Destination I Do

Fashion Forward: Merry Maids

Words by Kelli Donley
Photos courtesy of Melissa Jill
California-based clothing designer Jessica Slackman, is the creator of Chipmonkey Designs. She offered Destination I Do magazine her observations on recent trends in attendant attire and suggestions on how to please even the most finicky bridesmaids.  

HINT: Allowing each bridesmaid to wear a different dress within a particular color scheme is very fashion-forward.                                                           

“Bridesmaid dresses have come a long way, especially during the last decade,” Slackman reminisces. “Yes, I realize that the bride is destined to be the fairest of them all, and no one wants to be accused of outshining her, but enough is enough! In many cases in years past, the bridesmaid’s dresses were so hideous that they would take attention away from the bride. My suggestion: tone it down for the bridesmaids, but give them style too. There are some choices out there. You just have to find one that suits you as well as compliments your bridesmaids.” Slackman took her own advice during her wedding in Hawaii.


“I let them choose the dress of their liking and made it a bridesmaid gift,” she says. “My only requirement was color. I requested it be ivory; we also asked all attending guests to wear this color. Both bridesmaids chose completely different styles -- one a flirty Battenberg sundress and the other a sultry two-piece tuxedo suit, both of which they have worn again. My mission was accomplished.”


Slackman says designers have worked to meet the growing demands of brides and bridesmaids.  “The range for bridesmaid’s attire is endless,” she describes. “You may prefer a stylish company like Watters & Watters for a classic, smart gown. Or you may choose a hip route like J. Crew Special Occasions for a dress that will be admired by all, and most certainly will be worn again for other occasions such as a cocktail party.”



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