Once the excitement of being asked to be a bridesmaid passes, your mind turns with some trepidation to what you'll be asked to wear on the big day. We've all seen the photos of 1980s satin bridesmaid dresses with puff ball sleeves, and in a colour you'd never wear again - think aqua, salmon pink, or worse, orange.
Thankfully, the modern bride has a much wider selection of dresses to choose from. In fact, today's multi wear bridesmaid dress is designed to be reused and recycled. In this blog, we look at how to repurpose your dress for a new occasion to get the most wear out of it, and how to sell it (or donate it) when you're ready.
Repurposing a multi wear bridesmaid dress
If you loved wearing your bridesmaid dress the first-time round, there's nothing to stop you wearing it again. The catwalks are full of trends, like pastel colours in sorbet tones andsophisticated strap work, that you’ll also find in our range of dresses. Own the trend for spring/summer 2021, and wear your dress again and again.
Maxi dresses and prints never go out of style, and they're the perfect summer dress for holidays, nights out with the girls, and formal occasions. The Sienna print dress, for example, in lightweight chiffon with a flattering bandeau top, would look just as good walking up the aisle behind a bride, as it would in a beach-side restaurant.
If you're planning on attending another function, but you don't want to be seen wearing the same dress twice, then consider giving it a new look with our top tips.
1. Accessorize it
The accessories you pair with a dress can dramatically change its look. Swap your heels for flat pumps, and transform your bridesmaid dress into a summer staple. Or for a more edgy, day time look replace those flats for a boot, an ankle boot works well. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
2. Redesign it
If you're a dab hand with a needle and thread, then the possibilities are endless. A good seamstress should be able to change the neckline, fit, and even length.
3. Dye it
If the colour is the only thing holding you back, then why not dye your dress? Swap a cool summer colour for something warm, like olive green or midnight blue.
Selling a multi wear bridesmaid dress
When you're ready to say goodbye to your bridesmaid dress, why not give it a second life by selling it online. Sustainable fashion is huge right now - by encouraging people to buy second-hand, we can all do our bit to look after the planet. And you might earn yourself a pretty penny in the process, which isn't a bad trade-off for a few minutes of your time.
Platforms like eBay make it super simple to sell pre-loved items, but you'd be forgiven if you were put off by the sellers’ fees. If you want to create some room in your wardrobe, but you don't want to pay for the privilege, try one of these free-to-use platforms.
These sites all have a mobile app to make it easy to photograph your item, upload it, then negotiate with buyers via direct messages. But beware, free platforms don't extend the same cover if something goes wrong, so use PayPal for transactions where you can.
Donating a pre-loved bridesmaid dress
If there's life left in your bridesmaid dress, don't bin it! There are lots of charities crying out for second-hand bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses. Some specialise in putting together weddings for couples, who might not otherwise have been able to afford it. Your donation could be gifted to someone, or sold to raise money for the charity.
Many high-street charity shops like the Red Cross and Oxfam, also have bridal sections in their stores and online. Multiway bridesmaid dresses make great donations because they can be styled to suit different shapes and sizes. The right style, like the Charlotte dress in blossom pink with a satin sash, could also be re-purposed as a prom dress.
Blue and green bridesmaid dresses are hot right now for summer, so if you have one lurking at the back of your wardrobe, dig it out and donate it to a worthwhile cause.
Not ready to give up your dress just yet?
Your dress will no doubt have sentimental value, particularly if it's the first time you've been a bridesmaid, or perhaps it was a special family member getting married. If you're not ready to give up your dress, then consider packing it away for now. Be sure to store it away from light, heat, and damp, to keep it looking its best when you go back to it.
In the same way, that some people use material from their wedding dress to create christening gowns for their children, you might find a use for your bridesmaid dress in the future. But in the mean-time, it's there when you need it - tucked away safely.
Whatever you choose to do with your multi wear bridesmaid dress, let's keep reusing and recycling to create a more sustainable fashion industry for the future.