Help me find bridesmaids dresses online?

I’m still looking for affordable bridesmaid’s dresses. I think I’m going to probably end up buying them online just because the selection is so much wider. (I found a wedding dress online for $149 that I love, so that’s awesome! even if I have to pay some to have minor alterations done after I get it, it will still be a good bargain.)

I want to keep the budget under $100–preferably more like $50. My color is like burgundy/wine but I’m not super picky about the exact shade.

Here is the wish list consensus my bridesmaids and I have come up with:

[li]Tea-to-ankle length skirt, fuller rather than narrow (no column dresses and no “mermaid” skirts or whatever they’re called–too many just make you look like you’ve got twice the ass that you really do!)[/li][li]No strapless. This is sort of negotiable if the design of the dress would allow it to have straps/cap sleeves/something added later at a local alteration place.[/li][li]They all really want to be able to wear a bra. If the cut won’t allow this, it will have to be a dress that has enough boobage support that a bra isn’t required.[/li][li]Ruching or some other type of “flaw hiding” trick would be appreciated by all. None of my bridesmaids have figure issues–they’re all within the normal body type, but they aren’t hardbodies and they would prefer the extra confidence.[/li][li]I’d also really like to be the bride that actually comes up with a bridesmaid dress that can be worn again. I know everyone says that, but then they saddle their poor bridesmaids with something practical :rolleyes: like this or this which is only good for future Halloween parties or something.[/li][/ul]
Some things I’ve found that I like:
[li]This is my favorite so far. The only change I’d make is changing the style straps to make it work better with a bra. Only problem is it’s $175[/li][li]very pretty, can be ordered with spaghetti straps[/li][li]Very pretty, I wish it was a little longer (not in bright red, obviously)[/li][li]I love this one too, but I’d prefer it a bit longer.[/li][/ul]

I’ve looked in several department stores and dress boutiques and while there are a few–a very few–that I like cut-wise, it seems that the style right now is neon orange, hot pink, and vomit green, and you can’t special order in different colors at those places. I’m going to try some places like David’s Bridal this week but I’m not hopeful about the prices. (Anyone know any other national chains and/or Cleveland area bridal type stores?)

So I’m asking in a few places online as well as people in real life if anyone knows a place online that has reasonably priced dresses where I could find stuff in these types of styles… Anyone have some great sites? (If I had more time I’d make the dresses myself, but I just don’t, unfortunately.) I’d so appreciate any help! (Plus, shamelessly, I *am *stereotypically girly in that I do so love to look at dresses even if it’s just window shopping–surely I’m not the only one…)

What color are they going to be wearing?

I ask because if it’s a reasonably normal color–some shade of green/pink/red/blue etc.–then I don’t see why they all have to have the same exact dress. I’ve been to a couple of weddings where all the bridesmaids are in the same color family, but not similar otherwise…and they all found lovely and flattering dresses that coordinated but didn’t “match.”

When I get married I’ve already told my girlfriends that they can buy whatever the hell style they want, as long as it’s black. (Every girl looks good in black.) But the same theory can apply to colors.

I don’t know of any site with dresses that cost $50, for the record.

And if bra straps are a problem, do your girls have strapless bras…? I’ve never been in a wedding–or even attended one actually-where I didn’t wear a strapless bra. Most “formal” or “cocktail” dresses call for strapless bras.

I’ve been to a lot of weddings, and generally speaking, half the bridesmaids look good in “The Bridesmaid Dress” and the other half don’t. Why not give them a color and let them find one that flatters their particular figure?

Just my two cents.

Check out Chadwick’s of Boston. That is where I ordered my bridesmaid’s dresses from. If I remember correctly, they were about $80 apiece.

Okay, looking at their site, they seem to have gone up in price a bit, but there are some on sale in the $80 range. I found two there that meet most of your criteria, but might be shorter than what you’re looking for. I really like this one. It doesn’t come in wine/burgundy, unfortunately, only magenta. This one is pretty as well, and comes in “deep maroon” which might work.

How tall are your bridesmaids? If you really like the bright red one except for the length, it’s probably actually longer than it looks on the model, most bridesmaid & wedding dresses are cut pretty long. You may be able to order it in “tall” sizes, as well, if the girls are tall.

I will have to look around that Chadwick’s site some more–thanks. Those dresses are both pretty, though I wish they were a little longer.

They don’t have to be Bridesmaid Dresses or Prom Dresses officially or anything, just as long as they look nice. Here is a nice cocktail dress for example that is $52… and I could see going with something like that, though again, I am hoping to find something a little longer.

I’ve heard of the whole idea of having a general color* and letting each person choose a different dress, but I really don’t want to do that for my wedding. My bridesmaids (including the maid of honor there are only three) all have similar enough figures that I think they’d all look good in the same style dress. I do have a fourth attendant on my side, but it’s a guy and he’ll be in a tux, so we don’t need to take him into account when choosing the dresses (though we have teasingly threatened him about it) ;D

(*as I said, a burgundy/wine color, and while I’m not picky about the exact shade we end up with, I do think that the shade should be the same for all the dresses)

We’re all pretty short except for Irina, and even she isn’t that much taller than we are. (It’s really frustrating when they show dresses without showing a person in them! It’s so hard to judge how long they are without seeing them on a model!!)

