Monday, 27 October 2008

Bridesmaid Dress Ideas: The High Street

Images (clockwise from left)
Dresses by Oli, Whistles, Topshop, Monsoon & Topshop
Shoes by Dune
By far and away my biggest challenge so far has been finding a solution to my bridesmaids outfits. For a bride with a large budget, not so much of a challenge. There are plenty of places where you can buy some beautiful and admittedly, some less than beautiful, dresses. But I do not want to spend hundreds per dress. We have a budget and from that budget the church and our reception venue were where we chose to spend. This means that there is a lower budget in other areas: not a problem, just somewhat of a challenge.
I am having three adult bridesmaids - my two sisters and my sister-in-law-to-be. All three are quite tall (all taller than me) and all of them are curvier than me. I would like them to wear blue or green or a peacock-y colour and the dress must be fairly simple (as my own is). The budget I have at present is £50 per dress. I may be able to find more but I would be pleased if I didn't have to.
I have posted before some designer options which I very much like but clearly they are way over budget. So I have instead scoured the high street and these dresses are the best that I can come up with. And yes, some of these are over budget too. Much as I like the colour of the Whistles dress, I do not think it works: it is too short and too tailored and I do not think it will complement my dress. Unfortunately the Oli one on the left is sold out, as I think it is the nicest shape of the whole lot.
The Monsoon one on the right is very close to the colour shoes I am going to be wearing and will match the ribbons I hope to tie round the bouquets* (I don't care whether it is supposed to be bad luck, I am looking forward to doing my own flowers...).
Shoes wise I think I am going to leave the girls to pick their own. I cannot decide if they too should wear blue, or whether they should be the exact opposite to me and wear white/silver shoes with a blue dress. I love these Dune ones (full marks to anyone who recognises which recent bride wore these herself but in a different colour) but I think they are too high - I don't want the bridesmaids overshadowing me too much!
Of course, the other option is to make the dresses, based on a pattern of a dress of my choice. Given that one sister can make her own clothes and sister-in-law-to-be is a fashion designer, perhaps that would be the obvious choice. But I saw how stressful that process was last year when I helped make my own bridesmaid dress for sister-in-law-to-be's wedding and I just don't know if I can willingly do that to myself. We shall see...

*which will be, I think, white roses like my own bouquet but a smaller bunch with shorter stems.



Kristy said...

I love those shoes. They're sassy in red OR blue. =) I don't think they're too high; they do have that platform bit in the front that should make them a bit easier to stand in. Comfort is key, though.

You have to cut the stress where you can, I think, so if you don't think it'll be worth it to design and make the dresses, then don't.

Guilty Secret said...

It was Peony!

Have you tried Warehouse and Oasis? They're great for this kind of thing, although I suspect you're looking at more like 70-80 per dress.

I love the look you're going for and those colours are everywhere at the moment - you'll get there.

Rachel said...

Shoes are fab aren't they. And yes, they were worn by the gorgeous Peony but in red.

Thanks for the tips Guilty - I founf a possible contender at Warehouse on your recommendation. But you are right, £50 is just not enough. I have no doubt that I will find something though, at some point. And if I have to, I will design and make them, although at this stage I would rather not...

citysage said...

So pretty! If I were a bridesmaid I would be proud to wear any of these. And I know everyone says it, but these really are dresses you can wear again after the wedding!

redframe said...

Lovely dresses, adore those shoes. If they're all taller than you already, I wouldn't recommend them wearing such a high heel? Good luck with the dress search!
I was a stingy bride and made them get their own dresses! Black though, and any shape/fabric/length so I don't feel TOO bad? x