, has become more and more curious about weddings through the ages, and specifically wedding
dresses through the ages. Because everyone knows
the best part of the wedding is the dress. Sorry Tyler, the marriage
part is good too. Now people have been getting married for a very long time, since pretty much the
beginning of civilization, to consolidate resources
and secure inheritance, for love, well, mostly the
consolidate resources part, but also love, and what
people wore to their weddings throughout history has vary greatly based on cultural traditions and
changing fashion trends. Like an ancient Rome brides
used to wear yellow veils to represent white and warmth, and in medieval Europe,
blue was a popular color for wedding dresses
because of its association with purity and the Virgin Mary. I’ve got a lot of these
kinds of facts up my sleeve. In Tang dynasty era China, people used to wear
green to their weddings. See, I told you. So I thought it would be interesting to try on a few vintage and, or vintage replica wedding dresses.
Probably from eras a little more recent than ancient Rome. To get a peek into the wedding traditions and fashion trends of the time. Now to do this, we chose five eras that we thought had fun and different wedding dresses to try on. And just a disclaimer, because there are so many different kinds of wedding dresses out there in the world, we decided to focus on mostly
Western wedding dresses from the last 150 years. Also, because we wanted to use authentic like actually vintage wedding dresses, most of them are no longer
tennis sneaker white. In fact, they’re mostly cream. Because well, they old, and to not drag these
old wedding dresses out and about Los Angeles, we decided to get a legit filming space
just to protect them. So we are here on this
white cyc in the studio. Just FYI, we’re here. Now to help us achieve our historical wedding dress dreams, we recruited a couple of professionals to collaborate with us, someone to help us source the dresses. This is Olivia, who is
our costume designer. These are also some of
the dresses back here so don’t look at them. It’s a surprise–
– Block them out, yeah! Yes, as well as someone to help us finish off our bridal looks. And this is Cici who’s
gonna be doing the hair and makeup today. There are a lot of wigs
prepped to my left. We’re going to wig out. – [Tyler] Let’s get wiggy with it! – That’s not bad.
– Yeah. (group laughing) – I like that. And once we had everything
prepped and ready to go, it was time to get bridalfied. Our first dress took us all the way back to the late Victorian era. The 1890s to be specific for a seriously poofy
sleeved bridal moment. I right now feel a little
bit like the murderous bride at the end of Disney’s Haunted Mansion. Till death do us part (laughs)! We decided to start
with the Victorian era, because it’s when white became the go-to bridal color for dresses, as Queen Victoria herself set the trend by wearing white to her wedding in 1840. Now that said for the
better part of the era white fabric was still
kind of hard to come by, but by the 1890s improvements
in the textile industry had made it a little more
affordable for the general public. So, all of the dresses, besides this one are like authentic vintage
from the time period. We could not find an
1890s dress that would fit my 2010’s frame, so this
dress we did construct, and we did make it a
little creamier colored rather than just like stark white, just so looked a little
closer to 125 years old. Now for this look, we
went with a full length, long-sleeved, high-necked wedding gown with a band at the waist and lacey ruff, as well as a white
bouquet with some foliage, and a long classic tulle veil. All right I think I’m
gonna de-veil myself. – [Tyler] Do you need a hand? Oh, avoid the boom mic,
avoid boom mic, and– – Keep going. – [Tyler] Medium success. – Keep going. – [Tyler] Good thing we don’t have to do this on our wedding day. – Keep going. Overall, I think this look
is actually pretty awesome. I am a big fan of interesting
and dramatic sleeves and I feel like this is
definitely one of those. – [Tyler] It looks like you’re wearing pool floaties a little bit. – I feel that vibe. These giant poofy dudes
came back into fashion in the early 1890s and we’re
called leg-of-mutton sleeves, which, yes, got their name from the shapely buttocks of a sheep. And were meant to be sort
of a menswear inspired look. – [Tyler] It’s almost like
rendition of the travel pillow, where you just sleep on top of it. – You mean I could just
take a nap on my sleeve– perhaps like this.
