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Monday, July 22, 2013

Ask the Stylist: Dressing Pregnant Bridesmaids

Yes, it's true! Kate Middleton is in labor and at the hospital! All eyes on are on London as the world awaits with baited breath announcement of the new royal baby. We are just as excited as everyone for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and can't wait for the news of the prince or princess's birth!

image courtesy of Us Magazine
The elegant Kate Middleton has been a beacon of style and grace throughout her pregnancy (just as she has always been and was as a bride!) and proof that baby bumps can be glamorous. With that, we bring you an Ask the Stylist question that we get a lot and are happy to answer!
Q: I just found out that two of my five bridesmaids are pregnant! While I am very excited for them, I am a little worried about what kind of bridesmaid dresses I can now choose for my girls. My wedding is not for several more months, so they will both be quite far along. What are my options to accommodate my friends’ baby bumps but allow the whole bridal party to be cute and cohesive? 

A: We see this all the time. This is a “problem” that brides can actually have a lot of fun with, so don’t fret! Something that works great in this scenario and also happens to be extremely in vogue right now is for the bride to specify a designer, gown length, fabric and color but allow her bridesmaids to select their own individual style of dress. Several designers make empire-waisted gowns that are flattering and beautiful on pregnant ‘maids, such as these:

These Jim Hjelm styles work great for pregnant bridesmaids
Any dress that has pleating around the waist is great on girls with a bump but also cute on all figures. Such styles are great options if the bride would rather her bridal party all wear the same gown. Here are two such options:

These pleated Watters gowns can work for your entire wedding party;
they are flattering on all figures, even those sporting a bump.
Chiffon is the most flattering fabric when it comes to a baby bump. Once we determine the basics with our bride, we talk with the expectant bridesmaid(s) to determine how far along they will be at the time of the wedding, which is definitely important to consider when ordering. Sometimes the momma-to-be will need to order extra fabric for the lining and/or the exterior of the gown to add panels. These panels can be added during the alterations process to help the dress fit better and make the gown more comfortable.

We always suggest ordering extra length, as well. Dresses are made for ladies that are 5’8”5’9” and a baby bump will cause the dress to ride up in the front. The additional cost is worth it to keep your gown the proper length and matching the rest of the bridesmaids.  Here is a great example of how this can all come together! We not only planned this wedding but also styled/dress the wedding party.
These 'maids are wearing dresses by Jim Hjelm Occasions and Alvina Valenta; image courtesy of Joseph Mark.
The ladies in this beautiful bridal party were give some basic parameters by the bride but were able to choose their own gowns. Bride Lauren asked the girls to choose a floor-length gown in a specific fabric and color offered by two different collections under the JLM Couture Brand. Two of the bridesmaids were pregnant in this party, as well, and they were able to select empire waist gowns that flattered their bumps and allowed them to still look fabulous. The bridal party's look is beautiful, elegant and cohesive - simply perfect!

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