When news broke in November that J.Crew would be discontinuing its bridal line, it was officially the end of an era. Gone were the days when a low-key, budget-conscious bride was saved from having to navigate the murky waters of bridal sample sales and white ready-to-wear-dresses.
We’ve had several months to recover from the blow and, now, the retailer is sending everyone a gift from the bridal wear gods with J.Crew’s first official party dress collection. While it's not being billed as bridal wear, it’s got wedding season written all over it. The new collection consists of 21 dress silhouettes in a range of bold colors and on-trend fabrications that nod to J. Crew's deconstructed preppy take on fashion like seersucker, stripes, and eyelet.
“I love the idea of these pieces just being great, emotional pieces that any woman or girl would wear to any occasion, whether it was to a party, a date, or just a fun get-together with friends—and if they’re considered by someone for a wedding, then even better!,” J. Crew womenswear designer Somsack Sikhounmuong told Racked. “Tulle skirts, body suits, printed pj sets, seersucker ball skirt; the versatility of separates give any and every customer 100 times more opportunity to make each piece their own.”
The result is 64 unique styles that are, according to the brand, “fun, festive, and can be worn for any occasion.” Um, yes, yes, and yes.
The best part? Prices start at $88 and top out at $298. Here’s a look at some of our favorite designs in the range, which won’t completely turn over every season, though new styles will continually be cycled through the line.
Here’s what we love about this collection: When it comes to wedding-guest outfits, the goal is to stand out and look incredible without remotely upstaging the bride. You also don’t want to photobomb all of the wedding photos with a too-crazy print (there's one at every wedding) or offend the couple’s family with a too-sexy cut (ditto there). These dresses—And pants! And skirts!—walk that line pretty perfectly. Meaning they'll shave hours off online research and mall wandering for your wedding-weekend prep time.
What can we say? J.Crew saves the day, yet again.