Bridesmaid fashion – where to start!?
So you’ve selected your wedding day A-team, the key people you want standing beside you on your big day. A great feat within itself, but now you need to cross the next bridge – what will they wear? This is where the myriad of suggestions, Pinterest boards, colour palettes and grand ideas all come into play.
From colours to styles, fabrics and beyond, there are some key considerations that will help you narrow down a look for your wedding party ensemble and make the process an easier, (and dare we say perhaps even an enjoyable!) one.
Read on for our take on where to start with bridesmaid/wedding party fashion.
The all important colour palette. Colours have the ability to evoke certain emotions so it’s handy to think about what sort of feel and look you want for your wedding. If you’ve worked out what colour florals or overall styling you’re leaning towards, take a cue from your choices and you might like to try and tie your bridesmaid’s fashion in.
Alternatively, you might like to take colour inspiration from the surroundings of your venue. Will you wedding be inside with dark and moody colouring? Perhaps plums, blues and grey colouring could be your go-to here. Alternatively if you’re outside in garden surrounds, perhaps sage, whites and champagne tones would suit.
Or, if you like the idea of a colour or pattern clash – mix it up! Your party pack don’t all need to wear the same colour – combining complementary colour and and juxtaposing shades, can be a dream.
The beauty of fashion in today’s day and age is that you have so many options at your fingertips. You can take the uniform approach of having everyone wear the same design, cut, and colour but you also have the luxury of knowing designs can oftentimes come in different styles, but be uniform in colour. So, if you’re wanting your bridal party all in olive but keen on a point of difference, for example, a dress, a jumpsuit, or a two-piece combo – you can keep your bridesmaid look uniform without being overly matchy-matchy. Brands such as Bec & Bridge, Shona Joy and One Fell Swoop have ranges that lend themselves perfectly to this approach.
If a colour/pattern clash is more your vibe, then that can also apply to style too. Don’t be afraid to mix up the fabrics; especially if you’re using more of a gradient for your palette. Fashion should be fun!
Speaking of fabrics, let’s delve a little deeper.
It’s important to consider the fabrics and finishes you select as these subtle touches can play an integral role in both the comfort for your bridesmaids and how they’ll photograph as a result. For a softer, flowy feel that drapes well, consider dresses made of silk or a silk blend. It gives a rather elegant and lustrous look while also being lightweight, which is perfect if you’re planning on getting married in the summer months. A word of note though – it can crease easily!
Some alternative fabric options are cottons and linens. They’re cool in the summer and warm in the winter and offer slightly more texture. And there’s always the option to add some depth to the collection by having a mixture of softer fabrics (e.g. silks/organzas) with more textured ones. Having a variety of dresses can still look extremely cohesive if you have an element to tie it all together such as a colour or particular print.
If there’s the opportunity – take some snaps in the dresses you’re considering to see how the fall and look in certain lights. When standing in the sun, a thin, light fabric can suddenly become a little see-through, and at times, linens when creased don’t photograph as perfectly as you might hope. Heavily-weighted, ribbed or textured fabrics can photograph beautifully and add some extra comfort for the wearer.
Off-shoulder, spaghetti strap, midi dress, maxi….the list goes on. While each style emits a different vibe, what each of these cuts have in common is that they allow you to suit different body shapes and sizes to suit your group’s needs. Think about whether there’s any particular element you’re trying to accentuate – do you want something everyone can move and dance easily in? Then perhaps go the midi length over the maxi. Do you want to make a bolder statement by adding a fabulous statement sleeve, rather than a simple spaghetti strap? Are you planning on an outdoor wedding in the throes of winter? Then definitely look into something with a long sleeve – both chic in style, functional for the cooler climate and flattering.
Ultimately you want your bridesmaids to look and feel their best, so it’s important to consider their varying body shapes and sizes and understanding their needs when it comes to what they feel most comfortable in and suits them best.
We are very aware that your wedding party might not be dominated by females, after all wedding parties should be filled with your favourite leading ladies and men – whatever feels right to you. If you’re including a male to stand in amongst your ladies, it’s important to think about what they will wear too. Typically they might wear the same suit as the other men in your wedding party, but their tie/bowtie, pocket square could be in a colour that is cohesive with the gowns. Alternatively they could wear a completely different coloured suit, but in a shade that complements the dresses.
Accessories also go a long way toward tying everything in with an outfit – from jewellery all the way down to footwear. They also allow you to either dress up or down a look. Depending on what vibe you’re after, spare a thought for the little details such as simple or statement earrings, headwear – pearl headbands or metallic clips, or shoes that add a point of difference.
Cost definitely comes into the equation and it’s important to have discussions with your partner and your wedding party about expectations when it comes to their outfits and accessories. Are you happy to cover the entire cost for everyone and write it off as part of your wedding spend? Or do you foresee it being more of a 50/50 situation – you pay 50% of the costs or even dedicate a certain amount to everyone to then go and source their own outfit based on your colour scheme? Again, it all comes down to personal preference and affordability but conversations held openly are always the way to go.
Being on theme.
When it comes to sourcing fashion choices a few factors might come into the equation. What is your over-arching dress code? Black-tie, casual, or cocktail? The fashion choices for your wedding party, should follow suit so they complement your overarching theme. It’s also important to think about the location and climate of your day. If you’re getting hitched in a tropical location, you won’t want long sleeved dresses, or heavy fabrics. If the climate will be colder, outfits that will keep your wedding party warm are key. Another factor, is wind! Gowns that easily blow up in the breeze might not be the ideal choice.
To help get you started with your all important bridesmaid fashion, check out some of the bridesmaid brands we are seriously crushing on here.
Written by Kathryn Brandt.