Monday, January 23, 2012


Dear ESB,

I am a bridesmaid for a close friend. Her maid of honor lives in London, so I have stepped up with the emotional support and random phone calls. A-okay by me. My problem is that the bride wants all of her bridesmaids to wear dresses such as these (number 4 would have to be my favorite out of the choices we have been given, and there are 6 more that I won't even bother to show you at this point):

I am relieved that she has decided to stay away from teal, but now she wants us all to wear black. I have absolutely NO problem wearing black, but not in these dresses! I'm just not a fan of typical bridesmaid-y dresses that I'll spend a chunk of money on and NEVER WEAR AGAIN. I have tried to show her other options, but she feels that these dresses will be better for all of her very dynamic in size bridesmaids. 

Would it be bad to wait a bit and try and convince her to chose other dresses (her wedding isn't until MAY of 2013)? And do you have any ideas of awesome dresses that will flatter all body types AND look awesome in black AND be cheap AND look good in uniform???

AND thank you.

-Bridesmaid being suffocated by a man named David's Bridal


a) F*ck David's Bridal.

b) How do you even know what size you'll all be in May of 2013? Half of you could be pregnant. (Actually, #4 makes you look like you're pregnant already.)

c) THERE IS NO DRESS THAT FLATTERS ALL BODY TYPES. That's why they make dresses in more than one style.

Pls forward this to the bride.



Photo: Sam Ypma by Wilkosz & Way for Fashion Gone Rogue


  1. there is obviously nothing to say in response to this other than WOW THESE ARE AWFUL.

  2. Having recently tried on ALL of these for a friend, lemme just tell you they're even worse in person. But the bridesmaid code is that you gotta suck it up and wear whatever horrid thing she chooses.

    Maybe mention that you could all just get mismatched floor-length black dresses from anywhere and that would flatter everybody more--but if she doesn't go for it, you're stuck.

  3. Man these are barfy. On some level--eh who the hell cares. If the bride is the kind of person who has that aesthetic then maybe its just time to enjoy this ironically. The only 2 times I've been a bridesmaid--the weddings were so low-key that I wore something I already owned. There is a side of me that would LOVE to witness and participate a real live Americana a la david's bridal type wedding. So fascinating and grotesque!

  4. Agree with ESB--#4 is so very preggos. I think floor length black in May is a little strange, but I get that it's not your call. Have you floated the idea of everyone picking out their own black dress in the length she is looking for? If you can convince her on non-uniformity, I think this has some awesome vintage inspired va-va-voom potential. If you can't sway the bride on uniformity Macys and Nordstrom sometimes have the same dresses in womens and pluz size, you just have to go to both sections of their websites to compare (plus will not come up in the womens section search and vice versa). Unfortunatley, there are no good examples of that right this minutes.

  5. I checked one more place. I normally wouldn’t recommend this, but if you take off the brooch is has the potential to be less horrible than the dresses you sent ESB, and it comes in plus sizes.

  6. See if you can make her wait to decide by saying something like, "Do you really want to limit yourself now? By the end of the year, there will be so many more styles of dresses, you might regret choosing so early."

    Because honestly, that's probably what will happen.

  7. Those are hideous dresses. I am so sorry. I hope you can stall, there is really a lot of time until the wedding.

  8. I looked at the first three then I vomited.

    You could try showing her photos of weddings where the bridesmaids aren't wearing identical dresses, aren't identical sizes and the wedding party still looks great. Unless she WANTS you to all look bad? Isn't that the bride's prerogative?

  9. 1) draped grecian and halter styles work on almost all body types; keep your eyes peeled for those from labels like norma kamali (maker of the most flattering and versatile dress i've ever known) and diane von furstenberg, flatterer of the everyone.

    2) buy yourself time by telling bridey that if you gals jump on one of these david's bridal dresses now, they'll be laughably out of style by the time the wedding rolls around. (no need to mention that they're beyond the pale already.)

    3) if you do get stuck in one of these nightmares (and there's a very good chance you will; as others have noted, at the end of the day, your job is to grin and bear it), for god's sake, own that floor-length polyester nonsense. channel alexis carrington and tease your hair within an inch of its life; find accessories which could double as coasters. be sure to position yourself near an offensive person at the reception so that you have the opportunity to throw a drink in someone's face. put that dress to work, is what i'm saying.

  10. Wow, these dresses actually make me feel a lot better about the hideous green satin number I have to wear for a wedding later this year; it is bad, but not THAT bad.

    Oh-- and my fellow bridesmaids and I got stuck with the green monster because we gave our genuine opinions on all the options but told the bride it was ultimately up to her and we'd wear whatever she wanted us to wear. You can't dictate other people's tastes, and when you agree to be a bridesmaid, unfortunately, you get yourself into this shit.

    1. You can just resent the bride quietly until the open bar starts. :)

    2. yes, and then you can resent her out-loud with a drunken toast. WHOOOOPEEEE !

  11. I think that if the bride wants her bridesmaids to wear hideous matching dresses that they will never wear again, she should pay for them. I realize that is not the case with a lot of weddings, but frankly, I don't get that "tradition".

  12. I agree with Anna's comment.

    However, common sense says if you agreed to be in a wedding, particularly of someone traditional, you knew this day was coming the minute you said yes.

