Flattering Bridesmaid Dresses for your Closest Friends

Best friends come in all sizes and shapes. Luckily, so do bridesmaid dresses.
When a bride selects her bridesmaids, she does so based on friendship and sometimes family obligations. She does not pick bridesmaids based on how good they will look in the wedding photographs. Some of the girls may look like models and others may look like the average American woman – about 5-feet, 5-inches tall and about 165 pounds. As a result, not all bridesmaid dresses will work.
So how do you decide?

Take Stock

Look objectively at those you've asked to stand beside you on your wedding day. From short to tall, how do your bridesmaids line up? Is it generally a tall group? Or is there one that stands out from the others? Is there just one young lady who is overweight, or are there a couple of them? Is anyone who is pregnant – or will be pregnant by your wedding day?

There is no right or wrong answer. You just want to pick a dress so that your friends and family can stand proudly by your side – and vice versa. But you may want to make note of how they compare and contrast as a group. Then, visit the bridal salon or visit a bridal salon website by yourself and see what advice the professionals can offer. The bottom line is that you do not want anyone embarrassed to wear the dress you select. You can, with some effort, find one that is appropriate for everyone.

Different Dresses, Same Color

Say you have a very mixed group of bridesmaids – a couple of models and a couple of vertically challenged bridesmaids. Maybe one or two are overweight.

One easy answer is to choose the color and fabric and let the girls select the dress that best fits their shape. Many salons offer different styles of dresses in the same color. Just be sure the dresses are all cut from the same dye lot. Alternatively, you may want to select two complementary colors – one for the bridesmaids and another for the maid or matron of honor.

Consider these helpful tips for different categories of bridesmaids:

· For the pregnant bridesmaid, look for a dress that is full at the waist, allowing for a baby bump.

· For petite bridesmaids, choose a simple mid-calf length. Do not select a dress that overpowers smaller bridesmaids. Remember that a long, slim torso will create the illusion of height.

· For bridesmaids with a broad midsection, select a two-piece dress, or one that appears to be two pieces. The sash at the waist will create the illusion of a waist, which is something that women with a pear shape or inverted triangle will want.

· If a bridesmaid wants to be more covered up for church, select a dress with a jacket or wrap.

· Convertible tops paired with a matching skirt, also give bridesmaids the options of wearing the top of half of the dress in the most-becoming style for her. These tops can be worn as a halter top, strapless, cinched at the waist, one-sleeve goddess style or one that covers the shoulders.

· Very tall bridesmaids may be more comfortable with a two-piece dress that can be fitted to their height.

Hard to Fit

If you have one friend who is especially difficult to fit, you may want to take some extra steps to make sure she is comfortable with the selection. Start by looking for manufacturers who offer dresses in a wide range of sizes. If you cannot find one, ask your wedding planner or the salon representative you are working with for your own dress.

You may want to take this friend out shopping separately so she is not embarrassed by the challenges she is presenting. Let her try on dresses to see what makes her comfortable.

If you are unable to find her size in the dress the others are wearing, it may be time to approach a dressmaker who might be able to fashion a similar dress for this good friend. A good seamstress will be able to adjust the style – maybe widening the straps or raising the neckline – so that your friend is truly comfortable in her dress.

Look for a Universal Fit

When all else fails – and you, the bride, have to select one style for your bridesmaids – go with an A-line dress. With its seamless waist and slight flare from the hips, an A-line dress looks the best on everyone.

If there is any variety available, maybe your bridesmaids can choose the neckline – either a scoop neckline or a jewel neckline. One may want cap sleeves and another sleeveless. You might also decide to let every girl find the A-line dress they want, as long as it is in your color palette. Your bridesmaids will feel better about themselves and will carry themselves proudly as a result.


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