Sunday, October 18, 2009

Seeking Non-Hideous Bridemaid Dresses

As with most things, there are usually a few of one item I am shopping for that I like and a huge number that are completely unacceptable. Looking at bridesmaid dresses online, I think the ratio is even worse. The number of hideous, friendship-ending dresses available is offensive. The number of dresses I can stand? In the single digits. Granted, my Bride Squad is on the hunt for dresses they like; it's in their interest to find something we can all agree on. But I don't want anyone to have to buy a dress they hate, is unflattering, or is just plain uncomfortable.

Here are my apparently really difficult requirements:

1. Not strapless
This was a request made by the Mistress of Honor, and it's a reasonable one. Why wear a strapless bra if you don't have to? However, dressmakers appear to think that every bride and bridesmaid want a strapless dress. So, of course, finding dresses with straps of any kind is going to be a pain in the arse.

2. Flattering length
This should go without saying, but the dress length should be flattering. At or just above the knee or floor length are fine, but almost no one really looks best in something in between. There are, of course, a billion dresses in that terrible in between length. Maybe other people don't mind if their bridesmaids look or feel stubby/stumpy/oddly proportioned, but I want pictures I won't cringe at for years to come.

3. Comfortable fabric
This request was made by another Bride Squad member, and I think it's reasonable as well. Are there dresses not made of polyester and rayon blends that don't cost over $400? Probably, but not that many, apparently. Since there is no way I am asking them to spend that kind of money on a dress they will likely wear once (no need to blow smoke and sunshine up everyone's bum about wearing it again), I will be searching for the elusive dress made up of at least mostly natural fibers that doesn't feel like plastic.

4. Color that passes the laugh test
You know what I'm talking about. Everyone knows that sea foam green and lemon yellow are just not flattering on most people. I don't care what anyone's flower/linen/chair cover colors are, but I do think one has to consider whether the color they have chosen for these dresses is going to flatter a wide variety of skin tones (or at least the skin tones of your particular bridesmaids). Since the color choices seem endless, I have committed to a range of colors I would agree to, and asked the Squad to look around. I am not putting them in hot pink (I think that's a little mean), but I'm also not agreeing that they can all show up in black.

I am taking any and all suggestions on places we might find dresses we can all get on board with...


Kim said...

One word..... dressmaker! I've been a bridesmaid 5 times, and by far the best two dresses I had were made for us. Both had straps, both were good colors and fabrics, both were full length, and they were a conglomeration of different dresses seen in bride mags, but putting together the pieces of each that everyone liked. And, while I only had to pay for one of the two, it was actually cheaper than anything we looked at in the stores, and turned out exactly as designed. A good dressmaker should be able to work long-distance from measurements with a fitting or two as needed. Just a thought, but you definitely get what you want this way! And I totally agree on strapless.... last thing you want is all your bridesmaids tugging on their dresses all day! Good luck!

Mira said...

too kind to kind. You are just too kind. Make the suckers wear hideous things so you look even better in your couture hot mama bridal gown.

Love, the bride squad lady #3