How to Wear a Flattering Bridesmaid Dress

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How to Wear a Flattering Bridesmaid Dress

There are a lot of stories about bridesmaid dresses being rather unprepossessing, so much so that the ugly bridesmaid dress has taken on aspects of an urban myth. The stories are not all fictitious, however, but they are not all true either. Many brides and wedding planners go through the extra effort of making sure the event goes off as flawlessly as possible, and that intense preparation includes bridesmaid dresses.

Bridesmaid dresses are a big deal in weddings, second only to the bridal gown, and quite a few bridesmaids go to considerable expense and effort when choosing them. Nonetheless, beautiful dresses that can serve any bridesmaid may be found in any clothing shop or boutique. More variety and a larger collection have attracted many bridesmaid dress hunters to make use of online sources, like eBay, and other merchant sites, which frankly alleviates worries about not finding a suitable dress by the sheer number of available options alone. Still, knowing how to match types of dresses to body shapes, how to get the fit just right, and other minutiae of wearing a flattering bridesmaid dress only help to make the happy day memorable.

What Makes a Flattering Bridesmaid Dress

There are many reasons that people buy one dress over another, from colour to wedding theme to personal preference or artistic style. Still, there are a number of things that should never be compromised when a bridesmaid is shopping for a flattering dress.


Fit is the most important feature of any dress; it should be one of the first considerations when searching for an exemplary bridesmaid dress. Fitted or loose, an ill-fitting dress makes a bridesmaid look sloppy, which detracts from the overall tone and ambiance of a wedding, more so if the theme of the event is solemn. Fit includes the length of the dress, as not all women are the same height. A dress that looks good on a tall bridesmaid may make a petite bridesmaid look like she is a girl playing dress-up, for instance.

There are many types of dresses that are made for ladies of all sizes and shapes. A bridesmaid dress can always be purchased as is, but it is wise to set aside a date for confirming measurements and making alterations somewhat closer to the wedding, in order to make sure the fit is right. There is no guarantee that a dress that is purchased and measured months before still fits as well on the wedding day as it did then.


Never discount quality; better materials, better sewing, and better designs are important to any dress intended to flatter a woman at events as momentous as weddings. Just because a bridesmaid dress is worn just once does not mean that a garment of shoddy make can pass muster. Good quality bridesmaid dresses last for years, and definitely for more than one use. Investing in quality is an especially good idea these days, when dresses for bridesmaids can be of any style and fashion. Dresses once worn as bridesmaid attire can double as formal event clothing in a pinch, or even as casual clothing for a night out.


There are many styles of dresses that can be worn as favourable bridesmaid attire. However, dress styles can be difficult to choose because how flattering a dress is, whether it is strapless, backless, floor-length or knee-length, all depends upon the individual who is wearing it.

There are, however, dress styles that can be made to flatter a wide array of body shapes and types. A-line dresses and empire-line dresses, for example, complement any woman’s figure that may have some of the problems that women encounter during fittings, such as full busts, wide hips, heavy thighs, and so on.

Dresses and Body Shapes

Different women have different body shapes, and that can lead to difficulties when choosing a dress that complements and flatters all of the bridesmaids’ figures equally. How does a bride choose a dress style that enhances the curves of a lean and tall bridesmaid, while at the same time helps to minimise the bulk on another? A single dress of the sort does not exist, but there are ways to get around this problem.

Custom Fitting

One way to make sure a dress style fits a number of women with different figures is a custom fitting. Many bridesmaids pay for their own dresses, but there are equally as many who possess the good fortune of having their dresses paid for by the bride and groom. It is not unheard of to delegate bridesmaid dress duties to the bridesmaids, themselves. The bride lessens the burden of planning by choosing the colour scheme and the general style of the dress, and then leaves the rest to her bridesmaids. In these instances, the dress has to be altered to the specifications of each individual bridesmaid or the bridesmaid can decide on her own how she is going to modify the dress style to suit her figure.

Make sure that when going to the dressmaker or the boutique, that the measurements of the bridesmaids are accurate and clear.

Body Part

What to Do

What Not to Do


Measure the bust line at the fullest part of the chest and wear a bra, stand naturally; the tape should cover the widest part of the back, just under the arms

Do not take cup size or bra size as an accurate measurement of bust size


Place the tape at the smallest part of the waist, or natural waistline, about 2.5 cm above the belly button; allow some slack between tape and skin

Do not pull the tape too tight or the dress

Do not suck in the stomach

Do not measure at the point where the trouser button is; this is not the natural waist


Stand in relaxed posture; the tape should go around the fullest part of the hips, and around the fullest part of the bum as well

Do not pull the tape tight

Do not forget to leave a little room between tape and hip

Note that different dressmakers may have different ways of sizing, so having accurate measurements on hand ensures a dress with more judicious fit, and a more comfortable bridesmaid.

For dresses that are purchased and not custom-fitted, making sure that the dress size fits comfortably is paramount. Women who purchase their bridesmaid or wedding dresses in bricks and mortar shops and clothing boutiques have the advantage of trying the dresses on before such a major purchase. Of course, online sites, like eBay, have more dresses from which to choose, which are perhaps less costly.

How to Buy a Flattering Bridesmaid Dress on eBay

There are many styles and options when purchasing a bridesmaid dress that flatters the wearer. The online site, eBay, is just one that holds a good collection of such dresses for sale, and it is incredibly simple to get started. Simply navigate to any page on eBay and type in some keywords or descriptions of the items that you want to buy in the search bar. Even simple keywords, like "bridesmaid dresses", results in a multitude of items related to your keywords. It is impractical to browse each of the items one at a time, so use eBay’s site tools to cull the flattering dresses you want from those that you do not. It is possible to order the results list by price, condition, location, and more. The more specific the description is that you type into the search bar, the more relevant results that are shown, so try something, like "strapless white chiffon bridesmaid dress", rather than simply "bridesmaid dress".

Make sure that the seller is reputable; read the feedback and evaluate whether it is a good idea to purchase your dresses from the seller or not. Evaluate the product as best you can to ensure that you get a beautiful dress that is one of the highlights of your stint as a bridesmaid.


There are many dresses that can be entirely complementary to a bridesmaid wanting to impress. Wearing a bridesmaid dress well depends upon many factors, such as style, quality, fit, and how the bridesmaid carries the dress. Apart from the bride and groom, all eyes are on the bridesmaids and the groomsmen so every member of the wedding party has to have impeccable style, from their hair to their footwear, which must complement the attire. Bridesmaid dresses do not have to be unappealing and they do not have to be expensive; after all, what matters is that the wedding gets off without a hitch.

There are many places to acquire an ideal bridesmaid dress, not all of them in wedding shops. An ordinary dress can be modified to serve as an appealing garment of which any bridesmaid can be proud. There are plenty of flattering bridesmaid dresses on eBay and other online shops, making sure that any bridesmaid looking for that single perfect dress is not disappointed.

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