"Pretty" - A bridesmaid collection by Rory Becca x Forever 21
This summer was my 1st time as a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding and, with my own wedding bells in the soon-to-come future (1 yr countdown!), I wanted to try out these new dresses from the exclusive bridesmaid collection - "Pretty" by Rory Becca x Forever 21! By looking at their lookbook online, I was happy to see that they came in a variety of colors, both solid and printed - nude, blush, seafoam, mauve, and black. For this shoot, I wanted to try out the pink and green solid colors to see how these bridesmaid styles would look in Hawaii's natural settings. We decided to shoot on the North Shore of Oahu - in the Mokule'ia area, which offered both beach and forest spaces.
I wanted to pull in some of my local faves - My friend Chelsey jumped in to help model with me, while the always-amazing photographer Shaneika Aguilar got the shots. The flower crowns (or haku lei, as they're called here in Hawaii) were made by the famed Pamakane of Ocean Dreamer Florals & we couldn't get by without a little bling by Love Me Knots Hawaii. Of course, special thanks to Vanessa Li for the beautiful hair & makeup that made these looks extra dreamy ...OH! And did I mention, we got to shoot with a majestic horse?! As if the shoot wasn't fairytale material enough... add a white polo horse named Benny. (I know, right?)
Scroll through to take a look at how our shoot came out...
& to see my final verdict on the designs!
1. The dresses were extremely versatile, as we moved from a forested area to the open beach. They were easy to move in & cool enough during a midday shoot in May... in Hawaii (which meant direct sun).
2. I appreciated the side slit for legs in some of the styles, which provided some good mobility + ventilation! It wasn't too high, so as to be scandalous-bridesmaid territory, though I did hike up that slit for a couple photos... for fun & also to get on Benny, the horse! I mean, how many bridesmaid dresses can you wear while mounting a horse?!
3. Modest + Comfy! The wrap-style dress was already sewn at the neckline (not a true wrap), so I didn't have to worry about pinning it, which was a relief! Each dress was also lined in a soft cotton & came with adjustable straps.
4. True to size - Chelsey & I are very different heights and builds. She is quite tall & slim, while I am more athletically built. A size Small flattered both of us, and could have fit a variety of body types. Each style accentuated the waistline, either with a seam or by a tie-string. The length of the dresses wasn't a problem, however if you are on the shorter side, maybe 5' 3" or below, you might have to get it hemmed.
5. Some reviews have said that the fabric is not high quality, but I don't think this is true or a big deal. For the price point ($68 - $78), these dresses felt great & came out looking great in photos (cos let's be real, that's what really matters!)
6. Oh yeah, PRICE! Depending on the style, the dresses run either $68 or $78, which is literally 1/2 the cost of what my friend just paid for our affordably priced bridesmaid dresses & 4x cheaper than my other friend's summer bridesmaid dress!
1. I personally would have liked more fabric & draping in the dresses, to create more romantic silhouettes... but then again, more fabric would mean more hot hot HOT! (so maybe not)
2. This is a BIG one, since it's a peeve of mine. The green dresses are listed as "SEAFOAM" on the Forever 21 website, but their visual color in online photos is massively inconsistent based on the lighting & edit from photo to photo. You can see it very plainly as you scroll through their website. The 1st dress you see looks sky blue, the next one is like a dusty green and the 3rd photo a more turquoise color. This is so dangerous... I mean, brides and bridesmaids want their colors to be THEIR COLORS. When the dresses arrived at my doorstep, I was a bit surprised that they were more turquoise than green, as I had hoped. It's a good thing I wasn't getting these for my actual wedding! (which has sage green, not turquoise, as a theme color)
In our shoot, it was hard to capture the exact color it is in real life, which is truly more a seafoam/turquoise than a green, but I think you can tell the dresses' true color a bit better than the website. So hopefully these photos help!!!
3. I wish these came out earlier! We had been shopping for bridesmaid dresses for my friend's summer wedding back in January... and it was not easy to find purple dresses that fit her level of modesty, price point & matched all of our body types. We would have definitely gotten these dresses in Mauve if only we had known!