1. Consider different body types.
The problem with a lot of the ugly bridesmaid dresses I've seen is that they don't suit all the girls in the party. Do you really want to stick one of your supposedly best friends (or sisters!) in a dress shape she'd never get caught dead in otherwise? No. Even if this means they won't all be in the same dress, you'd prefer a happy bridal party than knowing your friends are going to resent you for the rest of their lives (or seek revenge. See point 5.)
2. Choose a theme, and allow some freedom.
Pick a theme, and let your bridesmaid to choose something that works best for them. That could be a colour, a fabric, or a style of dress. For example if you want everyone in chocolate brown, choose the fabric and allow each girl to pick the shape that best suits her. You can have some guidelines (full length, short sleeve, etc...) but this way the girls can at least choose a shape that will flatter them. Another option is to buy accessories, and let them get a dress they like (ex. you provide a red belt and corsage, everyone buys a black, knee length dress. And then, the girls might actually wear their dresses again!)...read the full article