The Golden Rules of Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses

Historically, bridesmaid dresses are not known for being the most attractive of things. Just look at 27 Dresses, Bridesmaids or My Best Friends Wedding—all iconic wedding films that reveal the charged and often political process that goes into finding one generally hideous dress to fit a group of women of varying shapes and sizes. Thankfully, times are changing, and among many other bridal traditions, the unflattering, one-size-fits-all dress is becoming a thing of the past.

Goodbye, matchy-matchy. This year it's all about the mismatched bridesmaid look. If you think about it, the idea of putting all your adult friends in the same dress is a little odd. Why would you shoehorn everyone into the same style when you can pick different dresses to suit the shape and personality of each bridesmaid? It will offer your wedding a more vibrant and modern aesthetic and will, in the long term, result is much less grief for everyone involved (trust us on this one).

The only tricky thing about opting for the mismatched approach is that it can be hard to harmonise different dresses. Obviously you're aiming for that eclectic look, but you don't want them to actively jar when placed side by side. That's where we come in. We've matched four common wedding themes with four curated dress edits to cater to four different bridesmaids. Simple. Scroll down to see how we made it work and shop the styles.

Modern Florals 

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Who What Wear

Style Notes: Florals might not be the first theme that springs to mind for the modern bridesmaid, but over the last few years, there's been a steady stream of up-and-coming designers giving the classic print a fashionable update. Despite being individually distinct, these four styles all work well together because they all feature a touch of white.

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Who What Wear

Style Notes: A black-tie wedding is a great excuse to go all out with your bridesmaid dresses. In this edit, I've mixed simple silken looks with a couple of more textural numbers to create a satisfying contrast. I've also purposefully chosen two styles in pastel hues and two in richer shades.

Destination Wedding

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Who What Wear

Style Notes: When looking for dresses for a destination wedding, so many things come into play: You have to consider everything from weather and terrain (e.g., are you on a beach?) to packing-proof fabric. I also think you can get away with more daring and eclectic looks—think jumpsuits, paint-box brights and unusual prints.

Keep it Tonal 

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Who What Wear

Style Notes: If you want the cohesiveness of matching dresses without the cringe factor, try going tonal. This is a great option for those who don't feel so confident matching four very different dresses (it's pretty hard to mess this one up). Just make sure you pick a universally flattering hue. Our faves include powder blue, forest green and pale pink.