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Charming Charcoal Bridesmaids Dresses: Inspirational Styles!

J. Crew charcoal dresses via Style Me Pretty

“Gray? No way!” Would that be your reaction to a suggestion of gray-colored dresses for your bridesmaids? Well, think again! Somber no more, this muted hue has been glamorously re-named charcoal, slate, smoke, or ash to go with its stylish reinvention as—yes, a color for bridesmaids’ dresses and gowns! Of course, there are tips and tricks for pepping up this shade for its walk down the aisle. We share them with you here, along with 9 fabulous dress ideas for channeling the charms of charcoal!

Chic and Stylish Charcoal!

Here are our 5 fashionable tips for dressing your ladies in gray…gorgeously!

Stylish charcoal bridesmaid dresses from asymmetrical to retro to mini-length skirts to strapless bodices.

Tip 1: Capture a style era.

Going for a definite look like, for instance, ’50s retro (1) will focus attention on the style rather than the shade of the dress. Just look at that cute full skirt and teeny-tiny waist! Or if you prefer the romance of vintage frocks or the glitz of Gatsby shifts, guests will be busy admiring the details (lace and floral accents, glittery beadwork)—which, incidentally, charcoal will show off beautifully.

Tip 2: Work magic with fabric.

This color lends itself perfectly to highlighting draped fabric—whether framing a single shoulder (5, 6), accenting a bodice or cinching a waistline (both 4). So you may want to select a slightly heavy material that flows with every move and gathers nicely. You can also layer sheer fabric (3) like chiffon for a soft, feminine effect; or add a lustrous look with the sheen of silk or satin.

Tip 3: Show off your form.

Consider figure-hugging cuts for your bridesmaids, mini-length skirts (8), strapless bodices (2), perhaps peek-a-boo backs. These are clever design tricks that are sure to keep their gray dresses from looking dull, ho-hum, or (horrors!) frumpy.

Tip 4: Contrast with color.

As any stylist knows, gray is also an ideal background for highlighting other colors. Particularly bold, bright hues like fuchsia, yellow, turquoise, chartreuse, even scarlet red. Love how it allows the orange bouquets (7) of these bridesmaids to really make a statement!

Tip 5: Go girly.

Too often associated with gents in suits, gray deserves a fashion breakthrough—a girly one, in fact! So here’s your chance to remake it for your lovely ladies, using fun and flirty ruffles, sashes and bows, lace, fabric rosettes, even floral prints.

Are you now seeing bridesmaids dresses in charcoal, slate, smoke, or ash (a.k.a. gray) in a whole new light? Good for you! We certainly hope our little tip list helped do the trick!

Image credits:

1 – “Annette” by Trashy Diva, Spring 2012 collection, via Haute Rockabilly Fashionista
2 – ‘Aidan’ by Jenny Yoo, via Nordstrom
3 – White by Vera Wang, via One Wed
4 – Convertible chiffon dress, by harsuccthing
5 – Infinity convertible dress, by The Daintyard
6 – Monique Lhuillier, via The Knot
7 – Anthropologie dresses / Aaron Shintaku, via Ruffled
8 – J. Crew dresses / Alders Photography, via Style Me Pretty

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