How to Pick Great Bridesmaids Dresses-or Regular Dresses!
I've still got weddings on the brain as I pack to head up to my cousin's baby shower and think about being a bridesmaid in her wedding in the spring! For brides-to-be, I'll leave the decision on whether you should have bridesmaids to you and your partner. Above, you can see some of my bridesmaids from our wedding as they processed into the garden where we got married. They chose their own dresses once they knew our wedding colors (rusty orange, chocolate brown, and cream, which I later realized looked familiar because they were the colors of our Bernese Mountain Dog...), and my mom sewed them each a raw silk orange sash. She also sewed vests for the groomsmen and my brother-in-law (playing the Andean flute) and nephew (not pictured).
If you decide to have bridesmaids, I have some tips I'd like to share with you. If you're not getting married (now or in the future or again), this is my first tip to consider when shopping for dresses for yourself, too.
Pick a fabric that is structured-it will be more flattering than a soft fabric.Let's take two Anthropologie dresses as examples. This dress? It's gorgeous. The print might be a little busy for most brides, but in the rusty orange it would have fit right into my fall wedding and those of many other brides. At first glance, it's a nice choice.
You might think "Look, Ella! The waist hits nice and high, the length isn't too short, and my friends could even wear normal bras!" But wait. This is a rayon spandex dress which, while it does redeem itself slightly with the pleating across the back, will show off every bump under it. For those of us who tend to carry a little extra weight in the lower belly, we'll look pregnant. And not in an adorable way. Someone wears a lace bra or any embellishment on their undergarments? You'll see it in every picture.
Instead, choose something structured like this dress, also from Anthropologie.
It's also got spandex, which will help with fit, and it's tencel. You might think that it will cling just like the one above, but it also has a lining. This, folks, is key! The lining will keep whatever is underneath out of sight, and those box pleats will help, too, because they hold their own shape instead of conforming to your every inch.
That's it! Consider the fabric and the shape of a dress before you order it-or even before you try it on. Instead of thinking that negative self talk about your body not being right for a dress (or all dresses if it really gets bad!), build in some success by picking a more structured dress.