Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bridesmaid Style Board 2: Dresses

This isn't specifically a style blog (Lord knows I am not on the up and up on style and fashion), yet somehow, my second viewed post to date is my bridesmaid nude heel style board.  Since it was so fun to make, I thought couldn't resist the opportunity to make a style board for bridesmaid dresses.  I already bought my dress (scroll to the bottom if you want to see it), but before I did, I scoured the internet to find some inspiration. 

When I planned my wedding a few years ago (we'll be celebrating our two year anniversary in July!), I was opposed to the new trend of bridesmaids choosing their own dresses in complimentary colors.  My bridesmaids wore the exact same dresses in the exact same color.  Since then, I've really started to admire the more eclectic approach (with the help of some amazing examples on Pinterest) and if I had to do it all over again, I probably would have chosen to go the less matchy-matchy route.  (Oh, how different my wedding would have been if we had Pinterest back then!) 

My future sister-in-law is planning a beautiful slightly western, slightly rustic, very cute wedding with burlap, lace and neutral tones as the inspiration.  She's having the bridesmaids choose their own apparel within the theme (which is a smart call with 12 bridesmaids of various shapes, sizes, and skin tones).  Some of the guidelines for the dresses: knee-length, with straps or sleeves, non-shiny materials (linen, cotton, lace, chiffon) and light pink, off-white, or nude/neutral colors.  The dress will be paired with nude heels (see my bridesmaid shoe style board) for the ceremony and cowboy boots for the reception. 

When I was looking for my bridesmaid dress, I added a few additional requirements of my own: I wanted to find one for under $100 and I wanted it to be something I would wear again.  I scoured the internet and realized that I was going back time and time again to three stores that had large varieties of dresses that met all the specifications: Shabby Apple, Nordstrom, and ModCloth.  Here are my top picks from each:

Shabby Apple: Shabby Apple seems to be the best kept secret on the internet.  It has so many beautiful dresses that are classic, classy, fairly modest, and usually very reasonably priced.  (They also have gorgeous swimsuits, maternity dresses, and little girls dresses.) 
1. Confidential $98  2. The Mad Hatter  $88 3. Malt Shop $86 4. Freshwater Pearl  $82 5. Sunset Boulevard  $84

Nordstrom: When I think of Nordstrom, I think of high quality, classy clothing, but I also think high prices.  I was pleasantly surprised by these dresses (and their great prices).

ModCloth: Like Shabby Apple, ModCloth is another new discovery of mine.  I can't spend more than a minute or two on its site without finding at least 50 items I absolutely love!  Don't be put off by the fact that many of their clothes seem to be hipster (I love the style, just don't think I can really pull it off!), there are clothes for everyone on there, including come great vintage inspired frocks.

If you are curious as to what dress I ended up with, here it is: 
I found it in the second store I looked.  It fit all my requirements and I think it looks even better on me with some curves than on the stick thin model (if I do say so myself!).  

Which dresses are your favorite? What did/will your bridesmaids wear at your wedding?  
If you already had your wedding is there anything you would change if you were to do it over again?


  1. Sarah @ BeatenCopperLampApril 17, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Oooh I love all the Brandon Kidd ones and Modcloth #2. We searched far and wide for a good blue department store dress for my brother's wedding in June. In the end we resorted to David's Bridal since they are convenient and consistent. I'd love to be more creative for my wedding next year. I'm leaning toward purple. 

  2. Gorgeous dresses!  You have made me want to shop even though I have no place to wear these. :)  Also, you have won a Liebster Blog Award! http://lynseypittman.com/?p=866

  3. I think my favorite is 3 on the modcloth board. I just LOVE that neck line! Plus anything that comes in at the waist and flares out at the hips I'm a sucker for!

  4. I like the ShabbyApple #3, I like the tailored look rather than poofy or flowy (on me, anyways). I had my sister and sister-in-law as bridesmaids, and just asked them to get a dress in either pink or brown that they'd be comfortable in. My sister had a long fuchsia dress from David's Bridal, and sis-in-law had a short brown one. With only two, it didn't matter that they didn't match, since they complemented each other and were happy with what they wore.

  5. I have a difficult time committing to one dress as a favorite! I really like Shabby Apple's styles, which is why I wore one of their dresses to my brother's wedding last year (but I bought it, still new, on eBay - it's so nice to save money).

    My husband's second cousin used to work as a seamstress at David's Bridal, so I chose the fabric and sketched what I had in mind, then she created my bridesmaid dresses (all the same) from that. Since those dresses were two pieces, the bridesmaids were able to re-wear at least the top. I really liked the idea of each bridesmaid choosing/designing their own dresses in the same fabric, but that didn't work out in the end.

    I've been a bridesmaid once, and my friend allowed me to wear any dress so long as it was long and David's Bridal apple red in color. Since apple is a very popular color from David's, I watched Craigslist and eBay until I was able to find a dress I liked at a great price. Somehow I managed to snag a dress that still had the tags on it and didn't need any alterations for less than $20. I probably won't wear that dress again, but since I paid so little for it (and can still re-sell it), I don't mind the fact that it was a one-time dress.

  6. Catholic Cookie JarApril 18, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    The look of different dresses is awesome when it's done well!  My favorite one is Nordstrom #5. I love the one you chose, I am a big fan of one shouldered shirts and dresses!  
    I do wonder what my wedding would have been like if I had been using Pinterest then. :) 
    My bridesmaids wore light blue, strapless dresses from David's Bridal.  

  7. My sister had all her bridesmaids (although only 4) buy their own dress. She gave a swatch and we picked. I found it stressful, though.  I think I prefer just going to the bridal store, measure and order! 

  8.  Exactly! I don't consider myself fashionable and would rather have been told exactly what to buy.

  9.  My bridesmaids wore navy blue strapless (knee-length) dresses from David's bridal!

  10.  That was one of the first dresses I came upon and possibly my favorite, but I didn't think it would be too flattering on my postpartum body, so I had to look elsewhere.

  11.  There are so many things online, but in store I thought they would be hard to find.  Shades of purple sounds beautiful!  I don't know if David's bridal still has them, but I loved that they had some flower pattered dresses in blues and purples that could be mixed and matched with solid dresses!

  12. I like your one-shoulder dress, it's unique and fancy without being gaudy. Yeah, for Easter I wore on a new fitted dress I'd bought pre-pregnancy and it was quite snug already! I had to at least wear it once before I may never fit in it again... :P

  13. (Yeah, I'm a week behind on reading blogs, but wanted to comment anyway.)  My faves are Nordstrom 2 and Modcloth 3. I like the style of the one you chose, but I've never worn anything one-shoulder in my life!  My bridesmaid dresses were all the same.  I only had 3 bridesmaids, and only got to see one of them (my sister) before the wedding--they all lived in different states!  My sis was also the largest bridesmaid, so I figured if a dress looked good on her size 14 body, it would probably look good on the other girls (one about size 6 and one a tiny size 2).  I think I was right!!

  14. I ordered my bridesmaid dresses online actually (I paid for them all) because they were the exact style I wanted and on sale but only online.  There were measuring instructions and only one brides maid measured herself incorrectly, which turned out to be a fiasco, but in the end worked out ok. 

    I've never worn anything one-shouldered before either!


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