The best place to find the perfect bridesmaid dress is going to depend on a number of factors. The bride is ultimately the decision-maker when it comes to selecting the dress, although the close friends and family members that are bridesmaids may have some input. Depending on the wedding theme, the location, season, and personality of the bride and bridesmaids, the dresses can look very different. These are all factors to keep in mind when thinking about where you are going to shop for your dress.
The best place to find a bridesmaids dress is going to be a bridal boutique. These shops will specialize in exactly what it is that you are looking for. Bridesmaids dresses by several designers are all available in different sizes and colors. More popular bridal shops include David's Bridal and Kleinfeld; both of these stores also provide online sites, with great tips on how to select the perfect gown. Of course, there is nothing like trying on the dress in person, so make sure this is something you plan on doing before the big day.
A wonderful selection for outdoor or beachside weddings is a Maxi dress. If the bride is going to wear a simple, slip gown, she can have her bridesmaids accent her look in pastel, solid-colored Maxi dresses, which provide romantic and whimsical silhouette. Maxi dresses can range from casual to almost semi-formal in design, so make sure your choice matches your wedding theme.
If you are having a casual wedding and want to spend less money, you don't have to rely on a bridal boutique. Retailers that sell more formal dresses for special occasions also sell dresses that would be suitable as bridesmaids dresses. If you are concerned about your wedding budget and don't want to overspend, a major retailer may be the option for you. Don't worry about losing quality or elegance by cutting costs, because the gowns are just as fabulous. Some stores may even have a department designated for wedding apparel, which makes the search that much easier. Nordstrom's, for example, has a wedding department that offers a wide variety of dresses, available in all sizes. The site includes beautiful bridesmaid gowns by celebrity designer Monique Lhuillier.
Bridesmaid dresses can be gorgeous gowns, but they can also be trapped in the closet for much of their wardrobe life. Once a bridesmaid's dress is worn, it usually isn't repeated over and over again as an outfit. If you know someone that is willing to make the dress (think experienced seamstress) you can select a flattering pattern from a bridal dress magazine, or you can even design your own. Imagine how special your wedding would be if you not only receive compliments on how wonderful the bridesmaids look in their dresses, but get double kudos for being the designer.
In general, keep your bridesmaids happy by putting them in dresses that are complimentary to their figures, flattering to their tone and make them feel beautiful in their own way.