It's the 21st century, so the days of bland, boring, or beastly bridesmaid dresses are long gone. Wedding fashion rules have changed. Today, it's all about affordable flattering flairs to fit all the shapes and skin tones of your wedding party.
Mixing and matching bridesmaid dresses, when done thoughtfully, can be one of the highlights of your wedding ambiance. So, think outside the box — these creative suggestions will get your party started in grand style.
Basic colors go a long way in fashion design. One way you can brighten up your bridesmaid cast is with varying solid colors. A fundamental dress style available in a rainbow of single-tone hues is lively enough to add zest to your wedding without overshadowing the bride.
Pastels work well for spring weddings, while primaries are great for summer affairs. Paired with simple white bouquets, this will be an elegant display of minimalist modesty.
Nothing exemplifies class and feminine grace better than a dose of velvet and lace. This dynamic duo is wonderful for winter or autumn weddings. A contrast dress in scarlet with black lace is stunning. Or try navy blue with an off-white shawl.
Velvet looks magnificent when it emphasizes the upper body. One-shoulder or off-the shoulder dresses add a touch of formality, while a velvet wrap or other accessories will tie the whole ensemble together.
Taking the route of budget-friendly bohemian, thrift stores are a go-to resource. Give your gals some guidelines and then let them loose in a secondhand shop. If you're able to all get together, make a day of it. Instead of spending hours in a bridal shop, have lunch and go thrifting together. It'll be so much fun mixing and matching with each other.
It's likely that everyone in your wedding party has a different physique. Don't make your bridesmaids feel self-conscious or uncomfortable in their garb. Instead, let them choose what works best for them.
Start with one or two colors. Let your party find complementing outfits (no one says they have to be dresses, either) that fit their body types: they can each emphasize their best features. Long sleeves, loose-fit, plunging necklines, and slit styles all work well together, adding personality to your bridal party while making everyone feel beautiful.
Don't think of gray as a mundane color. There's a lot you can do with it, beginning with the tones. Transition shares for an elegant flow of grayscale.
Begin with the white bridal gown, then it's up to you. The maid-of-honor can contrast in black, with the bridesmaids all wearing various shades of gray. This equally works well with the same, similar, or divergent styles of dresses.
Especially in the cooler months, metallics always rule the day. Beads, sequins, bold fabrics, and glitter will make your best folks shine. Mix the colors for a silver-and-gold theme, emphasize shimmering textiles in assorted hues, or select one shade and go for a paradox of dazzling uniformity. Add a gutsy statement with eye-catching accessories like glitzy hair clips, jewelry, and shoes.
Make things interesting by going against the grain. Two-piece dresses offer depth and sophistication. Plus, they provide more comfort and maneurverabilty over standard designs, especially if the fabric is stiff or thick. They're also great because they give off a nice tactile and aesthetic aura.
With many styles available, you can select an orderly look, or go with a mix-and-match set designed with correlating colors, materials, and patterns.
It's no longer taboo to select white as a bridesmaid color. The bride will still get all the attention, but letting your leading lot share the color will only enhance your own attire. Perhaps go with a plain, sleek, no-frills design. Maybe a boho-style of assorted summer dresses is your thing. Rustic and ruffles work well, too.
Get adventurous with fabric. Go wild with texture. Pick a color or two: black works well, but anything will do as long as the outfits are from the same dye lot. Then allow your party to select what they want. This will add character to your wedding photos.
Chiffon, satin, organza, crushed velvet, linen, and velour are some great textures. If you're courageous and want to go against the norm, denim, corduroy, and leather are entertaining, too.
Go country with soft florals. Sweet and innocent, an unassuming cotton dress will turn any wedding VIP into an instant charmer. If you don't want to go overboard with a print, only use one or two, and contrast the look with a few complementing solid outfits. This is a sweet look if you want a simple, light, and summery vibe that isn't over the top.
Let your wedding party be the bouquet. Pick as many colors as you have bridesmaids: don't be afraid to take their suggestions. Then, figure out a stylish floral arrangement with one flower for each selection. Assign or let them choose one of these colors. Dress designs can be alike or vary. Shoes can match the color, or select one coordinating style for everyone.
If you're an eclectic person, then basic simply won't do. Patterned dresses can give you the collage of diversity you're seeking, and when done right, it will look quite soft and elegant.
Select a main color, then let creativity take over: tie-dyes, plaids, camo, zig-zags, stripes, and flowers are all fair game. Tie everyone's ensemble together with coordinating accessories in a shared neutral color.
For a classy look, tone down the materials of the dress. Treat it as a blank canvas that's being painted with stunning bouquets and attractive accessories. Emphasize some killer shoes, too. Do this by focusing on length.
Dress lengths are a lot of fun. Aside from short versus long, there's a lot you can do to enliven your wedding party's style but still keep their look on the low-key side. High-low, tulip, A-line, slits, shin-length, ballet-inspired, ruffled, or midi: the sky's the limit. Let each of your party select a different effect.
Delicate vintage and antique neutrals exude dignity and taste. For a gentle look, you can't beat styles inspired by the past. Secondhand shops are a treasure trove for discovering the perfect mix of dresses, or you can find their modern-day counterparts in stores or online.
If you don't want to keep it tame, there are plenty of other blast-from-the-past options. Exciting themes like the roaring '20s or 1980s glam will be a big hit.
Dare to be different by ditching dresses altogether. Pants are quickly becoming a mainstream trend in bridal fashion. Pantsuits, exaggerated trousers, elegant jumpsuits, and even sleek tuxedos all are acceptable versions of bridesmaid gear.
If you're getting wild with the styles, you might want to keep the pattern and color on the simple side (or not — you do you!). Mix accessories and hairstyles, or keep them uniform, as well.