Many cultures intuitively equate white with purity and virginity. But there are other reasons for a bride to wear white. Into the early 20th century, a white dress spoke volumes about a bride's wealth. Because it was (and still is) an easily soiled color, only the rich could afford servants to keep a white garment clean. As a result, brides usually chose darker colors better suited for multiple wearings. During the Great Depression, a bride's Sunday best doubled as matrimonial garb. But America's post-World War II economic affluence, increased production of synthetic fabrics like rayon and nylon, and the arrival of a full-bore wedding industry made white wedding dresses available for seemingly every social bracket.