Photo: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection
If you've ever seen the movie 27 Dresses, you know the potential fashion torture of being a bridesmaid. For the most part, you have zero control over what you wear and are at the mercy of the bride and her personal style preferences, which may or may not be on point. Now, while you can't exactly turn down wearing a hideous gown (unless you don't mind ruining your friendship and getting kicked out of the wedding), you can post this piece on your Facebook page so the world, okay...the bride, knows you're not down with these 5 styles. Um...hint, hint!
1. The exact same thing everyone else is wearing
Fortunately, identical bridesmaid dresses are becoming a thing of the past. If you think about it, we as women stopped finding it fun and cute to match our friends from head to toe ever since we graduated from pre-K, points out professional bridesmaid Jen Glantz of Bridesmaid For Hire. "Besides a wedding, when else do you wear the exact same thing to a party as a group of friends?" Uh, you don't! So skip out on the whole matchy-matchy trend, and if you absolutely must keep it somewhat similar, at least give your bridesmaids different style options in the same color and/or fabric to pick from.
2. Dresses that cost a fortune
Even if it's the most gorgeous gown on the rack, your bridesmaids will have a giant pout on their face if they have to walk down the aisle in a dress that's cost them 1/3 of this month's paycheck, particularly if it's a dress they can't actually wear again, warns Glantz. As an alternative, consider having them rent those gorgeous couture gowns for the night instead.
3. Anything super trendy and/or complicated
That cool off the shoulder dress or cutout side gown may look slamming on one of your girls, but the others are probably having a panic attack over it right now. According to bridal shop owner Kerrie Hileman of The White Magnolia Bridal Collection, it's best to play it safe and steer clear of hard to pull off necklines like a halter or one shoulder gown. "Other big 'no-no's', unless you want your maids to curse your name forever, include lace ruffles, poofy shoulders, and tulle tutu-like skirts, just to name a few. Try to avoid anything that's far outside your maids' everyday style and comfort level to ensure they're in a dress they feel beautiful and their best in."
4. Dresses that make your maids look like they're wearing a shower curtain
Or a trash bag! The dress should have some shape to it, advises Glantz. "Everyone's body is different so the best way to handle this is to select a couple of styles so that the bridesmaids can pick a dress that flatters their particular body type." And no, the answer isn't as simple as a convertible gown! "Please for the love of your relationships spare your friends the embarrassment," urges Jessica Janik, founder of The Invisible Bridesmaid.
"Besides the fact that this dress is so over, just because it can convert to different styles doesn't mean it will look right on everyone, or anyone for that matter," she cautions.
5. Dresses that could double as a Halloween costume
We're talking hideous 80's looking prom dresses and gowns with conflicting patterns. If you're not sure if the bridesmaid dress you picked belongs in a Halloween store, Glantz recommends asking your most honest friend. And as a rule, just say no to terrible taffeta and itchy sequin dresses, adds Janik. You can thank us later!