Bridesmaids in matching outfits, and resembling big balls of cotton candy! These belong to the past. Today’s brides are smart and sensible, and want their bridesmaids to look and feel great on their big day. For this to happen, it is quintessential to toss the old rule book and make way for new rules for dressing up your bridesmaids.
So, here are few ideas that will help you dress your handpicked girls to look fabulous and add extra drama and excitement to your wedding scenery. Enjoy!
Rule 1: Mix up the textures
Here is an interesting way to give each of your bridesmaids their unique style, while keeping the look cohesive–Choose dresses in the same shade but different fabrics. With this simple switch in fabric choices, you change the overall look, but with subtlety. This option also helps brides who aren’t very sure of how to do the mix ‘n’ match concept to get it right. Dresses in the same shade but using different fabrics will easily go together, and the difference in texture will add an extra dimension of fun. Most designer collections give you plenty of colors for each design, and this allows your bridesmaids enough choices. They can choose from lace and tulle, to satin and charmeuse. Another factor is that as the fabric changes, so does the price of the dress. So, this allows your bridesmaids to choose a dress for their budget, as long as the desired color is chosen. As long as there aren’t too many accessories, it is bound to bring all the bridesmaids together. Just make sure you confirm that the dresses are of the same shade, before you give a thumbs up.
We have an example here to illustrate this idea.
Our first pick is the vintage style 8622L from the Alfred Angelo collection, in a gray color and created in soft net.
We have paired it with the 7342L from the same collection, which is an organza gown in a similar shade. Notice how the different fabrics give either dress a distinct personality, even while they come together beautifully!
Rule 2: Color block with one constant
Color blocking is an easy and uncomplicated way to bring more than one color into your bridesmaids outfits. Dressing up your bridesmaids in the same colors can resemble the original pattern of having all matching bridesmaids. This doesn’t do justice to allowing your bridesmaids shine individually. The better option is to mix up color block dresses, with different colors. However, keep one color constant throughout, so that there is a unifying factor that brings their looks together.
Let us demonstrate this with an example. Take a look at the 7344S from the Alfred Angelo bridesmaids collection. It features color blocking with a black bodice and a gray skirt.
A dress that will work well with it is the 7345S from the same collection with a black bodice and soft beige skirt. Although distinct from the first, the black bodices are strikingly similar, and this will bind the two looks together. These dresses can be chosen in any color shade in the skirt, and so make a perfect choice to play with color blocking.
Rule 3: Neutral color dresses with accessories that pop
There are two advantages to choosing bridesmaids dresses in neutral shades—your bridesmaids are more likely to use the dress again and the colors are usually easy to mix into any color palette. White, black, brown, gray and navy are neutrals that are easy to work with and form great pairings with most color palettes. These are also shades that look good on almost every skin tone. So, your bridesmaids will not have to worry about how the color clashes with their complexion.
The result is that everyone is happy, except for one small issue; not all neutral colored dresses can make that strong presence you require for your wedding. The solution—dress it up a notch with accessories in bold colors that will not go unnoticed. Choose shoes, belts or jewelry, and it will instantly add the necessary punch of color to your bridesmaids outfits. It will certainly be a better idea than having your girls dressed in unusual colors that they may not appreciate. Since they are paired with a neutral, there is no chance of the accessories going overboard. And, how about making these your bridesmaids gifts? That way, they get to use it on your wedding day and show it off. So, you now no how to add peach, sunset yellow or bubblegum pink to your bridesmaids outfits without making your girls cringe.
Take a look at this picture to see what we mean. Here, the bridesmaids dresses are a sober beige, and a bright dose of color is added through colorful heels and bouquets. By mixing up the colors, the result is interesting and lively.
Rule 4: Neutral color dresses with zingy metal and jewel tone accessories
For an ultra-stylish and glamorous look, choose neutral colored dresses and pair it with bright and beautifully designed golden accessories. There are two benefits to this choice—your bridesmaids will most likely use the neutral dress again, and the metallic accessories will also work for them on another occasion. So it is a win-win situation, where they can get the best value for their money.
Here is a beautiful black evening gown, the J4003 from the lovely Jadore collection at Best for Bride.
Featuring a wide cut scoop neckline, sheath silhouette and softly sculpted cap sleeves, the gown is a beauty by itself. However, pairing it with an oversize gold necklace, waistband and bracelet makes it a dress that personifies Hollywood glamour. We are sure your bridesmaids will be excited to have a look like this. With such brilliant accessories, they will have that festive dressy look, perfect for a wedding day. The best part is that the dress being in a neutral shade gives them so many options to dress it up differently on another occasion. So, it’s definitely not a dress that will be exiled to the confines of their closets after your big celebration.
