it's happening

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It’s official: 2016 is the year of affordable bridal collaborations. After ASOS released their bridal line at the tail end of 2015, J.Crew unleashed their Spring 2016 unto the world, and BHLDN and Marchesa teamed up on an affordable wedding range, proving once and for all that if you’re one of the alarming number of people who got engaged in 2015, you’re in for a real budget-friendly treat. The latest brands to throw their hat (veil?) into the game? Net-A-Porter and British label Needle & Thread.

(Related: This Is What Happens When A Single Girl Designs A Custom Engagement Ring)

StyleCaster reports that the contemporary collection, which includes everything from mini dresses and long-sleeve options to crop tops and maxi skirts, ranges in price from $200 to $1,700, which falls right in line with the average annual cost of wedding dresses, but far below what we often see in bridal boutiques and on anxiety-inducing shows like Say Yes To The Dress. And, considering you’re really only going to be wearing what’s supposedly the most important dress of your life for 12-16 hours max, there’s no need to shell out the equivalent of a down payment on a house.

The collection itself is absolutely beautiful, which, quite frankly, is to be expected. What’s more, it’s offerings, while certainly wedding-appropriate, aren’t necessarily strictly bridal. Net-A-Porter Senior Buyer Holly Russell told StyleCaster,

“Versatility and wearability are really important when buying investment pieces…[a woman is] looking to invest in something that feels and looks like it’s one of a kind—and yet is able to be styled down so she can wear it again. Why shouldn’t she be able to?”

The pieces certainly are versatile (separates make that a whole lot easier), and some of them could even be considered for bridesmaids dresses if you wanted to channel Solange Knowles and go for an all-white everything theme for the wedding.

Check out some of my favorite picks from the Needle & Thread for Net-A-Porter collection below:

Embellished Chiffon Top ($399)

embellished chiffon top

I’m not normally a crop top fan, and I’m certainly not an advocate of wearing a crop top to a wedding, but even I have to admit that this is beautifully crafted. This top can be paired with the Embellished Tulle Maxi Skirt, as modeled here, or with the Tiered Tulled Midi Skirt, which is a much more casual option.

Embellished Chiffon Mini Dress ($650)

chiffon dress

Again, I’m traditional in that I believe short dresses have no place in a bride’s repertoire, but the embroidery on this is almost too stunning to pass up. Bridesmaids dress for a nighttime, black-tie wedding, perhaps?

(Related: Eva Longoria’s Stunning Engagement Ring Isn’t What You’d Expect)

Embellished Embroidered Tulle Gown ($800)

embellished gown

A gown like this could easily go for well over $5,000 at your average bridal boutique, and blush gowns have been a surprisingly huge trend for a few years now. Better snap this one up quickly before it sells out (even if you’re not getting married anytime soon—you can always just save it for a later date).

Embellished Chiffon Gown ($1,100)


Soooo this is my dream wedding dress. I’ll just be off to find myself a rabbi who would be willing to marry me and my current serious boyfriend, Seamless. We’re very happy together.

Embellished Chiffon Gown ($1,697)

embellished chiffon gown

And, as always, a classic gown with subtle embroidery always takes the cake.

You can shop the entire Needle & Thread for NET-A-PORTER collection now!

(Photos: NET-A-PORTER)