(Closed) Are short dresses less formal?

posted 5 years ago in Bridesmaids
  • poll: Which dresses can be formal?
    Calf length dresses can be formal. : (11 votes)
    15 %
    Knee length dresses can be formal. : (16 votes)
    22 %
    The length doesn't matter at all. : (15 votes)
    20 %
    Only ankle/floor length dresses are formal. : (32 votes)
    43 %
  • Post # 3
    1536 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    @HisToots:  Not at all. There are some very formal and beautiful short dresses out there. If you need any help to find some just ask. Good Luck.  🙂

    Post # 4
    837 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    I think fabric and colur matter more than the length of the dress, personally. I would stay away from a lot of the chiffon dresses (elthough some are fairly formal) and go towards dupioni silk or satin dresses. Embellishment and accessories can also bring up the formality.

    Post # 5
    6355 posts
    Bee Keeper

    Yes, as a general rule, longer = more formal.

    Of course there are exceptions, like a floor-length beach sarong… length is one factor of many. But for white tie (the most formal dress code), the dresses are -among other things- long. Above ankle length is considered inappropriate.

    Post # 6
    1877 posts
    Buzzing bee

    @HisToots:  It really depends on the dress. While long dresses are often credited for being more formal, I often see exceptions.  Some short dresses can be very glamorous and formal, and some long ones can look frumpy and sloppy.  Every dress is different. My sister had a very formal wedding and our bridesmaid dresses were short. 

    Post # 7
    5951 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2013

    Long dressses are “more” formal, but that doesn’t mean that a cocktail dress cant’ be perfectly appropriate.  Most formal weddings guests can wear long dresses or nice cocktail dresses, it’s the same for your maids.

    Post # 8
    1876 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    @HisToots:  It depends on what you mean by “formal”. If you are talking black-tie wedding, then yes, your bridesmaids should be in long gowns. However, if you are just talking “fancy/nice” then you can definetly find dresses that are still nice but short.

    Post # 9
    388 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: December 2013

    It looks like your wedding is in January and you’re looking for formal dresses.  I would stick to long dresses.  Even though I love short dresses, too.  I think they are cute, but maybe not right for the type of wedding you are having.  My sister had a formal wedding in June.  As a bridesmaid, we originally bought “formal”, satin short dresses.  When it got closer to the wedding, she thought short dresses weren’t formal enough and had us buy a second, long dress.  I think it was a good call on her part, even though I couldn’t wear either dress again.

    Post # 11
    8471 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2012

    Yes I think so. 

    Post # 12
    2055 posts
    Buzzing bee

    @HisToots:  Yes, short dresses can certainly be formal. Although they won’t be white-tie formal, it doesn’t mean must have your BMs wear floor-length gowns.

    In addition to length, the formality of the gown largely depends on the fabric and the embellishments. More sumptuous fabrics and weaves tend to indicate a higher level of formality even with shorter lengths (like silk, satin, brocade, etc.). Also, certain embellishments/details can increase the level of formality (intricate beading, lace, embroidery, textural cuts, draping, etc.). 

    For example, these are all formal to me:

    Post # 13
    1299 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I feel like longer dresses seem more formal than shorter ones, but there’s no reason that you can’t have shorter dresses on your girls and it not be a formal event.  The bridesmaid dresses are only one element, and anything short of sundresses on them, I think, can look formal.

    Post # 16
    1790 posts
    Buzzing bee

    As long as your girls dont look like Snooki, they are formal. Just keep it AT LEAST knee length and it looks fine. I am definately doing shorter dresses for my girls. Those are more likely to be worn again.

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