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Tips & Guide

What Is Rust? Bridesmaid Dress Color Dictionary

/ Post by Emma Johnson in / 0 comments

For the months leading up to your big day, you have to become an interior decorator, project manager, and most importantly, a fashion designer to a whole crew of people.

Especially when it comes to crafting your wedding color palette, you may feel like a lost duck. Throw in confusing color names, and things get a whole lot more nerve-wracking!

But at Chicsew, we’re going to help you out one color at a time— today’s topic being the color rust. As one of the most popular bridesmaid dress colors around the world, rust is an important color to familiarize yourself with so you can craft a color palette that makes everyone think, “WOW!” Let’s get started with the basics:

What Is Rust Color?

Rust was first recorded as a color in 1962, getting its name from the word “rusta” which means redness. You’ll definitely notice it as a dark orange-brown hue that seems more subdued and less vibrant than a pure red or orange, resembling the appearance of iron oxide.

It makes up for a warm, earthy color that combines deep reddish-orange with brown undertones. This color also often appears as a medium to dark shade of orange, with a muted, somewhat matte finish!

What Does the Color Rust Signify?

The color rust is a symbol for many concepts you might want to showcase at your wedding. Some of them include:

  • Warmth
  • Strength
  • Regality
  • Connection with earth
  • Wisdom

The Origin and History of Rust

While it’s not clear when the use of the color rust began in fashion, there is one recorded event that put the color rust into the list of regal colors. In 1840, the Queen of England wore a rust-colored headdress, adorned with intricate detailing, adding a regal touch to her ensemble.

Since then, the color has made its debut in wedding events throughout the world. The 1920s saw the color being woven into dresses and accessories. During the 1960s and 1970s, rust was taking over rustic and bohemian-themed weddings.

Several couples-to-be-wed choose rust for its organic feel, incorporating it into everything from floral arrangements to bridesmaid dresses, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere everyone loves. Then came the contemporary revival in recent years where rust plays a significant role in both chic celebrations and rustic barn weddings!

How Is the Rust Color Used for?

Due to its versatile appeal, rust color is most commonly used in fashion, interior design, and even wedding events! The color utilizes its earthy tones to create a warm and cozy invite, whether it is a celebratory event or your room.

In fact, rust has become a trendy choice for weddings and special events. It's often used for bridesmaid dresses, floral arrangements, table linens, and decor accents. From rustic to bohemian and even modern elegance, the color fits various wedding themes… so the hype is rather understandable!

Is Rust A Good Color for Weddings?

Yes, rust is one of the best colors for weddings and celebrations! While many weddings will focus more on opting for lighter colors, rust brings a special pop to your wedding colors and adds a neutral richness to your wedding color palette.

As a blend of subtle elegance and sophistication, rust works exceptionally with various themes and color schemes, making it a bride’s top choice for bridesmaid dress colors! Plus, you can’t beat the timeless appeal of this burnt orange tone!

What Colors Go Best with Rust?

Before you can make your choice, it’s important to find out what colors go best with rust. And you’re in luck because we’ve gathered the top 5 colors that complement rust!

Perhaps the best pairing you can do for rust is picking neutral colors like gray or ivory. These colors create a clean slate effect that allows the rust to shine through much more beautifully. You can also opt to add a little gold here and there to add a regal feel to your wedding but make sure it’s not in excess.

If you want to create a more vibrant and striking palette, deep jewel tones like emerald green or navy blue can offer a stunning contrast. These classic colors create a bold and dramatic effect that complements rust's warmth while adding depth and sophistication to your overall look!

Tip: Avoid intense blue tones when considering a complementary color for rust as they can cause an uneasy clash in your color palette.

Why Should You Choose Rust Bridesmaid Dresses?

If you’re still on the fence about adding rust to your wedding colors, we have more to unpack. As one of the most popular bridesmaid dress colors, here are five reasons why rust bridesmaid dresses are a fantastic choice worth considering:

Suit every skin tone

Recently, color theory has taken the internet (and the world) by storm. Whether it’s beauty influencers showing you how one lipstick can look like different colors on two skin tones to the Korean personal color analysis hype, one thing is for certain: some colors just don’t bring out your best!

But if you’re looking for a color that fits all skin tones and undertones, rust fits the bill. This color will bring out the natural warmth in your complexion if you’re on the paler end. For gals on the warmer or darker end, rust color will make your skin tone pop, highlight your dusky tone, and give you a beautiful glow.

