These days, most brides in the UK are flanked by bridesmaids wearing dresses by ASOS—the site currently has over 600 styles accounting for all body shapes, tastes and types of wedding, making it a popular bridal destination. Our We Try Before You Buy series aims to take the stress out of shopping, and nothing is quite as stressful as trying to find one dress that will keep several of your friends happy. It would take hours to scroll through the hundreds of dresses available on ASOS, so we had Shannon Peter, Byrdie's deputy editor, try on a selection of the best.
"Finally I've reached the age where my friends are getting married," says Shannon. "Up first, it's the most important of them all: the best friend, Addie. She and Chris (who she met in college) are getting married at the quaintest church in our childhood village in Devon before a party in some beautiful woodlands nearby. I'm not only a bridesmaid but also her maid of honour, and so it's my duty to try on all the dresses to figure out what works, right?" Keep scrolling to see what Shannon makes of the key bridesmaid dresses in ASOS right now.
On Shannon: Jarlo Tall Frill Cutwork Lace Off-Shoulder Stepped-Hem Midi Dress (£130)
The verdict: "I'm obsessed with the shape of this one, even if it's a bit roomy up top for my small chest. It is chic and summery and a great length. Even if this isn't the bridesmaid dress, I'm definitely considering buying it anyway."
On Shannon: ASOS Edition Bird Embellished Smock Midi Dress (£180)
The verdict: "This one may be bloody batsh*t (I mean, it has sequined parrots all over it), but I kinda love it. It's like the lovechild of Ashish and Molly Goddard, which does trump the mundanity of more traditional bridesmaid dresses, but it's perhaps a little bit OTT for the occasion. I'm not sure I know a single bride who would agree to it, so perhaps save this for a summer party."
On Shannon: ASOS Petite Premium Lace Top Tulle Midi Prom Dress With Ribbon Ties (£85)
The verdict: "This has more of the trappings of a regular bridesmaid dress (lace, tulle, ribbon), but as it's super low-backed and has a halter, nip slips aren't just probable, they're almost a certainty."
On Shannon: Hope and Ivy Floral Printed Maxi Dress With Thigh Split (£80)
The verdict: "Oh, how I adore this dress. The fabric feels sturdy enough to drape nicely but not too stiff that it'd leave you feeling sweaty and gross. The scalloped neckline is so pretty, the print is dreamy and it has sleeves that are super flattering. The slit is pretty high (prepare for your Angelina moment), but you could easily sew it up a little bit further if you wanted."
On Shannon: ASOS Bridesmaid Long Sleeve Lace Pleated Midi Dress (£85)
The verdict: "Addie is really into lace for her bridesmaid dresses, so I think she might like this one. I definitely do. It's super sophisticated and comfortable and a really flattering length. And the colour is divine."
On Shannon: ASOS Sleeveless Sequin Bodice Maxi Dress With Cutout and Bow-Back Detail (£90)
The verdict: "This one was maybe a little too glitzy (if only adults had proms), but the silky fabric of the skirt drapes so well. It's that perfect shade of blush that is super flattering on all skin tones—there's nothing worse than an insipid pink to make you look drained in a wedding photo."
On Shannon: ASOS Premium Embroidered Ruffle Wrap Midi Dress (£75)
The verdict: "Creases. So many creases. So if you're going for this dress, make sure you pack a steamer and start steaming about three days ahead. But once smoothed out, it's divine and the embroidery is beautiful. Maybe more of a wedding guest than bridesmaid dress, though."
Race you to the floral maxi dress.
All the beautiful furniture featured in the Who What Wear UK office can be purchased via John Lewis now.
All imagery captured on the Google Pixel 2.