Fifty Shades of Blue (and I Hate Most of Them)

I can’t tell if I’m more sensitive to blue or if I’m just going insane, but I’m finding that picking the correct shade of blue for my bridesmaid dresses to be one of the most difficult things in this wedding so far.  Anything that needs to be blue is almost impossible to find in the right shade.

Lavender Bridesmaid Bouquets, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, Ojai California, Beautiful Day photography,
Photo by: Beautiful Day photography on Inspired By This via

When looking for a shade of pink, I just pick something soft and pastel, and call it a day. With the peach, it was a little more difficult to pick something that was more pinkish than orange, but it was at least doable.

yeah…all those shades can be broken down into two categories for me, hot pink and pastel pinkScreenshot from: Wikipedia

With blues, every time I look at the blue, it seems to change a little, and they always look so different under different lighting as well. I seriously think I’m going insane and I probably won’t ever find a color that I’m happy with.

Screenshot from: Wikipedia

When I try to categorize blues, I categorize them in terms of navy, light blue, teal, and purple blues, and this bright cobalt-ish blue. I’m trying to stay away from greenish and purple tints, but frankly, every tint of blue I can find for bridesmaid dresses just…feels wrong. That’s it—I’m officially insane.

My guess is that there are certain colors, like pink and peach, that are in style right now and they are limited in the color range, making it easy to pick a certain shade. I’m probably not as picky about it as well since I don’t notice the difference.

But with blues, not only is it a much larger group of colors, it’s so hard to get the right shade and feel. I know companies can’t afford to pick every color imaginable, so they have to choose which they think will be the most popular, but the blue options really suck.

Source: Couver

You get your cobalt blue, your aqua, your teal and your navy. Everything else is pretty much non-existent. Either way, I can keep whining about it all day but that isn’t going to change the situation. When you have this problem, what do you do?

1) change your color to be one of the accepted, widely access colors.

2) deal with variations of blue and just go with it

3) get frustrated and decide to forget about blue altogether.

I’m not really sure which solution I’m going with yet, though I think it’s going to be a combination of all three. I’m trying to be open minded about the shades of blue, and I’m trying not to match them at all. I figure whatever color I get is whatever color I get. I’m also trying to push towards the current blue trends.

Image via Inspired By This / Photo by onelove photography

I have even thought about changing from a light blue to a mint color, which I can see also be really pretty in our venue. The mint has many of the same problems though, and mint limits our choices since many things don’t even have a mint option.

I’ve widened my acceptable blue range to pretty much include anything in the not teal category, but even when I find a dress that I really love…such as:

Jenny Yoo’s Keira Dress (which is convertible!)

Keira is the short version on the rightSource: Jenny Yoo


…The color swatches look nothing like the dress. Like…I still haven’t figured out which color that dress is supposed to be (I *think* it’s turkish blue…but I’m not even sure they’re in the same ballpark.). The colors just seem to change so much depending on the lighting.

What would you do? Has anyone else had the blue color searching blues? What do you do when none of the blue colors seem to be what you want?


Mrs. Panda

Boston, MA
Wedding Date:
June 2013
Something Something Corsages, Part 2
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  1. mswallaby Member
    mswallaby 2070 posts, Buzzing bee @ 1:57 pm

    That sucks, I know what you mean about being indecisive. We went back and forth when it came to choosing the meal we’ll serve, and buffet vs. plated dinner…urgghh. I think you should just pick some colors and go with it, some of the prettiest wedding blog posts are weddings with multi-color palettes (not just one or two colors). Alternatively, if you don’t have too many bridesmaids, you could buy used BM dresses that have since been “retired.” I picked mismatched J. Crew dresses and two of my BMs are wearing a blush color from a past season – they bought their dresses used online.

  2. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 2:08 pm

    I started with the Pantone color chart. Once I found the blue I wanted, I called J. Crew to have every blue swatch sent to me. I found one that was very, very close (Matisse Blue in silk taffeta…on other fabrics, the color was more royal-ish).

    I was pretty adamant about using J. Crew since I live near the headquarters and could get dresses at a deep discount.

    Have you looked at Weddington Way? They seem to have a great color selection.

  3. mslyre Member
    mslyre 512 posts, Busy bee @ 2:15 pm

    I hear you on the shades of blue, and giving up the control of that was probably one of the most nerve wracking part of my bridesmaid selection process. I also added gray into the mix to help even out the look I was going for!
    I love the Jenny Yoo Turkish Blue, & Amsale’s French blue is really pretty too. I’ve looked at A LOT of blue. Only one of my bridesmaids got a dress that wasn’t really in range of blues that I had in mind, but next to all the other blues, I think it will look fine!

