It’s unlikely that all of your bridesmaids are going to have the same style, build and height. They’ll all have good points that they’ll want to accentuate and some not-so-good points that they’ll want to hide. Let’s take a look at how to dress your girls to suit their style and shape so they feel happy and confident on the big day.
You’ve chosen your bridesmaids because they’re your closest friends, they’re girls that you can rely on and, in turn, they’re trusting you to make them look amazing on your wedding day.
Thankfully, times have moved on from days when you had to dress your bridesmaids in identical frocks. It’s far more flattering and ‘now’ to dress your girls in bridesmaids’ dresses that really suit them.
The colours don’t have to be the same shade, either. You could go for an ombre effect and dress your maids in different shades of pink that go from the lightest blush to the deepest fuchsia. It’s very flattering and bang on trend!
Let’s talk length
You’ll probably be able to find dresses for your maids in cocktail length, tea-length or floor-length.
You’ll want a length that’s going to flatter your girls. If one of your maids has a fabulous pair of pins that she’s happy to show off, then let her wear a dazzling cocktail-length number. If somebody else likes their ankles, but isn’t too keen on the rest of their legs, then opt for tea-length. And, of course, if they’d rather keep their legs hidden altogether, then go for a full-length gown. They’ll feel happier and more relaxed and that will make them look much better in your wedding photographs.
What about busts?
For small busts…
Halter necklines are great for bridesmaids’ with small busts who want to accentuate their pretty arms and shoulders. Anybody with a large bust should avoid this style though, especially girls with broad shoulders, as it will make them look even bigger.
Spaghetti-strap dresses are also great for girls who have less on top. They’re light, feminine and look gorgeous.
Another option is a cowl neckline. This gives the effect of more ‘volume’ to a bust and is good for pear shaped girls. Another good neckline for small busts is the boat neckline that goes straight across at the top.
For big busts…
If you have girls that are more generously proportioned up top then opt to dress them in a gown with a scoop neckline. This will flatter their ample bosoms and give them a shapely look in your pictures. Make sure everyone has the right underwear, too, so that your chosen dresses hang in the way they are supposed to!
Sweetheart necklines are always a popular choice for bridesmaid dresses and suit all figures, shapes and busts. It gives support and creates the illusion of more up top, if that’s what you want.
Strapless dresses are best for girls who have average-sized busts. Too small and they’ll just look flat chested, too big and they’ll be spilling out everywhere, which is pretty unflattering. Look for dresses with a built-in bra if possible. Get your girls to don their frocks and forget about them – hitching up a strapless dress every two minutes is not a good look and not the sophisticated image you’re after.
Off-the-shoulder is another style that is good for all bridesmaids, unless they have particularly heavy arms. Consider a wrap or shrug if this is the case.
Necklines… explained by Dessy
Matchy-matchy is out – dressing your girls in the best styles for them is in, in, in! So here’s how to choose the right necklines for your girls, with a little help from bridesmaid experts Dessy and their glamorous After Six collection…
Sweetheart necklines are always a popular choice for bridesmaid dresses and suit all figures, shapes and busts. It gives support and creates the illusion of more up top, if that’s what you want. Strapless dresses are best for girls who have average-sized busts. Too small and they’ll just look flat chested, too big and they’ll be spilling out everywhere, which is pretty unflattering. Look for dresses with a built-in bra if possible. Get your girls to don their frocks and forget about them – hitching up a strapless dress every two minutes is not a good look and not the sophisticated image you’re after. Sweetheart necklines also help to enlongate the neck.
This is a good option for broader bridesmaids because this design will make the shoulders appear smaller and closer together. Avoid a one-shoulder neckline if your bridesmaids have particularly heavy arms, and consider a wrap or bolero if this is the case. One-shoulder gowns work on most body shapes so this is a great unifying choice if you have a lot of bridesmaids.
A V-neckline on a dress will help to minimise the width of your bridesmaid’s bust and elongate her neck. Great for girls with larger boobs, a V-neckline is also a good choice if your bridesmaids have larger upper arms. This shape is universally flattering but do watch the cut – A very high V-neckline can make a large bust look saggy, while a plunging V-neckline can be too revealing, especially at a church ceremony. Bear in mind also that a wide V-neckline helps to balance out pear shapes.
The high, sheer or illusion neckline is a huge trend in bridal going into 2014 and the trend is now making its way over to bridesmaids too. This gives your girls quite a formal look – it’s still sexy without being too over the top. This high neckline works particularly well on girls with bony collarbones.
Choosing the correct underwear
You must remember that for a dress to look really good, your maids will need to wear the right sort of underwear.
First things first – choose the correct bra. Strapless or adjustable for a halter neck and make sure that the straps don’t show, that’s a real no-no in wedding photographs. Also, nude coloured underwear won’t show up in flash photography under a sheer dress, whereas white underwear will.
Avoid VPLs by wearing thongs or boy shorts. Shapewear is also useful for giving a smooth line all the way down the body, particularly in a close-fitting dress.
Treat your bridesmaids right by dressing them in frocks that flatter them and they’ll reward you by looking happy and smiling on your wedding day. You want everybody to have a great time and making sure your maids look their very best is a big part of a successful wedding day.
Do you need more inspiration for your girls? Check out our fab planning section dedicated to your bridesmaids.