Tuesday, November 24, 2009

J.Crew's Jenna Lyons & Bridesmaid Dresses

Over at the Bride's Guide (click here), there is an interview with J.Crew's Jenna Lyons and her take on bridesmaid dresses.

My Conversation with Jenna Lyons of J.Crew
By Darcy Miller

September 7, 2009

We're big fans of J.Crew's collection of perfectly-polished, tailored pieces. And their bridal collection is nothing short of gorgeous. More and more brides are turning to them to outfit their bridal parties, and with good reason: The dresses are affordable and come in an array of eye-catching colors and figure-flattering styles. So, I asked Jenna Lyons, J.Crew's creative director, to answer a few burning bridal questions here on the Bride's Guide.

True or false: Bridesmaids dresses have to match.
FALSE! All girls are not made equal, and their dresses don’t have to be either.

What’s your prediction for the next big color trend in bridesmaids dresses?

Well, what I want it to be and what it will be are never the same thing. I would love for it to be nudes and skin-toned makeup colors.

What are some chic ways to personalize your bridesmaids dresses?
The first thing to do is be polite—ask the bride if she is ok with you personalizing your dress. If she is, you could add a crazy flower pin or a leather menswear's belt. As far as accessories, I'd wear a necklace around my wrist or throw on a string of pearls.

With so many lengths to choose from—short, long, and in-between—how can a bride know which one is best for her maids?

Chances are they know themselves. It never hurts to ask your bridesmaids what they'd like to wear because everyone feels comfortable in different things. Girls look beautiful when they feel beautiful.

How important is it that a bridesmaid dress can be worn again and again?

Thinking about your bridesmaids' pocket books is a generous thing to do, but ultimately it's not a necessity. It’s always great to be able to wear something again, but just know that's not going to be the case for everyone, and choose the dress that makes you happy.

The wedding season maybe over, but there are still lots of weddings taking place this Fall and Winter. Over the years, I have definitely noticed more and more J.Crew dresses at weddings & parties. I attended one party two months ago, where I kept saying to my husband, "...she's wearing J.Crew, ...that is a J.Crew dress, ...oh that skirt is from J.Crew..." :)

What are your thoughts on this interview? Do you agree or disagree with any of the advice Jenna shared (like the use of a crazy flower pin or men's belt)?


  1. Oh gack, telling Bridezillas to ignore their bridesmaids' financial concerns? That ability to wear the dress again doesn't matter? Way to keep in touch with the little people, Jenna.

    (For the record, I chose JC for bridesmaids precisely *for* affordability and wearability.)

    As if more nudes and makeup colors isn't bad enough.

  2. I love the look of dresses such as bridesmaids dresses with POCKETS. There is something so casual about the look when standing around at an event and you don't know what to do with your hands. I know I would choose it.

  3. If you’re shaking off tradition, you could mix it up by giving the girls different necklines and even different colours.

  4. crazy flower pin and/or belt? are you kidding!? only the rarest of brides would be happy with her crew wearing those accessories. (i wouldn't). ick. and i agree with hexicon about keeping in touch with the little people. i'm surprised that jenna didn't laud the facets of j. crew's options for rewearability and affordability...

  5. Dear Jenna,
    We are sick of the "nudes and make-up colors". Please look at the sale section on any given day. "Blush", "light pewter" and "death gray--pink" are obviously colors that work for few or we are so sick of that we can't stand to order one more piece in it. I realize you might think that neon socks might also look good with my bridesmaid dresses, so thanks for noting that what you want and what we want might be different.
    Someone who's skin is already "nude". Just being nekkid would be cheaper.

  6. I like her advice about considering that your bridesmaids are all different and choosing different styles, but that way of thinking has been around for years now. Contrary to what may be popular opinion I do agree that the ability to wear a dress again isn't a necessity, but it is considerate if your gals would like that option. A lot of my friends buy dresses and only wear them once because "everyone has seen it" so I don't find her comment out of line.

    As for the nudes and makeup tones - so few women look really good in those so let's hope it is not the next big trend.

  7. I wouldn't be too happy if my bridesmaids wanted to wear a men's belt with their fancy dress at my wedding!

    Jenna has tipped the scale - she went from being unique to being over the top. She is out of touch with her buyers.

  8. Rebecca,
    I think they would photograph horribly as well...

  9. I agree with the previous comments. Nudes and makeup colors?! The last thing I would want is my bridesmaids looking like big bottles of foundation. And as Genny points out, they would photograph terribly. Jenna has really lost it.

  10. The last thing I would want is my bridesmaids looking like big bottles of foundation.

    LOL Lauren! It's true, I remember when her flesh tone romance started and the B&M store manager said it totally washed me out and I should steer clear. I appreciated the honesty.

    Some of us are pale already and don't vacation in the tropics to fix that.

  11. Does anyone know anything about the yellow blazer she is wearing in that photo? I LOVE IT!

    I chose J Crew for our bridesmaids dresses because they had the color we wanted (navy, no crazy nude fleshy yuckiness thankyouverymuch) they were afforable (after the 20% discount) and all my girls loved the pockets. I think they have actually worn them again, but I didn't pick them thinking that was key....


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