Choosing a stunning bridesmaids dress for all body shapes

How to choose a bridesmaids' dress

Image: The Dress Shoppe

Most of us have heard a few bridesmaids dress horror stories. Many poor women have had to endure anything from giant puffed sleeves to unflattering colour schemes!

Judi Limbers from The Dress Shoppe in Sydney, Australia, says that brides need to be attentive to the body shapes of their bridesmaids so they feeling their most beautiful at the wedding.

“A happy bride needs happy bridesmaids. If they feel overly self-conscious, they won’t be as attentive to their bride and they won’t look happy in the photos either, which are a big financial investment and last a lifetime,” says Judi.

“Brides need to think about whether their bridesmaids will be reasonably comfortable in what they are wearing.”

Judi has provided some tips for finding the perfect dresses for your bridal party.

How to choose a bridesmaid dress

Image: The Dress Shoppe

Pay attention to your bridesmaids’ different body shapes

Everyone’s got a hang-up or two about their body shape, whether it’s that they wish they had smaller thighs, a tighter tummy or a bigger chest. It’s really important to be aware of your bridesmaids’ different shapes and sizes and to ensure that they’re wearing something they look fabulous and feel comfortable in, says Judi.

“In most bridal parties, there’s a mix of body shapes and sizes. There will be the girl who looks good in everything and then there’s one with maybe a more challenging body shape,” she says. “It’s a good idea to first shop for a dress to suit the more difficult figure types and, preferably, separately from the rest of the girls, depending on sensitivities.”

After you’ve worked out a couple of options with this bridesmaid – and she’s happy with the gown and how she looks in it, it will be easier to fit the others into the picture.

How to choose a bridesmaid dress

Image: The Dress Shoppe

Make sure they try them on!

There is no point in hunting down the perfect bridesmaid dress without bridesmaids actually trying them on. After all, the last thing you want is to have wasted time on dresses that are unflattering and don’t fit your bridesmaids properly. Also, your bridesmaids will probably appreciate having some input on what they will wear on the day.

“If you have bought the dresses already and you have someone who is unhappy see what can be done to add to the dress to improve it,” says Judi. “Make sure you ask them how they would like to change it and see if there can be some solution. Adding a chiffon shawl around the arms or perhaps getting a cut bolero or lace cover-up top can be a solution.”

How to choose a bridesmaid dress

Mix it up

A great way to cater for your bridesmaids’ different body shapes and sizes is to put them in a variety of complementary styles and colours.

“The recent trend of convertible dresses is popular because it means each girl can change her dress to better suit her figure,” explains Judi. A convertible dress can often be changed into a strapless, one strap or halter neck dress.

Alternatively, some brands do the same fabric in different styles, so you could have a mix of designs with a common colour. One bridesmaid could wear a boatneck A-line frock, another could be in a shift and the other could have a cowl-neck dress.

Think about choosing a classic cut

After your wedding day, you and your loved ones will enjoy revisiting your wedding day photos well into the future. So now is probably not the best time to go crazy and choose a dress that’s out of character. A classic, timeless ‘play it safe’ design is always recommended, says Judi.

How to choose a bridesmaid dress

Four great body tips for bridesmaids

Want to show off your hourglass shape?

Choose designs that have a waistband. They’re fairly common and easy to find.

If you want to showcase your bust

Most girls won’t want to show off their chest in a wedding, so be careful not to make them feel too over-exposed. By choosing a moderate V neckline, attention will be paid to the best without going too low! Remember, it’s a wedding not a nightclub.

If you want to minimise your bust

It’s common to have at least one woman in your bridal party with a bigger bust, but a ‘minimising’ bust design will flatter everyone. Choose a wide neckline and it will draw attention away from the bust by emphasising the shoulder line. Another option is to choose a high neckline – in this case diagonal lines across the body will be very flattering, too!

If you want to cover up your shoulders and arms

This is a common trend among bridesmaids in recent times. Strapless designs are not always flattering for everyone, so opting for full-length or even smaller sleeves is a safe choice.

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