If you’ve been honoured with the task of being a bridesmaid at a wedding this season, you’ll likely be on the hunt for a stylish dress that works for all the other bridesmaids, or be trying to convince the bride to let you pick your own dress with the hopes that you can get away with wearing something you actually love.
In either case, *actual* bridesmaid dresses will be on your radar already. I’m talking jewel-toned silky gowns and chiffon midis, both of which are fabulous options but if we’re being honest, how often will you be able to wear them again?
Allow me to introduce you to the non-bridesmaid dress. They’re high street (read: properly affordable), perfect for a wedding and versatile enough that you’ll wear them for the rest of summer, too. It’s a win win and no one will ever know.
These are the bridesmaid dresses I promise you’ll wear again. Better get convincing the bride…
Lots of guests at Sofia Richie’s infamous nuptials wore black and it made for the most stylish wedding photos. Forget what you heard: black for a wedding is slowly gaining popularity, but do check with the bride first… This silky Arket slip is a no-brainer in the cost-per-wear department.
Tie dye dresses are big news this summer, and with its bias maxi cut, asymmetric neckline and pastel combination, this Zara one ticks all the wedding boxes. As well as that, it’s very of the moment, so you can wear it again for drinks in the sun with white sandals, a straw bag and giant sunglasses.
This fuchsia number is a crowd-pleaser: with a figure-skimming shape, cute puff sleeves and a not-too-high slit, it works nicely for a range of body shapes and whether the other bridesmaids are tall or petite. In 100% linen, it’s easy to dress this down after the ceremony too – with tan flats and a crossbody, it’ll work by day.
These almost-watercolour florals will complement a countryside wedding nicely, but thanks to the length and sexy back detailing, this dress is also ideal for re-wearing to a wedding as a guest later down the line. Throw on gold platforms and a camel blazer.
The Palm dress is a fashion editor favourite: I have it in three colours and have worn it to nearly every wedding I’ve attended. As a bridesmaid dress though, it’s a failsafe. In a block colour, thick fabric, bias cut and with wider straps than the average slip, this buttery yellow number is great as a bridesmaid option.
This ditsy pink number is giving Reformation without the steep price tag. With a square neckline and slight ruching, it flatters cleavage without showcasing it, which is ideal is the bridesmaids are required to wear a modest dress. Wear it again with wedge espadrilles and a denim jacket.
If your bride doesn’t like florals but is keen on a style with added interest, this blurred abstract design is a great option and would suit lilac, pale blue and navy colour schemes nicely. Just think of it with silver strappy heels and alongside a white peony bouquet. Gorgeous.
A punchy Pepto-pink style is perfect for a registry office ceremony, or for evening nuptials. The subtle animal print means should be the most statement part of your bridesmaid look, so for nude heels and simple jewellery. Post-nuptials, however, calls for metallic heels and a contrasting colour-pop bag.
For a wedding taking place at the height of summer, no bridesmaid dress is more fitting for the occasion than a silky yellow number. This modest number would look great with strappy white heels for the ceremony, then when you re-wear it later, add on chunky gold jewellery and tortoise hair clip.
This Reserved number almost seems too good to be true, since it’s the perfect traditional bridesmaid frock, but since it technically isn’t, it’s a snip of the price you can expect to pay for one. A lovely inoffensive pale blue is sure to win over the other bridesmaids, and be sure to mention how great this will look with a T-shirt underneath or knit over the top post-wedding.
If you’re a bridesmaid at a destination wedding, you’ll be looking for a style and fabric that suits the holiday vibe, while still feeling formal enough for the occasion. This printed number (which looks much more expensive than its price tag thanks to the Toile De Jouy-esque print) is the one.
This slinky silver number is perfect for the minimal wedding. If your bride is keen on a sleek uniform look, a liquid pewter midi is the answer. While we’re talking versatility, it’s worth pointing out that this dress will end up costing you pennies with cost-per-wear. Wear it with a blazer and heels for evening, with Converse and a jumper for off-duty, then with a shirt and loafers for the office.
Sequins and florals in one midi dress might feel OTT, but in reality, this dress is a winner. If you’re bride loves a party and has a bright colour scheme or exotic floral arrangements, this Oasis number could be a winner. Thanks to the detailing, it looks like a mega pricey bridesmaid dress, and you don’t need me to tell you how easy it’ll be to re-wear over party season.
A beach wedding is the ideal place for a tropical printed bridesmaid dress. With a simple colour palette, this one feels chic and timeless, and would look great with gold accessories. Wear it again on your summer hols with flat tan sandals and oversized sunnies.
How fabulous is this colourful Nobody’s Child number? Thanks to the pink and yellow mix of tones, it works as a lovely frock to marry the two shades, should one bridesmaid feel more comfortable in one than the other. This statement number would look great with colour-pop fuchsia heels, or with strappy nude sandals to pare it back.
I’d argue lilac is a suits-all shade, and is especially lovely for a spring or summer wedding. This Anthropologie number boasts a bow back, pretty puff sleeves and a full skirt. It would look great with white sandals and silver jewellery for the ceremony, then with chunky dad sandals and a denim jacket for the rest of summer.