For better or worse, fashion usually plays a big role in bachelorette parties. Between matching t-shirts, swimsuits, and sashes, customary bachelorette party outfits are sometimes deemed cheesy and overdone. Luckily, there are contemporary styles designed specifically for fashionable brides and guests, so they can be totally cute. But if coordinating outfits isn't your thing, we're here to tell you there are ways you can attend your BFF's bachelorette in that matching tee the maid of honor bought for everyone and still look chic and feel like yourself.
That said, there are some bachelorette party dress code rules you should always follow. You'll likely be able to personalize your outfits, but remember, you're celebrating the bride, so it's best to follow their wishes, whatever they may be. If you are the bride and you're trying to decide how to style your squad, we have advice for you, too! We called on experts Jessica Janik and Jen Glantz to offer some etiquette tips for planning your bachelorette party outfits so that everyone will look and feel their best.
Meet the Expert
For brides, guests, and hostesses, here are five style rules to take into consideration when planning or attending your next bachelorette party.
This is pretty much standard across-the-board for any wedding-related event (especially the wedding). At most pre-wedding parties, like the bridal shower and rehearsal dinner, the bride may choose to don white, and guests should avoid doing so. Not surprisingly, it's also customary for the bride to wear white at the bachelorette party, so do everyone a solid and leave your white-on-white outfits at home, urges Janik (unless the bride specifically requests it). A little black dress, on the other hand, is the perfect style pick.
Don't Try to Be Matchy-Matchy
Remember that everyone in the bridal party is a unique individual with their own personal style and preferences. Matching shirts and accessories are a tradition and can look great in photos, but that doesn't mean everyone has to wear the same pants, shoes, belt, sunglasses, etc. Glantz tells us her number-one bachelorette party style rule is that you shouldn't try to match each other head to toe. "Instead, have one matching item between the crew, whether it's t-shirts/headbands or even tote bags, and then let each bridesmaid style the rest of her outfit to fit her personality," she says.
Dressing up in coordinated outfits or getting the same shirt for everyone to wear with the couple's wedding hashtag on it can be a blast, but be sure to keep in mind any guest limitations, advises Janik. "Not everyone is the same size or feels comfortable in the same type of clothing," she says. If you're planning a poolside bash and found the perfect matching swimsuits, offer both two-piece and one-piece options, for example. Or, if you love crop tops but you know some of your guests are more modest, offer a full-length version of the same top. "Most importantly, whoever is planning the party should talk to the bride and see what she is most comfortable in and what she thinks everyone would be most comfy with, since she knows her girls best and you might not know everyone as well as she does."
Go With the Flow
As a bachelorette party guest, it's important to go with the flow and wear that hat or bachelorette party-themed t-shirt without pouting about it. Remember that this celebration is about the bride, and if they absolutely love the matching tops they found online or really want everyone to wear a certain color, just go with it! It's not a good look to be the bridesmaid or guest who constantly complains and contradicts the bride's wishes. That said, if you have major issues with the "dress code" or are completely uncomfortable with it, feel free to say something to the host. If you know you won't feel great in whatever they picked out and your concerns are reasonable, you can most likely find an alternative option.
Keep It Classy
Everyone is entitled to dress in whatever manner they feel most comfortable in, and if you're hitting Vegas, for example, it's totally normal to want to wear an awesome party dress and some killer high heels. You don't have to dress in the tightest, skimpiest outfit just because it's a bachelorette party, though, says Janik. If anything, because this is a wedding-related event, there's going to be more attention paid from the bride's family members and older wedding attendees on social media. If they tend to be more on the conservative side and you're concerned about their opinion, you can always tone it down. "While it may be tempting to rock that too-short skirt, think twice before you go out in an outfit you might regret the next day or in pictures." The most important thing is to wear what you feel confident and comfortable in, so you'll love looking back on photos.