Can’t decide how to choose bridesmaid dresses? If you’re wondering what kind of bridesmaid dress should I get, you’ve come to the right place! Find out everything you need to know plus where to shop in the post below. Subscribe for more tips like this!
One of the most daunting tasks of wedding planning is choosing bridesmaid dresses. There are more options than ever before, which is great; however, with so many choices, it can feel overwhelming to decide on the look you want for your bridal party. In this blog post, you’ll learn easy tips to make finding the perfect dress for your bridesmaids easier than you can imagine. Plus, we’re sharing sixteen of the top trending styles for dresses this year based on bridesmaids’ reviews. Scroll down to see them all!
So, grab a big cup of coffee (mine is a double this morning!), and let’s get started.
How to Choose Bridesmaid Dresses
You may think about picking the color first when you choose bridesmaid dresses. Color is important but it’s also crucial to consider the fabric of the dress. Read on to see why.
Choosing the Right Fabrics and Colors
First, consider the fabric of the outfits you select. Your goal is to find bridesmaid dresses in a similar fabric and, of course, in a color that suits your wedding palette beautifully.
The most important thing BEFORE you choose the dress is this: the bridesmaids’ dresses should complement the bride’s dress in formality.
► A formal bridal gown = formal bridesmaid dresses
► A casual or laid-back wedding dress = less formal bridesmaid dresses
When in doubt, look to the fabric of your gown. Are you wearing a satin gown? Outfit bridesmaids in the same shiny luxe material. Are you choosing chiffon? Choose bridesmaid dresses in soft, flowy chiffon dresses, too.
In doing so, bridesmaids will be dressed in the proper attire most appropriate for the wedding dress code.
For cooler months, look to longer-lengths and heavier fabrics. Duchess satin in the winter offers a nice heavier material to keep bridesmaids warm.
For warm months, opt for necklines that are strapless or sleeveless so everyone is comfortable, and opt for short hems or midi-length for extremely humid temps.
Should bridesmaids have the same neckline as the bride?
This is a common question but the answer is no, not necessarily. The most important part is to match the formality. The neckline of bridesmaid dresses does NOT have to match the bride.
Once you’ve decided on fabric, consider the color. You’ll want to pick a perfect color that flatters all skin tones. This color should also coordinate with your wedding palette in some way.
If it helps to go to a store in person, ask bridesmaids to meet you at a bridal shop to try on dresses initially. This doesn’t mean you have to choose the dress immediately, but you’ll get a good idea — and input from your bridesmaids — on what looks best on them for color, silhouette, and cut.
You’ll be happy to know that many of the popular bridesmaid dress colors this year are readily available at all bridesmaid dress shops. The shades include sage green, rusty rose, dusty blue, lavender, rust (and burnt orange), and vibrant jewel tones, just to name a few.
If a popular color doesn’t suit your style, don’t choose it just because it’s a trend. Trends don’t last, but the classics do. :)
Flattering Fits for Bridesmaids’ Body Types
It is just as important to find flattering dresses for all bridesmaids, as it is to choose the right color and fabric.
Your bridesmaids deserve to look and feel their best.
What kind of bridesmaid dress looks good on everyone?
What is the best bridesmaid dress to choose that will flatter everyone?
Don’t forget to pick flattering bridesmaid dresses for fuller figures.
There are two dress styles for bridesmaids that tend to look good on everyone. This is your goal: you want bridesmaids to feel good and look beautiful in the dress you choose.
Convertible Bridesmaid Dresses
Convertible styles are the most flattering bridesmaid dresses for all body types.
This style by Etsy shop RadiantRooster has rave reviews. They offer SO MANY COLORS — it’s amazing! These are on sale now for only $51+ each, so get this steal while it lasts.
This dress is available here in multiple colors. Note: you can wear it many different ways, as shown in the third photo below.
Alternatively, you can opt for a long-length maxi dress with a surplice bodice. It has a universally flattering fit. This dress is available at Lulu’s here in a variety of colors and the fabric is a nice heavier material that drapes nicely. It is available in many sizes and has great reviews from shoppers.
3 Ways to Pick Bridesmaid Dress Styles
So, keeping flattery at the forefront, here are three ways to choose what kind of dresses for your bridesmaids to wear.
1. Pick the same bridesmaid dress for all bridesmaids
This is the most common option for the bride who wants complete control over the style, color, and type of bridesmaid dress worn at the wedding.
► It is easier for them, as they don’t need to spend time picking out a dress themselves
► You can usually save money by ordering the same dresses altogether, applying a coupon code or discount, and combining shipping costs
► You have complete input on dress style
► You can be mindful of the affordability of the dresses by choosing a style that is cost-effective
► Not everyone looks good in the same cut and style, so consider flattering fits for all before selecting this option.
► All the pressure is on you to make sure you pick a nice dress for everyone to wear
If you are planning to choose one dress for all bridesmaids to wear, consider convertible dresses like these.
A convertible bridesmaid dress is one dress worn several ways: halter, cross neck, strapless, one shoulder, etc. By selecting this style of dress, your bridesmaids get to wear it any way they like even change it up mid-reception just for fun. They can accentuate their unique shape, style, and curves — plus, you get a nice array of different styles in your photos in one cohesive color.
2. Choose the same color for all bridesmaid dresses
Option two is to pick one color and let bridesmaids pick their own dresses.
Here’s an example (these dresses are from Lulus):
This can be a great way to let their creativity shine especially if you’re not particular on a certain style.
