You'll want to wear them way before the big day...
Hands up if you've had to wear hideous bridesmaids dresses just to please your best friend/sister/insert relevant acquaintance here on their wedding day?
Gone are the days you have to wear awkwardly tailored dresses in even more awkward lilac to match the colour scheme.
Whether you're looking to designers or the high street, the offering of trend-led dresses is so stylish that your maids will be begging you to wear them, rather than secretly cursing you.
Planning a destination summer wedding? Take a look at the likes of DOEN, Uterque or Reformation for ethereal dresses in super floaty fabrics and playful fun prints.
Something a little more formal? Then you'll be spoiled for choice at the likes of Ghost, Joseph and Whistles for dresses that effortlessly transition from daytime wedding to an evening bash.
The good news is that just as brides aren't compelled to wear white anymore (FYI check out our edit of the best high street wedding dresses here), the sartorial rulebook has been thrown out when it comes bridesmaids dresses.
First off, they don't need to match, in fact mixing prints and styles really makes extra chic.
That doesn't mean you should just throw any old mix together though, make sure there are similar colour tones in each dress so they compliment each other. ASOS have an awesome line of mismatched dresses that's very budget friendly.
Best winter bridesmaids dresses
There is a misconception that an autumn or winter weddings are harder to shop for, as there's less on offer than during wedding guest dress season, but that's not the case, especially if you're shopping around party season.
Flattering colours like navy and grey and jewel shades of ruby, emerald and topaz make for a pretty line-up. A long-sleeved lace number is always chic for city weddings, while sequins really make an impact if you're after a more festive vibe - there's something magical about mixing shimmering copper, gold and silver.
Best summer bridesmaids dresses
For summer, needless to say the options are endless. Beach wedding? Look for a minimal slip dress or floaty maxi. City wedding? Try a light strapped dress with a cool print that can easily be worn again and again, so you get way more value for your money. Country wedding? You can't go wrong with a floral dress.
Keep scrolling to shop my edit of the best bridesmaid dresses, and feel smug in the knowledge that you've got the best-dressed designer bridesmaids in tow...
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Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.
Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).
Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.
However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.
Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.
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