I’m sure they could get strapless bras if they don’t already have them, but my personal experience with strapless bras is that they tend to drag your boobs down and if that happens, it doesn’t look very flattering. (That’s why when I wear stuff like that I tend to go for corset-based things that hold you up without needing a bra!)

Yeah, you get that quad-boob look. I’ve never found a strapless bra that fit decently. When I go strapless or with spaghetti straps, I get something I can go braless in, or I install cups.

Unfortunately, “wear again” and “formal length” don’t usually go together. The most rewearable dresses are going to be more “right below the knee” or so.

Yeah, unfortunately I think you’re right. However, a lot of the full length dresses seem like they’d be pretty easy to alter to a tea length. The ones without any kind of fancy hem or decoration type stuff. I don’t think that kind of alteration would be expensive, or even hard to do yourself if you know how to sew (or have a friend/mom/etc who does).

Yeah I hear ya. Don’t they sell silicone discs that you can put over your nipples so that you don’t get “headlights” (or the dreaded dark circles)?

I’ve seen them at dept stores, but I’ve never bought them. I try to buy stuff that has enough fabric, or texture, so that it won’t matter if I’m smuggling raisins, I hate to buy stuff then not wear it because I’m too self-concious.

Hey Congratulations!

I like v necks or halter top styles on attendents, check out the gowns at bluefly and Elaine’s online store.

If it was me, i would go with shape wear underneath, which could cost as much as the dress!

I know you’re leaning towards full-length dresses, but this onefrom Nordstrom is very flattering, and reasonably priced IMO. One of my bridesmaids wore it in black for my wedding, and she’s worn it for about three subsequent events. She loved it.

I’ll keep looking, but I’m having trouble finding a nice looking full-length dress for under $100. :frowning:

You can get strapless longline bras. They are corset-like and sit just above your hips, so they don’t slide down or anything, and they give you a really nice shape - they keep everything where it belongs! I wore one at my wedding and was glad I did - I looked much better with it.

Have you asked a seamstress how much it would cost to make dresses? The silhouette you’re looking for is pretty simple. I don’t know if it could get as low as $50, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it ran around $100 each for four dresses.

If you’re considering standard BM dresses, I’ve been in 2 weddings w/ dresses ordered from and they came out fine both times. It’s all the same set of dress manufacturers, the shops are just the retailers. They have dress 1 for $114 although that’s not the lowest i see on teh internet. I don’t think you’ll find much below $100 but $100-$150 should be reasonable.

ETA: of course there are other online sellers, that’s just one that I have experience with.

Try googling “Modest clothing”. You’ll get a lot of the types of dresses you describe for wonderful prices. Mostly these are women running “cottage” businesses, and they are hand made to your measurements, with your choice of fabrics.

Here’s an example:

The seamstress I spoke with, when discussing one of the very simple dresses was saying about $375 each.

My initial plan was to have all three bridesmaids dresses and my wedding dress made, the same way I did for my first wedding back 1991. Back then I bought the fabric for my wedding dress and had a tailor shop make it and the total cost was about $250 including labor and fabric. Then my maid of honor and I bought the fabric and made the bridesmaid dresses ourselves.

Unfortunately between all the other wedding planning, plus finishing up my last semester of school (taking two studio art classes which take a ton of out of class time) plus being way behind because I’ve been sick for 2 months… there is no way I could make the dresses myself :frowning:

Yeah that is a really pretty dress and the color is dead on what I want. The problem is that two of my three bridesmaids are students… and not young “still getting help from mom and dad” situation students, which is why I’m really trying to keep the price as low as I can.

I love the dress here–it’s one of the favorite ones I’ve seen. That store doesn’t sell it in burgundy though, plus it’s made of jersey knit, which just seems kind of…um…??? And even if they did do it in my color, and even if it was a nicer fabric, it’s still 13-14 weeks turnaround time, or for an additional charge, “rush” orders of 5-9 weeks. My wedding is May 24. :confused:

I found a site in China that will make the same dress for $70 with a turnaround of about 3 weeks, and research online seems to suggest that they aren’t a scam, I just worry that it’s some sort of horrible sweatshop or something. Though then another part of me, the really cynical side, says that the same sweatshop is probably making the ones the retailer sells, too…

It’s not the style requested but this one from David’s bridal is formal and $80 and comes in red and wine. If you find a style you like at David’s Bridal could also look and see if any of your sizes are on ebay. I’m serious, david’s bridal is pretty ubiquitous and red is a common color. Of course I hope you can find something in ready-to-wear but if not that’s an idea.

I kinda agree with you on the jersey knit. FWIW I look at a lot of wedding pictures, IMHO you can’t go wrong with simple A-line dress in a nice color. What’s most important is that the dress actually fits, and simple dresses are easy to alter a little here and there. Jersey knit can look great but if it doesn’t look great there’s not much you can do to fix it besides buy Spanx.