Rule 5: Go to different lengths to vary the style
Of the different ways to keep a consistent look but add drama, one of our favorites is to vary the lengths of the various gowns while keeping the color or print constant. This gives you ample choice to choose dresses in lengths that suit different body shapes and ages. So, if you have bridesmaids from different age groups and looking entirely distinct, you can easily vary the look yet bring it all together with dresses of varying hemlines. We look at dresses from the Mori Lee bridesmaids collection to bring you two examples of dresses that can achieve this look effortlessly.
Our first choice is the navy blue tulle 112 bridesmaid gown from the Mori Lee Tulle Affairs collection.
A full-length gown in tulle, with a sweetheart neckline and interesting criss-cross ruched bodice, this dress is elegant and looks best on both tall and short bridesmaids.
Here, we pair it with the Mori Lee 11100 from the same collection.
This dress has an illusion lace neckline and cap sleeves, and a short and fun skirt that ends a little above the knee. Although the two dresses are entirely different, they make a splendid combination because of the matching color. Hence you have suitable choices both for the women who want to look elegant and the bold and fun-loving bridesmaids in your wedding party.
Rule 6: Go from dark to light in a single color
Choose colors like red or yellow, and ask your bridesmaids to pick dresses in different shades of this color. This will keep the spectrum constant, but with interesting variation. This ombre trend has been in the limelight for a while now, and is an exciting way to dress up your bridesmaids. The only thing you should remember when choosing this option for dressing your bridesmaids, is that you should choose colors that cannot vary too much. Green, purple and blue are colors that can go totally wrong, if this happens. This is because colors like turquoise can fall into both shades, although it may look entirely different from pure shades like navy blue and mint green. So, choose colors that can vary only in the intensity of the black and white they may contain, when you choose this method.
Rule 7: One color with different prints
Printed bridesmaids dresses are interesting and exciting. While you may be tempted to choose the same prints for all your bridesmaids, it is a better idea to look around and find dresses in the same color with different prints instead. This will add a subtle variation to the look, and each bridesmaid will be unique in her own way. The unifying factor will be the color that all the dresses feature, and this is all that is required to bring the overall look together. You can also consider mixing up dresses that have prints all over with those where the prints are limited to chosen areas on the dress, like the yoke or hemline. Here are two dresses from the Jadore collection. The first is the J6013 from the Jadore collection, with black prints on a beige base.
The next is the J5009 from the same collection, with the same combination of colors done entirely different.
Rule 8: Alternate plain and print
In this option, your job is relatively easy. All you have to do is finalize a color and choose one plain and one printed bridesmaid dress in it. Alternate this choice for your bridesmaids, so you have equal numbers wearing the plain colored dress, and the same number wearing printed dresses. By keeping the designs uniform and the hemlines of both styles the same, the entire group looks well coordinated and classy.
Here is a wedding party that has achieved this result with alternate plain and printed purple dresses.
The printed purple dresses feature very subtle white floral prints all over the length of the gown. The dresses blend well with the plain purple dresses that the rest of the bridesmaids wear. What we specifically loved about this combination is that the plain dresses are not exactly similar, each one features a different neckline. Thus we can safely conclude that each bridesmaid has her distinct style of dress, and yet gels in with the group seamlessly.
Rule 9: Add variety with infinity dresses
Infinity dresses are basically dresses that can be worn in various different styles. It is the true convertible dress. Here, the fabric left in the neckline and bodice to be wrapped in different ways to yield different looks. By draping the top half of the dress in different ways, you can achieve different necklines like the one-shoulder strap, strapless neckline, cap-sleeve look and more. This dress allows each of your bridesmaids to wear the style that flatters her most. Hence, it is versatile and everyone ends up happy. Check out this article on My Wedding website, which illustrates the different ways in which an infinity dress can be draped. With this choice, you play it safe by choosing the same color for all. Even so, each has her personal style enhanced with a suitable pattern.
Rule 10: Same style, different prints
We have seen prints and plains as well as textures in the same color and pattern. Now, the only one left to experiment with is prints in the same pattern. This is a fun and exciting way to make your bridesmaids stand out from the rest of the crowd. Printed dresses make them look different from typical bridesmaids, but the unifying design brings the entire party together instantly. Here is a sample.
In this picture, the pretty bridesmaids sport strapless dresses with vibrant prints. The hemline is uniform, and ends at mid-thigh. The dress also features a bow detail at the waistline, making all three dresses unusually cohesive.
Hope you now have enough inspiration to mix and match and perfect your bridesmaids dress looks. For more exciting inputs on styling your wedding, as well as for all your wedding shopping needs, continue visiting us at Best for Bride—your one stop bridal destination.