– Yeah. – I guess I could yeah. – [Tyler] Just throwing out ideas here. – No it’s not the worst idea you’ve had. – Hammacher Schlemmer is considering it, Sharper Image is considering it. Sears said, no. The Victorian era was known for quickly and constantly changing silhouettes, but they all pretty much
had the same intended goal of showing off, just how
much fabric you could afford and making your waist look small. I am not currently wearing a corset. I am wearing Spanx, the modern corset, so that is making this dress situation probably a lot more comfortable for me. As for my makeup, well, I’m
not wearing a lot of it, which was reflective of
the Victorian perspective on makeup in general. You didn’t want to look painted. You don’t want to be a painted woman. – [Cici] You didn’t want to look
like you’re tricking anyone into thinking that you were
something that you were not. – That was the 1890s version of take her swimming on the first date. A lot of women’s still
used beauty products but since buying and
applying makeup in public was a big no-no, a lot of makeup and skincare was DIY. So you have things like
homemade toner and rouge and even homemade eyebrow pencils made by burning cloves. That is on fire. – It is on fire. – Sort of like a vintage Instagram hack or a Troom Troom video. Need to fill in your eyebrows? It’s not a problem anymore. The hair of the period
was sort of the opposite of the makeup, as it was very
done up and clearly effortful. Oh my word! And for ours we went with a curly style piled on top of the
head with a few tendrils cascading down the back. – [Tyler] Slight mullet
vibes at the current time. – There’s nothing wrong with mullet vibes. Now just like a mullet
is business in the front and party in the back, the Victorian era was austere to begin and started getting a little
more fun near the end. In fact, the 1890s were
dubbed the gay ’90s, which at the time translated to fun ’90s, as the strict social
codes of the time loosened and women started doing
more things outside of home. I mean just look at how
much fun they’re having. They’ve got like an obstacle course going. Weddings also became more fun as celebrations evolved
from somber church affairs to like actual parties that
you would have at your house, with food and games and
maybe a little dancing. I could really nail a
chicken dance in this thing. – [Tyler] You would crush it! – I’m crushing it right now, even half assedly, I’m crushing it. Probably not a chicken dance, though I can’t say that for sure. Apparently throwing shoes at the newly married couple was also a fun 1890s wedding tradition, but since I didn’t want to ruin my dress or get a black eye, we
stuck with some rice. – [Woman] All right grab a little more. (rice clattering) – That’s what I’m talkin’ about. (Tyler laughing) That was a good throw. – [Tyler] There’s some in your hair. – Yeah, that’s why we did this last. All right, now we’re
gonna have to vacuum that, but I would say it was worth it. Now for our next look, bye! – [Tyler] See ya! – We jumped forward about 30 years. So it this is my 1920s bridal look. I thought we had to try on a ’20s dress, because pretty much everything about the ’20s fashion-wise and otherwise was completely new. It’s by the end of the 19th century, social codes had started to loosen. By the 1920s of corset was off with the emergence of the newly
independent flapper girls, hitting the town and the speakeasies in their short hair and short hemlines. And flop or fashion, it definitely bled into bridal fashion, as you can see with my
scandalously exposed ankles. – [Tyler] It’s extremely inappropriate. (woman laughing) I would have highly offended the previous version of myself, as well as my Great Gatsby
style dangly jewelry. – [Tyler] I think that the earrings make you look pretty
ready to like gallavant around Long Island Sound – [Safiya] East Egg, West Egg. – Is that what–
– Whatever egg it is. – Hard boiled egg, yeah! – Hard boiled egg. I am Safiya of hard boiled egg. Besides a shocking ankle reveal, our look included a loose
long-sleeved lacy dress. There’s not a low waistline. There’s no waistline. T-strap shoes, pantyhose,
a half-moon manicure, a large gathered veil
and a lacy headpiece. In general I am loving this look. I love the little hat-crown situation, and also, oh my God! – [Tyler] Veil down, veil down. – Head gear was a pretty key
element of the 1920s look, and many brides incorporated that into their wedding day. Oftentimes pairing it with very long, Juliet cap-style veils. This is like sort of an interesting mix of like a crown and like
a small ’20s like hat. It’s like a trident on my head. Now the clear elephant in the
room is the giant bouquet. This bouquet is so big and heavy (laughs) I don’t know what to do. Oh my God, I’m nervous it’s gonna like drag on the ground. 1920s’ bouquets were often very large. Just need like a firm grip on it. – [Tyler] Yeah. It’s pretty girthy, with cascading details like ribbons, bows and
or even more flowers. – [Tyler] It’s kind of like
a ball and chain, right? – Interestingly enough, in
the 1920s engagement rings were referred to as handcuffs. – [Tyler] I will abstain from
saying anything (laughs). (Safiya hisses) No, just kidding.
