Gone are the day of ruffled polyester ball gowns for bridesmaids. These days, modern bridesmaids and brides want an elegant, cocktail-inspired dress they can wear again.
That means that the modern criteria for a bridesmaid dress is something that is:
3. Looks amazing
4. Can be re-worn.
Why pay $300 for a dress you don’t really like that will live in the back of your wardrobe after the wedding? At Jolie Vintage Shop, there are some great bridesmaid dresses that represent excellent quality and a modest price. Best of all, they are a fraction of the cost of most bridesmaid dresses! Wear them again with just a change of accessories and shoes.
Bridesmaids want to look like they’ve just stepped off the red carpet, but not so much that they outshine the bride. The secret is clean lines, great tailoring, and amazing quality fabrics. With this in mind, you’ll notice that the selection of dresses below only have the briefest of styling tips from me. That is because all the modern bridesmaid needs is the right shoe, great hair and makeup, perhaps a bracelet and pair of earrings, and she is good to go. Too many accessories date the outfit and the look.
1. This 1960s cotton candy dress in pastel pink is so classic. We first saw sheer fabrics hit the bridesmaid runways just before the royal wedding, but they’ve remained, and even grown, in popularity since then. Layered, sheer fabrics are so on trend at the moment in the wider fashion community too. This dress could be styled with shoes in silver, nude, mauve, or grey for the big day, with a rhinestone bracelet in the same color.
2. I recently went to a wedding where the color theme was yellow and it was such a beautiful choice. This 1960s canary yellow beaded gown could be worn as is, or hemmed for the big day, or later to be worn as a shorter party dress. The beading on the bodice means that accessories are unnecessary with this dress – it’s an instant outfit. Pair with silver shoes for a more traditional look, or royal blue shoes for a more modern, color-blocking look.
3. Lace continues to be huge this season, and this trend continues to manifest itself in bridesmaid styles. Years ago, you would never have seen a lace dress on a bridesmaid, but they have steadily been growing in popularity over the last five years.
This 1950s powder blue lace wiggle dress is a true rarity. The lace is arranged in a geometric pattern and it is fully lined in a sheer organdy. The corded belt can easily be switched out and replaced with a ribbon-style belt in a deep blue for a more formal effect. Nude shoes would look incredible with this dress.
4. Ready to go with a pretty bow, this 1950s poppy red cocktail dress is so sweet! It is very flattering and very un-fussy. The capped sleeves, scooped neckline, and circle skirt are timeless. Wear with nude or silver shoes. This would look amazing at the reception afterwards!
5. This is the most incredible, sheer 1950s pink gown. As the shelf bust is fully lined there is no need to wear a bra – the body shaping has been done for you! Able to be hemmed, but so elegant as it is, this dress would look amazing with cream, mauve, or nude shoes on the big day.
6. Ever since bridesmaid Pippa Middleton went down the aisle in white, white as a bridesmaid color has had a resurgence. Have a look at Jolie Vintage Shop’s 1950s mermaid tail dress. Accent this dress with black to create an elegant outfit, or pair with pastel colors for a less dramatic statement. A very modern way to be a bridesmaid!
So remember, girls, for the modern bridesmaid choose a dress that is unfussy, beautifully tailored and paired with a minimum of accessories. Keep it classic and modern – keep it Jolie!