Ahh... the bridesmaid dress dilemma. You want them to feel comfortable AND look good AND not spend a fortune, right? I remember stressing out about this at my wedding. My solution was to have each bridesmaid pick her own long black dress. Some had sleeves, some did not, some were tight, some were not, some spent a lot of money, some did not ... and everyone looked great! This technique worked well with black because there aren't variations in color. If you want to go with, say, yellow (like my brides on Sunday), I suggest you pick a few Pantone Color Swatches and have each girl work from those.
Or, there's an option I just heard about - you can RENT your bridesmaid dresses. Genius, right? I'm sure there are more businesses like this out there, but the one I heard about is called Little Borrowed Dress. The prices are really reasonable and everyone can pick something that works great on them. Low stress!
Contact Sarah and "Let's Do It" Vows for more information about her officiant / celebrant services for opposite and same-sex weddings, commitment ceremonies, and vow renewals in Austin, Central Texas, and West Texas.