1. To each their own.
Keep stress out of your life and theirs by letting your bridesmaids chose their own dresses. To prevent your wedding party from looking like a random collection of wedding guests, I strongly suggest that you give them certain guidelines—length, color (a specific color or a color range), fabric type, etc. I love the picture below because it shows that each bridesmaid has an individual style, but still looks coordinated.
2. Choose a convertible.
I was a bridesmaid in a wedding where we all chose the same convertible dress in the same color and we each wore the top of the dress in a different configuration. The result turned out beautifully. We all loved the dresses and the bride was super pleased with the outcome.
3. Make a bee-line for the a-line.
If you don’t trust your bridesmaids to choose their own dresses and you really want a uniform look so the convertible dress idea is not appealing to you, I implore you to consider the body types of your bridesmaids. Bridesmaids (like everyone else) come in all shapes and sizes. And if you are insistent about picking out the dress they will wear in your wedding, do yourself and them a favor by choosing a style and cut that is flattering to everyone’s body type. When in doubt, chose an a-line cut, as it is universally flattering.
7. Black and white are no longer taboo.
Picking a neutral color such as white, ivory or black for your bridesmaids provides a great backdrop for almost any color palette. And if your bridesmaids like the cut and style, there is a greater possibility that they would be able to wear the dress again.