The main consideration when you’re picking a bridesmaid dress is that you want your wedding party to look and feel great. If you want them to look their best, they need to feel their best, which sometimes means you should consider their style and opinion more than your own (within reason, of course!).
And remember: It doesn’t have to specifically be a bridesmaid dress; feel free to pick something that’s not bridal-specific. Scour your favorite magazines, Web sites, designers, etc. to get some fashion inspiration before narrowing your search. “Lucky” recommends focusing on two key factors — look and fit:
The bridal gown will be chosen first, so it is important that the party dresses match the tone of the bride’s (i.e., if the bride‘s gown is superelegant, the bridesmaids should mirror that).
Remember that one of the main reasons for having your bridesmaids wear the same color is to have your pictures look fantastic. The entire wedding party should paint a picture — keep in mind the groomsmen, the flowers, the centerpieces, the location — it should all blend beautifully.
The first step in finding a perfect fit is to consider the body types you are working with. Being that you will likely have three or more bridesmaids, you can be pretty sure that they will not all be the same size. You want to look for a design that can be figure flattering on multiple shapes and sizes.
One of our favorite new trends in bridal design is the one dress that can be worn tons of different ways. This way, each bridesmaid can cover what she feels self-conscious about and flaunt her favorite parts. Also, everyone will look slightly different, adding a hint of personality to the party.
Companies like J. Crew have tons of gorgeous styles in a bevy of color options so you can allow each bridesmaid to choose her favorite style while guiding her to the color that you prefer.
Another way to ensure a great fit: You can even open up the responsibility and choose a foolproof color like black or navy and have your bridesmaids choose their own dresses. It will make for a more eclectic-looking overall picture, but everyone can feel confident and love what they are wearing.
Other things to consider:
Comfort is the most important factor here. Hopefully, if the party goes as planned, the bridesmaids will be on the dance floor all night. They will need comfortable styles so that they aren't in serious pain by the end of it. Look for styles that have thick, low heels for added support. It always looks great to have the bridesmaids wear matching styles, but choosing a color (gold or silver is quite standard) can allow for each girl to find a style that fits her foot best. The Web site Endless.com is a fantastic resource for shoes; you can search by price and color and tons of other categories.
Keep in mind that if you are planning an outdoor wedding, heels can become a bit of a hazard — getting stuck in the mud while you walk down the aisle is not exactly how you may have planned the entrance! Perhaps look for dressy flats or dainty wedges.
Pick a color that compliments the dress, perhaps a lighter shade in the same color family as the dress, or a gold or silver to accent the shoes. There are tons of ways to add some flare to a simple dress with hair accessories.
In the summertime, we recommend pulling back the hair in a loose, low bun or a flirty ponytail. Any chance to stay cool and comfortable in the outdoors is key.
Keep your makeup light and simple. Try a pink-toned blush and a highlighter for your cheekbones. Also, neutral-colored lip color is definitely the way to go. A bridesmaid shouldn’t stand out too much in the wedding party — the day is about the bride. Let her shine!
We recommend that bridesmaids’ accessories are kept uniform. A big, bold necklace can add some serious personal style to a simple dress. A pair of simple stud earrings can streamline a more intense style. For superaffordable options, check out places like Claire’s or Girlprops. They have all of the classic styles you might be looking for and tons of stock, so you can get matching items for the whole bridal party.
For more great style tips, visit Lucky magazine.