The Top Bridesmaid Dress Trends of 2021
Long gone are the days of basic bridesmaid dresses your friends will only want to wear once. Now designers are opting for more modern designs that mimic the gorgeous trends you see coming down the New York Bridal Fashion Week runways. From sultry cowl necklines to fresh new color palettes and chic jumpsuits just made to hit the dancefloor, the newest and trendiest bridesmaid looks are anything but expected, and are sure to make your friends look—and feel—amazing. Scroll down to shop the hottest bridesmaid dress trends for 2021—we promise your bridal party will actually want to wear them, even after the festivities are over.
The trendiest new color palette takes its inspiration from golden hour. A more sophisticated and subdued twist on orange, bridesmaid dresses in varying shades of rust, terracotta, sienna and cinnamon were all over the Bridal Fashion Week runways. Perfect for a rustic, bohemian or autumnal wedding, these earthy shades pop against a natural backdrop. The best part? Dark orange shades with brown undertones flatter every skin tone—and are easy to mix and match if your girls want to wear different dress fabrics and silhouettes. Accessorize with yellow gold jewelry to play up the natural warmth of these colors.
If you're up on the hottest wedding dress trends, you know the '90s are back with a vengeance. This collarbone-baring neckline rose to popularity in the heyday of fashion icons like Kate Moss, Naomi Campell and Caroline Bessette-Kennedy, and was usually paired with another '90s signature look—the sultry slip dress. And while we hope to never see some retro bridesmaid trends again (hello, taffeta ruffles), we are super excited this one is having a resurgence in the bridesmaid dress trends of 2021. Pair this with delicate layered necklaces (also called a #neckmess) for a cool girl feel, or keep it simple with just stud earrings to play off its minimalistic vibe.
We've established your bridal party doesn't have to wear matching dresses—but they actually don't have to opt for dresses at all. Smaller, more intimate weddings are becoming a normal in a post COVID-19 world, and less formal dress codes are a direct result of these more casual gatherings. Enter: the bridesmaid jumpsuit. These dress alternatives are perfect for courthouse ceremonies and microweddings. And, if you think this trendy silhouette is too limiting because it doesn't come in a wide range of hues and fabrics—think again. This more comfortable answer to fussier styles comes in almost every color, neckline and fabric imaginable (including velvet and sequins!) and can be dressed up or down to work with a variety of wedding themes and dress codes.
Mock Turtle Necklines
This sleek neckline entered the bridal mainstream when Meghan Markle stunned royal watchers by opting for a gorgeous Stella McCartney gown with a mock turtlneck for her second look. So, what sets this unusual neckline apart? While a traditional turtleneck extends all the way to the lower jaw, a mock turtleneck is its more laidback cousin; a slimmer version that ends to the middle of the throat for a more modest silhouette. We love this neckline for bridesmaid dresses for a few reasons: It feels fashion-forward, flatters the upper body and is a great excuse to let your friends show some personality with a fun pair of statement earrings.
Move over velvet, there's a new "it" fabric in town. Satin gowns of all lengths, colors are one of the freshest bridesmaid dress trends of 2021. This glossy fabric has an inherently more formal feel, and adds a gorgeous luster and depth to whatever hue it comes in. Pro tip: If you're concerned this sometimes unforgiving fabric won't work for all of your bridesmaids, opt for a more figure flattering stretch satin with some give—that way, your friends can move around comfortably and worry less about investing in shapewear and more about tearing up the dance floor.
To check out all the Bridal Fashion Week galleries, plus wedding dress advice and more, go to TheKnot.com/bridal-fashion-week.