– Watch it! – No, just kidding (laughs). Bank’s closed. So I sort of took turns holding it and not holding it because
I wasn’t quite prepared for the sheer mass of it. – [Tyler] Here we go, let’s see. Oh that’s weighty. That’s weighty, that’ll
get your forearm strong. – Yeah. – Forget the shake weight. That’s all you need right there. – Now for the face, the trend in the ’20s was pretty much the complete opposite of the Victorian era, as women started embracing makeup publicly for the very first time. – All the makeup was a bit rounded. The eyes were rounded. The cheeks are rounded. Even the lips were rounded
into that cupid’s bow look. – The movie industry was booming. And whereas actresses had previously been considered women of ill-repute, silent movie stars were idolized and used as spokespeople
for the burgeoning makeup industry and things
like thin arched eyebrows which stars used to express
emotion without talking. Wow! – [Tyler] They’re skinny. – They’re skinty. And dark lipstick used
because lighter lipstick would turn out gray on screen, all became trends for
everyday women as well. My mouth shape looks so different. It’s kind of tripping me out actually. And so we couldn’t help trying some silent movie acting ourselves. – [Tyler] You have acid
indigestion (laughs). – It’s that old-school
Pepto-Bismol commercial. – [Tyler] Yeah, no, I’m gonna
give you commercial thoughts. – [Safiya] With a variety of props– – [Tyler] You just say 15% or
more on your car insurance. But you don’t even know what a car is. – No there were cars, hey! – [Tyler] Hey wait, I can’t hear you. – Oh, that’s a 1920s version of shook. (Tyler laughing) Besides the makeup, bobbed hair was also a new and thoroughly modern look which many women adopted. I think what’s interesting to me about the ’20s in general, is how just like
everything was subversive. – [Tyler] Yeah. – It’s like short hair, edgy. Wearing makeup, edgy. Showing your ankles, edgy. And following that theme
weddings also experienced a bit of a shake up as
courthouse ceremonies and elopements became more
socially acceptable choices. Another cool thing about
weddings in the 1920s, is that ladies started walking themselves down the aisle for the first time, which kind of makes sense. You need room for the bouquet. Though despite these new
casual wedding options, one has to imagine that
in the roaring ’20s, there were still some raging parties. – [Tyler] Are you doing the Carlton? – The Carlton? “Am I doing the the Carlton,” he asks. Though I was a little
nervous about partying with my precarious tiara. I’m almost doing like an
Irish step dance version of the Charleston where I’m like don’t move the upper body. And we certainly we’re not
gonna be doing the Carlton. – [Tyler] Oh, oh here it comes. And cut. – Got it. (Tyler laughs) So after exploring the ’20s, our next step through history brings us to the 1940s with this jazzy knee length shoulder padded look. I feel very, like, I guess, is swanky an appropriate word? I feel really like hmm. Now, of course, in the
first half of the 1940s people around the world were greatly affected by World War Two. And wartime had some
pretty dramatic effects on marriage and weddings and fashion. I think that there was a
fair amount of variation in wedding dresses in the ’40s, depending on when and where and how quickly you were getting married. There are some more full
length gowny-type situations, and then there are some
more casual wedding dresses. A lot of people were
trying to tie the knot but didn’t have a lot of time or materials with unpredictable
soldiers leave schedules and rationing, or the diverting of resources to the military. So they have to make do
with what they could. For example, our dress is more of a Sunday’s best courthouse
appropriate situation. I actually really love this dress. I love the shoulder pad. I love the little like, I don’t even know what
this is, like apron, and the belt also is
very nice and cinchie. Shoulder pads were a common
fixture in a ’40s style, mirroring menswear as
women entered the workforce to fill in for soldiers overseas. There is also a really
cool thing on my butt. What is it? It’s literally a curtain for my booty. – [Tyler] Just imagine like the MGM lion just roaring right there. – Exactly.
