I did it! I picked a bridesmaids' dress!
Whew. That's been a long road. Initially, my "vision" was to find a nice line of bridesmaids' dresses and tell my ladies to pick anything they liked in navy. This sounded simple, but it wasn't. First off, several of the styles I liked didn't come in navy (I know - what?). Second, I'm a fabric snob. I didn't want to ask my bridesmaids to pay $200 for a dress that looked and felt like cheap polyester -- which meant most traditional bridesmaids lines (Dessy, I'm looking at you) were out of the question. Third, I wanted to find a line with at least one dress that would let the girls wear a regular bra. Nothing but spaghetti straps, halters and strapless for miles around, let me tell you.
I flirted briefly with Aria Bridesmaids, but I ordered one of their dresses to try on and just wasn't impressed with the quality. J. Crew had one cute dress in navy and was planning to sell more navy dresses in their spring collection, but was that too long to wait? Melissa Sweet and Priscilla of Boston had several cute bridesmaids' dresses but nothing that quite worked. I loved the photos on the Jenny Yoo website of their newest silk shantung collection, but was a little worried about the cost, and I wasn't in love with their particular shade of navy.
I had just made an appointment to visit the Jenny Yoo boutique in NYC when one of my frequent visits to the J. Crew bridesmaids website paid off. The dress I'd always liked, the Sophia short silk dress in navy, was on sale for $125. And when I visited the J. Crew homepage, I learned they were running a Black Friday sale ... 30% off orders over $250!
Like Miss Hot Cocoa, I hadn't planned for all of my ladies to wear identical dresses. But faced with such a great bargain, I realized that my bridesmaids would probably rather save money than pay $200 for a dress that they kind of picked out themselves but probably still wouldn't wear again. Plus, this dress was super bra-friendly (it even has lingerie straps to secure the bra under the dress!).
So yesterday I called all of my bridesmaids and got their sizes (one of the great things about ordering from J. Crew: they all owned at least 1 item of J. Crew clothing and knew their size!), went online, punched in the coupon code, and ordered the dresses! Here she is: the J. Crew silk Sophia dress in navy.
The final price? $87.50 per dress. Heck yeah! (Fellow bargain-hunters: the J. Crew sale expires at midnight EST tonight. But even if you miss out on the Black Friday discounts, there are still many cute dresses on sale at J. Crew. I often feel that J. Crew clothes are a bit overpriced, but I'll say this: when they put something on sale they mean business!)