Traditional to Trendy, Bridesmaid Gown Designers Offer a Wide Range of Choices

July 27, 2012
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By Anastasia Millicker

Novelty is in when it comes to bridesmaid dresses this season with various lengths, accents and colors seen walking down the aisle ahead of the bride.

During this summer season, bright colors are the way to go. From pink to coral and bright purples, Nicole Caivano-Wilson of Mustillo’s Bridal Boutique in Red Bank said, colors are in.

Black is also making an appearance, though it may become more present during formal fall and winter weddings. Black – in both chic and classic styles – is introducing itself into wedding parties, according to

Color blocking is a trend that was seen in spring weddings and continues to be popular this year. The bright bursts of color bring life to the typical wedding palette of light colors. Bridesmaids can wear a peplum or cardigan in a matching color to bring color to their pale-colored dresses.

For those who are fashionably adventurous, bridesmaids can add flair wearing colors that contrast to other dresses and the decor but no more than three colors are recommended, according to

Brides are asking for a range of styles from cocktail to floor-length with chiffon as a highly desirable fabric. Strapless is the best selling neckline, Caivano-Wilson said. While soft A-line and trumpet skirts are best-sellers, silhouettes with novelty accents, such as flowers, petals and belts to highlight features about the dress are popular, too.

“Since bridesmaids often pay for their own dresses, they want something that they can wear over and over again,” said media specialist Harper Butler in a prepared statement. “As conventions for weddings have relaxed, so has the dress code for brides and bridesmaids.”

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She said many bridesmaids will wear “youthful, fresh, and reusable dresses.”

Wedding location, time of day, and whether the event is formal or more casual helps in determining what fabric to use and what type of dress to select, Caivano-Wilson said.

For a summer beach theme wedding, popular in the Two River area, Caivano-Wilson recommends selecting a more easy-going style than a structured dress in either a long or short length and in chiffon.

Many designers are encouraging bridesmaids to show a little leg, creating tea-length dresses that could be worn again, according to

Strapless and lace bridemaid gowns are among the wide variety of choices available at Mustillo’s, 11 Broad St., Red Bank.

Lace is also gracing the aisle. Since the royal wedding in 2011, lace has been spotted on many wedding dresses, as well as part of cake designs and table décor. Bridesmaid dresses with details, such as lace sleeves or panels, are also proceeding down the aisle. However, the full lace belongs only in the bride’s overlay, according to

A popular wedding trend these days is for brides to allow their attendants to choose their style, silhouette and gown fabric while giving them a restricted palette, according to

Caivano-Wilson said the brides she assists are often undecided about whether to dress their bridesmaids in one dress or allow each one to choose her own individual dress.

“Some brides are keeping it traditional with all bridesmaids wearing the same dress while others are letting their bridesmaids choose different style dresses but all in the same color or color scheme,” she said.

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The vintage trend is still holding strong with bridesmaids wearing flapper and drop-waist dresses while some stretch their choice to a more sensual side with Marilyn Monroe-style inspired bridesmaid dresses.

Another returning style is the wrap dress. A wardrobe staple in the 1970s, the wrap dress is adaptable and feminine. Women can either wear it with the traditional V-cut neckline or a bateau neckline and plunging V-back.

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