Despite the unpredictability of British weather, summer is finally in full swing. And with a stroke of luck, we will be able to dress accordingly; it’s time to put away those winter coats and woolly jumpers and opt instead for lighter, brighter pieces. Along with the summer months come a whole host of occasions and events that require a separate wardrobe of its own, especially when it comes to those inevitable summer weddings and the parties that come with them. Not only can it be difficult to find something to wear as a guest, but being chosen as a bridesmaid adds yet another layer of pressure into the equation.
The world of bridal and bridesmaid fashion has also undoubtedly taken off in recent years, with bridal fashion weeks being covered globally by the world’s top fashion magazines, skyrocketing bridalwear designers into the limelight. By looking at some of the trends that have arisen among these brands, in addition to top trends more generally for the Spring/Summer season, we have put together a list of our top 5 styles for bridesmaid dresses to help you pick a piece that turns heads down the aisle.
Simple is always in style, and at weddings it’s an unwritten rule that you should never upstage the bride, especially as a bridesmaid. That doesn’t mean, however, that you don’t still have the option to look chic and stylish. This is the perfect piece for those of you looking for something simple, yet still interesting and feminine. The sleeveless A-line design is perfect for the warm summer months, but a pashmina or cardigan can always be added if the event in question takes place in the evening when the temperature drops. The monochromatic ivory colour is bold yet understated, however the ruffled bodice completes the look by giving the piece some subtle texture.
One designer who often likes to play with simplicity is Reem Acra, who is established both in her ready-to-wear collections and bridal creations. Her Spring 2019 collection notably featured a number of pieces that were starkly simplistic and minimal in contrast to the growing number of flamboyant pieces we are seeing on runways as of late. By using classic silhouettes and an ivory colour palette across the board, Acra instead was able to focus on small details in the form of embroidery and embellishment to create a collection that was subtle yet still radiant and beautiful.
2. Understated Elegance
The simpler bridesmaid looks are often better suited to younger girls and bridesmaid parties where there may be toddlers present or a large number of people. But if you’re in the 10 – 16 age category, or just looking for something that allows you to show some personal style, then you might want to opt instead for something with minimum detail but maximum impact.
This cream and gold gown features intricate and delicate embroidery over the top of a layered skirt and an elongated tulle petticoat to create an outfit that is perfect for the slightly older bridesmaid. A high, ruffled neckline in addition to capped sleeves featuring the same ruffled detail create a look that is head-to-toe perfection and sophistication. To add even more detail, you could pair this gown with gold hair accessories such as a headband or barrette; coordinating with the gold in the gown will guarantee an eye-catching outfit that shows off your style.
This shimmering silvery gold colour has also been seen in the Spring 2019 bridal collection of renowned high-end designer Naeem Khan. By adding a splash of metallic shimmer, it shows that you can update and reinvent the stereotypical ‘wedding’ colour palette without venturing too far from norms. It’s an ideal way to have some fun and put a twist on a classic, timeless way of dressing.
Textures are another great way to play with fabrics and a layer of dimension to outfits. If patterns or embellishments aren’t for you, then experimenting instead with different textures could be what your wardrobe has been missing up until now. It’s an easy way to add a subtle, but eye-catching twist to whatever you’re wearing.
If you’re looking for something that will suit all age groups in a bridesmaid party, regardless of personal style, then this ivory textured dress could be the perfect fit. When you are attending a wedding where there are multiple bridesmaid in question who all need to be dressed the same, it’s necessary to find something that is simple and universally flattering, while still remaining elegant and dress code appropriate. For all manners of spring or summer wedding celebrations, this soft textured fabric is light enough for warm weather with a sleeveless skater-dress style, and the relaxed flared skirt can be worn day or night. The beauty of this piece is in the details; up close you can see the intricacies of the textured fabric, while at the back there are contrasting black criss-cross elastic straps for a stand-out finishing touch. It’s just enough to create an impact without being distracting or over-the-top.
Sometimes, however, more is more. If this sounds like it might describe your style, then picking something elaborate and highly detailed may be what you need in a bridesmaid’s gown. If the wedding in question itself is also about going big or going home, then don’t shy away from dressing for the occasion. Pieces with combinations of embellishments, patterns, textures and unique silhouettes are a perfect way to add layers of detail to a look, in addition to coordinating accessories like bags, jewellery and shoes.
For example, this ivory and gold gown with puffed sleeves and a puffball skirt is an example of how shape, colour and texture can be combined to create an elaborate, highly adorned look. Adding a matched headband will also tie the look together.
On the other hand, if you are a teen bridesmaid alongside younger ones, it can be difficult at times to find something that is suitable for the occasion, but also lets you dress in more mature and sophisticated way. However, this cream gown with a pink and green floral appliqué overlay is the embodiment of summertime elegance. Much like the ethereal, magical creations of designers like Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad, whose dreamy designs are the epitome of modern glamour, this piece combines the delicacy of the floral pattern with the chic, simple shape and tulle ruffled edging. This could work particularly well if attending an outdoor wedding or summer event due to the sleeveless cut and light fabric. What better way to show off fashion-forward style?
The types of bridesmaid’s dresses that we’ve looked at so far have been what are usually thought of as more ‘traditional’ wedding styles, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s the only one. Inspired by contemporary runway trends, more and more bridesmaids are seeing wearing more modern and varied styles of dresses. This can range from bold and bright colours from across the spectrum, to playing with different lengths, fabrics and shapes. One particularly cool and sleek way to implement a touch of modernity to your bridesmaid look is by colour blocking. Designers around the world have demonstrated in past seasons how colour blocking can be an instant hit; pairing together bold colours in one look is the perfect recipe for a head-turning ensemble. For example, bridalwear designer Monique Lhuiller’s Spring 2019 bridesmaid collection included a number of navy and pink pieces in block colouring, branching out from the classic idea of what a bridesmaid should be wearing.
This trend goes to show that bridesmaids dresses don’t always have to be either plain white, or stereotypically ‘feminine’. That being said, this navy and ivory skater-style dress is an example of how to implement this trend into summer bridesmaid dressing for young ladies too. This particular piece features an edgy straight neckline that cuts across the shoulders, while the bow at the waistline adds yet another dimension of detail. Again, this is a style that is suitable for age groups across the board, from toddlers to teens, and is perhaps one of the easiest types to style. A plain shoe or hair accessory will perfectly finish the look without distracting from the dress itself.
It goes without saying then, that there are boundless options when it comes to modern bridesmaid dressing. Whatever your style or whatever the dress code, whether it’s traditional, quirky, understated or exaggerated, there is something for everyone. Take for example the Spring 2019 bridal collection of Vera Wang. As perhaps one of the most iconic bridalwear designers of all time, Wang’s collection features 12 pieces none of which are the traditional white gown; all feature a neutral beige base, yet each individual piece has its own unique twist. Examples even include a purple tulle underlayer, a yellow train, and a red tulle bodice and skirt.
Bridesmaids are an important and integral part of the wedding process, meaning they’re a great opportunity to experiment with fashion as these occasions don’t come around every day. So whatever you choose to wear at the wedding of the summer, remember to add a touch of your own personal style and, most importantly, have fun!
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