Friday Rant: Bridesmaid Dresses

Ah bridesmaid dresses. Those traditionally hideous things that “you can totally wear again.” As if. Typically, bridesmaid dresses are formal. Very formal. Like Homecoming dance formal. Since high school, have you found yourself in a situation requiring a gown of satin or taffeta? Most likely not. So why should you drop $150 on a dress that you have no need for? Because the bride said so? Do you even like it? What’s that? It’s an awful shade of orange? Oh it had to be that color to match the tablecloths and napkins and centerpieces and flowers? Are you an accessory? No? You’re a person you say! It doesn’t sound like it. You’re wearing identical dresses in the same shade as the table settings  while you stand next to the bride. You’re a stage decoration.

In an effort to not be a demanding bride, I thought I would let my girlfriends have a say. I know some of you out there will suggest that I have them buy whatever dress they want in a certain color. You can read here why I opted not to go that route. I decided for financial considerations to go through Little Borrowed Dress for bridesmaid dresses. Basically, just like a tux, you rent the dress and return it when you are finished. The goal of the company is to eliminate the words “you could totally wear it again” from bridal vocabulary. The dresses are pretty, comfortable, fairly casual, and flattering. They have a few styles in lots of colors. My idea was for my friends to pick whatever dress in whatever shade of green they wanted. So I sent them the greens: mint, sage, and dark green.

The reaction I got was not what I expected, and it threw me a bit. More than one said “mint if it’s a daytime wedding otherwise the dark green.” Like there are some sort of unspoken, rigid rules on what colors you can wear. It’s not the 1890’s, we wear white after Labor Day here. Another said that, “I think  if we are all having different dress styles you should pick one color.” It’s almost as if they didn’t want choices. I personally don’t really care. I don’t view my friends as stage props. If they are there for me and supportive, they could be naked and it wouldn’t phase me. Okay maybe that would be a little inappropriate. Maybe a bathing suit. But it threw me off because it came off as superficial. I wanted them to have fun with it. To pick something they liked, not to try to adhere to some industry standards. I guess I should have explained my stance on wedding details beforehand.



3 thoughts on “Friday Rant: Bridesmaid Dresses

  1. As a minimalist, I think it’s important to keep in mind, as Barry Schwartz calls it, the paradox of choice:

    I find the whole thing super interesting and I see myself looking for ways to minimize the amount of choices I have to make on a daily basis. Choices are overwhelming, and I can understand why that would be even worse when you’re kind of signing up to be semi-decoration-like for someone else’s wedding (by being a bridesmaid).

    We’re not in the planning phase yet, but I feel like my girlfriend and I have exhausted ourselves hashing out how much is too much or too little choice for bridesmaids. There’s definitely a sweet spot though. I’m a dude, but I still feel like colors aren’t as important as fit. Bodies are weird and different. I’m glad you’re letting your peeps pick stuff they like and will fit well.

    • I definitely agree about finding that sweet spot of options. That’s one of the reasons I chose to go through Little Borrowed Dress to limit options while still providing styles to suit a range of tastes and figures in colors that complement each other. Color has importance too as some colors can wash you out (for example I look terrible in orange, yellow, and brown).
      Good luck on wedding planning. I have found that as fun as it can be, there are expectations surrounding weddings that make it difficult on brides especially. If you micromanage the details you’re a bridezilla but if you don’t care enough you’re insulting the institution and people think you’re crazy. I have a bridesmaid who told me that I will inevitably become obsessive and crazy and bridezilla even though that isn’t consistent with my personality.

  2. Pingback: Bloomin’ Brides | Life iz gud fashion

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