Just like how the statement, "one size fits all", is drenched in falsehood, so is having a bride tell you, "one look fits all" when it comes to a bridesmaid dress. You can try to find a dress that looks good on all bodies, busts, and butts or a color that complements all types of skin tones, but in the end, you may feel uncomfortable, unconfident, or simply embarrassed having to strut your stuff in a gown that swallows you in fabric or accentuates your curves in all the wrong ways.
Since bridesmaid dresses, unlike that pair of jeans in The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants, may make you feel a bit fidgety, here's a couple of things you can do to your dress to make it through the night without wanting to hide underneath the table.
1. First, ask the bride for a list of non-negotiable
Can't wear jewelry, add a jacket, or take the straps off? Feel her out on what she simply won't compromise on, when it comes to altering the dress, before you make any wild suggestions.
2. Wear the dress, don't let the dress wear you
You know those magazines that show who wore it better? It's not because one of them had a more banging body (they usually both look like they do way too many spin classes), it's because one of them feels more confident in the dress. So wear the dress it like it's the hottest thing in the entire world. Wear it so when you post an Instagram picture of you in it, you #BreakTheInternet
3. Add your own twist
If the bride gives you the okay, add a funky necklace or a pair of earrings that'll add some flair to the dress and make you feel more like yourself beside a crew of girls wearing the exact same thing.
4. Have a post-ceremony back up plan
When they start pouring the bubbly and a conga line forms around the buffet, feel free to do what you want with your dress. Pin back some of the layers of fabric (so you can get low when a Ying Yang Twins song comes on) or fold the straps down for more of an evening look (and more of a sweat-free look).
Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.