. frocks modern bridesmaids

The quest for the perfect bridesmaid dress has become a collaborate effort. Gone are the days of expensive gowns with hideous details that make being a bridesmaid more of a chore than an honour. Today’s modern bride is ensuring the happiness of her ladies by picking styles and colours that can happily be reused at any occasion. Bridal parties are collectively saying goodbye to gaudy, quickly out-dated styles and hello to a shorter, cocktail-style dress that won’t collect dust in the back of a closet.

A selection of bridesmaid dresses Catherine Staveley and Deb Viccars, the creators of Frocks Modern Bridesmaids, opened their first store in Vancouver after being frustrated with the lack of wearable bridesmaid dresses. Since the doors first opened in 2005, the pair has been pledging to help brides find stylish and affordable dresses for everyone in the wedding party. Frocks has since expanded to Calgary and opened up shop in the Beltline area, this location is owned by Sora Hong, who also knows all too well the stress associated with finding the perfect gown those in the bridal party.  “Our primary focus is on the bridesmaid,” explains Hong. “Bridal shops focus mostly on the bride with the bridesmaid as the afterthought.”Bridesmaids entering Frocks are put front and centre with a wide variety of affordable and stylish choices from Canadian and international designers. With most of the designs being “very simple and understated,” all bridesmaids will be able to find something timeless and elegant that can be worn on other occasions. Hong offers some tips as to select the perfect dress regardless of taste and budget, and ensure that everyone will be pleased with the final decision, thus alleviating any further stress from the big day.


More styles available at Frocks



1. Set guidelines: Hong insists that in order for everyone to be satisfied with their attire at the wedding, guidelines need to be set between the bride and the bridesmaids. The bride should be prepared with a colour, fabric, and designer before the first appointment says Hong. Letting the girls pick a style within these perimeters that best suits their body type allows some individuality while ensuring that over-controlling “Maidzillas” do not arise.

2. Take control: Brides trying to please everyone at their own expense only results in disappointment. “A lot of brides say ‘I don’t care as long as you guys are happy’, but they do care and they do know what they want, so they should just say it,” Hong explains.  However, if the bride has her heart set on a certain design that is a little pricier- it is customary for her to make a contribution towards the dresses.

A chandelier hanging from the ceiling at the beautiful store

 3. Modernize: If the bride is looking to break away from traditional styles and colours all together, there are a few new trends for 2011 that allow the party to have fun and look more contemporary. Hong suggests picking a theme, like jewel tones, and allowing the bridesmaids to select a dress that has the same intensity but different colour can modernize any wedding. And the “it” colour for 2011? “Grey with yellow is being seen more and more,” states the owner. 4. Keep Mom in mind: Don’t neglect mom just because she isn’t in the wedding party- she deserves to feel and look fabulous too!  Jacket-and-dress combos will please more conservative mothers, and cocktail styles work best for those who like to bare a little more skin. However, “mothers should not wear the same colour as the wedding party,” stresses Hong. “Keep the colours complementary.” 5. Plan in advance: Order dresses well before the big day for piece of mind and reduced rates.  Bridesmaid’s dresses should be ordered five months in advance, with one month to do any alterations. “Ordering dresses on rush results in higher costs,” says Hong. During peak times, many designers are often swamped with orders and you can end up paying substantially more for the gowns.