Wedding season is officially here, and with that comes the eternal question – what in the world to wear?!

Over the years, I’ve seen a major shift when it comes to bridesmaid dresses. Brides are moving towards a more stylish approach, often giving bridesmaids the option to pick a dress from a certain collection, or even the option to pick whatever dress they want all together!

But sometimes with freedom comes stress, and when given the option to choose a dress it's easy to get overwhelmed and go with the first option you find, or land on one you don’t really like. So I wanted to share my three rules for picking a bridesmaid dress, for the modern and stylish maid:

  1. Don't Rush – You usually have a few months between finding out you’re a bridesmaid and walking (or strutting) down the aisle. Often, our first instinct is to panic and try to find something ASAP. But just because you have the wedding date set doesn't mean you need to buy the first thing you see, to only end up regretting it later. Take your time and browse the different stores and online sites to see what options are out there. 
  2. Know Your Fit – When it comes to investing in a dress, it's important to find a style that works best for your body type. Do you want to highlight your bum? Show off your toned arms? What is the shape that makes you feel extra special and most confident? THAT is the cut you should look for. You are going to have a lot of eyes on you that day, and a lot of cameras, so go for what makes you feel good.
  3. Think Outside The {Bridal} Box – I've said it before and I’ll say it again, think outside the box! While it might be easier to go the traditional bridesmaid line route, so many different brands are venturing into bridal wear and creating a wide array of options. From Anthropologie's BHLDN line, to the somewhat pricier but stunning line from Reformation, bridesmaid dresses aren't for old maids anymore. Other online sites like Revolve, ShopBopLuLus, and ASOS offer a variety of different dress options that all fit within the realm of simple stunning dresses in a variety of colors and styles.

A few years ago, I was a bridesmaid for one of my closest friends, Ariel. She gave us a color palette and length requirement, but the rest was up to us. In typical Petite Rachelle fashion, I put a TON of thought into what I was going to wear. Bridesmaid dresses can cost a pretty penny, and I wanted to make sure I picked a dress I would not only love on the wedding day, but wear for years to come.

After much thought, consideration, and try-ons, I landed on this stunning style from Reformation. The dress was on the pricier side, and it took a few days before I could actually hit the "purchase" button. But I knew it would be a dress I would feel incredibly special in that day, and also wear to other events in the future.

I went on to wear the dress to three others weddings, and once more as a bridesmaid! To keep the look fresh, I switched up my hair and added a fun accent belt. 

So when you're searching for your next bridesmaid dress, keep these tips in mind. The amount of love you feel that day will make you feel beautiful no matter what, but a great dress never hurts either ;)