All all too often, prom dresses are itchy and unflattering, and are available with a price tag — as well as a cost per wear — that’s simply offensive. But it doesn’t need to be this way. Go-to silhouettes are shifting, and deliberate mixes of hues, patterns, or styles rather than cookie-cutter identical gowns are increasingly becoming standard. According to Pinterest’s annual trend report, looks for “nonmatching bridesmiad gowns” increased 19 times in the last year, says Larkin Brown, Pinterest’s in-house stylist and head of core research. “Less is much more when it comes to nuptials this season, from smaller gatherings to more minimalist wedding gowns,” she shares, developing a “more casual, minimalist approach” to bridesmiad gowns, too.
Whether you go searching for matching or otherwise, the choices for perhaps less traditional bridesmiad gowns have never been more plentiful. With that in mind, we reached to more than a dozen bridal pros to discover the dresses they recommend — almost all of which you’d be thrilled to put on again. (The exception? One is returnable.)
Bridgette Bartlett Royall, a founder of Black Bridal Bliss, suggests non-bridal brands and retailers for sexy wedding dresses options too, like “department stores, specialty shops, even fast-fashion chains” for example ASOS, Zara, and HM for “attire that may work beautifully for any wedding.” Olson says the ASOS Design Collection is “a particularly wise decision if you are looking for any super on-trend look; hello, puff sleeves!” Writer and editor Laura Lajiness, who frequently covers bridal fashion, can also be fond of ASOS for bridesmaid looks, because of its “really strong wedding edit, with choices for petite, tall, and sizes,” she says. “Don’t hesitate to embrace trendy silhouettes just like a puff sleeve or asymmetric neckline, but I think it’s nice to balance them out with other classic or minimal silhouettes within the mix. Too many trends at the same time will be distracting.”