Beaded Dresses: A Look at Different Types of Beads and Designs

14 Feb Beaded Dresses: A Look at Different Types of Beads and Designs

If you’re getting ready for you Prom, sweet 16, Homecoming, quinceañera, or any other formal event, you might have noticed that there are a lot of beaded dresses out there. Some are fully covered in beads, while others have simpler designs with small patterns. Beads are often used to highlight certain focus points on a gown, such as the neckline, sleeves, or waist.

What kind of style are you interested in? A long, ball gown perhaps? A dress with a stunning, sheer beaded top with an empire skirt? An elegant A-line or flirty mermaid/trumpet dress? All of these styles can feature beadwork in rhinestones, crystals, jewels, etc. Metallic beads are available as well as colourful beads, and they can be sewn on dresses of any colour.

Beads come in a variety of seed bead shapes and sizes:

  • “H” or “cut” beads, which are typically hexagonal. The flat surface allows for more light to shine through these beads.
  • Faceted beads, with flat surfaces that are either molded or cut in a regular pattern
  • Rounded beads that are available in both faceted and smooth varieties. Rhinestones are typically set in these types of beads.
  • Bugle beads, which are tube shaped and available in sizes from 2-mm to 40-mm.
  • Drop beads, which are shaped like a pear and feature a hole either lengthwise at the head or at the narrow end.

There are also fancy beads with unique shapes. In addition to seed-style beads, there are also sequins, pearls, rhinestones, and gemstones. If you want pearls on your gown, make sure they are freshwater or cultured. Baroque is okay, just as long as they are sewn on properly. Avoid costume or “plastic” pearls as they can look cheap.

Beaded Dress Colours

Aqua and pink coloured beads or sequins are often found on black dresses. This is a pretty, popular look for many girls. Bright gold or white beads – particularly rhinestones – look gorgeous on bright colours. For pastels, silver beads are very attractive.

Beaded Designs

When choosing your dress, consider the type of beads and the pattern you want. Do you want the beading to draw focus to the corset or waist area? Do you want a floral or butterfly pattern? Dresses can feature large patterns on the skirt or smaller patterns around the bodice and neck area. There are always dresses with the entire front covered in beads. Personal style plays a huge role in buying beaded dresses. What do YOU like and want?

Just make sure that the beadwork is of high quality and not cheap looking, and that the dress be a right fit for you. If neutral colours look best with your complexion, and you have to wear a black, white, or gray gown, you can still add some colour to the outfit with rhinestones or other coloured beads.

Don’t overdo it. You will want to avoid beaded dresses that come with other design elements like ruffles. Also, there should only be one type of bead, be it rhinestones, faceted beads, drop beads, or crystals, and not a combination of different types.