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and the other groomsmen were in darker gray. Identical boutonnieres tied their looks together. While brides have been giving their stand-up loved ones greater freedom from the constraints of more traditional — often hideous — matching confections, they now seem to be taking the mismatch bridesmaid trend a step further. Matching colors in different silhouettes or identical dye lots for different styles of dresses have given way to completely different cuts, textures and colors. The trend is well represented on the retail side. Many designers have collections of mismatched bridemaids option with advice on how to make the concept work, from using the same color in different styles to choosing wildly different fabrics, lengths, silhouettes, colors, prints and embellishments. One suggestion: Select different shades of the same color, but include light, medium and dark shades to allow for an ombre gradation. For large wedding parties, mix in some pale neutrals that will offset the overall palette. While mismatching is more visible these days, it hasn’t completely taken over. According to the most recent Bridal Fashion Study by the wedding site TheKnot.com, done in 2015, 51 percent of bridesmaids still wear the exact same dress as others in their wedding party, while 33 percent wear the same color in different styles, 11 percent wear different dresses and 5 percent wear the same style in different colors. Shelley Brown, fashion and beauty editor for The Knot, said the idea of mismatched bridesmaids dresses is picking up speed as more

brides look for ways to personalize their weddings. “Over the past few years, designers have picked up on this trend, adding new colors and styles and patterns so brides can mix and match,” she said. “It’s a really easy way to make your bridal party stand out.” It’s also a great way for brides to be more sensitive to the shapes, sizes and skin tones of their bridesmaids, Brown said. Complete freedom of choice can go wrong, so Brown suggests that brides provide some broad guide “Offering no guidelines can create a more stressful process for the bridesmaids,” Brown said. “So don’t just say, oh, buy a blue dress. Is it strapless, is it floor length, what material is it, what shade of blue?” If it’s a super-formal wedding, for instance, a short dress likely wouldn’t work, Brown said. Nor would a more informal fabric like jersey, she said. Some brides who want to offer choice in color without losing control altogether may want to offer paint chips as a guide. “One of my favorite ways to interpret this trend is to pick a really subtle, neutral color like blush or nude or even a very soft pewter and then let your girls choose what embellishments or silhouettes they like,” Brown said. “They could do rose gold sequins if they want to, maybe someone else has a lace dress and someone has some kind of separates happening. That way your girls get to show some of their personalities. They’re definitely spending a lot of time on your wedding. They’re invested in the process. They want to look good, too.” WEDDINGS | SUMMER 2019 17

Profile for Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

Weddings - Summer 2019  

Weddings - Summer 2019  

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