The bridesmaid dress is an iconic part of wedding culture, with the style and color often reflecting the times in which it was worn. For example, the mid-20th century was filled with poofy pink pastels, while today the trend is toward more modern silhouettes and colors. But how did this tradition start? Let’s take a look at the history of bridesmaid dresses in North America over the last few centuries.
The first use of bridesmaids dates back to ancient Roman times, when 10 maids would accompany the bride to her ceremony. These attendants had multiple purposes—they were there to serve as witnesses to the marriage, provide moral support for the bride, and ward off evil spirits. It wasn’t until Victorian England that bridesmaids began wearing matching dresses. At that time, they were outfitted in white gowns with sleeves down to their wrists and hemlines down to their ankles; these conservative styles reflected societal norms of modesty at the time.
In North America, bridal traditions began to evolve in the early 1900s. Gone were restrictive gowns and instead came a range of more daring looks like full skirts, necklines cut lower than ever before, and even hints of color (albeit muted tones like lavender or light blue). And by World War II, bolder colors were becoming popular for bridesmaid dresses; bright pinks and yellows were all the rage during this era!
By 1960s–1970s, fashion had become much more daring than ever before—and this attitude extended to bridesmaid dresses as well! This period saw a rise in A-line silhouettes paired with bold colors like orange or mustard yellow. Shoulders were also often bared during this time period thanks to off-the-shoulder necklines or short cap sleeves on some gowns. Despite the larger-than-life nature of these dresses, they held a special place in the hearts of many brides and their attendants.
When it comes to bridesmaid dresses from the 1980s and 1990s, North America was all about big hair and even bigger dresses. These decades were full of fluffy taffetas, ruffles, and bows galore. Many bridesmaid dresses featured pastel hues or bold jewel tones, while the more daring bridal parties might opt for neon shades or metallic fabrics. Off-the-shoulder styles were also popular, as were asymmetrical hemlines and puffy sleeves. Despite the larger-than-life nature of these dresses, they held a special place in the hearts of many brides and their attendants. After all, big hair and even bigger dresses make for some truly unforgettable memories.
Today’s trends are continuing that spirit of innovation—although many traditional elements still remain! Look for silhouettes that are form fitting but not too tight (no one wants a wardrobe malfunction on such an important day!), along with soft pastels like blush or mint green for a classic feel. No matter if it’s bridesmaid dresses Canada or USA or what style you choose for your big day, rest assured that you’re taking part in a long and storied tradition! With its unique blend of old-fashioned elegance and modern flair, your bridal party will be sure to make quite an impression on your special day!