This article is all about you, Bridesmaids… and that Bridesmaid dress you’ll be saddled with after your bestie’s Wedding. Rather than stash it at the back of your closet until the next time you move house, do something productive or creative with it. You actually have options! And as always, we’re here to break it down for you.
1. Sell It
The most obvious choice would be to sell it. Your Bridesmaid dress may or may not have been expensive, but it’s worth selling a gown if you know for a fact you’ll never wear it again. Online would probably work best for this, so head to auction sites like eBay to get the best price for it. Make sure to accurately include all the details including size, measurements, designer/brand and several clear images.
2. Accessorise It
When it comes to dresses, small changes can make all the difference. Adding embellishment or accessories can transform the look of a dress from something overly formal to something a little more wearable. Think floral appliques or a chic metallic belt to really revamp the look.
Image from Sarah and Jason’s Wedding. Photography by Lara Hotz.
3. Hem It
If you would like to wear the dress again, getting it altered is such a viable option. Many choose to shorten the length, creating an easy cocktail dress. Cost may vary depending on the dress, but on the whole, this process should be relatively pain-free with a decent seamstress. However, this only applies if your dress is floor length to begin with.
4. Cut It
Before a full blown panic attack ensues, let us explain. Cutting a dress along the midsection could leave you with two separate clothing items that could be seamlessly mixed and matched into your wardrobe. Alternatively, adding some strategic cut-outs to the original dress can result in a piece that’s both original and so on trend.
5. Re-use the Fabric
After weeks of fittings, standing through measurements, adjustments and readjustments, we understand that you may be slightly attached to your Bridesmaid dress. But if it’s not too traumatic, you can always rip the dress apart (oh the horror!) and re-use the fabric for other textile items. Deep breath ladies, it’ll all be ok.
6. Redesign It
Length aside, redesign is also worth considering. This could be anything from changing the neckline to the fit. Take a strapless dress and some matching fabric to create a chic halter neckline. Or a flowy, A-line gown could get taken in for a tighter, pencil fit. Your imagination is the limit!
Image from Jennifer and Vincent’s Wedding. Photography by Jay Lim Photography.
7. Donate It
If you’re open to donating your dress, charities appreciate all clothing donations and some even run programs collecting formal dresses for disadvantaged girls. DARE Formal Wear accepts donated wedding and formal wear to re-sell, with all the profits funding training and support in dealing with domestic abuse recovery and education. This is just one of many organisations that aim to give back to underprivileged women and potentially, your Bridesmaid dress can make a difference.
8. Consign It
If all else fails, you could always consider offloading the dress at a second-hand clothing or Wedding consignment store. Some may be willing to buy it off you, but don’t hold your breath. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for you, Fairies.
9. Dye It
Sometimes the only thing that makes a Bridesmaid dress so difficult to re-wear is the colour. So why not dye it? Obviously, your colour choices may be limited depending on fabric and finish. But a quick dye job and you could almost get away with creating a whole new dress for a fraction of the cost.
10. Re-Gift It
Ultimately, being picked as Bridesmaid is a Bride’s way of saying, “you matter to me.” So rather than poke fun at the dress she’s painstakingly chosen, maybe you could find a creative way to repurpose the dress into a gift for her? Surely she’d appreciate a decorative pillow or a nice throw for new home. Sentimental value is just a bonus.
11. Store It
But of course, all these recommendations operate on the assumption that you hate the dress when the reality is… you might actually love it! With all the gorgeous options available today, it’s not even a stretch. A Bridesmaid dress in a timeless style can definitely be re-worn. Besides, the cyclical nature of fashion means that trends are constantly recycled. Feel free to store your dress for a niece, daughter or even granddaughter that will no doubt fall in love with her vintage frock.
Image from Ben and Lucy’s Wedding. Photography by Lost in Love Photography.
Main image from Nicole and Raymond’s Wedding. Photography by Simon Gorges.