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What To Wear Bridesmaid Dress Shopping [And What Not To!]

It is such an honor to be a part of someone’s bridal party, sharing in their excitement in the lead-up to their wedding. If you are a bridesmaid or maid of honor, it is likely that at some point during the wedding planning process, you will need to go shopping for your bridesmaid dress. Naturally, you may have some questions about this, including what you should wear when you are shopping.

So, what to wear bridesmaid dress shopping? When you are going bridesmaid dress shopping you should wear a comfortable outfit that is easy to change out of and back into. You should also wear nude underwear and perhaps a strapless bra. Garments such as wrap-dresses work well when bridesmaid dress shopping as they can be easily taken on and off. It is also recommended that if you are likely to be wearing heels on the wedding day, you bring those with you rather than wear them to avoid discomfort.

Unless your bride has a specific retailer in mind, bridesmaid dress shopping can take you to a few different stores, hence why comfort is key.

Wearing an outfit that makes you feel good is also important as it is also likely that you will spend a large proportion of your day looking at your reflection in the mirror!

When I have been bridesmaid dress shopping in the past, I have always made sure I am in an outfit that is no too much hassle to take on and off.

You don’t want to mess up your hair and make-up every time you change!

Wearing a dress or a loose-fitting shirt and pants works well and my best piece of advice for you would be to wear shoes that can be easily removed and put back on.

There is nothing worse in my opinion than fiddling with laces or buckles on your shoes in the changing rooms!

Choosing bridesmaid dresses is one of my favorite parts of the wedding planning process.

Spending time with your best friends choosing dresses that will make them feel beautiful – it was and always will be an experience to remember.

Perhaps your bride friend will want to make an occasion out of the bridesmaid dress shopping day?

It is increasingly common for bridal parties to go for brunch, lunch, or dinner either before or after dress shopping, so you will need to wear an outfit that will suit both occasions.

Bridesmaid Dress Shopping Outfit Ideas

Getting your outfit right when going bridesmaid dress shopping is key; from your underwear to your footwear, it is important that you have considered each element.

Let’s start with underwear. Wearing neutral underwear and a strapless bra is key when trying on bridesmaid dresses.

This is because depending on the fabrics and colors you are choosing between, you do not want your underwear to show through the dress!

A strapless bra is also essential because it works with most necklines. Why ruin a beautiful dress with your bra straps showing?

The reason it is suggested that when shopping for a bridesmaid dress you wear the underwear that you intend to wear for the wedding day is so that you can get an accurate idea of how it will look prior to the wedding and decide if any alterations are needed.

We also need to talk about V-P-L (visible panty line). There is nothing worse than being able to see where your panties cut in through your dress.

When bridesmaid dress shopping, always opt for a knicker with no VPL.

These Spanx panties available on Amazon, were recommended to me when I was shopping for my bridesmaid dress for a friend’s wedding.

To protect my modesty and save going commando, the bridal store assistant made the recommendation, and I am so pleased she did!

The Spanx Undie-Tectable Thong not only gives a smooth illusion and invisible panty line but also holds you in just enough creating a smooth illusion over your stomach and hips.

I loved them so much – the smooth and sleek feeling they gave me – that I fully intend on wearing them on my wedding day!

The Spanx Undie-Tectable Thong is a must-have if you are going bridesmaid dress shopping.

A wrap dress is a great outfit option when going bridesmaid dress shopping. They are easy to take on and off and won’t ruin your hair and make-up in the process.

There are loads of gorgeous wrap-dresses out there at the moment, this one from Amazon caught my eye and I may or may not have purchased it with dress shopping in mind. (I absolutely did buy it!).

I like that this dress is a little on the longer side and you can dress it up or down with your jewelry and show choices.

If florals aren’t your thing or you are dress shopping in colder months, this gorgeous black wrap dress could be for you again, this is available on Amazon and will suit all different figures and body types.

It will also make bridesmaid dress shopping so much easier!

When bridesmaid dress shopping, you should wear something you feel comfortable in and that is easy to change into and out of.

Bridesmaid dress shopping can take quite a while so make sure your footwear is comfy and that you bring the shoes you will be wearing with you to allow for any alterations/measurements to be made.

Bridesmaid dress shopping is such an exciting and unifying time – be sure to enjoy every moment!

What Not To Wear Bridesmaid Dress Shopping

There are certain things to avoid wearing when bridesmaid dress shopping. Steer clear of dark, ill-fitting underwear, heavy make-up, and clothing that has a lot of fastenings like buttons or laces.

As mentioned in the previous section, underwear is so important when bridesmaid dress shopping.

You want to buy a dress you feel good in as well as look good in, making sure your underwear fits properly and is as close to your skin tone as possible is key.

Heavy make-up should also be avoided.

This is because it can transfer off your face and onto the bridesmaid dresses you are going to be trying on.

Not only is that a bit embarrassing, but sometimes stores will charge you for the cleaning cost of their dresses, so it is best to steer clear.

Avoiding clothes with lots of fastenings such as buttons or laces is more of a suggestion for you!

Not only are clothes like this fiddly to take on and off, but they are also quite time-consuming to put on and remove.

This can impact appointment times and might even mean that there is less time to try on dresses!

Not only that but I know myself from personal experience, changing rooms can also be a little warm and I tend to get a bit flustered with buttons and laces – so best to avoid when bridesmaid dress shopping!

What Footwear To Wear Bridesmaid Dress Shopping

When bridesmaid dress shopping, wear comfortable footwear and bring the shoes you intend to wear on the wedding day with you. This way you can ensure you are comfortable and that your shoes for the actual wedding do not incur any wear and tear.

Comfort is everything when shopping, particularly if you are walking from store to store and standing around choosing styles of dresses.

When you are bridesmaid dress shopping, it is likely you will be on your feet for an extended period.

For this reason, it is suggested that when bridesmaid dress shopping you wear comfortable shoes: flats, trainers, sandals – anything you feel comfortable in and can walk in for the whole day!

This means that you can bring your wedding shoes with you and try them on with the styles of dress you are going for.

Not only will this save you the pain of wearing heels all day, but it will also give you an idea of what your dress will look like on the wedding day and it will keep the shoes in good condition.

Other Things To Consider When Bridesmaid Dress Shopping

When you are going bridesmaid dress shopping, you should also consider taking any jewelry, hair accessories, and shoes with you that you will wear on the day.

By taking these items with you, it will allow you and the bride to choose the right dress that will go perfectly with the theme of the wedding.

Hair ties or hair clips are also an important thing to remember as they can enable you to see what the dress will be like with hair up or down.

This is great for if it gets a bit warm in the changing rooms, being able to throw your hair up can be a life-saver!


When bridesmaid dress shopping remember to have fun!

This is a special time in your bride’s life and as a bridesmaid, it is likely to be a special time in yours too!

And it doesn’t stop here.

Soon, you’ll have the rehearsal dinner.

Wondering what to wear to other wedding events? Check out my other guides here: