Phew, I thought my personal wedding involvement was done for the time being, but my sister-in-law got engaged not too long ago (in October), and I just spent the majority of the day dress shopping with her. Within just a few minutes of being back in a bridal boutique, I was like ‘ah, I missed this,’ so obviously I wasn’t too tired of my tribe tying-the-knot. She quickly fell for fit-and-flare silhouettes, which looked positively stunning - like beyond picture-perfect - on her, and as one of her enlisted entourage encouragers, I was all about them, too! The shapes were just so good on her and even more importantly, she felt comfortable, supported, and trend-forward each time she came out of the dressing room. That’s all anyone can ask for when dress shopping, arewerite? As much as I stared mesmerized at the bride-to-be in front of me, I couldn’t help but wonder how all these fierce, yet flexibly-fitting styles would look in color, on bridesmaids. And let me tell you, everything I daydreamed about is everything you’ll find at Bari Jay RN.
But first, a little blurb about the brand…
And we shouldn’t even say ‘little,’ because Bari Jay has been in the bridesmaid business for over 50 years and it’s been a true family affair. Bruce Cohen took a leap of faith and became a partner in Bari Jay on Valentine’s Day 1971. He had two daughters who were always looped into the comings and goings of the gown industry, and throughout their childhood, the girls found themselves either working at the Bari Jay office or assembling swatch cards in their basement for allowance. When Bruce passed away, unexpectedly and mournfully in 2007, his girls vowed to keep his memory alive in the Bari Jay brand. Even though they had amazing, flourishing careers of their own (and respective families to tend to), they couldn’t walk away from their father’s legacy and the place that played such a paramount role in their lives, since the very beginning.
Pretty fitting for a bridesmaid business, right? A bride’s crew is her family (related or not), so a wedding will always be a family affair. And who better to outfit the fam than a family-owned and sisters-run business?
Throw a NYC-based head designer who’s been a bridesmaid countless times before into the Bari Jay girl squad, and this troupe is truly the only team you’ll want behind your glamorous group.
Now back to the fashion
Going back to my earlier point about fashion+function, Bari Jay has it all - and that’s what makes the brand a leader in fashion-forward, stylish dresses for all shapes and sizes including bridesmaids, junior bridesmaids, and maternity bridesmaids. With a huge selection of colors, silhouettes, and fabrics, the dresses are amazingly mix and matchable. We LOVE their sequin and floral sequin styles, especially for maids or matrons of honor, but even if there aren’t any ‘firsts’ in command, the mixed media effects of their gowns make them such a storytelling ensemble.
And my favorite part about their current offerings? The brand new stretch crepe fabric. As I was wedding gown shopping with my SIL, I asked about the stunning fabric and feel of one of the gowns and needed to know what was responsible for it. Stretch crepe, the bridal consultant said, like wearing yoga pants in a gown. Comfy and supportive, familiar and feminine, flattering for ALL body types, just all the things a woman needs to look and feel her best. Oh! And if sequins are more of your girls’ jams, they can indulge in stretch lining under their full-length gowns, too!
Plus, when the time comes to start shopping, ladies can opt for petite length, regular or extra length. This is awesome, because it can really cut down on those alteration fees. As someone who has been burned many times over by necessary, yet extreme hem jobs on regular length gowns to fit my 5′ 2.5” frame, this is major. 🙌🙌🙌
& next steps on how to shop...Remember those swatches that the Bari Jay+Khloe Jaymes (the smaller and simpler line of dresses for the millennial girl) girls worked so hard to put together? Well, you can order them online or snag ‘em in-store. And take it from us, there’s really nothing better than opening up colorful mail and getting a sense for your preferred palette. If you’ll all be shopping together, which we love the most - brunch, followed by a few hours shopping and bonding with your besties, hellllll yes - then you’ll want to take a peek at the store locator to see what shops are most convenient for #teambride. You can also take advantage of the “Out of Town Bridesmaids” online form. Brides can enter some quick info about themselves, their girls (and their contact info), and their girls’ favorite styles, and in turn, their entire group with be emailed a rundown of all the bridal salons in their area that carry Bari AND the styles they’re obsessing over.
First comes chicness, then comes comfort, then comes color.
Duh! Bari Jay is giving our readers 99-cent swatches - so you should get in on that now. Head over to their online swatch shop and use code “SWATCHES99” @ checkout.
FOLLOW BARI JAY ON IG TO SEE ALL THE STYLISH AND SOPHISTICATED MAIDS MADE FROM A MAN IN ‘DRESS WORLD’
We partnered with Bari Jay to share some more on the legacy behind the brand and what fab+functional looks we're loving on. As always, thank you for supporting our sponsors!