– Yes. – Right out of my butt. (Tyler (laughing) Besides that, we also have an intricate neckline situation going on. The ’40s is also when bullet bras and pointy boobed sweater
girls were in fashion. So maybe they’re trying to create like a literal just pointy shelf. It’s just like it’s very, it’s square. Aside from our dress, we also went with some pearl jewelry and also appropriate for the
’40s, half moon manicure, a small bouquet of white flowers and an elbow length triangular veil on the back of my head – ‘Cause we don’t got time for one of those long train veils. – Ain’t nobody got time for that. – [Tyler] We gotta get to the courthouse. – Underneath the veil for my hair, we went with a sort of variation on victory rolls with a
less of a defined roll shape and more of just like
coiffed volume atop my head, with a little carnation on top. – Ooh, she’s ready to rock – I’m feelin’ it, I’m feelin’ myself. Now, by the 1940s makeup was no longer the radical statement of a modern woman, and had become a staple of
everyday fashion and grooming, and the makeup item of
the decade was lipstick. It’s so interesting how lipstick was used as a sign of patriotism. In particular, the US
government encouraged women to wear victory red lipstick to boost morale and vibrant lip colors were used to kiss letters sent to soldier sweethearts overseas. – [Cici] By the late 1940s,
90% of women used lipstick. – Interestingly enough lipstick was also one of the few items that escaped rationing
in the US during the war, unlike a lot of the other things you needed for a wedding. For instance, there wasn’t a lot of silk to make wedding dresses out of, since they were using that
silk to make parachutes. This led not only to
shorter and smaller dresses, but also to more DIY or hand-me down ones. You wear your friend’s
dress or your mom’s dress or a dress that you already had and rationing became a big part of everyday life and culture. – [Emily] Apparently if you say, “Hi sugar, are you rationed?.” It means, are you going steady? Are you dating someone? – Ooh, you know, I’m about
to be rationed for life. – [Tyler] Yeah! – You didn’t like that? – [Tyler] Yeah, I liked it
(giggles), I was gonna say. – You’re the one who has to like it so. Besides rationing though, it seemed like smaller dresses were also popular because they literally allowed you to be more mobile. From everything I’ve read it seems like there were short windows in
time when soldiers were home. So literally people
wrote that having a dress that could easily get on a bicycle to go to the courthouse
fast was imperative. Not only one weddings planned quickly, the speed of the wedding
itself was important, so your sweetheart didn’t get called back to service suddenly before
the license could be signed. – [Tyler] You look ready to rock! You look like you could be a speedy bride. – I feel speedy. – [Tyler] You can just jog down aisle. – Cash me outside, how about that? I will say that this
dress is more aerodynamic than the previous two. Me on the bicycle. But although the weddings
were supposed to be fast, they were also supposed to be fun, highlighted with lots of
big band music and dancing. You see me with different hair colors like Christina Aguilera from Candyman. But unfortunately, neither Tyler nor I really know how to do the Lindy Hop. – Hi. – You’re sweaty (laughs). I can smell you from here. – [Tyler] Okay, okay. (Safiya laughing) – It’s okay, don’t smell very good either. I’ve been wearing a lot
of old dresses in a row. We’re just smelly, that’s why we have to marry each other (laughs). Regardless of our swing dancing ability for our next outfit,
we swung into the ’60s for a mini-skirted fashion
forward wedding look. There are so many things
happening right now. Number one on my mind is my giant hair, followed closely by my giant earrings, and then giant faux fur coat. 1960s fashion, including but not limited to bridal fashion, was all over the place, with many different
styles entering the mix, as well as a lot of people looking to express themselves
through their clothing. Similar to the 1920s, one of
the flagship fashion things about the ’60s is the hemline, and that is that it went up. The miniskirt was a
trademark of the mod style which when it first started off, stood for fans of modernist jazz, but eventually became synonymous with modern fashionable young people of which style icon
Twiggy was the queen bee. – [Tyler] The Twiggs (laughs). – The the return of to Thiccy. Thiccy Two electric boogaloo. And the mini, as like the
silhouette of the future became so widespread that many brides in the ’60s opted for
a short wedding dress to make a pretty bold fashion statement. This look in particular is inspired specifically by
Raquel Welch’s wedding look, in which she wore a lacy
or crocheted mini dress and a big faux fur jacket. But besides the miniskirt, there were also a lot of other things going on with ’60s bridal fashion. Now I think something
about ’60s wedding dresses, was that pretty much anything went. Like colorful wedding dresses, space race inspired
looks, very floral dresses amongst many, many others, including what I can only describe as a crocheted condom. And yes, that was supposed
to be a wedding dress. You look like a little,
like this, basically, with your little head stickin’ out. Now besides the mini
length of my lacy dress this look also included some blocky heels, sizable geometric dangly earrings, a small bouquet of daisies and a large cream colored fuzzy jacket. I think the faux fur jacket, besides being appropriate for a late fall wedding (snickers) is also very ’60s-ish
because there was a sort of obsession–
– Affinity? – Affinity for furs because
of a few different movies including Dr. Zhivago–
– Yeah. – Zhivago.
