A hot topic of discussion when wedding planning is the bridesmaids dress. In past years, this is the dress that costs a small fortune and your bridesmaids will most likely despise it. The role of bridesmaids has changed over the past few centuries – they were once dowry holders to now the devoted best friends – and with the changes so has the fashion. From the days of rainbow colors, hoop skirts and ruffles that plagued the 80’s, bridesmaids fashions have greatly changed, and I might dare say for the better.
In 1980’s the fashion industry changed when Princess Diana walked down in the aisle in a gorgeous ball gown. Her bridesmaid debut the puffy sleeves and taffeta that would remain for the entire decade. Flower crowns and the color pink were exactly what every bride wanted for her big day towards the end of the 80’s decade.
Fashion in the 90’s swiftly changed to minimalism. This decade had colors that were dark – think navy, black and burgundy – and the dresses were simple and sophisticated. In the middle of the 90’s the color lavender took over for pink as the most popular color because Princess Theodora of Greece chose to wear it to an English wedding. The 90’s also was the debut of the high-low hem line and floral maids’ gowns.
By the time the 2000’s began, it was fashionable to wear full length satin dresses. This is when the rainbow wedding colors began to be front and center but in the pastel colors. Strapless gowns became very popular during the early 2000’s and have actually stuck around. Also, in the mid 2000’s the maid of honor wearing a different shade became popular. We also saw the halter top become popular during this time, along with chiffon fabric and pleating in the front.
In 2010, Carrie Bradshaw (from Sex and the City) paved the way for the loosening of the reins by the bride when it came to bridesmaid dresses and colors. She had her bridal party in not one, but three different haute couture dress and they were each in a different color. This began the mix and match trend.
In 2011 all eyes were on the royal family again, as Kate Middleton married Prince William at Westminster Abbey. Kate brought a full does of tradition back into focus. Pippa Middleton, as maid of honor, wearing all white, brought the age-old trend of all white wedding parties back into focus. All white wedding parties go back to Queen Victoria, who was one of the first to wear all white on her wedding day in 1840. Things started to get natural and organic around 2015. Brides began to use colors like sand, blush and stone for maids. Steel blue, also declared a neutral color was the most popular bridesmaid color in 2019.
Now as we are in our second year of the 2020’s, we find that brides want options for their bridesmaids. The designers are answering this by making a wide variety of silhouettes and colors to please any bridal party. I do see a some 1970’s inspired looks that go with the bohemian vibe. The colors are all across the board but in 2022, you will see more bold and vibrant colors taking the stage! It is the perfect time to be a bride and bridesmaids as your choices are endless!