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4 things to remember when your bridesmaids have different body shapes

Ever heard of one size fits all? Finding a dress that does just that AND looks good is like finding a needle in a haystack – pretty damn hard. 
And that’s never been truer than when a gaggle of bridesmaids are being forced to wear the same frock – 
even though it might hit all the right places on one, it could highlight all the wrong places on another. Putting your leading ladies in a dress they feel uncomfortable in or puts their bod on display in a way they’re not used to is a sure-fire way to wind up with unhappy bridesmaids. Yes, what you choose for your besties could come up trumps, but taking into consideration what they want to wear is important too – especially if they’re paying for the dress themselves. 

Play it by shapes

No doubt you’ve heard/read all about how certain body shapes are best suited to particular silhouettes, but if not, arming yourself with this kind of know-how can make a huge difference to your shopping expeditions. Just imagine how much smoother these trips would be if you knew that putting your friend with big boobs in a strapless or halter dress could lead to a Janet Jackson style wardrobe malfunction. The good news is that knowing what works for different body shapes doesn't mean corralling your bridesmaids into some sort of police line-up where you need to go along and label each one as an apple or pear. It’s really just as simple as calling it how you see it: which of your besties have broad shoulders? Who’s working with the height of a Victoria's Secret model? And who has a booty that would make the Kardashians look twice? So we’re not going to give you a full blow-by-blow, instead we’re just going to stick to the basics…

Big boobs
Avoid halter necks – it’ll make the girls look bigger! Off-the-shoulder styles are super flattering, and a fuller skirt will help balance the proportions. A dress that can be worn with a good, supportive bra is a massive plus.

Bit of booty
Depending on how much butt you want to show, try wrap dresses or A-line skirts. Keep an eye on the length of the dresses as a bigger booty will push the dress or skirt out, making it shorter.

Broad shoulders
Avoid too much detailing on the top unless you’re counteracting it with volume on the skirt. Emphasising the waist will balance the proportions. Up top, V-necks, scoop necklines and thicker straps are winners. 

Long, lanky torso
Drop-waists and sheaths are a no-no. Instead, dresses with a cinched waist or A-line skirt will create the illusion of an hourglass figure. 

Petite frame
A V-neckline will elongate the body. Avoid drop-waists, thick straps or hems that cut off at the knee – they’ll make your ‘maid look shorter.

Small boobs
Think ruching, sweetheart necklines or details (like ruffles or lace) that add volume or texture. 

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Don't leave it too late

There’s a saying that the early bird gets the worm, and the same goes with locking down your bridesmaids' dresses. Unless you’re having the frocks made-to-measure, walking in to any given shop and expecting to magically stumble upon a dress that fits each girl perfectly probably won’t happen straight off the bat (sorry to burst your shopping bubble). Ticking off your bridesmaids' dresses early will give you time to arrange any alterations – taking up the hem, tweaking the neckline or adding sleeves. Changing an existing design even just a little bit might make your girls a lot more comfortable and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune either – if you’re having alterations done to your wedding dress, ask the seamstress if they can do your bridesmaids' dresses too (and see if you can wrangle a discount!). 

Flexibility can be a good thing

Compromise doesn’t have to be a dirty word when it comes to your wedding. It can actually be a good thing, both for your anxiety levels and the happiness of your bridesmaids. Having an idea of how you want your leading ladies to look is only natural, but (deep breath) being flexible is super handy when you’re dressing bridesmaids who don’t look like cookie-cutter clones of one another. That means not ruling out different necklines or silhouettes and considering a colour that flatters your bridesmaids' skin tones. No, we’re not saying you need to abandon your Pinterest board completely; we’re just talking about keeping an open mind. You might have had to do something similar when you were hunting for your own dress.

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Let your ladies have a say

Who knows your bridesmaids' bodies better than them, right? Asking your leading ladies to put forward a selection of colours and styles isn’t only a courteous move, it’s also downright practical. Plus, it’s as good a reason as any to bring all of your girls together, pop the cork on a bottle of bubbly and have a solid sesh of dress talk. Have each of your bridesmaids come armed with ideas about what they might like to wear or what they would like to avoid, then see which suggestions are popular and which ones go down like a lead balloon. If an idea comes up again and again and doesn’t have your ladies wrinkling their nose in distaste, it’s probably a winner. Be warned though: getting everyone to agree on the one style/shape/colour could take some time and if you can't reach a popular vote, don’t be afraid to take control or play the ‘I’m the bride’ card. 

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