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Bridesmaid Dress Shopping, Made Easier with Joielle


One of my favorite developments in modern weddings is the mismatched wedding party. As a larger-busted lady, I always appreciate being given the option to choose a dress that I know is going to look good on me (sigh, unfortunately it’s never strapless). But the thing is, the ease of the mismatched wedding party is sometimes misleading. Though certainly not always the case, for some reason that stumps everyone everywhere, often times giving folks the freedom to choose their own dresses can stress them out just as much as telling them what to wear in the first place. (Let’s chalk it up to our desire to please?) But today I’m delighted to let you know that longtime sponsor Joielle is here to make mismatched bridesmaid dress shopping really, really easy. And with dresses starting at just $128 in styles that are actually kind of beautiful, it’s a win all around. (Plus, for the next month, Joielle is offering free shipping on any orders over $50 when you use the code APWFREESHIP. Rad!)

Mixed Watters and Wtoo styles in Indigo and Navy Blue | Photography by Sarah Kate Photography

So where do you start? Joielle recommends choosing one or two constants for each dress (like color, fabric, length or designer) and then letting your bridesmaids choose from the options within that smaller group. That way the choices are less overwhelming, and nobody has to worry that their dress won’t “go” with the others (this is a real concern people in wedding parties have, I swear). Plus you get cohesion and everybody’s boobs will do what they are supposed to. Which is what success looks like to me. Here are a few ways past Joielle clients have made it work:

Same color, same designer, same fabric, different styles:

Mixed Alfred Sung Styles in Firecracker | Photography by Kristin Byrum Photography via Style Me Pretty

Same color, same designer, different fabrics, different styles:

Alfred Sung D496, Lela Rose LR147, Dessy Collection 2823 (discontinued), After Six 6575 (discontinued), Alfred Sung D472, After Six 6607 | Photography by White Rabbit Studios

Different colors, same designer, same fabrics, different styles (at an APW shoot!):

8th Avenue – Long, DC – Long, Union – Long , Newbury – Long, all by Joanna August | Photography by Emily Takes Photos (APW Sponsor)

Different colors, different designers, same fabrics, different styles:

After Six 6613 Midnight, After Six 6639 Platinum, Landa Designs M656 Sand, Landa Designs M656 Navy, Dessy 2831 Platinum | Photography by Beth Armsheimer Photography

The best part about Joielle is that they make it really easy for you to narrow down your options, with the ability to search by designer, color, fabric, and dress style. And since they carry styles from most of the big bridesmaid dress manufacturers, it’s really easy to find something that everyone will love. (I’m personally really digging this off-shoulder dress below. Want!)


Dessy Style 2844, Dessy Style 2832 | Photography by Lindsay Madden Photography

But if your bridesmaids are still having a hard time figuring out which dresses are the best for them, Joielle has offered up a few expert tips on choosing a dress that will be most flattering on your body: 

  • In terms of fabric, Chiffon is soft and forgiving. It hugs curves but also streamlines your silhouette and is flattering for all body types. It is versatile for a formal or casual affair and appropriate for all seasons.
  • If you have bridesmaids who are looking for a bit more modesty, the ladies at Joielle been seeing a lot more styles with sleeves lately (editor’s note: Halleflippinglujah). Two of their favorites are this Alfred Sung style and style 497 from Wtoo.
  • One shoulder dresses are surprisingly flattering on most body types. Dessy style 6611 is one of Joielle‘s best sellers for this very reason.
  • Ruching is amazing for both streamlining curves and creating curves on narrower silhouettes. How this magic works is beyond me, but I don’t question it because every time I put on something with ruching it’s like the gods themselves dressed me.
  • If you are pear-shaped, Joielle recommends empire waist styles. This Watters gown is one of my personal favorites.
  • For the larger-busted ladies (like myself) sweetheart necklines like this Dessy number are really flattering. V-neck and halter neck options also provide a lot of extra support and some can even be worn with a regular bra. Win! Plus, this dress from Dessy is just flat-out hot.

And you know Joielle is doing something right, because their clients? Love them. Holly (pictured above with the bridesmaids in silvery grey) said, “Joielle was perfect because I knew I wanted each of my bridesmaids to pick a dress they loved. We decided to stick with Dessy dresses in the charcoal/platinum family. Each looked absolutely fabulous, each was comfortable in what they were wearing, and each walked away with a dress that they loved. The ladies at Joielle were extremely helpful with any questions/concerns any of them had, they were kept up to date about the status of their order, and they received any follow up care they needed. I couldn’t have asked for anything better!”

So if you’ve been toying with the idea of just letting your bridesmaids choose their own dresses, but are worried that it’ll be more trouble for them than it’s worth, look no further than Joielle. There’s a good chance they could walk away with the elusive promise of a dress they’ll ::gasp:: actually wear again. And don’t forget, until April 5th, all orders over $50 are shipped for free when you use the code APWFREESHIP. So get shopping!

This photo (and top photo) by Beth Armsheimer Photography

Editor’s note: there are a lot of great dresses featured here that you won’t find on Joielle’s front page because they are part of an “additional styles” section. So if you see something you love, but can’t find it on Joielle’s front page, fret not. Just hit the link underneath each dress, and then click on the dropdown menu featured on that page and select the style number listed in this post, and it’ll pull up a reference photo for you. All of these “additional styles” are available for purchase through Joielle.

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