The World is Not Kind to Bridesmaids


Weddings. Weddings are lovely events. Beautiful people. Good food. Nice music. Pageantry. People wearing white. Families gathered in support of two people vowing to love, cherish, obey, etc. Pretty brides. Handsome grooms. Happily every afters. Really, weddings are lovely things.

However, comma, there’s a lot of messy prep work that goes into making sure that the spotlight is appropriately fixed on the happy couple. Part of that prep is making sure that the bridesmaids are clothed in something that matches the wedding colors. Or at least in something pretty close.

Trouble is, the options for bridesmaids are pretty scanty, and it is nigh unto impossible to find anything flattering that isn’t so flattering that it draws attention away from the bride.

I have the incredible blessing (no sarcasm intended—I am honored to be part of my friend’s wedding party) of being a bridesmaid in a wedding coming up on December 18th of this year. I am perusing the selection offered at David’s Bridal and am slightly appalled at the assumptions made by modern dress designers.

Assumption 1: Strapless dresses work well on just about anyone. This assumption is wrong on so many levels. Unless you happen to be a super model or a store mannequin, there is no way in heaven or earth that a strapless dress will stay up comfortably for longer than five minutes without the help of tape and/or black magic. Even then, you will either be unable to breathe or you will look like a muffin, depending on how you are built. (Because of my mixed readership, that is all I will say on the matter. Thank you.)

Assumption 2: One wide strap over one shoulder looks classy. Wrong. Unless, of course, you are part of a Flintstones-themed wedding and are going for the cavewoman look.

Assumption 3: Bridesmaids dresses should be short. Okay. Shorter than the bridal gown, yes. But dresses that cut off mid-thigh are no longer dresses. Those are glorified tank tops. End of story. Most girls look better in longer skirts anyway.

Assumption 4: If a bridesmaids dress is longer, the neckline must therefore plunge to her bellybutton. No. No. NO. Good grief, people, what do you have against girls covering up?

Assumption 5: Bridesmaids dresses must never, ever, EVER have sleeves. Why not? Sleeves hold things up. Sleeves look good on just about everyone. Sleeves make up for a multitude of figure differences between women. Considering the goal of a bridesmaid’s dress is to get four or five women to look more or less identical for the course of the ceremony, shouldn’t we be striving do make dresses that fit the best on the greatest number of women? Why make things hard by making dresses that only fit well on girls who NEVER EAT?

I love being a bridesmaid. I love being there for my friend on her special day. I love celebrating and supporting my friends’ decision to spend the rest of their lives together. But the fashion industry could make it a lot easier on us bridesmaids if they would just figure out that we’re only human. And we’re human on s budget. And humans that like to eat occasionally.


One response »

  1. Amen, Sister. This problem apparently is a perennial one. I remember in the old days of my bridesmaid experience that I never liked any dress I had to wear. But… I agree that today’s bridesmaids have additional difficulties. I’m sure you’ll find something suitable…. I hope! 🙂

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