For so long, bridesmaid dresses have carried the unfortunate stigma of being ugly (we mean, the entire premise of 27 Dresses was practically built on that). But Lauren Conrad, being the designer that she is (and having been both a bride and a bridesmaid), has changed that perception one bridal party at a time—ever since she launched Paper Crown in 2010 with BFF Maura McManus, and found that her chic, contemporary designs lend themselves quite nicely to looks for the bridal party. And now, thanks to a brand new partnership with bridesmaid dress rental site Vow to Be Chic, those numbers (specifically three styles in two colorways—a soft blush and a deep crimson red) are available for rent.
"Maura and I were engaged within a month of each other and also married within a month of each other—we built a business out of it! We really wanted to honor our bridesmaids," Conrad tells us. "We’ve taken the approach from a fashion point-of-view. The collection is both effortless and sophisticated, [available] in various flattering shades and designed to fit a variety of body types. Every bridesmaid dress is designed as if it’s something you would select on your own."
The Vow to Be Chic relationship came about through a shared goal to help brides pick the perfect looks for the women in their bridal party. So why did Conrad pick these three specific styles (there's the Jeannie, a gown with a flouncy overlay; the Mandi, a design with a ruffled V-neck; and the Natalie, a strapless draped dress)?
"They're flattering, yet romantic and the best part is that there is an offering that will perfectly suit different body types, personalities and can be styled amongst each other for the perfect mix-and-match wedding party," she explains. And her top tip for brides picking out bridesmaid dresses?
VIDEO: Beauty Talk with Lauren Conrad: Wedding Planning
"Pick silhouettes that flatter them, you have to make them feel good," she says, "because if your bridesmaids feel good in their dresses, they’re going to have such an incredible time celebrating and the wedding photos will turn out that much nicer, too!"