bridesmaids dresses

(GIF: Giphy)

I’ve never been a bridesmaid before, but I’ve heard enough horror stories to know that they can be ridiculously overpriced and, once the wedding is past, totally unwearable. And, setting aside the fact that being a bridesmaid is a pretty big honor and one of the few times it’s socially acceptable to be seen wearing the same dress as another girl at the party, the bridesmaid dress selection process can get a little bit scary if you don’t play it right. You have to take the bride’s wishes into consideration, all while dealing with varying individual budgets and that one girl who hates everything except for that one really horrifying puke-green satin gown with the drop waist and cap sleeves (I just made that up, but I’m sure somewhere out there a bridesmaid dress like that exists). But it doesn’t have to be so hard! In fact there are plenty of dresses out there that are gorgeous, under $100, and totally wearable IRL. 

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Especially with the growing trend of having bridesmaids wear all different dresses while following the same color scheme, it’s easier than ever to find a great bridesmaid dress to fit your style and budget. Here are 13 dress that I’m particularly fond of:

1. Ladylove Wine Red Strapless Maxi Dress (Lulu*s, $74)

wine red strapless

I imagine this would work best for a nighttime or black tie wedding, since this gown, both in shape and color, is pretty glamorous, and while I’m not personally a fan of strapless dresses (I hate strapless bras and always find myself yanking the dress up every 10 minutes), the shape of this neckline is rather beautiful.

2. LC Lauren Conrad Runway Collection Open-Back Lace Column Dress (Kohl’s $37)

lc lauren conrad bridesmaids

More and more brides are hopping on the “letting my bridesmaids wear white or pale-colored dresses” train, and this lace column dress from Lauren Conrad‘s runway collection is a perfect bridesmaids option! It’s under $40, so it’s in everyone’s budget, and this shape is universally flattering. Spoiler alert: the back is to die for.

3. Debutante Crop Top Midi Scuba Dress (ASOS, $81)

debutante crop

I’m of the opinion that, if you’re going to go for a short dress, it needs to have some kind of shape or structure. If you go with one of the standard chiffon, knee-length strapless numbers, your bridesmaids will inevitably look like teenagers on their way to homecoming. And I’m saying this as someone who wore a short strapless dress to her senior prom.

4. Beyond Compare Dress in Sapphire (ModCloth, $94.99)

beyond compare dress

If you don’t want to have to worry about accessorizing your bridesmaids as well as dressing them, this beaded collar is the perfect choice!

5. Contemporary Front-Slit Maxi Dress (Forever 21, $29.90)

contemporary maxi

Or, if you don’t really want to accessorize them at all, choosing a bridesmaids dress in a bold color with a high neckline is probably the way to go. You could style it with a loose updo, a bigger post earring (but nothing too big), and a gold shoe, and you can forgo bold accessories altogether.

6. Kimchi Blue Off-The-Shoulder Midi Dress (Urban Outfitters, $69)

off the shoulder midi dress

I’ve loved this kind of neckline ever since I watched Beauty and the Beast when I was a kid and saw Belle’s dress. Pair this with heels and a braided updo (lose the hat, please), and you’ve turned an otherwise casual dress into a great formal option.

7. Long Dress with Chain Neckline (ZARA, $69.90)

long dress with chain neckline

Again, the chain neckline takes care of the accessorizing, and the color, material, and cut are perfect for a romantic wedding.

8. May Scuba Cutaway Neckline Midi Dress (Boohoo, $35)

boohoo scuba

I have a vision in the back of my mind wherein my bridesmaids will be wearing black, as much as my mom doesn’t want that. I love the shape of this dress, and as much as black isn’t usually welcome at a wedding, you have to admit that it looks good on everyone.

9. Textured Sheath Dress (LOFT, $89.95)

textured sheath dress

Like I said, if you’re going to go short, make sure you’re going with good shape.

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10. Glamorous Juku Jacquard Dress (Nasty Gal, $44)

glamorous juku dress

I can see this dress working for an outdoor wedding, and I imagine that that has something do with the floral print.

11. Dessy Collection Strapless Ruched Chiffon Gown (Nordstrom, $66)

strapless ruched chiffon

This is probably what immediately comes to mind when you think “bridesmaids dress,” right? And as simple as this is, there’s nothing wrong with it! There’s a reason this style has stuck around for years on end.

12. Crepe Plunge Scallop Hem Shift Dress (Missguided, $34)

crepe plunge scallop

I love that the visual interest here is in the hem of the dress, rather than the neckline or the print of the dress. This could work great with nude heels and a long gold necklace.

13. Dancing In The Spring Dress (Tobi, $46)

dancing in the spring

Simple is always a good idea, and you know your bridesmaids would be comfortable in a dress like this.

Have you done any bridesmaids dress shopping recently? Do you have any store or dress suggestions? Let us know in the comments!