Buying Bridesmaid Dresses Online 101: How to Decide on Your Perfect Size & Style

by Allison Wills August 02, 2016

Buying your bridesmaid dresses online can be intimidating. If you haven’t tried on our dresses with our At Home Try-On service but don’t want to miss out on our biggest sale of the year; worry no more. Whether you’re questioning how to take your measurements or determining how to choose the perfect style, we’re here to help.

Kennedy Blue Bridesmaid Dresses in Eggplant

Shop the look (left to right): Anna, Hannah, Olivia and Stella in Eggplant.

Beth Insalaco Photography.

First things first, let’s talk sizing.

Bridal and bridesmaid sizing can vary from traditional retail clothing so we don’t recommend just ordering the size you typically wear in pants or dresses. Even though our size chart is based off of American sizing (unlike most bridal companies which run on European sizing), you’ll want to take your bust, waist and hip measurements to determine the size that will fit you best and require the least amount of alterations.

Bust measurement – Wearing the undergarments you’ll be wearing with your dress, wrap the measuring tape around your back and under your arms at the fullest part of your bust (not underneath the bust).

Waist measurement – This one is definitely the one you don’t want to mess up, but it’s easy to do so. Again, wrap the measuring tape around your back at the smallest part of your waist. This should be a few inches above your belly button at your natural waistline. If you’re standing straight up and bend to one side, it will be where the natural crease in your side happens.

Hip measurement – This measurement should be taken around the fullest part of your hips and butt. You’ll want to make sure this measurement is most accurate if you’re wearing a dress that is fitted throughout the hips. With our styles that are flowy throughout the skirt, this measurement won’t necessarily matter.

Now what? Compare these measurements with our size chart below. Each measurement will line up with a specific size. If one measurement is falling in between two sizes that means you’ll fit better in the larger of the two sizes. So, for example, if your measurements are 38” bust, 30.5” waist, and 41.5” hip, you’d want to go with the size 10. Even though your bust and hip measurements fall in line with the size 8, the waist of the size 8 dress would be too small with a 30.5” waist. The size 8 would be 1” too small in the waist.

Questioning what size to order? We’re always happy to help our customers out! Feel free to email us your measurements at info@kennedyblue.com and we will gladly recommend the size that will fit best!

Having trouble deciding on a style?

If you’re a bride considering one style to order for your ladies that will coordinate with your bridal gown, we recommend thinking about a few things here.

Your dress fabric and style – Do you want your girls’ dresses to coordinate perfectly, partially, or contrast with your gown? We’ve seen brides do each of these three and look absolutely stunning as a whole, so it’s mainly personal preference here.

Kennedy Blue Bridesmaid Dresses

Shop the look: Londyn in Blush.

Ali Kvidt Photography.

Your venue – Is it more formal or casual? Our most popular styles for formal weddings are floor length chiffon, sequin and short full lace dresses while more casual events tend to lean towards our short chiffon or our lace top styles.

Season – This can be a good determining factor for color and style. Is your big day mid-summer in a warm climate? Short dresses might be the way to go here. All of our dresses are very comfortable, but you still may want to take temperature into consideration. Fall wedding? Our new Bordeaux color is the perfect fall hue.  

Kennedy Blue Bridesmaid DressesWinter Wedding with Kennedy Blue Bridesmaid Dresses

Shop the looks above (left to right): Chloe and Addison in Eggplant (left image) and Delilah, Lola and Bella in Black (right image). 

Sarah Libby Photography (left) and Molly Jo Collection (right).

As mentioned above though, we’ve seen such a variety of stunning weddings both formal and casual and everything in between. This is your wedding, so ultimately it’s up to you!

Did the bride give you styles to choose from?

We know narrowing down which style you like best can be tough with so many different necklines to choose from. Especially when you haven’t tried them on before to determine which style is most comfortable and hits in all the most flattering spots.

Kennedy Blue Bridesmaid Dresses in Blush

Shop the look: Stella, Olivia, Anna and Hannah in Blush. 

Stephanie Nunley Photography.

I’m going to break it down by neckline for you, but first let’s talk waistline and skirts. Majority of our dresses have flowy skirts with a natural waistline. This includes all of our crinkle chiffon, lace top, and satin top dresses.  If you’re looking for something more fitted, our full lace dresses are the ones for you.

So let’s get to it, shall we? Here’s your neckline breakdown.

