It’s been dubbed the “Pippa Effect” in response to the furor over Pippa Middleton’s form fitting Alexander McQueen bridesmaid dress that she wore to the royal wedding of her sister Kate to Prince William. Buzz over the dress and Pippa’s physique nearly upstaged the bride, but in reality this was the culmination of a tradition-kicking trend that has been in the works for years. Bridesmaid dresses don’t have to be the ill-fitting, pastel nightmares of generations past. Today’s bride isn’t afraid to let her bridesmaids stand out and be sexy and confident – though outshining the bride is still considered poor taste. Individualism is becoming the new tradition, with bridesmaids walking down the aisle in beaded ball gowns, cocktail dresses with cowboy boots and delightfully, but carefully, mismatched dresses that fit each bridesmaid’s body type and enhance the overall décor or theme of the wedding. Bridesmaids dress designers are embracing this trend with a variety of styles, and many brides choose dresses that may not have been created with bridesmaids in mind. So, when you’re choosing attire for your bridesmaids, forget the pastel taffeta – unless that’s what you’re into. Who knows, she just might wear it again.

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