It’s safe to say that in 2023, white bridesmaid dresses are no longer taboo.
The pandemic and its subsequent disruption to dress codes and guest lists has had brides-to-be rethinking traditional weddings. Whether that be swapping a meringue gown for a trouser suit or slip dress, or thinking of ways to wear bridal looks again after the ceremony.
The old-fashioned notion that certain shades signify purity have long been discounted, so why shouldn’t the idea that other colours will upstage? There’s room for more than one woman in a room – even if it is your ‘big day’ – and there’s even a sense of solidarity in matching with the other most important people in your life.
If you need a little convincing, look to all the stylish women who’ve opted for white bridesmaid dresses in the past decade. Kate Moss put her flower girls in this shade while opting for off-white herself in 2011, and Kate Middleton looked beautiful alongside sister Pippa – also dressed in white – during her royal wedding to Prince William in the same year.
Kim Kardashian matched with her sisters, friends and mother Kris Jenner for her weddings to both Kris Humphries and Kanye West. Trailblazer Solange Knowles, however, took this one step further on her big day; encouraging her entire wedding party, including her sister Beyonce and brother-in-law Jay Z, to wear white for maximum impact.
The question is, which white bridesmaid dress is best? It totally depends on the formality of the wedding. If it's luxury you want, anything cut from lace, silk, satin, tulle, organza and chiffon will suffice. However, to keep things feeling contemporary, steer clear of layered skirts, hooping 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 dropped waist maxis and empire-line midis) and flower crowns exemplified her effortless indie vibe during that time. Now, 2023's version of this is low-key Scandi cool – think voluminous cotton midis with puffed sleeves that will double as sundresses post-wedding, or anything by Cecilie Bahnsen.
Keep scrolling to see Bazaar's edited pick of the best white bridesmaids to shop in 2023.
Summery white bridesmaid dresses
White bridesmaid dresses were literally made for summer nuptials. And we're not just talking about destination or beach weddings: just google Caroline Brasch's ceremony on the canals of Copenhagen if you don't believe us.
Warmer climes call for crisp cotton, louche linen and romantic broderie anglaise – fabrics that aren't immediately associated with formalwear. The key here is to elevate simple fabrics with intricate details, just as we'd recommend pared-back cuts for luxurious silks and crepes.
Cotton can take on an ethereal, pre-Raphaelite quality when layered with embroidery or lace-trimmed; whereas linen, when pleated or draped à la Jacquemus, can feel all kinds of neo-classic cool. And broderie anglaise has a pure, Victoriana vibe when topped with a puffed shoulder or a statement collar – Simone Rocha is the master of 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 fabric dresses feel both formal and low-key thanks to the voluminous sleeves, tiered skirts and shorter hemlines. No wonder Caroline Brasch decided on the brand for both her bridesmaids' and her own dress on her big day.
White silk bridesmaid dresses
White silk bridesmaid dresses strike the perfect balance between luxurious and low-key. When stylist Alex Carl got married in her parental home in Copenhagen 2018, she dressed her one bridesmaid and sister in a strappy Halston slip that complemented her own custom Self-Portrait gown beautifully.
Simple, understated silhouettes are a match made in heaven with lustrous, ivory or white silk – designer brands like Nili Lotan, The Row and Retrofête are nailing this at the moment, but you can also find affordable options at Reformation and Matches Fashion's in-house brand Raey.
White Satin Bridesmaid Dresses
With big bridal parties, though, even lower-ticket items can start to add up. So if silk isn't doable, opt for a high-quality satin; the key is to look at weight and drape, and avoid anything that crumples easily or feels static to touch. Galvan's halterneck gown is proof that synthetics, done the right way, can still feel like pure luxury.
If you want something more affordable for your bridesmaids that still feels elegant, or you're aiming for sustainability and 're-wearability' factor, go for a simple slip dress in white satin.
Affordable white bridesmaid dresses
The best thing about opting for white bridesmaid dresses is that you've already solved the issue of originality before you've begun browsing. For wedding planning on a budget, this can be one of the trickiest obstacles to overcome – since, unless you plump for vintage gowns, there are only a select few high-street stores with quality bridalwear collections.
Although Ghost Fashion, Jenny Yoo and AllSaints are always worth a browse, Whistles is top of our list when it comes to affordable bridal looks. The brand drops core bridesmaid styles every season, available in UK sizes 4-18 and tasteful colours such as mustard, pea-green and teal, alongside your standard pastels.
White lace bridesmaid dresses
While lace wedding dresses are a go-to for any bride, this fabric is a little trickier when it comes to bridesmaid options. The easiest way to avoid fussiness, and ensure your pictures are timeless, is to go for a more bohemian feel. Ossie Clarke's Sixties take on bridalwear – geometric lace, funnel necks, empire waistlines – will be forever chic.
But, let's face it, sourcing matching second-hand gowns for your bridesmaids is a near-impossible task. We'd recommending anything by Rixo or Self-Portrait for vintage-inspired pieces. Your bridesmaids, not to mention the planet, will thank you for buying something that can be worn long after the wedding is over.
There are other classic-but-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 back in 2015.
You Might Also Like