Choosing bridesmaid dresses is an exciting part of wedding planning, but it can also be challenging. Many brides want their bridesmaids to have cohesive looks that complement each other and the overall wedding style. This often leads to brides choosing matching bridesmaid dresses for their wedding party. However, matchy-matchy bridesmaid dresses have fallen out of favor in recent years. Instead, many brides are opting to give their bridesmaids more flexibility with their dress style by mixing and matching different fabrics for their bridesmaid dresses.
Pros of Mixing and Matching Bridesmaid Dress Fabrics
There are many potential benefits to mixing and matching fabrics for your bridesmaids:
- Lets bridesmaids show their personal style – When you allow mix and match dresses, each bridesmaid can pick a style that flatters her body type and reflects her personal taste.
- Offers more affordable options – Not all bridesmaids have the same budget. Giving fabric options allows each person to stay within their means.
- Accommodates body types – Your bridesmaids likely have different body shapes and sizes. Mixing fabrics gives more options to flatter each one.
- Avoids dress twins – Mixing fabrics reduces the chance bridesmaids will end up wearing identical dresses as it expands the design possibilities.
- Adds visual interest – Contrasting bridesmaid dress fabrics creates an eclectic, stylish look compared to all matchy-matchy dresses.
Overall, mix and match bridesmaid dresses allow for more personalization and flexibility while still achieving a cohesive wedding party look.
Cons of Mixing and Matching Bridesmaid Dress Fabrics
However, there are also a few potential downsides to keep in mind with mix and match bridesmaid dresses:
- May look mismatched – If not executed properly, contrasting fabrics can look haphazard rather than purposefully eclectic.
- Requires coordination – To still look cohesive, you’ll need to provide color and style guidance so the mix of fabrics is harmonious.
- Can be more complex logistically – It may require more time and effort to coordinate different dress orders compared to identical dresses.
- Limits certain fabrics – Fabrics like chiffon or satin drape differently, so limiting mix and match options to similar fabric types creates a more cohesive look.
While these cons are easily overcome with clear communication and coordination, they are important to keep in mind.
Guidelines for Mixing and Matching Fabrics
If you want to mix bridesmaid dress fabrics, follow these tips:
Pick 1-2 main colors
Select one or two colors as a base for your palette. This keeps the mismatched dresses from looking like rainbow explosion.
Set fabric guidelines
Stick to 2-3 similar fabrics like chiffon, satin, and lace to create cohesion through texture. If you want to mix substantially different fabrics, limit it to solids and prints or lighter and heavier materials.
Direct style elements
Guide bridesmaids toward a specific neckline, skirt shape, sleeve length, etc. Consistent style elements tie the different fabrics together.
Allow some accessorizing
Letting bridesmaids pick their own jewelry, shoes, or shrugs gives them freedom to personalize their look.
Create a Pinterest board
Curate a Pinterest board with dress examples featuring your approved colors, fabrics, and styles. This provides visual inspiration for your bridesmaids.
Popular Fabrics to Mix and Match
Not all fabrics work well together in bridesmaid dresses. Here are some of the best fabric combinations:
Chiffon and Lace
The lightweight flow of chiffon contrasts beautifully with the intricate texture of lace. Pair them in similar colors for boho elegance.
Satin and Tulle
The luxurious sheen of satin plays nicely against the dreamy flutter of tulle. Keep satin for skirts or bodices and use tulle for accents.
Cotton and Chiffon
Crisp cotton exudes casual charm while breezy chiffon adds ethereal femininity. Use cotton for sundress styles and chiffon for flowy overlays.
Silk and Crepe
Luxe silk and weighted crepe fabrics drape elegantly on the body. Opt for similar hues and styles for visual cohesion.
Lace and Crepe
Romantic lace looks stunning against structured crepe in both modern and vintage-inspired styles.
When mixing different bridesmaid dress fabrics, it’s best to limit it to 2-3 textiles that share qualities like weight, sheen, or texture. This helps the mismatched dresses appear purposefully coordinated.
Tips for Mixing Bridesmaid Dress Styles
Along with fabrics, you can also mix and match elements like silhouettes, necklines, and sleeve lengths:
Guide neckline styles
Directing your bridesmaids toward similar necklines (e.g. all v-necks or scoop necks) ties the different dresses together.
Keep hemlines cohesive in length (knee, midi, ankle etc). Avoid wild variations in skirt length within the group.
Set sleeve guidelines
You can mix sleeve options (e.g. sleeveless, cap sleeves, short sleeves) or stick to one consistent style across the group.
Ensure all dress styles have a similar level of formality. Don’t mix uber casual sundresses with formal gowns.
The collection of silhouettes (A-line, bodycon, trumpet etc.) should be cohesive. Pair looser styles with more fitted ones.
Allowing bridesmaids to pick their own dress style opens up many options while still looking coordinated. Provide guidelines to achieve balance.
Real Bride Examples Mixing Bridesmaid Dress Fabrics
Here are some real brides who successfully mixed fabric colors and textures for their mismatched but cohesive bridesmaid dresses:
Blush and Neutrals
|This bride paired soft neutral chiffon dresses with subtle blush pink lace dresses for a dreamy boho vibe. Keeping colors in the same color family and using delicate fabrics created continuity.|
Satin and Chiffon
|Mixing the elegant sheen of satin with the ethereal movement of chiffon, this bride chose complementary neckline and silhouette styles for cohesion. Rich jewel tones in the same depth of color looked luxe.|
Lace and Crepe
|This bride opted for visually textured contrast pairing delicate lace with substantial crepe in similar silhouettes. Keeping the palette to shades of blush and peach gave the mix depth without clashing.|
These real bride examples demonstrate how selecting 2-3 complementary fabrics in a coordinated color scheme allows you to create a beautifully mismatched bridesmaid look.
Mixing and matching bridesmaid dress fabrics gives you the best of both worlds: visual interest through texture and fabric contrasts yet overall cohesion. Set clear guidelines for colors, fabrics, and styles. Select 2-3 textiles like chiffon, lace, and satin that share properties like weight and drape. Direct the neckline or skirt shape. Then let your bridesmaids choose the dress that suits their body, style and budget while still complementing your wedding vision.