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What bridesmaid dress style looks good on everyone?

Choosing bridesmaid dresses that will look flattering on all your attendants can seem daunting. With different body types, personal styles, and opinions involved, it’s important to find an option that is versatile and inclusive. The key is selecting a dress style that is figure-flattering and allows for customization. With some strategic style choices, you can find bridesmaid dresses that complement everyone.

Consider Dress Silhouette

The overall silhouette or shape of the bridesmaid dress plays a big role in determining how flattering it will be. Here are some of the most universally flattering options:

  • A-line: Fitted at the top with a skirt that flares out to the hem, this style flatters most body types by cinching the waist and camouflaging hips/thighs.
  • Empire waist: The high empire waist hits just below the bust, drawing attention upwards and discreetly accommodating the midsection.
  • Wrap dress: Wrapping and tying at the side creates an hourglass shape on all figures. Adjustable ties allow it to conform to different body types.
  • Sheath dress: A straight, close-fitting dress flatters slender to athletic body types. Strategic ruching or draping can add shape for curvier figures.

Choose Flattering Fabrics

The fabric and texture of the dress also affects how it fits on different body types. Ideal fabrics have a bit of stretch and flow gracefully over the frame. Recommended options include:

  • Jersey: The knit fabric is smoothing, comfortable, and works for casual or formal dresses.
  • Chiffon: The lightweight, flowing chiffon skims gracefully over curves.
  • Crepe: With a pretty drape, crepe flatters a variety of figures.
  • Satin: The lightweight fabric with a subtle sheen drapes well on the body.

Neckline Styles

Certain necklines are more universally flattering than others. Styles like halter, sweetheart, illusion, and V-neck tend to complement different bust sizes. Higher necklines like bateau or jewel can benefit smaller busted shapes. Straps at least an inch wide help support all bust sizes. Avoid strapless styles which can be tricky to fit and require constant adjusting.

Allow for Customizations

Even when you find a style that suits your bridesmaids, each person may need slight dress modifications for an ideal fit. Build this into your planning. Look for a boutique that offers custom sizing at no extra charge. Styles like wrap dresses, empire waists, and A-line skirts easily allow for hemming at different lengths if your bridesmaids vary in height. Detachable straps give busty and smaller-busted ladies options. Having a variety of necklines and sleeve lengths also allows for personalization.

Suggest Complementary Color Palettes

Flesh-toned lining or nude underlay in dresses prevents the color from looking washed out or unflattering on fair to dark complexions. Allowing your bridesmaids to select from a palette of 2-3 complementing colors that suit their skin tone can make matching the dresses easier. Going for jewel tones, deeper hues, or lighter earth tones tend to work for a wider range of skin tones. Have swatches on hand for them to choose their best color option.

Look for Looser Silhouettes

While bodycon or mermaid styles have their merits, they aren’t the most forgiving on different figures. Wider, less restrictive silhouettes like A-line and empire waists hide problem areas. Draped bodices add flattering shape without clinginess. Hi-low hemlines give the illusion of longer legs on petite frames. There’s no need to show every curve – a little mystery leaves something to the imagination.

Consider Separates

For ultimate versatility, think about bridesmaid separates like mix-and-match tops and skirts. This allows each person to choose the right size and silhouette for their body. Some flattering combinations include:

  • Flared or pleated midi skirt with fitted bodice top
  • A-line chiffon skirt with ruffle crop top
  • Wide leg pants with camisole or halter top
  • Draped skirt over matching slim pants

Just be sure the separates complement each other in color and fabric. Providing swatches or guidelines helps your bridesmaids coordinate their outfits.

Prioritize Comfort

No matter how flattering a dress looks, comfort should still be a priority. Consider details like:

  • Light, breathable fabrics that allow room to move
  • Stretchy knits and waistbands that accommodate different figures
  • Adjustable shoulder straps and back closures for support
  • A skirt that allows ample room to walk, sit, and dance

You want your bridesmaids to enjoy the day without fussing with uncomfortable outfits. Prioritizing their comfort takes precedence over a perfect “look.”

Comparison of Popular Bridesmaid Dress Styles

Here is a comparison table summarizing some of the most versatile and figure flattering bridesmaid dress styles:

Dress Style Description Flattering For… Considerations
A-line Fitted bodice with flared skirt Hourglass, pear shaped, petite, tall Customize skirt length
Empire waist High waist below bust Apple shape, petite, pregnant Accommodates midsection
Wrap dress Crisscross waist ties at side Hourglass, petite, tall, plus size Adjustable fit
Sheath dress Shape-hugging straight silhouette Athletic, straight, slender builds Add ruching/draping for curves
Separates Mix-and-match tops + skirts/pants All body types More versatility and sizing options


At the end of the day, remember that your bridesmaids’ comfort and confidence should take priority over finding the “perfect” universal dress style. Provide guidelines and fabric swatches, but allow them flexibility to choose silhouettes, necklines, and colors that play to their strengths. Custom tailoring and alterations can fine tune the fit. Focus on celebrating your wonderful friends – not dress sizes! With some thoughtful style choices and custom options, you can find bridesmaid dresses that make everyone feel and look their best.