BRIDAL ADVICE: BRIDESMAIDS
Updated: May 2, 2018
Choosing the Dress:
Don’t think all your bridesmaids have to be dressed alike. These days, many brides will pick a color that they would like the gowns to be in and let each bridesmaid pick the style (usually from the same designer) that she wishes to wear. This way, each person is wearing a dress that complements her shape and shows off her best assets.
Dresses to Avoid:
Closed halter dresses and crossed bust lines are a risky choice. These dresses cause problems on many women of various sizes and shapes. They tend to gap and pull in strange places and most often cannot be easily fixed because of the cut. Altering these styles often require recutting the entire top of the dress. If this is the chosen style, I recommend ordering an extra yard of fabric in the event an extensive alteration is needed.
Have consideration for your bridesmaids. Especially the ones with families and children. When they are coming from out of town, they are probably tired and the kids either need a nap or need to be fed. Try not to load the bridal party up with back to back events. Especially if they still need to be fit for their dresses. Arrange for a steaming to be done at the hotel (or wherever the dressing location will be) the night before. It can be difficult to remove wrinkles incurred from traveling. Nothing worse than a haggard looking bridal party.
(Especially if you are having them custom made)You must bring the shoes and bra you intend to wear to the fittings! Believe it or not, the bra can even change whether or not the dress needs to be hemmed in some cases.
I have yet to see a company who does a good job with bridesmaid dress sizing. When ordering, it is best to size up if you find yourself between sizes. For it is far easier to take it in than to let out. If the only measurements a company asks for is “bust - waist – hip”, proceed with caution.. These are not enough to get an accurate dress fit. Likewise, if they only ask you for your "size", you can be sure that something is not going to fit. The reason why you should not trust this is simple: Size means nothing in the garment industry. For example, a size 10 for one company could be up to a size 14 or 16 in another depending on how they choose to market their sizes. Their reasoning is that more women will buy their products if they think they are buying a smaller size. Don’t fall for this despicable trickery. The best thing is to have all the girls try their size on if possible. If the dress is by order only and you have some "out of the ordinary" sizes in your party, order a couple extra yards of the fabric as well. You may need it. It is best to be prepared.
The average cost for bridesmaid dresses should be around $175 to $275. If you get a dress for lower than that you got a deal. Be sure to check it closely for flaws, though. You tend to get what you pay for in this market.