1. Cost: The average cost of being a bridesmaid in the US is $1,200 (includes bridesmaid dress, shoes, under garments, hosting showers, bachelorette parties, shower gifts, wedding gifts, and travel expenses). Brides can show their appreciation by giving their maids a robe that they will want to wear again. Sellers will usually give a 10-15% discount for bulk orders if you ask, or offer free shipping or monogram, so don’t forget to ask!]
2. Styles: Kimono robes have wide full sleeves with a drop shoulder. Spa Robes tend to be cut very full and usually one size fits all. Wrap robes usually have a set-in sleeve and a little more tailored than other robes.
3. Features: Look for well sewn robes of good quality fabric with smooth finished seams (no ripples), inside ties, belt loops, 1 ½ - 2 inch wide belt. Read reviews before buying as brides are generally brutally honest.
4. Fabric: Choose a fabric that is not too lightweight or thin. Look for a medium weight fabric (satin, cotton, charmeuse) as well as fiber content of polyester, nylon, spandex or cotton. Many of the sites state that their fabric is silk when it is actually 100% polyester. Silk usually has to be dry cleaned. Beware of acetate and rayon as both wrinkle badly and require dry cleaning. The traditional spa robes are usually made from a heavier waffle weave cotton.
5. Length: Ask what length the finished robe is in inches and exactly how it is measured (from the shoulder, nape of the neck or top of the collar band). Also, remember you will be cinching the robe with a sash which shortens the robe slightly. The average length for a size SMALL wrap robe is 32-33 inches measured from the nape (base) of the neck to the hem edge. You want your bridesmaids to be relaxed and not worried about coverage the whole day. When the robes are too short then this usually ends up with the maids wearing yoga pants with the robe, which just ruins the look (and pictures). See Less is not always moreblog post dedicated to this issue.
6. Color: When deciding on robe colors consider your wedding colors, the bridesmaids’ skin tones, the season and how the robe color will photograph. Some brides will choose two coordinating colors that complement their wedding colors. Some attractive robe color combinations are Navy & Light Pink / Mint Green & Ivory / Champagne & Blush / Ice Blue & Gunmetal Silver. One suggestion is to choose one color or print for the bridesmaids, a coordinating tone for the Maid/Matron of Honor(s), and maybe a darker hue for the Mothers. Remember: darker colors are more slimming!
7. Shop Location: Check to see where the robes will be shipping from. Robes manufactured and shipped from the Far East have very long shipping times (sometimes up to 35 days).
8. Accessorize: Consider a pair of satin slippers, Chinese mesh slippers, soft terry slides (which can be found at Dollar Tree) or if it is summertime maybe clear jelly sandals. Also, photos look great when everyone is wearing their earrings.
9. Ordering: Don’t wait till the last minute, order your robes at least 8-10 weeks in advance, especially during wedding season. Especially if you are personalizing them with a monogram.
10. Embroidery: A one or three initial monogram looks lovely on the front of the robe. Another option is embroidering your bridal party's first names. "Bride" embroidered on the robe looks really cute on the day of, but isn't as wearable a year later. The same goes for "Mother of the Bride", "Bridesmaid", "Maid of Honor", etc... it's really cute on the wedding day, but becomes a little silly afterwards. So, if you're giving robes as a gift, consider a monogram that they can enjoy beyond your wedding day! Also, we suggest keeping the monogram to the front of your robe. "Mrs. Smith" embroidered on the back of the robe looks a little like you're warming up to go into the boxing ring! (You'll thank us one day!)