It’s unlikely that all of your bridesmaids will have exactly the same style, shape, build and height – they’ll have bits they want to accentuate, and bits that they’ll want to hide. Here, we take a look at how to choose the right bridesmaids dresses for your girls, so they feel as happy and as confident as possible on your wedding day!

Bridesmaids dresses

How to Choose the Right Bridesmaids Dresses

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 the days of dressing your bridesmaids in identical gowns. It’s far more flattering and on trend to dress your girls in individual 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, which go from the lightest blush to the deepest fuchsia.

The length of bridesmaids dresses

You’ll probably be able to find bridesmaids dresses in either 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, 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.

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, which will make them look more comfortable in your wedding photographs.

Ombre dressesHow to Choose the Right Dresses for Your Bridesmaids

What about busts?

Everyone is different, and one bridesmaids dress that flatters your friend’s hourglass shape may not flatter one who is very slim. Fear not, there are plenty of different styles to flatter all your girls’ figures.

Bridesmaid dresses for smaller 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 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. Small-busted maids should also try a boat neckline, which goes straight across at the top.

Bridesmaid dresses for bigger busts

If you have girls that are more generously proportioned up top, 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 supportive underwear, too, so that your chosen dresses hang in the way they are supposed to!

All-rounder bridesmaid dresses

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 isn’t comfortable to wear all day.

Off-the-shoulder is another style that’s good for all bridesmaids unless they have particularly heavy arms. Consider a wrap or shrug if this is the case.

What about necklines?

Matching necklines are out – dressing your girls in the best styles for them is 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 Bridesmaid Dresses

Sweetheart neckline - How to Choose the Right Dresses for Your Bridesmaids

Sweetheart necklines are always a popular choice for bridesmaid dresses and suit all figures, shapes and busts. This style is something that’s flattering for girls of all different shapes and sizes.

If they’re concerned about having their shoulders completely exposed, you could give them a wrap or shrug to wear to make them feel more comfortable. A fitted dress cinches the waist and gives the illusion of an hourglass figure, which many ladies love.

One-Shoulder Bridesmaid Dresses

One shoulder dress - How to Choose the Right Dresses for Your Bridesmaids

This is a good option for bridesmaids of a broader shape, because this design makes the shoulders appear smaller and closer together. Avoid a one-shoulder neckline if your bridesmaids have particularly heavy arms, as this can accentuate them. One-shoulder gowns work on most body shapes, so this is a great unifying choice if you have a lot of bridesmaids. Make sure they all have supportive bras that are comfortable enough to wear all day.

V-neck Bridesmaid Dresses

V neck - How to Choose the Right Dresses for Your Bridesmaids

A V-neckline on a bridesmaids dress helps to minimise the width of her bust and elongate her neck. Great for girls with a larger bust, this cut is 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 wedding ceremony. Bear in mind also that a wide V-neckline helps to balance out pear shapes.

High Neckline Bridesmaid Dresses

Sheer high neckline - How to Choose the Right Dresses for Your Bridesmaids

The high, sheer or illusion neckline is a huge bridal trend, and is now making its way over to bridesmaids too. This gives your girls more of a formal look while still looking sexy, despite being covered up. High necklines achieve an elegant look without being too over the top. This cut works particularly well on girls with strong collarbones.

Choosing the Correct Underwear

Don’t forget that for a dress to look really good, your bridesmaids need to be wearing 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 tight-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 girls look their very best is a big part of a successful wedding day.


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