Let’s be honest. Most traditional bridesmaid dresses make me want to vom.
They’re all SO blah and unflattering and made of itchy material. They're hideous. Nobody wants that.
Luckily, I didn't really need to worry about bridesmaid dresses. I went back and forth on selecting my bridal party. I would have loved to have a slew of girlfriends by my side, but in the end, I decided to keep it small. I asked my sister and my brother to stand on the altar with me. So our bridesmaid dress shopping was a LOT less painful than wedding dress shopping, thank goodness. (Read here if you're curious about that painful extravaganza.)
Even though I didn't end up needing bridesmaid dresses, I did brainstorm a few ideas that are definitely worth looking into.
The fantastic things about using Modcloth as Bridesmaid Central are that:
1. It’s generally VERY affordable.
2. Almost all of the clothing is the same style (midcentury vintage), so you can easily choose coordinating--not matching--styles for multiple ladies.
3. It’s very easy to coordinate with out-of-town bridesmaids.
4. It sits perfectly in that place that is fancier than everyday wear but not the type of fancy that tips the scales to stuffy.
Modcloth now has a bridesmaid section, but you don’t even necessarily need to stick to that section. You can simply go to Modcloth.com, select the dresses category, and choose a color and a length. You’ll see an array of dresses that more or less coordinate. You can eliminate the handful that stick out, but otherwise, you’ll have a solid selection of dresses to choose from. If you’re nervous about mixing and matching colors, choose a constant, like black, in different styles. You can use this technique with a number of stores, but I found that the selection most consistently coordinated on Modcloth.
As an Anthropologie housewares lover, I was, of course, thrilled when Anthro announced the BHLDN line of vintage-inspired dresses. There isn't a whole lot of color selection, but if you're into neutrals and pinks, there's a good amount to choose from. One word of warning: some of the dresses are better made than others, and most aren't super supportive. So these dresses aren't a great option for multiple body types. But still, they're awfully pretty.
My mom actually kicked off my love of Adrianna Papell when she picked one of these gorgeous, sparkly, but not over-the-top dresses to wear for my wedding. I had never heard of the designer before, and I fell in love with her dress, so when we looked for a dress for my sister, my one and only bridesmaid, we started in the Adrianna Pappell section at Lord & Taylor.
The dresses in this collection all have an Art Deco feel to them, and the metallics connect the look. So it’s easy to throw a few of these styles together and still look cohesive. In the end, my sister tried on one, and only one, dress, which she purchased on the spot. And we didn’t have to go to a single terrible wedding store. Hallelujah!
The moral of the story is this: think outside the box when it comes to your bridal party.
David's Bridal is no longer your only option. And a dress doesn't have to be labeled "Bridesmaid Dress" to be a bridesmaid dress. Rent the Runway now has a bridesmaid section. Ann Taylor and J. Crew now have bridal lines, and other retailers are jumping on board the wedding train, too. A good friend recently purchased her bridesmaid dresses on Piperlime. And they're awesome!
Don't let ugly dresses happen to your favorite people.
Any other suggestions for non-hideous bridesmaid dresses out there??
WRITE WITH ROSIE: WEDDING EDITION