– One of the two. – Trivago, which was a super popular movie set in early 20th century Russia. So there were a lot of furs being worn. Jacket, Zhivago, hotel, Trivago. (Tyler laughing) Is that right? Now for my face, we tried to recreate a version of Priscilla
Presley’s wedding makeup look, which features an
intricate double eyeliner, cut crease situation, as well
as some big old fake flashes. Ooh, that’s cool. – You have dolly eyes. – To top off our makeup look, we also added a light pink lipstick as lighter colors and even white lipstick were super-in during the time. – Frosted was very popular also. – Frosted lips, frosted
tips, just kidding. That was later. That was ’90s. Now as for the other fuzzy
part of the look, my hair, we went with a long sort of bouffanted in the back situation. Oooh! (Safiya laughing) Ooh, ooh, ooh. – Priscilla is that you? – Which as you can tell, ended up very, very, teased and tall. Oh sorry.
– ’60s are back y’all. (laughing together) – By Priscilla Presley,
did you mean Tracy Turnblad? (laughing together) And besides having
actual roots in reality, my hair was also giving off
some Austin Powers vibes. – [Tyler] Kinda like fembot hairstyle. (Safiya laughing) We did fail to equip my boobs with actual rocket launchers. – [Cici] I love it! – Though that’s probably for the best. I like this look a lot. I don’t necessarily feel like I’m wearing a wedding look but I do feel very
1960s, exceedingly 1960s. In general, I felt sort of
like a jet setting bride with my, I want to wear a miniskirt but the Pan Am jet is cold-look but Tyler thought I looked
more like a sea faring bride. – [Tyler] You look like you could be on Gilligan’s Island. – What’s her name, Ginger? – [Tyler] You could be Ginger, – But that’s more tropical. This is more Russia. – [Tyler] So you can go
to Gilligan’s Tundra. – Gilligan’s Tundra. That is the sitcom that I star in, coming to YouTube Premium next fall, maybe. So for our final bridal outfit, we went with this very subtle 1980s look. Just kidding it’s obviously crazy. I am so covered in beads and pearls, I don’t know what to do. I’m just, it’s just, it’s all over me. What to react to truly?
