We’ve all been there. Your best friend since forever gets engaged and promptly asks you to be a bridesmaid. You’re obviously psyched—you can’t wait to celebrate her and be a part of the entire process—but then, she saddles you with a downright hideous dress. It just doesn’t work. The color’s wrong; the cut’s wrong; the list goes on. Some hypothesize this happens because the bride doesn’t want anyone to look better than she does. Others attribute it to the fact that it’s just plain hard to dress and style a big group of girls, each with their own body type, complementing color palette, etc. Either way, former Vogue staffer, Cynthia Smith, has made it her mission to solve this problem and all other bridal styling conundrums that can come an engaged woman’s way with her new venture, Cynthia Cook Brides.
After working in the magazine’s fashion department for almost 10 years, serving as a bridesmaid and maid of honor more times than she can count, and actually styling her sister, Sarah, and good friend, Brock Collection designer Laura Brock’s nuptials, Cynthia couldn’t help but think she might be able to parlay the fact that she has taste in her toes into a business. Shortly thereafter, she opened shop as a wedding stylist. Her goal? To bring an editorial point of view to all aspects of bridal dressing during, before, and after the big day. She can handle everything from helping you find a wedding dress that you love almost as much as your future spouse to the hard task that is honeymoon packing. Here, she showcases her top bridesmaid dresses on the market right now. They’re all ready-to-wear, which means you can definitely recycle them—and while some are on the pricey side, they’re pretty . . . so if nothing else they’re perfect Pinterest inspiration.