Give the perfect autumn/summer vibe

What’s better than a wedding? A wedding that reflects the season it's happening within! Fortunately, rust captures the essence of both autumn and summer perfectly. Its warm, earthy tones remind us of cozy fall days, with the rich colors of falling leaves and the crispness in the air.

At the same time, its vibrant hue also brings to mind sunny summer afternoons, evoking images of glowing sunsets and warm, balmy evenings! This dual-season appeal makes rust an ideal choice no matter the time of year, adding a natural, lovely vibe to your wedding!

Look glamorous without upstaging the bride

Perhaps one of the toughest choices you can make when shopping for bridesmaid dresses is picking a dress that lets the bridesmaids look their best without stealing the spotlight from the bride. More often than not, brides tend to choose dresses that focus more on ensuring the bridesmaid dress isn’t too pretty and that can hit your bridesmaid's confidence at the core.

Want to show your own pizzazz without upstaging the bride-to-be? There’s no better bet than a rust bridesmaid dress! Rust bridesmaid dresses allow your crew to look stunning and unique on your big day while all eyes stay on you.

Work beyond the weddings

Bridesmaid dresses are too expensive of an investment for a one-time event— we get it. But here’s where rust-colored bridesmaid dresses beat everything else. Because of its subtle elegance, rust bridesmaid dresses can be worn repeatedly for several different occasions.

Whether it is a suit-and-tie event, a graduation, or a fancy celebration, rust bridesmaid dresses are worth the price tag.

One of the top bridesmaid colors

If you want something to validate your desire for rust elements in your wedding, here’s a fun fact: rust is one of the most popular bridesmaid colors nationwide! Because the color adds depth to your wedding color palette, many bridesmaids love this color— a symbol of traditional romance!

The color also has many warm and cool complementary tones, making it a perfect addition to your wedding plans.

How to Style A Rust Bridesmaid Dress?

Styling a rust bridesmaid dress is as creative a task as one can get! Because this color screams regal and effortlessly glamorous, styling it means being very careful with your choices.


Start with accessories that accentuate the warm hues of rust. Gold or bronze jewelry adds a touch of elegance and complements the dress beautifully— especially for gals with warmer undertones. Cooler undertones can rock the rust color with silver or platinum jewelry!

You can also opt for statement earrings or a delicate necklace to draw attention to the neckline without overpowering the dress's color. Statement necklaces are a no-go for rust bridesmaid dresses.


When it comes to hair, loose curls are often the way to go, allowing you to look warm and romantic at the same time. As a deep color in itself, rust goes best with light makeup that focuses on warm but muted colors. We’re talking bronze eyeshadow, peachy blush, and perhaps a red lip to make it pop!


Consider the bouquet as well when styling rust bridesmaid dresses. Bouquets with rich, autumnal colors like deep reds, oranges, and burgundies complement the rust dress while adding depth and texture to the bridal party's overall look.

Looking for the perfect rust bridesmaid dress for your crew?

Already sold on the idea of a rust bridesmaid dress? Well, we have just the thing for you! At Chicsew, we know what it's like to plan a wedding, especially when it comes to the wedding attire.

Since 2012, we have styled thousands of bridesmaids in our rust-colored bridesmaid dresses. With the ability to get free color swatches and 5 fabrics to choose from, check out our rust bridesmaid dress collection to find a dress that gives your wedding that wow factor! After all, what’s not to love about chic?!

What Is the Alternative Color to Rust?

If you can’t find the perfect rust tone for your bridesmaids, terracotta can be your next best alternative! This warm, earthy shade closely resembles the color of natural clay and is quite similar to rust. Both colors share the same warm aesthetic and can be interchangeably used with little difference.

The only difference they hold is that rust holds a deeper, reddish-brown appearance while terracotta looks like a muted orange color with brown undertones. You can also opt for the following colors instead of rust to stay on a similar color palette:

Final Thoughts

Rust bridesmaid dresses are a win-win! As one of the warmest colors signifying devotion and the passage of time, rust is one of the top color picks for weddings across the world. In some cultures, it’s actually a color specific for brides only! And why shouldn’t it be?

They look great on everyone, suit any season, keep the focus on the bride, can be worn again, and are right on trend. What’s not to love, right?


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