– It’s a lot. – The 1980s are a very
big decade for fashion. sorry I meant a decade
for very big fashion, as everything got larger and brighter, from hair to blazers, to eyeshadow, to dresses to well,
everything, just everything. And bridal fashion was no exception. As gowns got poofier,
rufflier and blingier. If I was wearing this on our wedding day would you still marry me? – [Tyler] Hard yes. (laughing together) Oh, I’m sorry no, hard “I do.” (laughing together) – Now this look includes a colorful pink and yellow bouquet, a
giant headpiece situation that we’ll talk about in a second, and a high necked, long
sleeved, beaded mermaid style, satin finished dress. It’s kind of hilarious to me that all the other dresses have like aged naturally over the years, and this dress is still white! It’s a lot younger than the ’20s dress but I’m not sure it will ever beige. – Olivia, what do you think
this dress is made out of? – Oooh. Pastiche of polyester. – Oh pastiche of polyester, there we go. – [Tyler] It’s like a Twinkie. (laughing together) It’s gonna be here with the cockroaches. – This dress will outlive us all. – [Tyler] Definitely. – Now, our look was inspired
by this wedding shoot that Cindy Crawford did that blessed us with many an epic ’80s
bridal fashion moment. But I think that most
1980s matrimonial style was inspired by Princess Diana. Her 1981 royal wedding garnered
750 million live viewers, and people around the world adored her ruffly wedding gown and record breaking train, even if they did take
the look and run with it, to more rhinestoned places. Something that’s kind of
funny about this dress is that the sleeves are
slight leg of mutton sleeves. So there is kind of like
a return to traditional or Victorian looks
incorporated into this dress, but ’80s-fied. Interestingly enough, Diana
had notably been inspired by the bridal looks of
royal family members past for her gown, so it’s all
kind of coming full circle. It’s the circle of sheep butt. As for my head, we ended up using my hair as a latch for the veil situation and put it up in a top
bun, no sock involved, all natural bun action. – All natural bun action. – And for the makeup, we decided to go with soft washes of color, like a violet for the eyes, smoked out eyeliner blended out contour. Yes, chisel the double-chin, yes. And sweeping pink blush,
all over the cheeks, which brings us to
what’s on top of my head, which is this thing,
it’s the Bret Michaels of veils, for sure. Cici constructed our
headpiece in two parts, the tulle part in the back… It’s literally– – [Cici] On top of the bun. – A giant like Christmas bow (Tyler laughing) on top of my head. And the lace headband with flowers and cascading beads in the front. – Oh my Lanta. This is amazing. Yeah, these are all made from stuff from Michael’s. So, you know, get your craft on! – Every item from Michael’s
hot glued together. – [Tyler] This is a Franken-Michael’s. – [Safiya] Besides the head piece, the other element of the outfit that really put’s over the top, is the detachable train. – [Tyler] Is the train heavy Saf? Could you make it down an aisle Safiya. – Oh no, it’s actually not that heavy. It is a little bit like playing a game of snake with myself, like I don’t want to step on my own train. – [Tyler] No that’d be bad. – But besides that, I feel good about it. Which ostensibly comes
off for partying purposes. Overall, though it’s hard
to say with a modern eye, I do think this dress is pretty awesome. What I’ll say is I’m
definitely enjoying myself wearing this, but if it looks good or not is a question that could be asked. – [Tyler] I like the pseudo bride ninja because the headband, it
looks like you could do a flying crane kick
and knock somebody out. – I see where you’re going with that, but it is probably the
least stealthy outfit anyone could ever wear. I’m like a cat with a bell on its neck. You could find me, because
if it’s not the rustling of the polyester that gives it away, It might be the brief electric guitar solo that plays every time
this dress enters a room. – [Tyler] All right waddle this way. That’s the wedding
version of walk this way. (Safiya laughing) – So those were our wedding
dresses through history. I had a real blast putting
these looks together with the help of our
wonderful costume designer and makeup artist, and I
thought it was super-cool tracking how bridal style has evolved over nearly 150 years. In particular, I think it’s interesting how things fluctuate and get recycled, like hems go up and down
and sleeves get puffed and then deflated and then reinflated, because as social decorum
and tastes change, fashion kind of does a circle. It’s also interesting how certain things like veils and bouquets
are always included in bridal looks but change
in small ways over time. Overall, it’s hard for me to pick just one favorite look from the bunch. Though I will say I’m
partial to the silhouette of the ’40s dress and to
the veil of the ’80s look. None of them will really
reflect the style of the dress that I’ve chosen for my wedding, but they do make me feel confident that in a 100% wedding fire drill, as in if my dress just implodes, I can throw one of these on and have a last minute themed wedding. I mean, hopefully that doesn’t happen, but Tyler did say he
likes The Karate Kid veil. Thank you guys so much for
watching and once again, a huge thank you to Olivia,
Cici and our friends at GingerSnap Florals
for helping us achieve our historical wedding dress dreams. If you liked that video make sure to smash that like button
and if you wanna see more videos like this, make sure to smash that subscribe button. A big shout out to Anica for watching. Thanks for watching Anica and I will see you guys next time!


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