'What we're getting wrong about bridesmaid dresses, as a colour theory expert.'

Wedding trends come and go, but something that will always be in style is a bridesmaid's dress that actually suits them. We're not talking about cuts and shapes, though. No, we're very specifically talking about finding the dress that makes the wearer look better because the colour and tone of the gown is perfectly suited to them. 

Of course, the right colour for one person in your bridal party might not be right for anyone else. And unless you pick your bridesmaid based on who looks great in peach (we... don't recommend this), it means, for every person to look their best, they could all be wearing completely different colours. 

Before you freak out about the photos and the lack of cohesion, hear us out.

Mismatched bridesmaid gowns are a fashion choice brides should consider implementing into their wedding plan before almost anything else, says personal fashion stylist and shopper Kim Crowley — who also happens to be an expert in 'colour theory'.

Watch: How much should a wedding dress cost? Post continues after video. 

Video via Mamamia.

What is colour theory?

Colour theory is all about choosing clothes in the colours that work with your skin tone and highlight your features — which means that not all shades will suit all people. And that's okay!

Colour matching can help determine which shades "harmonise" with your skin, eye and hair colour. With clients, Crowley uses fabrics in different hues to help them see which colours make them either look vibrant and healthy, and which wash them out or make them look dull. She also assigns people a seasonal colour palette (summer, spring, autumn or winter) and a dominant palette (deep, light, warm, cool, clear, soft).

"The more that you shop into your palette (and the more you ignore all of the noise), the more your clothes will interact together," Crowley says.

It sounds complicated, but the process is fairly simple, and you can either go through experts like Crowley — who uses colour analysis as a tool to help her clients shop for garments that suit them — or you take a self-guided colour analysis quiz. There are even apps like Dressika or Vivaldi Color, and filters on TikTok to help you find your best colour match.

How does colour theory help dress your bridesmaids?

Okay, back to the wedding chat. Crowley explains that allowing bridesmaids to move outside of the matchy-matchy colour palette fundamentally changes the game.

"If you're suddenly trying to wear a bridesmaid dress that is completely outside your season, it's possible that nothing could look or feel right for you because you're trying to make something suit you that simply doesn't," she says. 


You could go for a rainbow vibe, and let the girls wear literally any colour they like. Or you can pick a palette and get your bridesmaids to select different tones within that range of colours to match their 'season' and 'dominant'. 

Case in point? Rihanna's assistant, Jennifer Rosales' bridemaids (RiRi included):

Rihanna was a bridesmaid for her assistant Jennifer Rosales' wedding in April 2015. Image: Instagram @badgalriri.


And she's not the only one.

When Jessica Simpson and Ashlee Simpson Ross were bridesmaids for their friend Lauren Harrison, each of the women put their own spin on a "feathers and rhinestones" brief, and well... look how well that turned out: 

Stunning. Image: Instagram/lolo_harrison_


Meanwhile, when Brazilian model Ana Beatriz Barros tied the knot, her supermodel friends Cassia Lara, Fernanda Motta, Isabeli Fontana, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Jeisa Chiminazzo showed how different takes on pale pink can look phenom if each person picks the right shade for their season and palette.


Actor Ashely Tisdale's bridesmaids (including her fellow High School Musical alum Vanessa Hudgens) each wore a shade that best suited them, too. 

Clearly, this is a technique that works.

Crowley tells Mamamia that there are benefits to this trend that easily explain why it's become so popular.


"People are wanting to simplify their weddings and saying, 'Well, if I have different tones for bridesmaid dresses, then at least each bridesmaid can pick their own and wear something they like.' Whereas, if it is just one colour scheme or one specific cut and fabric, it becomes a bit harder," the style expert explains. 

As well as helping your bridal team feel good about what they're wearing on the big day, allowing a bridesmaid to choose what they put on their body is also a great sustainable option.

"It is more sustainable to buy something that looks better on you, because then you can wear it again and it's less likely to end up in landfill," Crowley explained. "To me, it's much better to buy and wear a garment in a colour you're comfortable in and that flatters you. You might not wear your bridesmaid dress to another wedding, but you could wear it to other events."


Oh, and if you're worried about the photos? 

Crowley suggests lining up the bridesmaids up in order of their dress tone.

"The softest one, or the lightest one, goes at one end. The deepest or the strongest ones are at the other end," she says. Simple!

Allowing bridesmaids to be in different tones, colours and cuts on the big day might not be popular forever, but Crowley says it certainly is a "beautiful" approach, and one that makes the people around you on the day feel their best, too.

"Nowadays, it is less, 'You will be wearing a red dress. Suck it up.' It's much more about what makes everyone look and feel their best," she explains.

"Being able to individualise your wedding really honours each of your bridesmaids in terms of what they look like. That's a beautiful experience to gift them."

Feature Image: Getty.

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