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Bridesmaid Dress Styles Fit for a New Mom

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Whether one of your bridesmaids will be sporting or a bump or if she recently had a baby and now has a larger bosom to contend with, your pregnant/new-mom ’maids will want to be comfortable and look their best on your big day. Here, three bridal experts weigh in on mama-friendly fashion.

For Pregnant Ladies

The best silhouette when you’re expecting is an empire waist (a fitted bodice ending just below the bust) in a soft, flowing fabric that skims the body, says Rachel Leonard, fashion director for Brides magazine. Both long and short can work, she says, but long may be preferred for hiding swollen ankles. Vatana Watters, founder and president of Watters bridal, agrees that an empire waist and shirred skirt are ideal for expanding bellies. Her pick among her line is Watters’ Laurel style 3534, an elegant empire with a halter neckline that offers support and frames the upper body. In general, mamas-to-be should seek styles that aren’t fitted through the belly, allow room for unpredictable growth, and are available in forgiving fabrics like chiffon, Watters says.

As for sizing, if a bridesmaid will be five months pregnant or less during the wedding, she can order a regular bridesmaid dress, just up a few sizes, says Leonard. It’s always better to go big and take a dress in, says Watters, than for it to be too small with nowhere to give.

But if a bridesmaid will be farther along than five months at your wedding, Meredith Rebhuhn, owner of Seattle’s Bella Bridesmaid boutique, strongly advises wearing an official maternity gown. Rebhuhn likes Amsale’s G562C (empire with spaghetti straps) and G662C (empire halter), and maternity designs by LulaKate. Leonard also recommends maternity styles by Jenny Yoo, David’s Bridal, JLM Couture and Alfred Sung, as well as maternity Spanx for extra support.

For New Moms

Picking a good style for new moms can be tricky, as they may be sensitive about post-pregnancy tummies, larger busts and any extra weight. Some are reluctant to wear an empire because they’re worried they still will look pregnant, says Rebhuhn. She notes that her bridesmaids with babies usually prefer something more supportive that has boning in the bodice. Her recommendations include any of Dessy’s lux chiffon styles (the fabric is more substantial than silk chiffon), like the simple natural waist on style 2880 or glamorous modified halter on style 2889.

If a new-mom bridesmaid is nursing, Leonard suggests going with a structured silhouette like an A-line, empire waist and bra-friendly neckline. A V-neck is ideal for comfort, support, coverage and providing easy access when nursing, says Watters. She suggests Watters’ chic Saffron style 3533 with a pleated bodice and cascading ruffle down the center to camouflage the midsection.

[Photo: Amsale]

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