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20 Photos That Show How Much Bridesmaid Trends Have Changed Over the Years

Voluminous Sleeves

It’s true. Puffy sleeves are back in style—but they’ve been reinvented. Instead of the oversized, voluminous sleeves featured on all ‘80s bridesmaid dresses, sleeves are being exaggerated in a more stylish and subtle way.

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Oversized Bouquets

I won’t deny it, I love a good floral arrangement, but more is less when it comes to bouquets. Nothing looks gaudier than a bridesmaid holding an entire garden of peonies.

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Cap Sleeves

Bridesmaid dresses often have cap sleeves. It’s a trend that makes a comeback every few years because it’s flattering. The sleeves create an illusion of broader shoulders, making the waist look thinner. What’s not to love?

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White Satin Gloves

I’m still in utter disbelief. There truly were brides that forced their friends to wear white satin gloves with their bridesmaid dresses. They looked like they were attending a debutante ball rather than a wedding…

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Flower Crowns

Flower crowns first became an extremely popular wedding accessory in the ‘60s and again in the early 2010s. They were adorable at first, but now they’re just outdated. Whether you’re the bride or the bridesmaid, avoid donning an oversized floral hairpiece—opt for dainty and petite blooms in your updo instead!

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Short Hemlines

It’s 2020 and we’re all about shorter hemlines. But in the ‘70s and ‘80s, bridesmaid dresses were typically no shorter than tea length. So when brides had their friends wear dresses that revealed more than their ankles, it came as a shock!

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Bold Patterns

The bride is supposed to stand out on her wedding day. All the attention should be on her and rightfully so! But when bridesmaids in the ‘60s and ‘70s were dressed in bold patterns and bright florals, it was hard to look away.

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Lace Dresses

Lace is a bridesmaid trend that’s still popular. Instead of purchasing dresses made of traditional materials like satin, charmeuse, or chiffon, brides are choosing lace gowns. They’re a fun and playful way to change things up.

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Poofy Skirts

Unfortunately, there was a time when bridesmaid dresses resembled ball gowns. If you’re a bride who loves voluminous dresses, buy yourself a Cinderella-style gown—not your bridesmaids. No wedding party needs that much tulle.

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Vibrant Colors

For some reason, vibrantly colored bridesmaid dresses had a moment. Not only would bridesmaids wear all shades of the rainbow (including bright pinks, yellows, and oranges), but they’d wear all of these shades at once.

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Pastels

Most brides want to be unique and stand out on their wedding day, which is why they choose bridesmaid gowns that are subtle in color. Yes, bridesmaids dresses have become brighter and more daring in recent years, but the majority of bridesmaids continue to wear pretty pastels.

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Two-Piece Dresses

Thankfully, two-piece dresses were just a fad. In a moment of weakness, brides thought it best to put their friends in floor-length skirts and modest blouses. Instead of looking fashion-forward, bridesmaids looked dowdy.

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Conformity

Having your closest friends by your side on your wedding day is special. But it can also be overwhelming. Instead of dictating the exact hairstyle, lipstick color, and shoe choice for your bridesmaids, allow them some input. Conformity isn’t as crucial as it once was!

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Collared Dresses

For a brief period of time, dresses with collars were considered trendy. But looking back now—in 2020—I can’t help but see the resemblance to James Dean’s upturned collar in Rebel Without a Cause.

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Single Color Palettes

Single color palettes for bridesmaid dresses are an ongoing trend. Only the boldest of brides experiment with multi-colored bridesmaid gowns. If you prefer conformity, a single color palette is the way to go. Let your bouquets and floral arrangements add color to your wedding.

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White Dresses

You probably have been told two fashion rules regarding white clothing: don’t wear it after Labor Day and don’t wear it to a wedding (unless it’s your own). So I’m still not sure why brides purposely dress their bridesmaids in white. To each their own, I suppose…

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Bonnets

There was a time when brides thought their bridesmaids should accessorize with headpieces. As much as I love their creativity, bonnets and hats should’ve never been bridal accessories.

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Capelets

This was definitely one of the chicer bridesmaid trends. Capelets were a modest addition to a bridesmaid dress. The sheer overlay covered the shoulders, back, and chest. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind if this trend resurfaced (but without the ‘70s pattern).

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Strapless Dresses

Strapless dresses are either loved or loathed. Brides who love strapless silhouettes are quick to agree to a strapless gowns for their bridesmaids. What they don’t realize though is how much the dress will be tugged at, especially while on the dance floor.

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Sleek Updos

Hair trends frequently come and go, and sleek updos are just one of many popular bridal party hairstyles. In the last several years though, many brides have allowed their bridesmaids more freedom regarding hair and makeup. This is why lots of bridesmaids have started wearing their hair down for weddings.

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