Always a Bridesmaid . . .

Choosing the right dress is sometimes a challenge

Eye catching color or muted shades, luminescent chiffon or silk charmeuse? The color and fabric trends for bridesmaids dresses are all over the map. Today, brides have an array of choices which will have her friends eager to say “I do” when asked to be a bridesmaid.

Choosing the bridesmaid dresses is often one of the most difficult decisions for the bride. Friends aren’t always the same size, shape and skin-tone, and choosing a dress that works for all your bridesmaids is difficult.

Getting help is also difficult. It’s best to take just one bridesmaid with you as you shop, preferably someone who shares your tastes and style sense.

Choosing the right gown can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. The bride should start the decision process early. It’s ideal to actually place the order for the gowns about four months before the wedding. This will allow time for alterations, shopping for shoes and other accessories and leave time to dye the shoes to match the gown. The bride will find it most helpful to shop with the one bridesmaid whose fashion sense she shares. The ultimate decision about the perfect bridesmaid gown will be the bride’s.

The bridesmaid dresses shouldn’t overpower or clash with the wedding gown. For today’s more simple bridal styles, nice detailing in the maids’ gowns creates a good look for the group. Back accents like straps, halter tops and simple beading are important for ceremony photography. A quality gown of good fabric and construction is necessary for the active bridesmaids who will be walking, dancing or running errands. Who needs to worry about seams splitting apart or buttons falling off during the wedding?

According to Lori Thomas, manager of White Lace and Promises, a bridal shop in Knoxville, one factor to consider is the time of day and the season the wedding ceremony will take place.

“Tea length is really popular,” Thomas said. “For a wedding after 6 p.m., some brides are still choosing floor length, formal bridesmaid dresses.”

For outdoor or summer weddings, short bridesmaid dresses are really hot, according to Julie Smith, bridal consultant and part owner of The Bridal Gallery in Maryville.

“Short is flirty, fun and cute,” Smith said. She said that short bridesmaid dresses give a relax feel and also there is a chance the bridesmaid can wear the dress again.

The fabric of the bridesmaid dress also lends itself for additional wear. According to Thomas, silk charmeuse is a great fabric to consider if a bridesmaid want to be able to wear the dress again. Charmeuse is a sheen fabric that is flowing, playful and alluring.

“Chiffon is a popular fabric, especially for outdoor wedding or for a spring or summer wedding,” Thomas said.

Also, for a spring wedding, Thomas said brides are choosing more color.

“Yellow is really popular,” Smith said. “It’s bright and cheery.”

Smith said a new versatile color is spice. She said it can be accessorized with a lighter color or a brighter color depending upon the season.

Other popular color choices are sage, celadon and pale blue, according to Thomas. She said brown and black are as popular as ever.

Another popular trend for bridesmaid dresses are two tone color. Color combinations that are hot are pale blue paired with pale yellow or brown combined with pink or black with a teal blue accent.

“Not every bridesmaid has the same body type,” Smith said. For this reason and because of the tastes of the bridesmaids, many brides are opting to let the bridesmaid choose their dress style as long as it is in the same color. She does discourage the use of varying lengths for the bridesmaids dresses. “If one goes with a short dress, then all of them should be short.”

The neckline trends of bridesmaid dresses are mirroring those of bridal gowns. “Strapless and halter necklines are popular,” Thomas said.

The bridesmaid look is not complete without shoes and accessories. Shoes are available in many styles in fabrics which can be custom dyed to match the gown. Also popular are the clear vinyl shoes in strappy sandals some with changeable colored ribbon straps. One shoe company is now producing 100 percent silk shoes with leather soles in colorfast fabrics available in nine styles in 15 colors that can be special ordered for delivery in about one week. Matching wrist or elbow gloves offer a sophisticated look. A simple rhinestone or pearl necklace and earring set will enhance the look of your maids.

The Bridal Gallery is located at 1827 W. Broadway in the Wiley Boring Shopping Center. They offer a full line of wedding gowns, bridesmaids dresses, formalwear for mothers, menswear and wedding accessories. White Lace and Promises is located at 10001 Kingston Pike and they have a large variety of designer wedding gowns, bridesmaids dresses, menswear, wedding accessories and wedding invitations.

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