Always one to pronounce advocacy in regards to shunning the ritual of weddings, it's surprisingly easy to turn over the leaf when hearing "we're getting married" from those you care about.
Lo and behold, for the second year in a row, I experienced something I never thought possible: I was not only asked to show up, but was also asked to be a bridesmaid.
Completely baffled by how utterly flattering it is when someone wants you in their wedding party, the absolute next thought is about the dress.
What will it be like? What has this person fantasized and envisioned? What's the colour? Will it be modern? Will I be able to wear it again? Will it look good on me? Will it break my bank?
There may not be a yes or no answer when it comes to satisfying everyone in the, um, party. It can most definitely be a tricky pick; keeping to the wedding's feel and pleasing the females donning the fabric can lead to default dismay at the blasÃ© local bridal shop.
But lest we forget what the day is all about - partying! Celebrating, to be exact. Thus the dress choice should quite frankly take a back seat amidst the true meaning of the day. Since you have to pick one out anyway though, here are the top styles to party in for the beloved bridesmaids of 2013. They have been selected online as introducing one's self to the idea that, perhaps both bridal-specific and not should be considered for the mere fact that it may open up options and ideas one would have turned a blind eye to in the past. Fresh bridal perfection could quite possibly be a click away.
First up: J.Crew (jcrew.com) has truly stepped up to the plate in regards to its relatively recent release of its bridal collection. Immersing itself in all things classic and preppy, this line is no exception as, with ease, it keeps to its reputation providing these bridesmaid dresses with clean, crisp lines and yet enough charm to save itself from verging on boring. My top pick from this line is the Kristin Dress in silk taffeta which is surprisingly reasonable for a bridesmaid dress, checking out at $250. Its mid-weight fabric is perfect for those summer days to come and the pleating over the sweetheart neckline offers a flattering sculptural effect on top.
Creating stunning attire for special occasions, design brand Aidan Mattox is a great source to turn to for party outfitting. A short, sequin number with a blousy feel would be a great way to go for a more casual and fun summer wedding. The glittering bridal entourage will light up the room and set the happy mood for the special day. A dress as such runs for $320 and is available on www.saks.com.
If you find yourself sifting through this designer collection, hunt down their strapless silk dress which is a watermelon-color wonder. With a flowy floral-printed gathered skirt, swaying mid-thigh and topped with a ruched sweetheart bodice, it is the perfect mix of party chic and elegance. This is another lighthearted approach to the typical bridesmaid uniform. Other great labels to check out offering up this modern take on the formal cocktail dress would be ABS, Raoul and Rebecca Taylor.
If keen on sticking with the traditional ensemble, a return to the 90's halter fad is on its way back.
A floor-length stunner with satin trim may end up looking like something from a Disney movie, so be careful with the colour scheme. However there's a seemingly timeless effect of a buttercup yellow streamlined gown which wraps around and ties behind the neck. The bridal brand After Six (aftersix.com) has a wide variety of such to choose from.
Whether it's silky and simplistic, fitted through the hips, empire waist or tulle-skirted with a pouf - the exemplary choice is out there and you can get it right. Keep in mind most everything online is returnable, and trying out a few different styles to see what looks best in general and overall on your girls is worth the initial hassle and return shipping fee. These are BFF's getting dressed.
Jacqueline Podewils is a local resident and fashion columnist who has worked in New York's fashion industry. Her column appears in The Okanagan Saturday. Contact her at