Photo: Melissa Fuller
When it’s done right, mismatched bridesmaid dresses can look effortless, a little bohemian, and totally stylish. But that effortless look actually requires a lot of effort! If you’ve been invited to be a bridesmaid for a friend — and to choose your own bridesmaid dress instead of heading to a bridal salon — you’ve got some shopping to do! To help make sure you end up with something both you and the bride love, our experts have six tips to make shopping for mismatched bridesmaid dresses a little easier.
Follow the Guidelines
This is probably the most important tip to keep in mind. Whether it’s a few color swatches she wants you to try to match, a certain fabric, or a length, sticking to the guidelines the bride has set will ensure that your dress fits in with the other girls — and the bride’s vision.
Remember the Dress Code
Most black tie dresses are floor-length. You know what else is floor-length? Breezy, beachy maxi dresses! Make sure that you pick a style that is both within the bride’s requests and appropriate for her dress code.
Tone it Down
Yes, you want a dress that’s flattering and looks fabulous on you, but you shouldn’t pick the most show-stopping dress in the store. When it comes to wedding day, all eyes should still be on the bride, not on you!
Leave Something to the Imagination
Along with not wearing the flashiest dress in the room, you also don’t want to be wearing the sexiest or most revealing dress. Especially if the couple is having a ceremony in a house of worship, make sure the dress you pick is appropriate. Sure, we love a low-cut neckline or a skirt with a dramatic slit, but you may want to choose one or the other in this instance, instead of both.
Ask if You’re Not Sure!
Having a hard time finding just the right dress? If you live near the bride, invite her to come shopping with you so she can give you her opinion in person. If not, take pictures of yourself in a few different options.
Check in With the Gang
The whole point of mis-matched bridesmaids is, well, bridesmaids that don’t match! Once you’ve found your dress, send a photo or a link to the rest of the ‘maids to let them know what you’ve picked out — that way you avoid showing up with the exact same bridesmaid dress as the girl walking down the aisle in front of you.