It is important to note that different colors look lighter or darker depending on the fabric choice, so a satin dusty blue may look different than a chiffon dusty blue. To keep everyone looking more uniform, choose a color that is pretty similar across the board like navy blue, grey, or black.
You may want to keep one, or several, rules in place such as: all dresses should be floor length or knee length, the same fabric, or from the same store in order to maintain a more cohesive look.
► Bridesmaids get the fun of picking a dress they like — and may already own!
► Your attendants get full control over the price they pay so they can spend more or less, depending on what they want
► Your bridal party is more likely to wear the dress again if they selected it
► Attendants get to pick the style, while the bride still has final say over the color
► The bride has less input over the dress selections and may need to communicate if a dress isn’t the style preferred
► Bridesmaids may choose varying shades, depending on the retailer or fabric they select
3. Let bridesmaids pick their own dresses
If you’re ready to get wild and crazy — only kidding! — go with the 3rd option. This is the best choice for the bride who wants to give her bridesmaids free reign when choosing dresses and isn’t so particular on what everyone wears.
The number one rule when choosing this option is to keep lines of communication open. It may be necessary to ask bridesmaids to send you a photo of the dress before they buy it in order to visualize how it is going to look in your wedding.
You can tell bridesmaids to pick their own dress from an array of colors that will suit the color palette nicely.
Your bridal party will then find a dress — any dress! — and wear it to your wedding.
► Bridesmaids have full control and will pretty much love their dresses!
► Your bridesmaids will likely wear the dress again
► You can delegate the task of choosing bridesmaid dresses and not stress about it so much
► This is not ideal for a bride who wants control over the look and style, as this is pretty much handing it over to bridesmaids :)
► The dresses may look amazing together — or they may not if someone chooses a style that doesn’t align with your theme or palette
Once you figure out which path you’ll choose for picking the dresses, here are a few other tips to keep in mind.
Maximize Comfort and Style
Make sure the dresses you select make bridesmaids feel comfortable. This is often easier when they pick their own outfit because they can choose the perfect bridesmaid dress for their body type.
If there is an issue with a low-cut top or a length that is too short, discuss it with bridesmaids and take their input into consideration. Communication is important!
Keep It Affordable
Make sure you keep affordability as a huge factor when you pick bridesmaid dresses. Remember, this is one dress they likely won’t wear again, no matter how beautiful it may be. :)
What is reasonable to spend on bridesmaid dresses?
The ideal price range for an affordable bridesmaid dress is, on average, anywhere from $75 to $200. Aim to keep costs under the $200 range, if possible, to allow additional funds for alterations.
Who normally pays for bridesmaid dresses?
Traditionally speaking, bridesmaids cover the cost of their own bridesmaid dresses. If the couple wishes to cover the costs of the dresses for bridesmaids, they may; although, it is not required.
Pick the Best Dress Designer to Maximize Budget
One trick is knowing where to shop bridesmaid dresses online. For a shortlist, I recommend Lulu’s, Anthropologie, or Azazie when you’re ready to shop.
To me, these are the best bridesmaid dresses because they hit all the marks: they’re trendy, they offer terrific reviews, and they’re affordable. Plus, they offer dresses available online for purchase, making it easy for your bridal party to shop from home wherever they may live.
Each of the above retailers offers its own unique bridesmaid dress collection, so you know they’re the experts in the industry. I’ve tried dresses from Amazon before, but they’re just too cheap at times to recommend and the quality is not as consistent as I’ve found at the above shops.
If I were choosing dresses, I’d want my bridesmaids to shop at any of those three stores.
Best Bridesmaid Dresses
Now that you know how to find the perfect dresses for your bridesmaids, let’s have some fun and start shopping!
I’m rounding up the best bridesmaid dresses to flatter each bridesmaid perfectly with the right color, style, and accessories. Read on for the complete list of 16 of our top picks for bridesmaid dresses for 2023. These are all by reliable designers and brands, so shopping should be a breeze.
In addition, these dresses are easy to choose: just click on an image and it will take you directly to that item listing for more details or to purchase. No need to search endless lists to find the dress, it’s right there for you. :)
I hope it helps!
1. Terracotta Bridesmaid Dress, $89
2. Long Sleeve Bridesmaid Dresses in Blush, $89
3. Rusty Rose Convertible Dress, $89
4. Square-Neck Crepe Dress, $220
5. Black Sleeveless Maxi, $99
When in doubt, a black sleeveless maxi is always a perfect choice! Picking bridesmaid dresses in black means they’ll have the perfect black dress to wear for all occasions, so that’s a huge benefit! Other colors are available here. By Lulus.
6. High Neckline Light Green Dress, $119
7. Forest Green Maxi, $89
8. Copper Satin Mock Neck, $89
9. Halter Satin Charmeuse, $220
10. Chiffon Black Halter, $129
Bridesmaids will love to wear this little black dress to your formal wedding! If needed, other colors are available; the cut and fit on this dress is so flowy! I love the way the halter neckline looks. By Azazie. See it here.
11. Lilac Maxi, $89
12. Slate Blue Maxi with Cap Sleeves, $89
13. Floral Print Organza Maxi in Purple, $99
14. Sage Long Length Maxi Dress, $129
15. Cowl Neck Emerald Green Bridesmaid Dress, $112
16. Slate Blue Off-the-Shoulder, $88
ON TO YOU: We want to hear from you! Share your tips and stories of favorite bridesmaid dresses — or not-so-great experiences — in the comments below.