Always a Bridesmaid

Here's the latest from our hard-working, fun-loving interns. This week's installment comes from Kate Weed. Ready? Steady? Read!

Bridal Bombardment
To put it mildly, marriage has been a topic that has popped into my life with surprising frequency in the last six months or so. You could say it’s a theme that’s been relentlessly assailing me in multiple lines of attack. The kitchen bulletin board that was to be devoted to photos of me and my roommates joyously checking off our list of fun summer activities features has been invaded by invites, barraged by bridal showers and bachelorette parties, and attacked by armadas of announcements. It seems I might be the only one who missed the memo that Summer 2009 is the time to wed for my high school graduating class.

The subject doesn’t escape me even at my part-time job at a children’s clothing store, where one of the main drives of shopping mothers lately has been the outfitting of their children in color-coordinated clothing for the summer weddings of family members.

While you might assume that the force with which this theme has permeated my existence in the last half year would have driven me to a matrimonial overdose, I have found that there is one essential element to a wedding that can keep my interest in any marital celebration: the clothing that comes with it. I’ve recently become a fan of TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress,” in which a bridal shop seeks to fulfill every entering bride’s dream of that perfect white gown, and when I discuss a neighborhood reception with my mother or sisters, the meat of our conversation tends to revolve around the apparel of the wedding party.

The obvious focus of wedding fashion is on every aspect of the bride’s dress, but I’d like to devote a little attention here to the attire of the bridesmaid. Bridesmaid dresses can be downright awful (think of Katherine Heigl’s atrocious “27 Dresses”), but the Bridesmaid of 2009 actually has the potential to rival (or at least come close) to the bride in a look of up-to-date elegance. I love J.Crew’s vision for the modern bridesmaid for this retailer’s rejection of the dowdy or unoriginal bridesmaid dress. Rather than presenting bridesmaid models in the same dress and the same color, this retailer suggests keeping bridesmaids in a unified color but letting each attendant choose the dress shape most flattering for her body type.

Conversely, bridesmaids can be dressed in the same dress but in a variety of colors. Or, give the bridesmaids a few choices in colors and styles and everyone comes out looking and feeling their very best.

Shabby Apple dresses provide bridesmaid solutions for both traditional and less-traditional wedding styles. All bridesmaids would shine, for example, in the flattering and forgiving color/shape combo of the Martha’s Vineyard brown wrap dress.

Or, if she wanted to mix it up a little as J.Crew designers recommend, a bride could outfit her attendants in Shabby Apple’s varying styles of the little black dress, or even interject punches of color with the bold-hued Some Like it Hot red wrap dress or Upper East Side bright blue pleated dress.

While I won’t be the bride at the (biweekly) weddings I find myself attending this summer, I’ll be content for now, knowing that my current saturation in all things nuptial has at least provided me with some delicious wedding cake, some delightful dance floors, and the knowledge that in today’s world, the well-outfitted bridesmaid can walk tall.


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