A few weeks ago this little post popped up on the fabulousness that is Rock My Wedding. It was about bridesmaids and the many controversies they can cause: who to choose, indifference from those who have been asked, and, the big one, what the hell to dress them in.
The latter subject is one that I feel particularly strongly about, and although I commented over on the RMW post at the time, I wanted to give my tuppence worth here on my home turf as well.
Now I’m not the first to write a post about how to dress a ‘maid, and I’m certainly not going to be the last. It’s a subject that divides brides across the land and a question to which there is no right or wrong answer. But- and this is a big but (and I cannot lie)- it is a junction in the long and winding road to Weddingsville where people can turn one way in to Style Central, or the other way in to Naff City, Naffington.
Take a look at the two pictures below and answer me this: Which group of bridesmaids would you rather be in?
The second one, right?
Granted, I have chosen a particularly naff picture of the matching bridesmaids, but in the second picture I see style, individuality and a whole lot of love and friendship. They are clearly bridesmaids as opposed to regular guests; the look is united and strong and there is a clear colour scheme. And yet I can see each individual girl for her own sense of style. In fact, I could even go ahead and make guesses as to what they do for a living and what their personalities are like, simply because they have been allowed to dress themselves. (I’m presuming here, but the dresses are SO different I can’t imagine the bride had chosen for them.)
Now, I’m not saying that matching bridesmaids are wrong- far from it. Matching ‘maids can look FAB, as long as the dresses are stylish and look good on each girl. (Please now go back to image number one and pity the poor shortie in the middle whose dress is practically touching the floor.)
Here are some examples of some FAB matching maids…
For me, what makes these matching maids fab is the fact that in each group there are subtle differences. Whether it’s tights, tops, shoes, flowers or alternating pops of colour- these maids are being allowed to do something which differentiates them from the rest of their girls.
Now correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t our bridesmaids supposed to be our closest and most-valued loved ones? Ok, so there may be a future sister-in law or annoying cousin in there as well, but generally, don’t we want to dress our bestest ladies in something that makes them feel comfortable, happy and, well, like them? This notion of not wanting the bridesmaids to look better than the bride is utterly ridiculous. As if anyone will be radiating more joy, love and gorgeousness on the wedding day than the bride herself. (And I truly mean that; no-one goes to a wedding and looks forward to seeing what the bridesmaids are going to wear- it’s all about the bride, right?)
I do feel like over here in the big ol’ U of K, we’re slowly starting to come round to the American way of thinking- as we do with all wedding trends it seems! The resounding success of bridesmaid company Two Birds and the flexibility of big labels such as Dessy are giving British bridesmaids the opportunity to be ‘matching’ (as in the same colour or fabric) but individual (different styles/lengths) at the same time.
And a big ‘Hallelujah!’ to that, I say.
But there’s still a long way to go. The general selection of ‘bridesmaids dresses’ out there is undeniably poor and incredibly bog-standard; at least in the affordable bracket. Occasionally I see a beautiful and what I consider to be unique bridesmaid dress in a magazine only to clock the price tag and realise I couldn’t afford one of them, let alone three. There is no doubt that there is a HUGE gap in the market for a bridesmaid label that offers stylish, fun, and unique dresses, with a couple (not too many) of colour options and a decent price tag to boot. I’ve thought about it so much I have a shelf full of ‘fashion business’ literature and a sketch book of designs at home! (Well, 3 or 4 in truth, but the intention was there.) Then I realised that a) this business venture is going to need some serious funds and b) I have a degree in Drama and I can’t draw for toffee- no bank manager or investor is ever going to take me seriously.
And so I’ll be hitting the high street with my three ‘maids. There will be a colour palette as I think there is a need for unity of some sort, but after that they can literally pick what they like as long as a budget is adhered to and they promise they will wear it again.
Here’s a couple of little numbers I’m loving at the moment, bearing in mind I’m a big fan of coral- don’t know if you can tell…
Pop on a pair of heels and give them a matching bouquet á la the Jill Thomas image at the top of the post, and you have a bevy of chic and unique bestest ladies, I reckon. Now if only I could get my ‘maids to agree… they much prefer the matching look.
Anyone else with me?