Photo: Courtesy of vendors; Illustration by Christina Park
With so many bridesmaid dresses out there — and the ongoing trend to mix and match both color and silhouette — it's no wonder many brides get overwhelmed when picking out dresses for their girls! Then your bestie breaks the (amazing!) news that she's preggo, and well, the task gets even harder! How do you find a dress that helps your friend feel like the positively glowing mama she is? Read on to find tips and tricks for selecting bump-friendly bridesmaid dresses your girls will adore!
Tip 1: Go bra-friendly without being boring
Something you may not know until you are actually pregnant yourself? Going braless is often not an option. Your chest size can nearly double in pregnancy, and sometimes you can even leak before baby arrives ... So basically, your girlfriend definitely doesn't want to be free-bra-ing it at the altar. Chose a pretty style like the Beatriz by Dolly Pearl. Available in two lengths and 19 colors, Beatriz is a swing style silhouette with an interesting bow design at the bust that is anything but boring.
We love: The Beatriz Dress, Dolly Pearl
Tip 2: Consider an (upsized!) empire waist
The great thing about an empire waist dress, like the Laura or Julie from Donna Morgan, is that the boning ends beneath the bust, offering support, but allowing room for a growing belly. The Laura dress comes in a variety of colors (and one very punchy print!), but can also be mixed and matched with other dresses from the Donna Morgan Collection, allowing your pregnant bridesmaid to feel perfectly pretty on your big day! Another tip: Have her size up. Sometimes it's hard to imagine what your body will look like in the second or third trimester Alterations can always be made to make a dress smaller, but a too-small dress cannot be let out!
We love: The Laura Dress, Donna Morgan
Tip 3: Let Her Pick
The subtly-shaded bridesmaid dress trend is a perfect solution if you have one (or more!) pregnant bridesmaids, not to mention girls who may get pregnant during your engagement. The idea here has always been to pick a color palette and let your bridesmaid choose a dress within those shades. Your pregnant bridesmaid can select a gown that makes her feel the prettiest, and you can still keep a styled look across the whole wedding party (major win-win). Tip: To keep the look from getting sloppy, ask your bridesmaids to stick with one fabric — like chiffon — or one off the rack designer — like Adrianna Papell, whose dresses are available nationwide at Nordstrom.
We love: The Floral Appliqué Chiffon Dress, Adrianna Pappell available at Nordstrom
Tip 4: Go Convertible!
When Ariane Goldman got married, she wanted her bridesmaids to feel absolutely fabulous, so she created twobirds bridesmaid, the original convertible wrap bridesmaid dress: one (no alterations needed!) dress that can be wrapped over a dozen ways to flatter nearly every figure. Twobirds dresses are amazing for your preggo BFF. Not only can they be wrapped with a comfy empire waist halter or concealing cap sleeve, the line also has an optional bandeau for added bust support, making twobirds awesome for mommas-to-be who crave chic coverage and comfort.
We love: The Tulle Ballgown, twobirds
Tip 5: Don't rule out maternity lines
Did you know how majorly cool maternity lines have gotten these days? Believe me, long gone are the days of your mom's mumu. The uber chic Panama Dress from HATCH has a shape that will flatter her as she grows, but suits a non-pregnant body just as keenly. In fact, all of the HATCH dresses are designed to wear before, during and after pregnancy, so this is definitely one gown your pregnant bridesmaid will shimmy into again.
We love: The Panama Dress, HATCH