One of the most stressful things brides must do is dress their bridal party. My dear friend and former partner, Deanna Diaz, has written for our blog this week. (Deanna has been in the fashion industry for over a decade and has worked with big names like Sean John.) Deanna gives Brides great advice and helpful tips on shopping for bridesmaid dresses! Enjoy!
Shopping for bridesmaids dresses - 27 Dresses instantly comes to mind like an automatic reflex reaction ? Yes? No? Maybe so? Does shopping for bridesmaids dresses have to be as cliché as what I just said? Well, in this case, art is really an imitation of life. How many bridesmaids have put themselves through what Jane did in that movie? Maybe not for 27 weddings but at least one.
Does it have to be this way? Does a bride have to turn into bridezilla because her ladies-in-waiting are different shapes, sizes and skin tones? Does a bridesmaid have to spend her friend's most special day being tortured by the uncomfortable frock that is either revealing too much or that is constricting her breath or that is washing her out in every photo? Actually, choosing and shopping for bridesmaids dresses can be a celebration of friendship, curves, womanhood and each one's unique beauty and assets. (Yes, we ALL have them!) It can be an opportunity to create good memories and have fun!
To be successful in this venture, it will take cooperation, patience and imagination both from the bride and aforementioned ladies-in-waiting. There are also some basic principles that we can abide by to make the challenge easier.
For many brides, the ideal might be to find that ONE perfect dress that works for everyone of her girls - the right fit, color and style. This is possible if everyone of her bridesmaids are very similar to each other in height, shape and skin tone. That being said, most of the time, we fall in love with each of our friends for different reasons - their amazing special qualities that usually come packaged in their own distinctive beauty. This presents some common challenges that a bride may face in choosing the dress that her bridesmaids will don on her special day.
Tip 1: Choose the right colors....go for more than one!
A common challenge may be choosing the right color that will flatter a wide range of skin tones - from fair to medium to tan to olive. She may want to choose a color that's hot for the season but that may not necessarily be the right choice. In addition to skin tone, she will also have to take into consideration the hair color. One option may be to work in a two color palette - different shades of the same color - celery and emerald.
Or choose two different colors that offer a nice contrast, not clashing - like ecru & wisteria or something unexpected like poppy and fuchsia. On this special occasion, go ahead - color outside the lines!
From the runway to the wedding aisle....two-tone bridesmaids dresses is a great 2014 trend that makes a fantastic impression!
Tip 2: One color, different dress
Another challenge can be finding the right silhouette to flatter each lady's shape and size. This can be solved easily with different variations of the same dress - maybe the same dress with different necklines (halter, strapless or a modest deep v) or an empire waist vs a dropped waist. Ruching in the right places is friendly for everybody - it creates the illusion of curves on a linear shape and gently hugs the curves of another. Another option may be to have the same color dress in different styles entirely. This still presents uniformity and cohesiveness with variety.
Great example of the same dress for different shapes & skin tones. Why it works – a nice blush color that brings out the rosy tones on lighter complexions and highlights tan complexions, flattering neckline and surplice wrap detailing on the bodice and a layered, shirred, a-line skirt that does double duty by both camouflaging and accentuating different shapes and allows for easy movement. Designer: Monique Lhuillier Style: 450127 Fabric: Chiffon Color: Blush Photographer: Alexander Cross
Tip 3: Be open minded and kind then make the final call!
Overall, the most important principles to keep in mind for all involved are: be flexible, keep an open mind and be understanding. For the bride, allow your girls to share their input but don't try to please everyone. It's impossible and puts unnecessary pressure on you. For the bridesmaids, don't be afraid to voice your opinions but be gracious in doing so. Be yielding as much as possible. Remember, you're there to support her and work with her vision. Weddings are beautiful occasions to celebrate love, friendship, family and to create lifelong memories.
Happy wedding to all!
Deanna Q. Diaz
Do you have a bridal party story to share? How about a great tip? We would love to hear it.
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