Whether you’re tall or short, busty or thin, every body is a bridesmaid body. At the same time, in the age of online shopping, sometimes it can be tough to know how something will look on your frame without trying it on. This is where having an expert on-staff comes in really handy — enter Mai, our lead designer and resident bridesmaid dress fit expert.
“I’ve always felt it was most important for people to know their body type in the first place — then, to be willing to experiment and try new things. One way to narrow down your options when picking dresses is to take notes on things you like and don’t like. Then it’s easier find something that fits that image,” she explained, “Also, people should consider their visual goals: Are they trying to elongate their legs? Create the illusion of curves? There are specific design details that can help them get there!”
Mai says, “A bridesmaid with this body type will want to deemphasize muscular arms and shoulders and accentuate her waistline.” One shouldered, asymmetrical necklines like Kira can be nice because they interrupt the horizontal line created by the shoulders and draw the eyes down to the waist. Similarly, Mai added, our Cindy Wrap dress has a subtle asymmetry to her neckline — and a defined waistline — that creates a similar visual effect. For a feminine touch, try the Theresa dress, as her ruffle skirt creates visual interest down the gown, balancing out the impact of broad shoulders.
Bridesmaids whose shoulders, waist, and hips line up vertically will want to create the illusion of curves and will want to avoid silhouettes that double-down on the straight lines. Mai advised, “The sweetheart neckline of our Grace dress creates the illusion of curves, and you can tie her streamers at the waist to create a look that emphasizes your natural waistline and makes the skirt seem fuller.” The soft v-neck of the Spence convertible dress can also emphasize subtle curves in a very lovely way.
This bridesmaid is more top-heavy and carries her weight around her mid-section. “It’s better to accentuate her natural waist, which usually sits a bit higher, at the empire level,” Mai explained. “I would recommend our Laurie and Hannah dresses in chiffon,” she added, explaining how the shirring in the skirt and lighter-than-air fabric will make this bridesmaid feel like a princess. Our Kaia dress is another great option. Her waist sits a bit higher, and the romantic, flowing silhouette complements curves wonderfully.
For the bridesmaid whose hips are fuller than her bust, Mai recommends cowl necks (think Ennie or Lisa Long), halter necks (Monica or Kiko), and dresses with full, flowing skirts (like our August Convertible). All of these dresses draw attention upward, creating balance between the hips and booty and the bust and shoulders.
Tiny army, assemble! “I find that this person can generally pull off most looks,” Mai noted, “I would maybe avoid styles that are too shirred and flowy, in case she is swimming in it.” Mai recommended our satin slip dresses — like the Jamie Midi or Lisa Long, noting that most of our gowns are constructed on the long side, so they will require alterations.
No matter what your body type, the most important thing about picking a bridesmaid dress is that it makes you feel as beautiful as you are — that you choose a dress that really lets the you shine through. Remember: You're on her bride squad for a reason, because you're a wonderful friend! So, while you're celebrating your bestie taking this next step in her partnership, take a moment to celebrate you.