If you want to lose friends and alienate people, ask them to be your bridesmaids. This is what you've been programmed to think after years of watching rom-coms where hideous outfits are inescapable (27 Dresses) and everyone seems on the verge of a nervous breakdown (Bacherlorette). But it doesn't have to be like this.
In fact, choosing your bridesmaids dresses should be one of the fun parts of the wedding planning process (much less stressful than hiring a venue, booking a band or deciding on canapés). To help, we've put together a comprehensive guide to bridesmaids dresses for 2021, whether you're opting for a mix-and-match vibe, where your friends can choose their own dresses in accordance with a colour scheme, or are going the whole hog (fair enough if this is the third time you've rescheduled) with black tie.
Where Are The Best Places To Get Bridesmaids Dresses?
There are a few brands worth bookmarking that specifically cater to bridesmaids dresses. Maids to Measure is one you've probably seen on Instagram; ditto NABBD, Not Another Boring Bridesmaids Dress, which, as you might expect given the promising name, has everything from slip dresses with spaghetti straps to strapless gowns that would definitely tick the black tie box.
Then there are ready-to-wear labels who are known for having a brilliant bridesmaids offering, like Ghost, Reformation, Self-Portrait and Galvan. Ghost's silk dresses are great if you want your bridesmaids to wear the same colour but have the flexibility to choose their own shape, whether that's a traditional maxi dress with a cowl neck or something long-sleeved and slightly shorter. Net-a-Porter doesn't have a bridesmaids dresses edit, per se, but if you have a colour scheme or designer in mind then you can filter its 3,000 options to find something that might suit.
Rixo also recently launched a dedicated bridesmaid range, which features some of its best-selling shapes in a pretty print, with a variety of colours on offer.
And then there's high street. Whistles has always made some of the best wedding dresses on the affordable end of the scale, and it also has some tempting options for bridesmaids. ASOS is another winner when it comes to wide variety, while Monsoon has embroidered dresses that would fit with a boho bridal party.
What Are The Best Bridesmaids Dresses Colours?
Figuring out the bridal party's colour scheme is half the battle. For a summer wedding, it's always nice to incorporate bolder shades or prints, which look lovely on warm weather slip dresses, while winter weddings tend to suit darker hues or more muted pastels. Maids to Measure has some great options if you're looking for floor-length dresses with subtle blossom prints, while Rixo's brand new collection has four styles in four colourways, each of which comes patterned with their signature flora and fauna.
What Are The Best Bridesmaids Dresses For Plus-Size Figures?
ASOS has a great range of bridesmaids dresses for curve figures with ASOS Curve, one of its in-house collections, being particularly worthy of attention. Monsoon's dresses go up to UK 20, as do Needle & Thread's. Coast, which currently has a pleasing array of tulle tiered dresses in its bridesmaids line-up, goes up to UK 26, as does Phase Eight's.