V-neck – The most universally flattering of them all, this neckline creates a leaner and longer looking silhouette and is good if you have broad shoulders. If you’re a little bustier, you may want to consider if you’ll be okay with a little cleavage or not.
Kennedy Blue Chloe in BordeauxSadie in Blush

Pictured above: Chloe in Bordeaux and Sadie in Blush

High neck – Another neckline that’s good for almost every body type because it tends to draw the eyes to the shoulders and create a well proportioned look. If you want a little more coverage throughout the bust, this is a good choice.

Kennedy Blue Kylee in Slate BlueKennedy Blue Audrey in Sage

Pictured above: Kylee in Slate Blue and Audrey in Sage.

Shop High Neck

Spaghetti strap – Straps will give you a little more support up top, unlike a strapless neckline. Spaghetti straps are pretty universally flattering and will create length throughout your neckline and torso but if you have more of a broad shoulder, you’ll want to stick with something with a thicker strap. (Psst! You're gonna want to check out the STUNNING back on Mackenzie)

Kennedy Blue Nova in SilverKennedy Blue Mackenzie in Marine

Pictured above: Nova in Silver and Mackenzie in Marine.

Shop Spaghetti Straps

Scoop neck – This neckline is great for ladies with narrow shoulders because it tends to create a more lengthened and widened look throughout that region. Scoop necklines are also good for hourglass body types because it creates the perfect balance throughout the top and bottom.

Kennedy Blue Sophia in WineKennedy Blue Quinn in Eggplant

Pictured above: Sophia in Wine and Quinn in Eggplant.

Shop Scoop Neck Dresses

Strapless – Great for ladies with broad shoulders and a straight waist but can be tough for those with a larger chest due to lack of support. Each of our strapless dresses does come with attachable spaghetti straps.

Kennedy Blue Camilla in CoralKennedy Blue Parker in Raspberry

Pictured above: Camilla in Coral and Parker in Raspberry.

Shop Strapless Dresses

Halter – If you’ve got a larger bust or narrow shoulders, halter neckline is the perfect choice. Our Lucy and Violet halter top dresses are also what we recommend for any of those pregnant bridesmaids because it allows for support up top throughout the neckline and also has a bit higher waist than the rest of our dresses, so it will allow for more room for your bump!

Kennedy Blue Lucy in CharcoalKennedy Blue Violet in Teal

Pictured above: Lucy in Charcoal and Violet in Teal.

Shop Halter Dresses

Boat neck and off the shoulder – Perfect for those pear shaped ladies because it creates balance. These two necklines draw the eye up to the shoulder and shows off a slim neck.

Kennedy Blue Thea in MulberryKennedy Blue Harper in Navy

Pictured above: Thea in Mulberry and Harper in Navy.

Shop Off the Shoulder and Boat Neckline

One shoulder – The asymmetrical neckline also draws the eye up to the shoulders to create balance for a more pear shaped body type.

Pictured above: Brielle in Mint and Julia in Royal.

Shop One Shoulder Dresses

All in all, choose the style you think you'll feel most comfortable in if you have the option to choose yourself. You know your body best and most likely know what necklines you prefer wearing and look best in! 

So there you have it: how to purchase your bridesmaid dresses online – even if you haven’t tried them on beforehand. Even though it can be a bit intimidating, we can assure you it is the perfect new alternative to shopping for your bridal party. Especially with girls spread out throughout the country and online shopping being the norm today. We have a great staff of stylists who know our product better than any other and LOVE helping throughout the decision making process so PLEASE do not hesitate to contact us with any questions along the way! Happy shopping! 



Allison Wills
Allison Wills

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Measurement Guide

Taking Your Measurements

For the most accurate measurements, do not measure over your clothing. Your measurements should be taken while wearing undergarments similar to the ones you will wear with your dress. The measuring tape shouldn't be pulled too tight or have too much slack, and should always be parallel with the floor. 

**Wedding apparel is typically sized differently than retail clothing, so keep in mind that it's not uncommon to find yourself requiring alterations.




Bust size: Wrap the tape around your back and under your arms at the fullest part of your bust (not underneath the bust).

Waist size:  While standing up straight, bend at the waist to one side. Take the measurement where the natural crease happens in your side. This should be a few inches above your belly button.

Hip size: Standing with your feet together, wrap the tape around the fullest part of your hips and butt to get this measurement.

Choosing your correct size

Compare  these three measurements to the Kennedy Blue size chart above. It is very important that you order the largest size that corresponds to your measurements. For example, if your bust measures 40.5" (size 12), your waist measures 31" (size 10) and your hips measure 41.5" (size 8), we advise that you order a size 12, and get your dress altered down to custom fit your body. Ordering anything smaller than a size 12 would not fit in the bust area. Please note: Our bridal gown size chart is different than the bridesmaids sizing and is listed below.