After the bride has carefully chosen the style, fabric, or even just the color of the bridesmaid dress to wear on her big day, it is your job to go to the store and try it on. Before stepping into this polyester or chiffon dress, it is a good idea to find out what to wear with a bridesmaid dress to get the most out of this important pre-wedding experience.
You will most likely need multiple bridesmaid dresses, but you can act like a pro on your first appearance by preparing yourself for these six essential things.
1. Suitable underwear
If you don’t know what to wear with a bridesmaid dress, start with the basics – underwear. “A bridesmaid should wear exactly the underwear that she would like to wear with her clothes on the day of the wedding,” says expert Gabriella Risatti.
Meet the expert
Gabriella Risatti is an expert in the bridal industry and founder of the Gabriella New York Bridal Salon, which offers brides a personalized shopping experience.
Since you’re not sure how the dress will fit, bring a few different bra options, especially a strapless version, to find out which is the most comfortable and which goes best with the dress. Keep it plain and simple by sticking to seamless styles and nude hues as nobody wants your cheetah print bra to stick out. If the dress has a low or open back, cups may even be sewn in, but bra variations are still helpful.
2. Shoe options
The bride may ask you to purchase a special pair of shoes of a particular style or color, but for the time being, bring a few different shoe options to try on the dress with. This is a great way to give her an idea of which shoes you think will work best when trying on bridesmaid dresses. Dresses are usually designed for a 5’10 “bridesmaid, so bring shoes with a similar heel to how you might wear them on the big day. This will determine how much hemming or whether you are taller, whether you want extra length need to dress.
“If the bridal party doesn’t have shoes for the fit and the dress is long, the bridesmaid should definitely wait until she has the right shoes before doing the hem,” says Risatti. “The seamstress can change the dress almost entirely and simply leave the hem for further adjustment. It is too risky to make the hem without the actual shoe.”
Since you have a makeup face on wedding day and your hair is pinned back, you can jump forward to what the dress will actually look like by splashing on some lipstick and going red when you try putting on it. “I recommend taking the time to keep your hair and makeup looking nice before you adjust, so that you get a great idea of what you will look like in the actual day,” says Risatti. “You are certainly less likely to love the dress if you just roll out of bed and show up when you adjust it.”
If the bride has given the bridal party new earrings or necklaces to wear for her crew on the big day, or if she already has a particular jewelry vision in mind, bring these accessories to visualize the entire ensemble while you try it out Dress on. Plus, the bride-to-be will be delighted when you know you are on board with her accessories. Send selfies with the full look, jewelry, and anything to get her seal of approval and earn Bridesmaid Brownie Points. “Even if the bride hasn’t chosen any jewelry yet, it’s often a good idea to wear at least a few fancy earrings to keep the look going,” says Risatti.
5. Hair ties or clips
Do you wear your hair to the wedding? Bring a hair elastic or hair clip to get a better idea of what the dress will look like with an updo. This will also give you more pictures of the neckline and the back of the dress.
6. A good attitude
“Most importantly, when the bride is present with the adjustment, keep things positive,” says Risatti. Even if you’re not in love with the dress the bride picked, keep your thoughts to yourself. Go in there and know that you can add your own touch of personality to the dress with makeup and accessories.