We’re fast approaching the time of year when weddings are the hot topic of conversation. Anyone celebrating a Christmas, New Year or Valentine’s Day engagement will be stepping into the early stages of wedding planning. Spring and summer brides will start putting the finishing touches to their big day. And, for the rest of us, there’s a packed social calendar filled with bridal showers, bridesmaid fittings and weekend weddings.
It can be a stressful time, and bridesmaid dresses seem to be a constant source of conflict. I’ve heard some real horror stories over the years – from both brides and bridesmaids. So I asked my friend Frances Cookson, the co-founder of Rewritten (a label for “damn cool” bridesmaids) to share her tips for choosing the perfect bridesmaid dresses.
Frances and Katie Arnott launched the Rewritten collection last year, after both struggling to find stylish and flattering dresses for their bridesmaids. So if anyone can help you navigate this complicated search it’s them. Here are Frances’ top tips…
HOW TO START YOUR SEARCH
“We would advise against having a specific colour or style in mind when you start the shopping process,” Frances explains. “Instead, have a mood or a colour palette that you want to convey. It will be much easier that way. Then get your girls to try a few different styles on. We find that half of the time our customers end up going for a style that they really didn’t think would suit them initially. And, finally, allow your girls to choose styles that they feel comfortable and happy in. There’s nothing worse than putting your bridesmaid in something they hate. It’s just mean.”
“For a cohesive look across different shapes and sizes make sure all of your bridesmaids have the same hem length.”
HOW TO FIND A STYLE THAT WORKS FOR EVERY BODY SHAPE
“If you are anything like Katie and I, your bridesmaids will be a variety of sizes and heights and so finding a dress that they all love and feel amazing in is always going to be the biggest challenge of all,” Frances says. “We designed a collection of dresses that are available in every colour so there’s something for everyone. For a cohesive look across different shapes and sizes make sure all of your bridesmaids have the same hem length. As soon as you introduce shorter and longer lengths it starts to look messy – especially if your bridesmaids are wearing different colours.”
HOW TO MANAGE FUSSY BRIDESMAIDS
“Think outside of the box when it comes to fussy bridesmaids. Most dresses can be altered and tweaked to do exactly what you want. Adding embellishment or taking in seams can totally change the look of a dress,” Frances explains.
“Think outside of the box when it comes to fussy bridesmaids. Most dresses can be altered and tweaked to do exactly what you want.”
HOW TO VOICE YOUR OPINION AS A BRIDESMAID
“If you’re a bridesmaid it’s important to do your research beforehand,” Frances says. “Don’t be afraid to say from the start which styles you think will and won’t work on your body. The longer you go along with a dress that you’re not happy with the worse it will be when you try to back out of wearing it. But, failing that approach, if all of the other bridesmaids love a specific dress you may just have to accept it and be a team player. It’s not worth falling out over. And the bride’s happiness should be your number one priority.”
THE BRIDESMAID DRESS TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2017
“We believe the trend for ivory is going to continue to gaining popularity this year,” Frances says. “There is something so beautiful and elegant about bridesmaids in flowing white. Also set to be huge are green tones – such as sage and forest – as well as embroidery.”
Style Note: All dresses featured are part of the Rewritten collection.
Are you currently planning a wedding and struggling to choose bridesmaid dresses? What are your top tips for keeping all your bridesmaids happy? Leave a comment below to have your say…