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Though the bridal landscape is vast and diverse, some elements tend to skew a little formulaic. We have access to all the colors of the rainbow, yet we tend to choose shades of blush pink. Our plant options are many, but we tend to opt for flowers. And though we have a veritable plethora of bridesmaid dresses at our fingertips, we find ourselves choosing long bridesmaid gowns over short bridesmaid dresses time and time again.
This seeming homogeny isn’t hard to understand. We’re inspired by the things around us—the things we see on Instagram, on Pinterest and in real life. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t basically forgotten that short bridesmaid dresses were even an option, simply because the only weddings I’ve been to (and in) recently have exclusively featured long bridesmaid gowns.
But short bridesmaid dresses are fun. They vacillate between skewing delicate and romantic, bold and edgy and vibrant and fun—and sometimes they’re all of those things at the same time. Short bridesmaid dresses offer the same bridal versatility that longer bridesmaid dresses do; they fit into any destination, they’re available in any palette and they’re sure to complement any aesthetic. In fact, short bridesmaid dresses are perhaps even generally versatile than longer options, just because it’s far easier to rewear something short than find an occasion to sport an all-out gown.
Somewhere along the way, short bridesmaid dresses became seriously (and surprisingly) underrated, and they warrant a resurrection. And I’m here to usher that resurrection right on in.
Sherbert Lace Midi Dress, $188 at Anthropologie
Bridesmaid or not, I’m buying this and wearing it to every spring/summer wedding I’m invited to for years to come.
BB Dakota Night Fever Wrap Dress, $105 at Shopbop
Winter wedding? No problem.
Ruffle Cami Dress, $103 at ASOS
The classic slip dress silhouette got a vibrant (and wedding-appropriate) upgrade.
Needle & Thread Embroidered Tulle Dress, $285 at ASOS
Fodder for fairytales—or fairytale weddings.
Starlight Starbright Velvet Wrap Dress, $41 at Lulu’s
A bridesmaid dress your loved ones can repurpose for date night.
Joie Sorina Dress, $198 at Shopbop
Stylish—but subtle enough that it won’t steal attention from the bride.
Jessa Lace Mini Dress, $250 at Free People
Because minis, when done correctly, can totally be a wedding-appropriate choice.
Jay Godfrey Surrey Midi Dress, $155 at Revolve
Make your bridal party’s wildest Barbie dreams come true.
Taliah Lace Midi Dress, $68 at Lulu’s
Why shy away from a vibrant palette when you could accept it for its inherent statement-making power, instead?
Floaty Soft Midi Dress, $79 at ASOS
For the bride who prefers a high-fashion fairytale.
Long-Sleeve Midi Pencil Dress, $119 at ASOS
Another dress fit for any bridesmaid—or any wedding guest.
Structured Bandeau Midi Dress, $76 at ASOS
Worried a short bridesmaid dress can’t fit your wedding’s dream glam aesthetic? Think again.
Endless Romance Ruffled Midi Dress, $59 at Lulu’s
A no-fail silhouette in a no-fail color—need I say more?
Steal Your Heart Crochet Midi Dress, $72 at Lulu’s
Perfect for anyone who likes their weddings sunny and their bridesmaids sunnier.
Line & Dot Cherie Wrap Dress, $31.80 at Shopbop
Equal parts cute and re-wearable. And peep that price tag, won’t ya?
Elliatt Serpentine Dress, $190 at Revolve
Sexy and sophisticated—without veering into over-the-top territory on either.
Evidnt Doll Satin Midi Dress, $78 at Lulu’s
A bridesmaid dress you’ll want to rewear to your birthday party.
Lovers + Friends Midi Dress, $97 at Revolve
Nothing says “bridesmaid” like an off-the-shoulder pink dress with lace ruffles. And nothing does “off-the-shoulder pink dress with lace ruffles” hotter than this dress.
Bimini Tie-Strap Midi Dress, $56 at Lulu’s
Fun without feeling off-aesthetic, this midi is a shoe-in for your bridal party—and its rewear potential is endless.
Cynthia Rowley Babydoll Mini Dress, $198 at Shopbop
Why not make your bridesmaids look like little high-fashion flowers prancing down the aisle? It’s your big day—do what you want with it.
Cinq a Sept Cairen Dress, $135 at Revolve
If Cinderella had a bridesmaid dress, it would probably look like this.
Rina Dress, $340 at Free People
Not sure why Free People has a structured pastel yellow dress on offer, but when it looks this good—and is this bridesmaid-appropriate—why complain?
Elliatt Creation Midi Dress, $99 at Revolve
Simultaneously dreamy and sexy. Your bridesmaids will look great and your wedding is sure to, too.
BB Dakota Happy Pleat Midi Dress, $65 at Lulu’s
Because cute, flattering (and affordable) winter bridesmaid dresses can be hard to come by—but they shouldn’t have to be.
Strappy Cami Midi Dress, $60 at ASOS
Yellow might not be the most popular color in the bridal zeitgeist, but it’s a totally viable option—and an underutilized one, at that.
NBD Yana Midi Dress, $198 at Revolve
This blue midi could take your bridesmaids from your wedding, to cocktail hour, to a job interview and back. Now that’s what I call versatility.
Pleated Velvet Cami Midi Dress, $72 at ASOS
Red velvet is always a good idea.
Keepsake Heart and Soul Midi Dress, $195 at Shopbop
A classic bridesmaid silhouette, rendered a bit more interestingly than usual.
Alice + Olivia Santina Shirt Dress, $495 at Shopbop
A more contemporary option for the bride who doesn’t mind thinking outside the box.
ML Monique Lhuillier Bella Mini Dress, $395 at Anthropologie
Another underutilized option on the color wheel.
Outrageous Fortune Ruffle Wrap Dress, $29 at ASOS
Classic color, classic textile, classic silhouette—what’s not to love?
Stunning Love Tiered Midi Dress, $36 at Lulu’s
Because when it comes to bridesmaid dresses, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with peach ruffles.
Yumi Kim So Social Dress, $68.70 at Shopbop
This deep purple dress was made for a wedding. Help it realize its true calling.
Ruffle Bardot Midi Dress, $24 at Topshop
The 1980s and the 2010s—combined in one seriously cool bridesmaid dress.
Knot-Front Plunge Midi Dress, $72 at ASOS
Practically begging to be worn at a warm-weather wedding.
Black Swan Caroline Midi Dress, $67 at Lulu’s
A bridesmaid dress that’ll give your girls the appeal of a mini and the flexibility of a midi.
Ruffle Sleeveless Wrap Dress, $65 at & Other Stories
Party-worthy and wedding-worthy, these dress is ready to keep your bridesmaids looking their best.
Pleated Colorblock Dress, $230 at Anthropologie
Lovers + Friends Caleb Midi Dress, $158 at Revolve
Green doesn’t get enough love, and this dress is too stunning to go overlooked.
X by NBD Thomas Embellished Dress, $167 at Revolve
Not your average bridesmaid dress. Then again, the person who’d opt for a sequin-covered bridal party isn’t your average bride.
Lovers + Friends Hailey Midi Dress, $248 at Revolve
For the outdoor bride who’d prefer her girls in something a little sleeker.
Satin Mini Dress, $60 at ASOS
Because your winter bridesmaid dress options aren’t solely restricted to velvet.
Kiernan Rusty Rose Tie-Front Midi Dress, $43 at Lulu’s
I mean, can you think of anything more quintessentially bridesmaid-y?
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