Every bride wants her bridal party to look and feel their best on her big day. For many brides, that means choosing bridesmaid dress styles that can flatter a wide variety of body types and sizes. With so many bridesmaid dresses to choose from, it may feel challenging to choose a style that complements every figure. Sadly, not every designer carries as many extended sizes as we’d like. But we’re here to help you navigate the ones that do — and help you find styles that will make every important woman in your life feel confident and radiant.
When you’re considering dresses, the trick is to focus on three major features — necklines, waistlines and skirt styles. Choosing the right style of each helps bridesmaids highlight their favorite features and play down the parts they’d rather not draw attention to. The right waist, skirt and neckline can make all the difference. Petite, tall, curvy or somewhere in between? Our recommendations will help you nail your bridal party look.
Make a Statement in an Off-the-Shoulder Neckline
If you want to create an elegant without showing too much cleavage, an off-the-shoulder look is a great choice.
The Aura Thea Bridesmaid Dress is one of our favorite dresses from the Aura by Brideside collection. Thea’s off-the-shoulder neckline makes a statement, but it’s modest enough to satisfy brides and bridesmaids who don’t want to show off too much cleavage. (And there’s room for a strapless bra, too!) The straps fold in the back creating an elegant, contoured V shape that’s universally flattering. Its fit and flare skit is bulk-free — it helps create curves on straight bodies and define them on shapelier ones.
Like all of the Aura bridesmaid dresses made in Lux Crepe fabric, Thea has just the right amount of stretch and holds shape beautifully. It adds definition without being restrictive. Thea, shown in ‘Jasper’ below, comes in 17 sophisticated shades and sizes 0–26.
Use Strategic Pleats to Emphasize the Waistline
If you have a natural hourglass or curvy figure, you’ll want to focus on finding the best waistline to emphasize it. A well-defined waistline or waistband adds structure to any dress, ensuring that your dress hugs your curves instead of hiding them under bulky or boxy fabric. Contrary to popular belief, loose styles won’t minimize curves or extra weight. Dresses that look tailored and fitted to your specific body type will work with your natural shape instead of against it.
Meet the Brideside Ashley Bridesmaid Dress, pictured below. Asymmetrical pleating on its bodice narrows to meet at the natural waist — defining and showcasing curves. If you have a natural hourglass figure, this style will further emphasize it. If you have a more athletic or straight body type, it can give the illusion of a curvier figure. As an added bonus, the bodice pleating provides extra support up top. If you wear a smaller cup size, you can get away without wearing a bra, but if you need extra support, it’s right there for you. Ashley’s spaghetti straps start straight, then narrow into a V shape in back, creating elegant lines along the collarbone and back.
The Perfect Balance: A Flowy Circle Skirt and a Structured Bodice
If you’re looking for a truly versatile style, try Cerisa, one of our best-selling Amsale bridesmaid dresses. Its full circle skirt is soft and romantic, and truly looks great on everyone. It adds shape and whimsy to straight or athletic frames and provides coverage for curve-conscious women.
The sweetheart neckline has a supportive bodice — perfect for supporting a large cup size or for adding definition to a smaller one. Its inverted V neckline defines the collarbone and the vertical soft pleats on the bodice have a lengthening effect.
Cerisa works well for every body type and is available in sizes 00 to 28. It’s the perfect pick for a bride who wants all her bridesmaids to wear the same dress and who wants them to feel good doing so! Unlike some designers, Amsale never charges extra for extended sizing. Not only do we love the dress, we adore Amsale’s inclusive size policy.
Create Curves with a Draped Ruffles
If you’re petite, there are ways to create curves while lengthening your frame. Brideside’s Cameron bridesmaid dress, below, does both at once.
We love Brideside Cameron Bridesmaid Dress because it has serious boho and ethereal vibes, but it also can give some shape and movement to a straight figure. A double layer of ruffle drapes over Cameron’s strapless bodice — adding the illusion of volume for those who are small on top (or all over). Strapless styles are especially easy for bridesmaids with smaller cup sizes to wear because they don’t require much support. A wide waistband hits at the natural waist, and a circle skirt rounds out the look. Both of these features make the wearer look elegant and elongated.
Like literally everything, the devil is in the details. Subtle differences in waistlines, necklines and skirts can make the same bridesmaid dresses look great on one body type and not so great on others.
We want your bridesmaids to feel as good on the wedding day as you do, and we have a perfect style for every figure. Shop Brideside to find the perfect fit for your bridesmaids, or sign up to get free, personalized styling and sizing help for each and every one of them.