It’s safe to say in 2023 that white bridesmaid dresses are no longer taboo.
The pandemic and the resulting disruption to dress codes and guest lists has caused brides-to-be to rethink traditional weddings. Whether it’s swapping a meringue gown for a pantsuit or slip dress, or thinking about how to wear bridal looks again after the ceremony.
The antiquated idea that certain shades mean purity has long been discounted, so why shouldn’t the idea that other colors can be put on the back burner? There’s room for more than one woman in a room – even if it’s your ‘big day’ – and there’s also a sense of togetherness in fitting in with the other most important people in your life.
If you need some convincing, check out all the stylish women who have opted for white bridesmaid dresses over the past decade. Kate Moss chose this hue for her bridesmaids, opting for off-white herself in 2011, and the Duchess of Cambridge looked stunning alongside her sister Pippa Middleton – also dressed in white – during her royal wedding to Prince William in same year.
Kim Kardashian has matched with her sisters, friends, and mother Kris Jenner for her weddings to both Kris Humphries and Kanye West. Pioneer Solange Knowles, however, took it one step further on her big day; encouraging her entire wedding party, including her sister Beyonce and brother-in-law Jay Z, to dress in white for maximum impact.
The question is, which white bridesmaid dress is the best? It totally depends on the formality of the wedding. If it’s luxury you want, any cut of lace, silk, satin, tulle, organza, and chiffon will suffice. However, to keep things contemporary, avoid layered skirts, sash and boning for your bridesmaids.
The most sustainable choice for your bridal party is something they’ll wear again. Kate Moss’ choice of broderie anglaise and beaded chiffon, along with simple silhouettes (think drop-waisted maxis and empire-line midi) and floral crowns exemplify her effortless indie-her vibe at the time . Now, 2023’s version of this is low-key scandi cool: Think voluminous cotton midi with puffed sleeves that’ll double as post-wedding sundresses, or anything by Cecilie Bahnsen.
Keep scrolling to see Bazaar’s edited selection of the best white bridesmaids to buy in 2023.
White silk bridesmaid dresses
White silk bridesmaid dresses top our list for a reason: They strike the perfect balance between luxe and understated. When designer Alex Carl got married at her parents’ home in Copenhagen in 2018, she dressed her only bridesmaid and sister in a strappy Halston slip that beautifully complemented her custom gown by Her Self- Portrait of her.
Simple, understated silhouettes are a perfect pairing with lustrous, ivory or white silk – designer brands like Nili Lotan, The Row and Retrofête are doing it right now, but you can also find affordable options at Reformation and Matches Fashion’s in-house brand. Raey.
White satin bridesmaid dresses
With the big wedding parties, however, even the low-cost items can start to add up. So if silk isn’t feasible, opt for a high-quality satin; the key is to watch the weight and drape and avoid anything that wrinkles easily or feels static to the touch. Galvan’s halterneck dress is proof that synthetics, done right, can still feel like pure luxury.
If you want something more affordable for your bridesmaids that still look elegant, or you’re going for sustainability and the “wearability” factor, go for a simple white satin slip dress.
White lace bridesmaid dresses
While lace wedding dresses are a staple for any bride, this fabric is a little trickier when it comes to bridesmaid options. The easiest way to avoid fussiness and ensure your photos are timeless is to opt for a more bohemian feel. Ossie Clarke’s 60s version of wedding attire – geometric lace, funnel necks, empire waists – will always be chic.
But let’s face it, sourcing matching second hand dresses for your bridesmaids is a near impossible task. We recommend anything by Rixo or Self-Portrait for vintage-inspired pieces. Your bridesmaids, not to mention the planet, will thank you for purchasing something that can be worn long after the wedding is over.
There are other classic yet contemporary ways to incorporate lace into bridal looks. Take inspiration from Emma Roberts and her fellow bridesmaids, who wore duchesse satin gowns trimmed with eyelash lace to their friend’s wedding in 2015.
White bridesmaid summer dresses
White bridesmaid dresses were literally made for summer nuptials. And we’re not just talking about weddings abroad or on the beach: just google Caroline Brasch’s ceremony on the Copenhagen canals if you don’t believe us.
Warmer climates call for crisp cotton, soft linen, and romantic broderie anglaise—fabrics that aren’t immediately associated with formal wear. The key here is to elevate simple fabrics with intricate detailing, just as we’d recommend pared-down cuts for luxurious silks and crepes.
Cotton can take on an ethereal, Pre-Raphaelite quality when covered with embroidery or trimmed with lace; while linen, when pleated or draped à la Jacquemus, can feel all kinds of neoclassical cool. And broderie anglaise has a pure Victorian vibe when topped with a puffed shoulder or statement collar—Simone Rocha is the master at making this look truly modern.
If you’d rather keep things clean and contemporary for your summer wedding, look no further than Cecilie Bahnsen. The Danish designer’s matelassé and jacquard dresses are both formal and understated thanks to voluminous sleeves, flounced skirts and shorter hems. No wonder Caroline Brasch chose the brand for both her bridesmaids and her dress on her big day.
Affordable white bridesmaid dresses
The best thing about opting for white bridesmaid dresses is that you’ve already solved the originality issue before you start browsing. For wedding planning on a budget, this can be one of the toughest hurdles to overcome, as unless you prefer vintage dresses, there are only a select few shops with quality wedding dress collections.
While Ghost Fashion, Jenny Yoo, and AllSaints are always worth a look, Whistles tops our list when it comes to affordable bridal looks. The brand launches staple bridesmaid styles each season, available in UK sizes 4-18 and tasteful colors like mustard, pea and teal, alongside standard pastels.
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