Big fat dresses paired with obnoxious hats are the bridesmaid uniform of the past. The latest looks have bridesmaids smiling — and in many cases wearing their expensive dress again.
Millie Martini Bratten, editor in chief of BRIDE'S magazine, says a bride should look for dresses that her bridesmaids can easily wear again. Bratten says the latest looks make the task a pretty easy one.
"The trends right now are toward bright colors, floral patterns, shorter hemlines, and ballet-inspired dresses," Bratten said on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America.
Bratten says bridesmaids should wear either the same dress or something very close. She suggests the bride shoudd select more than one style so bridesmaids of different body shapes can choose the one that is most flattering.
Bratten also says the bride shouldn't stress out about her bridesmaids' shoes and other accessories.
"While you want your bridal party to look cohesive, you don't want it to appear rigid. Even if the bridesmaids are in the same dress, they don't have to be identical down to their hairstyle, shoes and jewelry. They can mix it up using accessories that show off their best features or their coloring or their personality," Bratten said.
Bratten and a team of models showed off the following bridesmaids dresses on GMA.
Look No. 1: Color, Color, Color! The strapless fuchsia-colored silk organza cocktail dress with a green ribbon belt is by Watters & Watters (Watters.com). Bratten suggest the bright hues and shorter lengths on these dresses flatter a lot of shapes skin tones. "The adorable accent of the green ribbon around the waist gives it some interest. It's perfectly suited to a destination wedding on a Caribbean beach," Bratten said. Retail Price: $270
Look No. 2: Floral Pattern Lilly Pulitzer's sleeveless V-neck floral print dress combines of blues, pinks, lavenders and greens (Lillypulitzer.com). Brattens says the dress is perfect for a Nantucket beach wedding. Retail Price: $168
Look No. 3: Vintage or Retro The yellow short-sleeve V-neck silk duchesse satin a-line dress is from Vanessa Fox (Vanessafox.com). While it looks current, Bratten says the dress has a really sweet-looking 1950s-inspired shape to it. Again, a ribbon at the waist with a pin add a touch of sparkle. The look is very flattering to a variety of figures and ideal for a wedding at a golf or country club, Bratten said. Retail Price: about $375
Look No. 4: Chic Cocktail This Lazaro two-piece — comprised of a floral chiffon halter top and a black chiffon cocktail skirt — is perfect for an afternoon or evening cocktail reception, according to Bratten (lazarobridal.com). Retail Price: $320.
Look No. 5: Soft Ballet Thread This dress, by Thread, is a little more formal than the preceding looks, but it's still relaxed and easy, says Bratten (Threaddesign.com or Brides.com). The dress, which is strapless, includes bow accents and a pleated skirt is in ivory layered over soft pink. Retail Price: $425.
Look No. 6: The Blushing Bride Bratten says this bridal gown, by Michelle Roth, is a very new look (Michelleroth.com). She says it's updated because it's actually two separate pieces. The dress, which features a blush chantilly lace bustier, accented with Swarovski crystals and paired with an organza tiered a-line skirt, is perfect for a formal garden, or historic home location, Bratten said. Retail Price: $7,000.
Accessories: Crystal jewelry by Blair Delmonico (blairdelmonico.com) Shoes by Hollywould Shoes (ilovehollywould.com) and Stuart Weitzman (http://www.stuartweitzman.com) Flower bouquets by Zezé Flowers (398 East 52nd Street, N.Y., N.Y., 212-753-7767) For more information, visit www.Brides.com