The biggest complaint of bridesmaids is the ugly dresses that they are forced to wear. You hear horror stories of gold lamé, dresses in rainbow colors with matching ruffled parasols, and even electric blue satin with enormous bows. It does not have to be this way! The top trends for bridesmaid dresses with sleeves are all focused on making the bridesmaids feel attractive, and hopefully even choosing a dress that they will want to wear again.
If you haven't been to a wedding for a while, you may be in for a surprise. Gone are the days of a gaggle of girls decked out in petticoats, ruffles, and poufy sleeves. Today's bridesmaid dresses are much more like regular cocktail dresses (in fact, they may even be cocktail dresses from a non-bridal store). Dresses are slim, not full skirted, and most of them do not even reach the floor (the better to show off a really cute pair of shoes and a great pedicure!). Your bridesmaids should be able to move and dance easily in their dresses, without feeling encumbered.
Bridesmaid dresses are definitely sexier than they used to be (within the limits of good taste, please!). One of the hottest necklines is the halter, which is flattering to almost every woman in any size. If you like the halter, but are having a formal ceremony in a house of worship, matching wraps are a great idea for the service. Wraps provide a more modest look for the ceremony, and then they can be discarded for more of a cocktail dress look during the reception.
The cookie cutter look is definitely out of style. Brides are allowing their attendants to customize their look. A very popular idea is to have each girl choose separates in a designated fabric and color. That creates a look that is coordinated, but not too matchy-matchy. It also means that each bridesmaid can select the cut that is most flattering to her figure. Your attendants will thank you for that!
Another top trend is for the bridesmaids to wear a range of colors. Now we are not talking about the aforementioned rainbow of pastels that were seen in the 1970s. Rather, the bride specifies a theme, such as "shades of pink" or "autumn colors", and each attendant has the luxury of picking a dress that she loves within those parameters. It is a good idea, though, for the bride to take a look at all of the dresses before the wedding, because sometimes you can end up with one off-choice that sticks out like a sore thumb.