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Brides wear miniskirts down the aisle

Traditional meets trendy in this Reem Acra bridal

Traditional meets trendy in this Reem Acra bridal gown. This ivory tulle and satin dress features a "surprise" short underskit, about $5,675. Credit: Handout

While ready-to-wear hemlines may zip up and down faster than a panicky Dow Jones industrial average, long gowns have always been the wedding equivalent of a T-bill: safe, steady and beyond reproach. Who's going to mess with that pedigree?

At the moment, it seems, just about every major bridal house.

Though no one's fomenting a satin-and-lace revolution, this season's bridal runways offered up a refreshing slew of short, kicky options - looks that are fun, feminine and show lots of leg.

"Short dresses are no longer reserved only for the reception," says designer Anne Bowen, who's known for her ultrahip micro minis. "Today's brides are daring enough to wear them for their ceremony."

Just like the perfect Little Black Dress, it's hard to resist the appeal of wearing short and white. Indeed, when Amsale's "Little White Dress" collection debuted last fall, the dresses were aimed at engagement parties, rehearsal dinners and moonlit honeymoon tête-à-têtes. But it quickly became apparent that the pieces can create a beautiful, and dramatic, walk down the aisle.

If you're thinking you're not enough of a wedding-day fashionista to skip the traditional gown and 20-foot train, designers say many brides opt for long for the ceremony and saucy for the reception. As designer Ines Di Santo put it, "It's a bride's time to party, so slipping into something short gives her the freedom to dance without the restrictions of a big ball gown or a tight mermaid."

And for the really adventurous, Reem Acra's layered tulle gown allows you to go from traditional to super-sexy without fumbling with the 60 satin-covered buttons down your back: Instead, just shed the detachable skirt to reveal a "surprise" minidress underneath.

There's an above-the-knee look for everybody. So go on, strut down the aisle in something short, comfortable and chic. It never hurts to show a little leg.


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