Dresses by: Bella Bridesmaids Philadelphia; Photography by: BrittaniElizabethPhotography.com; Makeup by: aleksandraambrozy.com; Hair by: arielkatrinahair.com; Wardrobe styling by: www.trousseaustyle.com
Finding the perfect bridesmaids dresses is integral in establishing the look and feel of a wedding. Modern brides have a bevy of options when it comes to color, cut, length and designers. Some brides prefer a uniform look, with their bridal party wearing matching or slightly varied dresses, while others are open to an array of looks, unique to each bridesmaid.
To help navigate the process, Bella Bridesmaids has expert stylists and stocks a range of dresses and separates that can be worn on other occasions. Owner Meredith Hartman gives insight into the process and how to suit each individual, body type and aesthetic.
Which styles and colors are most suitable for being worn again?
Nontraditional bridesmaids dresses are easily worn again. Dresses that fall into the “casual” and “glamorous” category are likely to be re-worn, as are colors like navy and black. We also love floral prints, perfect for a casual crossover. We have one line by Joanna August—it’s a lot of wraps and casual cuts. They look very elegant in a wedding party, but when worn one-off, they look like a maxi or sundress. Separates look very dressy, but you can re-wear the top with a pair of jeans, or the skirt with a t-shirt. Glamorous gowns with sequins or beading can be worn to black tie events, as well.
Can bridesmaids wear different designers or colors?
Mix and match is a huge trend and we definitely recommend it! We usually tell brides to start with a central color or dress and then we’ll pull pieces that go with that. What’s nice about Bella Bridesmaids is we have over 20 designer collections in store so it’s easy to mix and match. It’s hard to do it if you can’t see all the dresses together. We tell girls, ‘throw all the rules out the window.’ You can mix tulle, chiffon, lace and bling—anything goes.
In mixing and matching, how can you keep a consistent look?
We tell brides that want to have a consistent look to pick a designer and anchor color and let the girls pick their necklines. A lot of designers offer many choices—several strapless options, one shoulder, two shoulder, sleeves. If brides are okay with multiple colors, they can let their bridesmaids choose from different colors in the same designer line.
How do you accommodate different body shapes, sizes and heights?
You can pick different necklines or even separates. They’re going to all look very similar in terms of fabric, style and color. One option is Lulakate, which I call the “create your own dress” line. They have a lot of different necklines and silhouettes to choose from—you can even choose a poufy or straight skirt. It’s ideal for suiting each body type. We have a lot of convertible dresses, as well, like Jenny Yoo and Twobirds. Every girl can be in the exact same dress and all tie it differently to suit their body type.
What are some nontraditional options?
Two of our designers, Twobirds and Joanna August, are designing bridesmaids jumpsuits now. It’s a really fun, different take on the bridesmaids “dress” that you can definitely wear again. A lot of designers, such as Adrianna Papell, Amsale, and Jenny Yoo are doing beaded and sequins lines, like something you’d buy for a gala. Floral and fun patterned dresses also take a nice twist on the traditional bridesmaids look. We want to offer dresses that don’t feel old and stuffy. I think all of our dresses are a little nontraditional in that way.