Every bridesmaid has heard this before: "The best thing about the dresses I chose for you is that you'll be able to wear it again after the wedding!" But how many times have you actually donned those gowns again? No matter what the bride says or how fashionable the dress may be, most bridesmaids never find a time to wear their big-day ensembles again. Still, we understand why you'd be hesitant to throw out a gently-worn dress that may have spent a few hundred dollars on. That's why we're sharing some of the best ways to reuse—not necessarily rewear, unless you want to!—those bridesmaid's dresses that are hanging in your closet.
Find an occasion to wear it again.
Easier said than done, right? But as long as the dress isn't overly flashy, there might be opportunities to rewear it. Understated options in solid colors or with subtle patterns that don't overtly read as a bridesmaid's dress can certainly have a second life as an evening gown or cocktail dress. Classic black, navy, or gold gowns are perfect for fancy parties or other weddings you're attending as a guest.
Tailor the fit.
Long and elaborate gowns look great on the big day, but they may seem out-of-place at your other social events. See if a tailor can adjust the dress to fit your upcoming events by hemming the length or removing the sleeves. Depending on the material and cut, you may also be able to have it refashioned into playful skirt.
Change the color.
Was your dress made from cotton, silk, linen, or another natural fiber? If the fabric is light-colored, you might be able to dye it darker—either with an at-home kit or with the help of a professional. Just be sure to do something you can get a lot of use out of. Classic black dresses never go out of style.
Take on a DIY project.
DIY-savvy 'maids might be able to use their dress as part of an upcycling project. Use the fabric to make purses, pillows, doll clothing, quilts, or anything else your heart desires.
Play dress-up with a little one.
Little girls love dressing up, and your bridesmaid's gown is perfect for playtime with your favorite niece, cousin, or daughter. You may want to have the dress resized to fit your little one a bit better.
Have a happy Halloween.
To get one more use out the dress, transform it into a Halloween costume. Let your imagination run wild, and turn yourself into a beauty queen, zombie bride, or a princess. You'd be surprised how many different costumes require a dress.
Take it to the prom.
Do you have a teenage girl in your life? If your dress is still in style, see if she'd want to wear it to the prom. With the right accessories (and maybe a little tailoring), she can make the look entirely her own.
Donate your dress.
Whatever you do, don't toss the expensive clothing in the trash. If you truly won't reuse the dress, take it to a local charity or secondhand shop and offer it as a donation. You might be able to help someone find their dream prom dress or formal event ensemble for free or at a discounted price.