LOVE/HATE: The Magic Eye Edition

In the past couple of years, mismatched bridesmaids were all the rage. Whether the bride dressed her bridesmaids in different styles but put them all in one color or carefully coordinated different colors of bridesmaids dresses in one particular style, there lots of ways to do the whole mismatched bridesmaids thing.

What I’m seeing now is bridesmaids’ dresses crafted out of patterned fabric — sometimes as the main uniform of all of the bridesmaids in the bridal party, and sometimes as a way to differentiate between honor attendants and other attendants. There are plaids for bridesmaids, there are polka dots for bridesmaids, and stripes for bridesmaids. Then there are the more subtle options, like these bridesmaids’ dresses from Dessy:

Bridesmaids\' dresses by Dessy

Okay, so the third dress isn’t particularly subtle at all. I guess that’s kind of the point. While I don’t really like that dress and I think the one in the middle looks like it took a ride on the vomit comet, the first dress is lovely and I’d like to see more bridesmaids’ dresses featuring patterned fabric that manages to be intriguing without screaming LOOKIT MAH PATTERN! Overall, I hate a lot of the patterned bridesmaids’ dresses out there right now, but I love the idea.

What say you? Is the look just unusual enough to be cool? Too hard to pull off? Too busy for a wedding?

11 Responses to “LOVE/HATE: The Magic Eye Edition”

  1. Melissa B. says:

    I would have *loved* to put my bridesmaids in patterned dresses — I think that’s a great way to use bright or pastel colors without looking super-bridesmaidy. Had I known Dessy was coming out with some, I might have waited to place our order! (Although I did find a major bargain on the dresses we did get — hooray for J. Crew Black Friday sales.)

    Priscilla of Boston has a few cute options ( that I seriously considered, but they all have empire waists, which my ‘maids mentioned was not their favorite silhouette.

  2. blablover5 says:

    I think if it’s something your maid can rock there’s nothing wrong with it. It would be wrong to put someone who just feels uncomorfable in a busy print but if she really loves it, why not?

    And think of all the money you can save if she already had it in her closet?

  3. Natasha says:

    I think that first dress is so cute, and I even kind of like the third one, though maybe not for bridesmaids. The first one is subtle, but doesn’t look bridesmaidy at all. If I were assigned to wear that for a wedding, I’d be thrilled, because I would definitely be wearing it afterwards for summer barbeques and the like.

  4. Twistie says:

    I think there are several factors involved in whether or not patterned bridesmaids’ dresses will work: level of formality of the event, level of formality of the print (polka dots would be adorable at a low-key, outdoor wedding, but might look quite odd in a cathedral, whereas that first dress in the above lineup would work nicely for a summer church wedding), the always surprising minefield of bridesmaids’ personal taste, how confident the bride is that people will remember to look at the woman in the Big White Dress if there’s any potential (if imaginary) distraction…there’s always something to be considered.

    Still, I think it’s not only workable, but an option that’s often more likely to lead to being able to say ‘and you can wear it again because it doesn’t scream bridesmaid’ with a straight face.

    Dress two gives me Saturday Night Disco Fever Dreams. Dress three looks to me like Scarlett went for grandma’s sofa rather than the drapes. Dress one, however, gets a big thumbs up from Twistie.

  5. La BellaDonna says:

    Heh. A true example of To Each Her Own! While I think the first one is pleasant, it looks as if it had an Unexpected Encounter with a bottle of bleach; I think number three is a lovely dress for a summer wedding, even for attendees (and would be even lovelier if it had a full bodice, so that one could wear an actual bra), my dress choice is … number two, which looks to me very Japanese-inspired, what with the gigantic chrysanthemum.

    I do miss the days when one could buy an entire dress for one’s money. Contrary to the delusions of designers and manufacturers, not all women are enhanced by – or entranced by – strapless dresses.

  6. I think a pattern can be great. My personal favorite way to use this is in a particularly small bridal party. More than two or three girls starts to look like a sale on fabric or a row of curtains more than anything. But if you only have one pretty lady standing up with you, why not let her go all out??? When we settled on single attendants one of my first thoughts was “YES! Now she can wear something really cool!” since you don’t have to “match”. Also, there was a wedding I saw where all the attendants wore sunshine yellow dresses, but the bride surprised the MOH with an Oscar de la Renta in the same shade but with a very bold pattern along the bottom. It was killer!

  7. Wendy says:

    My maid of honor (and lone member of my bridal party) had a sort of patterned dress (the tulip jacquard green dress from the Ann Taylor Celebrations line – i don’t think they sell it anymore). I think a nice way to use a pattern in a bridal party would be to have the maid of honor wear a pattern, and then the bridesmaids in a solid color from the pattern (or a couple in solids, a couple in patterns). That way there is no pattern overkill.

  8. rabrab says:

    I think the only thing wrong with # 2 is the damn sash cutting across the design.
    #3 is gorgeous!

    De gustibus and all that.

  9. Toni says:

    My mother had floral patterned dresses on her bridesmaids. They were all different colors, too. The best part is that my grandmother sewed all the dresses. You can see the photos here.

  10. Liked this post enough to make up a series of posts with patterned dresses, or “mismatched”…. Even challenged myself to do it in every colour of the rainbow! It was a blast! Check it out!