Stylists claim it's no longer acceptable to upstage your bridesmaid

Goodbye ugly bridesmaids dresses! Modern brides wanting ‘Insta-worthy’ big days are ditching frumpy frocks in favour of simple, stylish gowns that flatter the figure and can be re-worn, experts say

  • Brands like Reformation are bringing cooler bridesmaid dresses to the forefront
  • Founder of clothing brand Unhidden says modern brides are ‘more empathetic’ 
  • Says simpler, sleeker dresses or even co-ord bridal outfits are having a moment
  • Willow Bridal director says brides want their bridal party to be ‘Instagrammable’

Most brides will admit to wanting to steal the show on their big day – and when it comes to bridesmaid outfits, it could be tempting to choose something a little frumpier so as not to be outshone. 

And despite traditional bridesmaid dresses perhaps conjuring up images of uncomfortable styles in unflattering colours, there is a rise in the number of brides seeking out attractive dresses for their nearest and dearest. 

From Reformation to Halfpenny London and even the celebrity-loved British brand House of CB, dresses are more stylish than ever before – with satin, jumpsuits an even co-ords deemed acceptable for the bridal party. 

Victoria Jenkins, founder and CEO of sustainable clothing brand Unhidden, told FEMAIL that modern brides are ‘more empathetic’ than their predecessors when it comes to choosing a flattering outfit. 

Helen Williams, director of Willow Bridal, believes this is because brides want their overall wedding party to be more ‘Instagramable’ overall, meaning they aren’t as keen to upstage their pals on their big day. 

The £199 ‘Adrienne’ dress from House of CB features an internal structure which is specially boned for lift and support and a long skirt draping asymmetrically over the hips 

Reformation’s Celestia Dress for £285 (left) features a slim fitting bodice with a full fitting skirt while Rewritten’s £160 Florence Waterfall hem wrap dress features a waterfall hem for a flattering fit

‘Many brides want their girls to feel as fabulous as them on their wedding day and making it a memory making moment for them’, she said. 

As the majority of bridesmaids have a major part in the bride’s life before their wedding day and want to incorporate it. 

‘It’s all about the glamour and feeling fabulous! Brides now want to include their girls more than ever before so they can make it Instagrammable.

‘We have see a change in bridesmaids dresses being asked to be shortened or make more sexy after a wedding so the bridesmaid can wear it again to another event and it look like a completely new dress whilst recycling a once worn only item.’ 

The Klass jumpsuit (left)  from Halfpenny London’s Sister brand for £295 features a cinched waist and neckline which can be worn on or off the shoulder. The brand’s £225 Mills dress is cinched in at the waist and the neckline and can also be worn on or off the shoulder 

Garment technologist Victoria, who founded Unhidden in 2016, believes that brides today are more considerate about whether their bride is comfortable in a certain style or colour. 

‘I think the modern day bride is perhaps a touch more empathetic than in the past, forcing people to spend money on a dress they don’t like and in a shade/shape that doesn’t suit them’, she said. 

‘It’s not what friends should be doing to their friends on their wedding day. And it doesn’t look good overall. 

‘We have all seen some hysterical wedding photos from the past and I think now we have more understanding that we want to look back with love and fond memories, not the meltdown one bridesmaid had because they hated what they wore and a bride forced them to wear it anyway.’ 

Rixo’s £315 Minnie dress features a hand-painted print, ruffled trim, a bohemian-style skirt and a true-wrap front 

Reformation’s Twilight Dress (left) for £285 features a bodice with a relaxed skirt with a thigh slit and tie straps. The brand’s Winslow Dress (right) for £285 is a functional wrap dress with an adjustable waist tie which comes in six different styles

With current style trends including jewel-toned satins, daring prints or ‘Cottagecore’ gowns, Victoria believes that trendier gowns will make more of a lasting impact on both the bride and the guests. 

‘Simpler, sleeker dresses or even coord bridal outfits allow room for re-wear and styling up or down, so you get more mileage out of it and even re-live your big day; and the same then applies to your bridesmaids. 

‘If they can wear their outfit again, all the better for everyone. You could even wear them for wedding reunion parties. Also, when everyone feels like they look good the photos you get are better. 

‘Style is so personal that it is rare for an entire group of people to wear the exact same outfit and all look amazing in it, with the exception perhaps of well fitting suits.’ 

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