    If you are able to get out of this mess, please come back with advice to save the rest of us!

  13. the horror! those are all terrible, I feel your pain. I'm letting my bridesmaids wear whatever the hell they like, and if they want more guidance then I'll give them some options/ideas.

    the best you can do, probably, is to just keep sending her links of other dresses, and why they are better, and she will either a) get the hint and pick something better, b) still go with one of these gross choices. But at least you've got a chance! Can you get any of the other bridesmaids on side? If you all find something else you totally love, she might be more willing to go with it. (though, there is a fine line, it is her day and in the end what she picks goes.)

    1. Ha! I wanted my bridesmaids to wear whatever they wanted, but they asked for guidance, so I gave some parameters and have been sending suggestions. It's working out swimmingly with most ladies, but one or two of them seem to WANT to wear these over the top in the wrong way, typical, bridesmaidy dresses, and I'm doing all I can to remain laid back and let them get what they want... but they won't let me have the chill look I want!

  14. Ha! I like @MST's and @Lauren's suggestions to just go with the whole grotesque awfulness, and do it BIG a la Alexis Carrington. That's if you can't get out of it.

    Send her a million pictures of bridesmaids looking good mismatched, or in all the same colour but different styles.

    I for one want to see the 6 suggestions you didn't send ESB... any chances?

  15. I like @cerebral e and @Justine's suggestions.

    Unfortunately, part of accepting your role as bridesmaid is going along with what the bride wants. #4 is cutest, but #6 would be flattering on most body types (cinched at waist, a-line skirt, can be worn with a regular bra, etc.)

  16. I'd just keep your fingers crossed that she's an esb reader...

    #4 is actually a maternity gown though (maternity appropriate at least)

  17. I agree that part of your role is grinning and bearing it when it comes down to it, but I think it seems too premature to lock in a dress. I would put her off for awhile and start sending her pictures of stylish dresses later this year. I love the idea of a black bridesmaid dress because you could totally wear it again if the style is not hideous!

  18. I tried to tell my bridesmaids to wear whatever they wanted. When they demanded guidelines I told them to wear black dresses. (One of my sisters-in-law is considering Rent the Runway, because "when is she ever going to wear [a black dress of her choosing] again?"... but that's her bag. And that's fine.)

    Friend will either mellow out before wedding day, or go completely off the rails. This is my prediction.

  19. Seriously--tell her to HOLD OFF on buying ANY dresses now.

    Bride-of-mine had us all buy the dresses a year out from the wedding. Now one of the girl has lost 3 dress sizes, and the dress she got no longer fits. Another gal is new to the bridesmaid group. And, of course, dress isn't available anymore.

  20. Yes, I absolutely second ESB and Lola's points about reminding her how much people's sizes can change in a year!! AAhhh! I don't think she can argue with that one...and that buys you time!

  21. Black doesnt photograph well. Tell her that.

  22. Ugh. I don't understand this floor-length bridesmaid dress business. Very few weddings are formal enough to actually call for floor length dresses, and they look dowdy as hell. What is it that makes brides forget that their maids are hot young women and not wealthy dowagers at a museum benefit?

  23. On a related note, if you should end up going to DB....

    first of all, my condolences

    secondly, don't you dare ever give them your address, email, phone number or real name. you will receive phone call after phone call, catalogs, spam like you have never experienced. they will sell your info to a multitude of people like Mary Kay, tuxedo shops, and shittiest mail order invitations I have ever seen.

    it's like contracting marketing herpes that won't go away.

  24. Sheesh. Ok, wait a minute. Let's take a step back and examine the situation.

    The bad news: You may have to spend about 6 hours in a dress that you hate.

    The good news: It's not about you! The bride asked you to be a bridesmaid because she loves you and it's important to HER that you be there to SUPPORT HER on a HER special day.

    Look, planning a wedding is stressful. It's hard trying to accommodate everyone's style, price points, and size. I'm not a fan of david's bridal, but they do offer a wide range of stuff at low prices. There may be some factors in her choice that don't (gasp!) revolve around you. Be happy for your friend. She's getting married! Celebrate it! Don't rain on her (albeit tacky) parade. She probably already has a mother and mother-in-law challenging every single choice she makes anyway; don't add to it. Honestly, is it REALLY that big of a deal to you? I'm guessing that the only person to whom all this is REALLY a big deal is the bride. So suck it up, be a good friend, and back off.

    Luckily, there are two accessories that will make this awful injustice being done to you more tolerable (by you and everyone around you): grace and tact.

    On your wedding day, you can dress everyone in vintage, beaded laundry bags if you like.

  25. BTW, I didn't even look at the dresses. I'm sure they're every bit as terrible as they sound. But the truth is, it doesn't matter.

  26. Thanks for all the feedback! I will definitely give an update if things change for the worse or best, but until then...

    Here are the other six dresses:

    1. ha, these are really awful... but I'm the bride to be, and I guess I understand were your friend is coming from... if this helps, I asked my bridesmaids to wear this:

      Color Smoke/grey. The pink is horrendous, and so are most of the other colors, you might hate it too, but its a suggestions.

      Like ESB say, yes please F&^K david's bridal.