  4. Member
    emma20130601 341 posts, Helper bee @ 2:35 pm

    My bridesmaids are also wearing blue dresses and I wanted more of a robin’s egg blue – more in the pastels. We all went shopping together and the dress that they chose didn’t have the particular shade of blue that I wanted. Instead it was more aqua. At that point, since they all really liked the dress and they were paying for them, we bought those ones! It was a total giving up control and just hoping for the best.

  5. Member
    JBS2013 2 posts, Wannabee @ 2:40 pm

    I had the same problem- blues are so tricky! Eventually I turned my search to Etsy and found Amanda Archer designs. She has lots of beautiful shades (I went with Cornflower) for some amazing custom dresses. And the prices is right too!

  6. Member
    faybe 1 posts, Wannabee @ 2:46 pm

    I’ve had similar issues finding just the right shade of blue…I was looking for light blue but wanted to avoid powder blue. I ended up finding a color that has some green in it (which you may not be looking for), but is absolutely gorgeous! J. Crew has bridesmaid dresses in silk chiffon that are “dusty shale”–it’s gorgeous! :)

  7. Member
    Schneewittli 56 posts, Worker bee @ 3:43 pm

    I had the same issues – I wanted blue bridesmaids dresses but I was very particular: no navy or cobalt blue, and also I found that sky blue doesn’t look good on many girls. So after a lot of searching I ended up with a mix of Amsale chiffon dresses in ‘hydrangea’ and J.Crew chiffon dresses in ‘casablanca’ and they turned out beautiful!
    Good luck :-)

  8. Member
    MrsCov 50 posts, Worker bee @ 5:29 am

    I must have totally lucked out. I bought my wedding shoes first (in blue- royal blue silk) and then when we went to pick bridesmaids dresses and ties for the men, we found a Dessy dress and a tie from a London outfitters that fit in well. They were not a 100% match, but I didn’t see the need for them to be exact. I’m confused though – if you like the Jenny Yoo dress on your bridesmaids (and it is really nice), what does it matter what the swatch looks like / is called? For what it’s worth, the swatch looks like the dress to me… Maybe I’m missing the point!

  9. panda Member
    Mrs. Panda 1359 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:40 am

    @Miss Wallaby: That sounds really pretty, I will look into that

    @Mrs. Mink: That’s so smart. I remember reading that, and tried doing that, and yet, somehow have gotten lost in the color shuffle anyways

    @Miss Lyre: I didn’t look into the amsale french blue, but I should. thanks for the suggestion! (I just looked it up, omg soooo pretty)

    @Emma20130601: yeah, I originally started in the robin blue range. It’s amazing how lack of dresses there seems to be in that range.

    @JBS2013: her dresses are pretty

    @faybe: dusty shale was on my list. I guess my concern with the more greenish color was that our venue has a mint greenish walls in some areas, and I didn’t want my girls to disappear into the wall :/

    @Schneewittli: I also thought about the jcrew casablanca, but couldn’t find anyone else who had a picture of it in real life at all

    @MrsCov: I guess to me, the color swatch looked more green than blue. I know it’s really difficult to tell what the whole dress will look like, but it didn’t look blue to me at all. I guess a part of me was hoping to do more of a blue/gray rather than a blue/green.

  10. Member
    jacofblues 1468 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:36 pm

    I have blue bridesmaids dresses! In the end I just said a darkish blue and went shopping. we would try things on and if I didn’t like the colour we didn’t go with it!

  11. Member
    Schneewittli 56 posts, Worker bee @ 12:25 pm

    You can order free swatches from J.Crew, that will give you a good impression of the color. Or just pm me and I can send you a pic from one of my bridesmaids when she was trying on the dresses!

  12. Member
    village_skeptic 1861 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:15 pm

    Blue drove me nuts. It’s why we switched to purple, and then to shades of purple. Oy vey!

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    Serina, Guest @ 9:29 pm

    I had the same problem with blue too! Originally I wanted a cornflower or robins blue shade as well but couldn’t find cheap bridesmaid dresses in the shade I wanted. Most were either a very light sky blue or a turquoise color. I ended up just picking the bridesmaid dresses and they had them in a Malibu blue color from David’s Bridal so now I am trying to match everything else to that same shade as much as possible. Yes everything probably won’t match up that exactly but oh we’ll :/

  14. Member
    ampen87 10 posts, Newbee @ 11:27 am

    I am considering doing the BMs in an ombre array of blues… getting lighter up to the MOH. It is an interesting look. You are right though, there are about a million shades of blue.

  15. panda Member
    Mrs. Panda 1359 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:58 pm

    @ampen87: oh I think that will be lovely together. We ultimately went with a bit of a tealish blue bm dress, and I didn’t try to match the blues to anything else at all. I think it turned out pretty well! good luck!

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