How To Shop For Dresses That Will Flatter Every Bridesmaid
Depending on your number, choosing dresses to flatter every bridesmaid can be trying on you and your maids! Bridesmaid dresses may traditionally match, but bridesmaids certainly don’t! Women come in all shapes and sizes, and with all kinds of taste preferences, to boot. That’s why so many brides struggle to choose a dress that ALL of their bridesmaids will look good in and feel fabulous wearing.
It may not be possible to please every bridesmaid, but with a little planning, you can please most of them. Even if the dresses you choose aren’t what your bridesmaids would normally have chosen for themselves, you can at least choose dresses in a style that is universally flattering, like an A-line, a maxi dress, or a sheath dress. A solid colour dress in a matte fabric will be slimming on every figure, and design features such as structure, sleeve length, and neckline will make a huge difference to your bridesmaids look and how they feel.
The Classic A-Line Gown
If you’re a more traditional bride who wants every bridesmaid to wear identical wedding party dresses, then an A-line dress is the way to go. This classic style, which features a fitted bodice and a flared skirt, is widely hailed as one of the most universally flattering dresses. Almost every woman looks good in an A-line dress. Choose one with a well-structured bodice to flatter both curvy and athletic body types. Make sure the neckline is high enough that busty bridesmaids don’t feel exposed. Women with apple-shaped bodies may prefer their gown tailored with an empire waistline also.
The Maxi Dress
Maxi dresses are another great style that flatters every body type. They’re an especially good choice when one — or more — of your bridesmaids is pregnant! A sweetheart neckline will flatter less-well-endowed bridesmaids while protecting bustier women from looking shelf-like up top. Make sure the maxi dress is well-fitted, and that the length of the hemline allows for the height of the wearer’s shoes.
The Sheath Dress
Believe it or not, a sheath dress can be flattering on many different body types. You might think that plus-size women would look best in a full or flowing style that incorporates lots of concealing fabric, but the fact is that extra fabric just serves to make larger women look even larger. Instead, a sheath dress can accentuate the waist and draw attention to a curvier woman’s hourglass proportions, for a more streamlined and shapely look.
Colours and Features
You’ve probably heard that black, and other dark colours, are slimming, but the same goes for any monotone gown. Choose any colour you want for your bridesmaid dresses — even white — but be sure to flatter everyone with a solid colour dress. A matte fabric is best.
One way to make sure that a single style of dress flatters multiple women is to choose features such as sleeve-length, necklines, and concealing frills carefully. Three-quarter sleeves are a safe bet, as they tend to look elegant and stately on women of any age and size. If you’ve got a mix of thin, athletic, and curvy women on your wedding party, consider a high neckline with a rigidly structured bodice. A dress that is made with sturdy fabric and a strong internal structure will look better, across the board, than a loose and billowing dress.
Look for subtle, but flattering, design features; a sheath skirt that comes to just below the knee, for example, will make the legs look longer. Ruching at the waist will conceal a larger tummy; a long skirt slit to the knee has a slimming effect, too. These features tend to look well on women of all body types. High-low hemlines can also be fun and flattering, just as long as the high part of the hemline rises no further than, say, the knee.