The industry of occasion dressing has thankfully evolved in the last several years with a handful of innovative companies offering stylish alternatives for bridesmaids dresses and cost-effective ways to don your dream ensemble for a black-tie event. Buying things off the rack or selecting from a stuffy array of prom-like gowns for your bridal squad is no longer the only option, and we’re thanking our lucky stars that brands like Name of Love, Fame and Partners and Armarium tout such world-class offerings. Here’s to (hopefully) never having to say yes to another ugly dress ever again.
Name of Love
Name of Love was born out of a desire to offer chic, sophisticated bridesmaids dresses that women would actually be excited to wear. The silhouettes are timeless and elegant, color palettes soft and classic, and price points reasonable (starting at $198)—the site also offers a convenient digital "showroom" that brides can create for parties to shop styles from directly.
Name of Love Sophia Dress, $238.
Name of Love Victoria Dress, $218.
Name of Love Georgia Dress, $248.
Fame and Partners
If ever you've been in the situation where a garment is almost right save for a few tiny details, you'll get why Fame and Partners is such a game-changer. The company offers a huge array of designs that are made-to-order with bespoke details fit to your specifications—you can customize things like length, straps and a host of additional design options to land on your perfect silhouette. Fame and Partners offers dresses fit for weddings, work and daytime occasions alike.
Fame and Partners Ada Dress, $229.
Fame and Partners Blooming Hearts Dress, $269.
Fame and Partners Ira Dress, $299.
You're likely acquainted with popular fashion rental site Rent The Runway, and Armarium operates in a similar manner. Simply download the app (or surf online), browse expertly curated collections of luxury goods (mostly dresses and clutches) and select your dream designer confection for a special occasion. Armarium even offers the option of day-of assistance should you like to hire a stylist from their Style Brigade, a collection of top industry talent including Vogue alums Meredith Melling and Valerie Boster.
Peter Pilotto Printed Mini Dress, $250 rental
Prabal Gurung Color Block Ball Gown, $600 rental
Salvatore Ferragamo Strapless Cotton Poplin Dress, $200 rental