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If you have bridesmaids of varying shapes and sizes, keep in mind that it's unlikely there's one dress that's going to flatter everyone. You want everyone to look their best, right?
It's a nice idea to pick the designer, fabric and color, then let your bridesmaids choose the cut that looks best on them. You can give them as much or little leeway as you like, but remember that a comfortable bridesmaid is a happy bridesmaid!
We would recommend getting the bridesmaid dresses maid. The cost to get them made will be half the cost of purchasing the dresses and then having them altered. In most areas there are local companies and people who sew for a living. This way each girl can have a custom fit. Remember have fun!